Author Topic: All this rain in California  (Read 1105 times)

Orkine

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All this rain in California
« on: January 13, 2023, 11:10:56 PM »
Hope you are all doing OK

Is this atmospheric river a drought buster?  Looking for a silver lining.

Seanny

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Re: All this rain in California
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2023, 03:06:29 AM »
Rain is helping, but not enough.

https://cdec.water.ca.gov/resapp/RescondMain

K-Rimes

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Re: All this rain in California
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2023, 11:26:02 AM »
This year will not break the historic overuse of CA's resources, both above and below ground, but it will give us at least a year, maybe two, of breathing room.

Here in Santa Barbara specifically, we got hit by what I would classify as a natural disaster type amount of rain (at my house in particular). We recorded 17.3" of rain in 24 hours, which with great luck didn't damage the property all that bad because I'm at the peak of the pass but it all arrived in town and overwhelmed the storm systems. Tons of cars underwater, streets flooded waist deep, mud flows all over, and an amazing amount of road damage in the mountains. Some mountain roads are 100% impassable now because the road broke in half and fell into the creek or off the mountain side. Don't know when it'll all get fixed. The 154 highway to my house has been closed for the last week and we're using another mountain road to go to and fro, but it's also severely damaged and down to one lane in a lot of places.

The reservoir behind SB went from 37% to 80% overnight and will spill in the next few days, it gained 100,000 acre feet overnight. Some of it is silt I'm sure, but still a shocking result from one day of rain.


With our current trajectory of snowpack in the Sierras, IF it continues, we will make a dent in the drought. If we get a repeat of last year's dry January onward, it was a good year but not a drought buster. I would caution pessimism about the current reservoir levels in Seanny's link though because many of those (especially northern) reservoirs are emptied in winter so they can fill with snowmelt in spring and there is a LOT more snow than usual.

I spent a lot of great days going up and down the road shown below and held a 300 person event on it the last year for skaters. Really sad to lose it.



Seanny

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Re: All this rain in California
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2023, 11:59:59 AM »
You can click on each reservoir to get a new tab that show a graph of water level.
Only Folsom reservoir is dumping water.
The rest are low, so water levels are rising.

Here in my area we got an inch of rain per storm.
We could use some more rain.

JCorte

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Re: All this rain in California
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2023, 12:50:30 PM »
Kevin, was thinking about you when I saw the floods in Santa Barbara.  I can't imagine that much rain falling in such a short period of time.  We've received about 7 inches so far in January.  Glad to hear you were lucky, but sorry to hear about all the flooding and damage in town.  We really like Santa Barbara and I've bought a lot of orchids from there.  Hope the nurseries and all the small businesses are able to recover.

We've been driving to Fallbrook during the heavy rains to assess how the water flows on our properties and how to minimize future damage and capture rainwater.  We have a few collapsed roads we're going to have deal with. 

On a positive note, our seasonal creeks are full and flowing. 

Janet

SHV

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Re: All this rain in California
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2023, 01:04:59 PM »
If only the abundance of rain had a measurable impact on our groundwater. Itís often ignored how much agriculture and housing is dependent on what is essentially a non renewable resource at our rate of consumption.

JCorte

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Re: All this rain in California
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2023, 01:21:46 PM »
SHV, I agree.  Imagine if we all made an effort to capture rainwater and recharge our groundwater instead of letting it all flow back out to the ocean.

We escavated a holding pond to capture runoff at our farm about 20 feet wide and 5 feet deep.  It filled up after 2 inches of rain.



Before picture of same spot when Scott started clearing 2 years ago.



Janet
« Last Edit: January 14, 2023, 01:25:35 PM by JCorte »

JCorte

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Re: All this rain in California
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2023, 01:43:31 PM »
Swales at the farm collecting rainwater runoff.









K-Rimes

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Re: All this rain in California
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2023, 01:47:48 PM »
If only the abundance of rain had a measurable impact on our groundwater. Itís often ignored how much agriculture and housing is dependent on what is essentially a non renewable resource at our rate of consumption.

