Resources for the California Drought

Water Well for California Drought A Water Well for the California Drought?

The ridiculously resistant high

Many scientists believe the California drought is being caused by a huge high pressure zone off the coast of California.  The zone of high pressure is 4 miles high and 2000 miles long.  The jet stream that would normally drop down into California this time of year has bumped off this high pressure ridge and been diverted to Alaska, British Columbia and the East Coast.  This high pressure ridge has been around for over a year.  These types of ridges pop up from time to time, but this high just won’t go away.  Learn more about the ridge here.

Drought monitor

Another resource I frequently use is the U. S. Drought Monitor.   This page is a weekly map of drought conditions that is produced jointly by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.  It provides a visual of drought conditions across the United States.   If you want more specific data it allows you to click on regions and states to get more detail.  So clicking on California shows you the specifics of the California drought. It also shows the history or trends for the last week, last three months and last year.  This helps identify trends.  You are either going into a drought or coming out of a drought.

Surface water and ground water

To fully understand the drought in California you need to first understand the difference between surface water and ground water and how the two are interconnected and at times jointly managed.  This report from U.C. Davis’ Center for Watershed Sciences clearly explains the two and their interconnection.

My five favorite tips to manage outside water during the California drought

  1. Complete spring start up inspections early to identify sources of water waste
  2. Implement irrigation system and component upgrades that increase water savings
  3. Aerate turf and add mulch around trees, shrubs and planting beds
  4. Prioritize areas that require maximum aesthetic value so water can be applied prudently
  5. Plan for the short-term, three year vision and long-term (10 year) needs of your property

For extra credit – Weekly Colorado River water report

For those of you who really want to follow closely what is happening with water in the West you can view the weekly Colorado River report from the U.S Bureau of Reclamation.  This report provides details on the conditions of water in the lower Colorado River which supplies water to California.  The Colorado River is the principle resource for water in California and six other states. California receives an allocation of about 27% form the Colorado River, which is the largest allocation of water for any state.

I hope these resources help you to manage the California drought.  I’m sure you have some favorite resources of your own and hope you will share them in the comments section.  Please remember a 20% reduction is not difficult to reach.  It requires several small changes which helps prevent having to make big changes in the future.

Learn More About Richard Restuccia

If you like this post please consider subscribing to the blog or follow me on twitter at @H2oTrends.

Posts you may also like

Richard Restuccia

Richard Restuccia is a water management evangelist. He believes passionately in water efficiency and sees the financial and social benefits far too often to keep a secret. As the Director for Water Management Solutions at ValleyCrest, Richard is our spokesperson at industry events and on the Hill to provide direction and insight on landscape water management best practices. Richard puts his words into action through service on various boards and committees. Currently he serves on the Irrigation Association’s Board of Directors. As a board member, Richard serves in a variety of capacities, including government/public affairs. He is the liaison between the board and its marketing committee on the best ways to promote water efficiency and educate industry professionals on new technologies, products and services. Richard is also a regular contributor to Lawn & Landscape Magazine.


Refresh Image

© 2014 ValleyCrest Landscape Companies