California’s ‘permanent drought’ is now washed away by reality

From the “children just won’t know what drought is” department.

A few years ago, some genius politicians, spurred on by some equally genius “climate scientists” told the citizens of California that we were now in a “permanent drought” situation. Of course, the NYT bought this drivel, and made it a headline.

We here at WUWT called bullshit on it, and now we can say “told you so” with impudence. A mere 1% of the entire state of California is now in a drought situation, according the the U.S. Drought Monitor website.

Just compare the previous first weeks of March:

California maps here: https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/CurrentMap/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?CA

Of course, we’ll still have shrill fools that will screech “climate change!” the next time the soil gets a bit dry, but for those people, there’s this lesson in California climate history:

From 2014, spot the portion caused by “man-made climate change”:

California_drought_timeline
Advertisements

122 thoughts on “California’s ‘permanent drought’ is now washed away by reality

  1. No time to count blessings. California needs to start injecting reclaimed/storm runoff water into the aquifers on a large scale. We have the technology and been using it sparingly for decades. There will be more drought periods …. it’s historical.

    • A comprehensive plan to install a state wide system of small reservoirs, farm ponds and cisterns to trap excess water so it will be available later is prudent — so it won’t be done, probably. Over the last decade or so I have personally seen in Oklahoma many of the simple anti-Dust Bowl passive measures bulldozed and replaced with urban sprawl (lines of windbreak trees and many farm ponds, for example)…

      • It is a lot easier to blame climate change than it is to actually manage water resources. The drought will be back by Jul or Aug when all of the fresh water is allowed to run off to the ocean.

      • in Aus they called it KeyLine ag
        and it worked
        regen ag with cell grazing also works as do “unapproved by govt” land reclamations
        when our govt find them in use and working?
        they force the land owners to cease and desist and hound them off their land
        Peter Andrews being one more recent example

        the snowmelt and runoff will be massive and so much will be utterly wasted again

    • Can’t see any serious money being spent on drought resilience, there are no headlines to be had from adequate water supply, and drought is a vote winner for a certain party.

      • Ya, better California spend billions on high speed rail infrastructure. That brings out the electorate.

      • so havent the damned smelt all dried up yet?
        about time they replaced the dams and reservoirs

    • In 2014 California voters approved Prop 1. This was a bond measure to finance billions of dollars in water infrastructure projects including new reservoirs. Not a penny has been spent.

      Reminder: California is controlled top to bottom by democrats.

      • I wouldn’t be sure it hasn’t been spent. Nor would I bet on ever seeing any “…water infrastructure projects…”. The state is run by Democrats, after all.

  2. ja. ja.
    the big drought simular to the Dust Bowl drought is on its way, just like every 87 years,
    but as far as I know it will only be applicable to the great plains of America,
    not California.
    Much as you would like to wish it away, I think it won’t.
    The Dust Bowl drought 1932-1939 was one of the worst environmental disasters of the Twentieth Century anywhere in the world. Three million people left their farms on the Great Plains during the drought and half a million migrated to other states, almost all to the West. The main problem is that this very same area is currently counted as the bread basket of the whole world, largely determining the price of wheat… 87 years earlier we had a similar problem in the USA, the drought time apparently being one of the causes of the decimation of the Bison….
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/286971648_Drought_in_the_western_Great_Plains_1845-56_Impacts_and_implications

    There is also some evidence of a serious drought in Virginia in 1755 causing the government to take some special tax measures.
    If you follow my reasoning, we can assume major food shortages in the world in the decade to come……due to natural climate change, not man-made climate change…

    • The Northern Plains obviously have a somewhat different climate from the Southern Plains. Here in Western Canada the 30’s were also hot and dry. Almost certainly hotter than recent weather. The drought and crop failures here in the North were substantially aggravated by framing practices of the time.
      Nowadays, farmers are much more likely to use zero-till techniques and leave stubble in the field to trap snow over winter while not tilling also reduces moisture losses. As such, a repeat of the scale of crop loss seen in the 30’s is unlikely. This should apply as far South as a significant winter snow line exists.
      Farther South than that I couldn’t say how bad it might be. I don’t know how they grow crops down there as it is.