Some groundwater is very responsive. With my well set-up you can pressurize the a tube and depending on the PSI see how high the water is. A good water year can bring it up 5'.

The issue really is farmer's and cities pumping far more than could ever be recharged annually, and doing this year in year out. With a reservoir you can see the level and build a plan around it, when you are pulling from underground you just have no idea and no one knows anyways if you draw more than allotted.

California will need to reckon with this sooner than later but the blinders are on. At some point, I think the state gov will need to exercise eminent domain to fix these issues. Agriculture accounts for 3% of CA's income, seems crazy to use almost all the water for such a small return.

JCorte

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Re: All this rain in California
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2023, 03:17:15 PM »
I think this is a complex issue and would not be in favor of the government exercising eminent domain to fix any issue.  The government doesn't necessarily make decisions in the best interest of nature or the general public.

I am happy to be a farmer and grower.  We take the responsibility of stewardship of our resources seriously.  Small farms have a lot of challenges in California and are an integral, necessary part of our communities and local economies.  I think we need more small farms.  Big industrial agriculture is a different story.

I'd like to see more awareness and knowledge shared in water harvesting practices, regenerative agriculture, and agroecology.  There's lots of room for improvement in rainwater harvesting strategies that the state as well as individuals could work on.  It's hard for me to watch all this rain be channeled to flow back out to the ocean.

Janet

eggo2

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Re: All this rain in California
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2023, 03:37:08 PM »
Every year I see rainwater wasted, I can't help but think about this in Japan
https://youtu.be/Rp2l6nFIsZA

K-Rimes

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Re: All this rain in California
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2023, 04:26:03 PM »
Every year I see rainwater wasted, I can't help but think about this in Japan
https://youtu.be/Rp2l6nFIsZA

Re: small farms vs big ones - it's the big ones that are the wasters / abusers, y'know, the 4 or 5 farms that receive the same amount of water as the state of Arizona to grow lettuce?

That Japanese water system is amazing. Not surprised, Japan really spends money on infrastructure and quality of life programs. I wish we had the political will to get mega projects done like we used to. Seeing the 60s/70s spec water channels all over CA shows what can be done.

spaugh

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Re: All this rain in California
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2023, 05:32:29 PM »
Who would think rain could be so contentious?   ::)

Not that much rain in san diego.  Nothing to write home about.  If it rains in summer I will get excited.
Brad Spaugh

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Re: All this rain in California
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2023, 05:40:35 PM »
I have some friends who worked at Paramount back in the 90s and they were already aware and working towards minimizing water usage... micro irrigation vs "flooding " etc because the costs back then per acre foot, deep wells and acquaduct, were relatively crazy. Talk about weather stations and all to figure out plant eTo requirements for optimal growth. 

The news is that the next generation farmers are opting to grow either homes or solar now. So much less risk and working every day of the year, sun or rain.

The scary part is that imported foods is more likely going forward.

Yeah, we also had tons if issues here in SLO but nothing compared to the march flooding after the highway 41 fire... for context,  Avila Valley (   https://www.google.com/maps/place/35%C2%B011'14.4%22N+120%C2%B042'40.3%22W/@35.1872342,-120.7108401,18z/data=!4m4!3m3!8m2!3d35.187341!4d-120.711199?force=pwa&source=mlpwa ). The water was flowing the "entire" valley, hillside to hillside to the ocean.

Interesting article:
https://www.worldometers.info/food-agriculture/pesticides-by-country/

JCorte

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Re: All this rain in California
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2023, 06:05:05 PM »
Who would think rain could be so contentious?   ::)

Not that much rain in san diego.  Nothing to write home about.  If it rains in summer I will get excited.

Is the tone of my words coming off as contentious?  Definitely not my intent. 

