Drought - we're in one.
2013 was the driest year since 1917 in San Francisco according to a recent article. Oakland has had 3.39 inches of rain this year and the average is 22.8 inches.1
Here is the US Drought monitor for the Western region. The drought monitor is where you can find out what the current drought status is in California. It's updated really frequently.
Why the Water Runs Dry (not just global warming!)
Where the water comes from:
(see water supply, which needs work)
This is not the only drought in Bay Area memory. Check below for past droughts.
Things You Can Do to Help:
- Plant a drought resistant garden that uses less water
- Use native plants, which are accustomed to Oakland's often dry climate. You can get them at East Bay Wilds Native Plant Nursery or Pollinate among other places.
- Convert your lawn to something else!
- Check your infrastructure: Use low-flow aerators on your sinks, a low flow shower head and low flow toilet. Make sure your water heater is working well.
- Get a green house call (check on availability) to help assess and improve water (and energy) usage and get help with installation
- Check out Kijani Grows, a form of aquaponics
- Wow so many resources on our homesteading & gardening portal!
From Davis Wiki:
- Use less electricity: It turns out that more than half of water extractions from our rivers go to cooling electric generators. Shockingly, the biggest way that you can save water is to use less electricity, especially during peak periods. Run energy-intensive appliances (dishwasher, washing machine, etc.) at night after peak energy usage. Go the extra mile and plug all of your appliances/chargers into power strips and then turn those off when not in use.
- When washing dishes, use the 2 tub/2 sink method. Fill one with hot soapy water and wash all your dirty dishes then fill the other one up cold water and rinse the recently washed dishes in that one.
- Steam veggies on top of food that you're boiling (e.g. pasta, potatoes)
- Do full loads of laundry (easy when you're a college student!)
- Do not wash your car - - if it's dirty, it's less likely to be stolen
- Avoid watering your lawn. Better yet, replace it with xeric plantings better suited to our Mediterranean climate. The Arboretum has hosted some excellent workshops on replacing your lawn lately.
In historic context
This (2013) is the driest year since 1917 in San Francisco according to a recent article. Oakland has had 3.39 inches of rain this year and the average is 22.8 inches.1
- 2008-2011 (included mandatory water rationing by EBMUD)
- 1986-1991 (related: 1991 firestorm)
- This one was supposed to be really bad - can anyone provide more info?
News & External Links
- 2013-12-27: "California faces a catastrophic drought next year" Quartz.com
- 2013-12-27: "California Gripped By Driest Year Ever — With No Relief In Sight" Climate Progress
- 2014-01-01: "Bay Area water officials concerned by dry conditions" ABC7
- 2014-01-03: "Dry winter leads to precautions in California" Associated Press
- 2014-01-10: "After dry spell, get ready for water restrictions." SFGate.com
- 2014-01-17: "As California’s Drought Deepens, a Sense of Dread Grows" NY Times
- 2014-01-19: "California drought: Water officials look to rules of '70s" SFGate.com
- 2014-01-25: "State’s Water Woes Could Be Just Beginning" The Post News Group
- 2014-02-14: Obama visits California and announces new measures to help with the drought. They're listed here.
- 2014-04-01: "California drought: Downpours fall far short of ending crisis" SFGate.com
- 2014-07-24: "Mapping the Spread of Drought Across the U.S."
- Krieger, Lisa. "California drought deepens as another year's rains stay away." Mercury News: Dec 29, 2013.