A Little Louder Please

There is little doubt in my mind we are headed toward another drought in California.   If you look at the drought monitor for California we are quickly trending in the wrong direction.  It’s been a little over a year since Governor Jerry Brown declared the drought for California was officially over.  Many periodicals and headlines proclaim the same great news. At the time I couldn’t help but wonder if the news was good or bad.

At first glance, it was reasonable to consider the news good. It truly would be good news if the drought were over due to a combination of wet weather and excellent conservation practices. Unfortunately, as I read the articles, I saw news about the snowpack, but not efficient irrigation practices. As we know, conditions can change dramatically in a short period of time. Remember, in early 2006 California had record rains. Then in 2007 we had drought emergencies in both Kings and Riverside Counties. This preceded the drought that just ended last year. My concern is that people will relax on their conservation efforts and start wasting water again. The 20 by 2020 initiative has been widely publicized in California, and I believe people were starting to see water go from invisible to invaluable.

So the drought ending made our water conservation jobs a little harder.  We need to collectively get the word out more consistently.  The Irrigation Association electronic newsletter mentioned this last year, “The key is we have to get the message out, and some people are not getting the message.”  You can see the entire article here.

Last month federal forecasters said most of the Southwest, as well as parts of California and the Southeast, can expect drought conditions to worsen through July.  The National Weather Service is telling us the current drought situation for the West is not optimistic, and fears it will move to the Central Rockies this summer. The snowpack in California on April 2 was about 55 percent the normal level of water for this time of year.  So why aren’t we issuing some form of alert right now that things are moving to the more serious stage? I don’t want to wait for the drought to be severe enough that we have Governor Brown officially announce we are in a drought.  Unfortunately, we usually solve problems after they happen.  I recommend an elevated alert for drought so we can get in front of this problem. With an elevated alert, if we move to official drought conditions we don’t have to take such drastic actions.

Richard Restuccia

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  1. Joe Frisbie Reply

    There are some paleoclimatologist that think we are in the same stage climatically of around the start of the 16th century. Which lead to the loss of the Anasazi Culture of Arizona. This was a severe and prolonged period lasing over 100 years. Whereas, unfortunately, the period when many water policies for the southwest, 1920’s, in particular California, was one of the wettest periods in recent history. No one’s fault. Just the consequences of an evolving modern society.

    One only needs to look at Australia if they want to see our future water use issues. A Water Policeman coming to the neighborhood soon if we don’t make the changes “they”, government, will. With the revenue stream potential don’t think they won’t be salivating over that 20 course meal at some lobbyist conclave near you.

  2. Kaylene Reply

    Review by Eve in Ohio for Rating: I looked for these bacsuee my University uses them for new plantings. I was happy to see them on Amazon for a reasonable price.I just got these a few days ago (including the Gator Jr which is a flat brown doughnut shape that fits under bushes but also doesn’t look so obvious in my front yard under trees). It was easy to set up and fill with water. There are two small valves on the bottom that slowly allow water out the water empties in 6 to 20 hours and the instructions say one refill a week for most new trees is normal. I might fill twice in August heat and am considering purchasing more given the drought-like weather in our area.

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