I do care a lot though about maximizing the benefits of any rainfall we get.  Yes, we've only received about 8 inches or so this month in Fallbrook, but it is amazing to me how full the Santa Margarita River is and how much runoff is flowing through our creeks from just a few inches of rain.  I see it as potential.  Plus we've been able to turn off our irrigation for the last month. 

eggo2, thanks for sharing the video.  Amazing feat of engineering.

Janet
« Last Edit: January 14, 2023, 06:07:53 PM by JCorte »

spaugh

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Re: All this rain in California
« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2023, 06:49:39 PM »
Who would think rain could be so contentious?   ::)

Not that much rain in san diego.  Nothing to write home about.  If it rains in summer I will get excited.

Is the tone of my words coming off as contentious?  Definitely not my intent. 

I do care a lot though about maximizing the benefits of any rainfall we get.  Yes, we've only received about 8 inches or so this month in Fallbrook, but it is amazing to me how full the Santa Margarita River is and how much runoff is flowing through our creeks from just a few inches of rain.  I see it as potential.  Plus we've been able to turn off our irrigation for the last month. 

eggo2, thanks for sharing the video.  Amazing feat of engineering.

Janet

No i wasnt directing that at you or anyone else janet.  I just thought the thread escalated quickly.  Now Im going back in my hole.
Brad Spaugh

Orkine

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Re: All this rain in California
« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2023, 06:54:52 PM »
Wow, 17 inches in 24 hours is huge, wherever one gets it.

Glad you are out of harms way but that must be terrible for the folks who live in town with mud flows and waist high flooding.

ScottR

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Re: All this rain in California
« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2023, 08:22:41 PM »
Wow Kevin, you got it all right I knew the pass got dumped on but dam you got a load for sure. Glad you didn't have damage on property stay safe. :P

Bush2Beach

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Re: All this rain in California
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2023, 11:24:58 AM »
They actually catastrophized 1 of the storms as a " bomb cyclone" .
 what language will they come up with next to describe a rainstorm.
Very glad for all the rain's. It reminds me of winter.
The combo of high tide and huge waves is causing the most damage here.
Creeks and rivers flood, same as it ever was. Building and living alongside a river or ocean bluff can be real nice but there are obvious known dangers in doing so.
All the fruit tree's are very happy with the weather.

Hope you are all doing OK

Is this atmospheric river a drought buster?  Looking for a silver lining.

gnappi

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Re: All this rain in California
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2023, 11:52:57 AM »
Water, so complex an issue. Early last century New York figured how to engineer massive public works solutions to bring water from the mountains to the city with very little taxation to support it.

Today states like mine (Florida) dump untold millions of gallons of fresh water in the ocean after rainstorms that could be used elsewhere. Sure it would be horrifically expensive to pipe  and transport it westward, have serious ecological issues to solve like biological contaminants in the water but it can be done if New York did it.

Here I have absolutely NO incentive to save water. My water bill is based on 3,000 gallons whether I use 1,000 or 2,999. Being single I use very little of my allotment as I have a well for irrigation. When I first moved here they used a "theoretical" sewer drinking / irrigation billing scheme (I read it was based on condo users who had no irrigation to speak of) that at least tried to balance wastewater usage and my bills were lower by a lot. Peeps who used a lot of water paid a lot more.








 
Regards,

   Gary

palmcity

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Re: All this rain in California
« Reply #20 on: January 15, 2023, 12:48:35 PM »
Looks like water management has lead me to Management Lessons::: 

3 Excellent Stories and what life lessons can be learned from them...... lol.......

https://web.eecs.umich.edu/~fessler/misc/funny/management,lesson


Rispa

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Re: All this rain in California
« Reply #21 on: January 17, 2023, 10:54:44 AM »
It would be nice if more places got serious about water treatment, so water could go through several cycles in a city before moving down stream. Maybe if enough is put into the project the Colorado River and its delta can be grand once again.

seng

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Re: All this rain in California
« Reply #22 on: January 17, 2023, 03:52:13 PM »
Imagine if one of the Cali governor candidates has water shortage as his/her top agenda, can that person win the race?  Water is liquid gold.  Where there is water, there is civilization.

 

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