Feb 24, 2009

More Rain, Please

“unless the next six weeks deliver rains of biblical proportions, Californians will face major shortages this summer”

So writes Kelly Zito in today's Chronicle. When I wrote about the drought a couple of weeks ago, Lake Shasta was at 31% of capacity. After two weeks more or less full of rain...

Lake Shasta is at 32% of capacity.

For us down here at ground level, it seems like things have really turned around. Our lawns are squishy again; trees are budding out; the rain breaks just often enough for the ground to soak it up, then starts up again. The problem — actually, the two problems — are that (a) squishy lawn at sea level doesn't translate to snow up in the Sierra, where our water comes from by the time August and September roll around; and (b) this is the third consecutive year we've had low rainfall, so the ground is simply parched — as evidenced by how fast my rain garden drains out.

So I repeat my warning about getting water-wise: the drought is coming. Water, especially to irrigate landscapes, will be in short supply, expensive, or both. Gardeners, landscapers and homeowners will have to change the way we think. That will require no small effort, so lazy me hopes I'm wrong. But I drought doubt it.

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