      • Another big difference between the 1930’s and now is the establishment of the freeway system, an improved railway system, big ships, lots of aircraft and airports as well as excellent communications. Getting food from A to B will be less of a problem both nationally and internationally …. the entire world is unlikely to suffer a drought.

        • Also use of adequate fertilizers and leaving crop residues for soil carbon. The dust bowl farmers had “mined the soil” nutrients the previous 30-50 years and the soil carbon and structure were gone. Nothing to hold moisture and soil.

          • John,Alex &

            Interesting perspectives from all of you. Thanks. I hope you are right and that you will survive the odd 10 years of dimished precipitation.
            Perhaps you must just understand what imho is causing the coming drought times in Europe and USA. .
            Most of the sats and data sets show that earth is still warming. However, my data set is showing the opposite. It is cooling. Especially minimum temperatures are dropping.
            Click on my name to read my rpeort on that.
            Simple physics tells me that as the temperature differential between the poles and equator grows larger due to the cooling from the top, very likely something will also change on earth. Predictably, there would be a small (?) shift of cloud formation and precipitation, more towards the equator, on average. At the equator insolation is 684 W/m2 whereas on average it is 342 W/m2. So, if there are more clouds in and around the equator, this will amplify the cooling effect due to less direct natural insolation of earth (clouds deflect a lot of radiation). Furthermore, in a cooling world there is more likely less moisture in the air, but even assuming equal amounts of water vapor available in the air, a lesser amount of clouds and precipitation will be available for spreading to higher latitudes. So, a natural consequence of global cooling is that at the higher latitudes it will become both cooler (winters) and warmer (drier summers). It is happening already, is it not? Europe had one of its driest summers ever. USA had one of the worst winters.
            We here in the South Africa are still in drought time but I think / hope that the worst is already over.

      • Not quite that simple. We have neighbors here in Sask. who used much the same tech used today in 2002, and never took their combines out of the shed that fall. Never threshed an acre on a 12000 acre farm. They’d be gone now too if it were not for crop insurance. And farmers here are actually actively trying to chop up stubble and residue to facilitate that zero till seeding, and to warm up the cold soil in the spring.

    • The “dust bowl” phenomenom and its effects on the human population was much less about drought than it was poor soil conservation practices and generally poor farming practices. Drought comes and goes. but the soil will stay put and not create a “dust bowl” if proper farming practices are followed.

      • Indeed. even is we were to have a drought like the 1930s, we wouldn’t have a repeat of the “dust bowl” due to better farming and conservation practices and better irrigation technology.

        • John Endicott

          again, indeed, I hope you are right.
          I noticed in Holland, [the land made from water] that they struggled with a much lower water level in the soil due to the drought conditions last summer, causing all sorts of problems. Irrigation might not work that well if the water level falls too low?

    • The dust bowl drought is caused by the low movement of the gulf stream moving up through Texas. It happened from 2004 to 2011. It lasts 7 years in most areas and 11 years in others. Has already completed its cycle.

  3. Could someone please explain to me how the “Scientists “can tell which
    bit of CO2 is natural, and which bit is mad by us humans ?

    MJE

    • First you take a sample of air and put it in a sealed container. About 1 cubic meter will do. Then using a quasi-lateral eyeballitiscope you guesstimate what the concentration of CO2 could be. Then you take that number and multiply it by 400 then subtract 180. This number will make as much sense as whatever anyone else tells you

    • As I put it to warmunists: if the ocean is going to rise 1 meter, but only 60% of recent warming is caused by man, doesn’t that mean you should only build a dyke that is 60 cm?*

      I mean, you don’t want to mess with nature, so you have to allow 40 cm of that rise to naturally flood, right?

