Dry winter brings more water issues

A possible third dry winter in a row would strain the ecosystems of Southern California, and there’s little water saved in the bank, according to experts speaking during a winter outlook workshop held in San Diego by the state’s Department of Water Resources, it was reported today.

Water managers are closely watching the approaching winter, because California has had two consecutive exceptionally-dry years. The state’s reservoirs are at less than half capacity on average, and court-ordered pumping restrictions to protect endangered fish have caused cutbacks in water deliveries to Southern California, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

Many people in the San Diego County backcountry rely on groundwater supplies, which in many places have been diminished by nine dry years out of the past 10.

“We need a better-than-average water year to build the bank account back up,” Jeanine Jones, interstate resources manager for the state’s Department of Water Resources, told the Union-Tribune. On average, half of the annual statewide precipitation falls in December, January and February.

The long-range forecasters said that there was a great deal of uncertainty in their winter predictions.

“There’s some room for a year that at least edges us toward normal precipitation in (Southern California). It’s even possible that we’ll be above normal. But right now, it doesn’t look like a heavy winter in Southern California,” Dan Cayan, a researcher at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla and the U.S. Geological Survey, told the Union-Tribune.

On the plus side, the Sierra Nevada and the Colorado River basin, the areas that supply most of the water used by Southern Californians, should get at least normal precipitation.

Jerry Zimmerman, executive director of the Colorado River Board of California, said the past 10 years combined have been the driest on record in the basin, but the last year saw a very-wet Rocky Mountain winter and above-normal runoff into Lake Powell, one of the two major reservoirs in the basin. Not cutbacks in water deliveries from the Colorado River to California are expected in 2009.

Mike Dettinger, a colleague of Cayan’s at Scripps and the USGS, said patterns this year seem to favor a few “atmospheric rivers” of moisture during the winter. These rivers, more than a thousand miles long, could bring intense, multiday storms that would supply much of the year’s precipitation.

“There’s modest hope for a break,” Dettinger told the Union-Tribune.
“Don’t bet the farm on it, but don’t jump out of a window, either.”

Related posts:

  1. Officials say increase water conversation immediately
  2. Water allocation tightening
  3. Water conservation starts with you
  4. Statewide drought has local impact
  5. Santa Fe Irrigation District tapping into new water source

Short URL: http://www.delmartimes.net/?p=3376

Posted by Pat Sherman on Nov 23, 2008. Filed under Archives. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

Archives

Facebook

Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

LA JOLLA NEWS

RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

RSS RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

  • Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices honored with Stevie Gold Award
    Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices was recently named Startup of the Year in the 2014 American Business Awards, earning the brokerage the Stevie Gold award. The award was presented at the Fairmont Millennium Park Hotel in Chicago, Illinois. “Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices is among a select few organizations to be entrusted with the Berkshire Hathaway name,” co […]
  • Rancho Santa Fe sports update
    Santa Fe Christian lost to Carlsbad 35-7 in a nonleague game on Sept. 12. The Eagles’ only score came in the third quarter, when Matthew McRoskey completed a 54-yard scoring pass to Caleb Phillips. Reece Walker rushed for 50 yards on four carries and Benton Weeks gained 29 rushing yards on 11 carries. […]
  • Red Envelope Friday fundraiser returns to benefit Rancho Santa Fe School
    The Rancho Santa Fe Education Foundation’s annual Red Envelope Friday fundraiser returns Sept. 26. All families are encouraged to contribute “Your Share” in support of a world-class education for their children at R. Roger Rowe School during Red Envelope Friday. Making a contribution is easy! On Sept. 26, volunteers will be at drop off and pick up lines at t […]