The Dry Garden: Wet policy for a dry year

Source: NOAA. Click on the maps to be taken to composite graphics of precipitation trends during La Niña years.

We’ve been getting mixed messages about whether or not we need to conserve water. On one hand, we had a decent local rain year. Last week, the state legislature pulled a water bond from the November ballot that would have driven state-wide conservation. This week, the Los Angeles City Council amended the two-day lawn sprinkler ordinance to a three-day version.

Crisis over?

Not by a long shot. Local rain doesn’t fill our pipes. Of the three main sources that do, Lake Mead, the Colorado River storage reservoir serving Southern California, shrank in July to its lowest level since 1956. Last month, the State Water Resources Control Board concluded that the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is overdrawn by 50%. Southern California could do its part to fix that by reducing water use from

Thank you for reading

Chance of Rain will begin posting again with “The week that was” on Sunday, November 29th.

High Good, Low Bad: Lake Mead Elevations

Source: US Bureau of Reclamation

HOPEFULLY there is more water than silt in the main Colorado River reservoir holding water supplies for California, Arizona, Nevada and Mexico. The maximum elevation for Lake Mead is 1,229 feet. Below, gleaned from US Bureau of Reclamation records, is the first of what will be monthly elevation reports for Lake Mead on this blog, with year on year contrasts going back to 2004. Above, for those who prefer pictures to numbers, also borrowed from Reclamation, is a nifty graphic published on Friday, May 8, 2009 showing April and May 2009 elevations, including predictions (in yellow) throughout the month.

April 30, 2009                                                       1,101.26 ft

April 30, 2008                                                       1,110.61 ft

April 30, 2007                                                       1,120.69 ft

April 30, 2006                                                       1,135.94 ft

April 30, 2005                                                       1,144.45 ft

April 30, 2004                                                       1,134.98 ft

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