      * yes they are made up numbers. Aren’t they all?

    • Separating man-made CO2 from natural is easy-peasy; where the REAL talent lies is in identifying CO2 from China as compared to the US. Yes, China emits twice the CO2 as the US, but we’re told time and again it’s All Our Fault because – on a per-person basis – we emit twice as much. Mother Nature is hurt much more, apparently, by our output than the double amount from China.

    • They estimate how much CO2 was been generated from the burning of fossil fuels, the amount of which is readily known. But wait, this ends up being far larger than the increase we’ve observed, so the rest of the determination is made by considering that CO2 levels would not have changed, if not for man. This is despite the fact that the Industrial Revolution started increasing atmospheric CO2 coincidental with the warming following the LIA and that the response of CO2 concentrations to temperature is well established by the ice cores.

    • Michael

      Yes, it’s very simple, but this is done only by people much smarter than you and I:

      The bad stuff is what we worry about. All the rest is natural.

      I told you you wouldn’t understand.

    • This is simplified to fit in a smaller space.

      I read somewhere that these scientists tried separating where the isotopes of C13, C14 and C15 came from different sources and flora of different species prefer one over the others. But those species will take in every isotope that makes up a Carbon Dioxide molecule to build its cellular structures. So all Fossil Fuels have a mixture of all the Carbon Isotopes in them, just as all life on Earth does. There’s no way to separate where the CO2 came from with any accuracy.

      What they do is take the amount of Carbon in a liter of gasoline and calculated the amount of gasoline that was burned by humans in a year, to say humans added X amount of CO2 to the Atmosphere from gasoline. They do that with coal and all other forms of fossil fuels to get their gigatons of Carbon we added to the environment.

      Because all the natural sources are unknown how much they contributed from flora and fauna respiration or the soil respiration or the volcanic activity and everything else. We can just estimate that over 99% is natural in comparison to whatever we contribute from those fossil fuels we burn. That this small percentage is taken in by flora that’s eaten by fauna or burned as fuel or made into building materials is all part of the Carbon Cycle that’s been increasing because of our contributions. Are all natural sources and we just help it do it faster than nature was doing it.

  4. With more rain coming to the Inter-Mountain West and the Pacific NorthWest on Wednesday. ALthough the cold setup across Texas and the plains will make for bad tornado conditions though the second half of the week for the folks there.
    https://i.postimg.cc/LXZ4SrSW/11-March2019-98fndfd.gif

    But it is not just California that is benefiting from the rain and snow pack in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The Upper Colorado River Basin snow pack is doing quite well and could surpass 2017’s banner year by the average peak snow pack date of April 6.
    https://i.postimg.cc/QCtbVk6v/chart-1.jpg

    The steep snow pack growth of last week has leveled-off the past 2 days with a break in the action, that is set to resume later this week. And every area in the SnowTel tracking of the Upper Colorado River basin is currently running above 100% for this point in the water year.
    https://www.usbr.gov/UC_SnowMap/
    (from this USBR web page you can also use to pull down menu to see the water levels at all the major reservoirs in the Upper Colorado River basin.)

    The spring-summer water flows into Lake Powell and Lake Mead will help their levels, as they are both down from a year ago due to WY2018 being somewhat of a dry year. This coming spring snow pack melt will help immensely on those two reservoirs by the summer.

    • I’d point out that on the SnowMap, the four western regions are all great basin and have no outlet into the Colorado river basin. I am curious how much Powell and Meade will rise.

      • The Map divides them up with a bold line if you examine it closely. The center regions are Colorado River water sheds. The South-Eastern regions are Rio Grande and Pecos Rivers.
        The Western most of course are Great Basin water shed going nowhere but to a salt lake.
        Still the Western Slope of the Rockies is packed with snow and will build some more later this week with 2 more storms coming in in the next 6 days. Good news for Lakes Powell and Mead.

      • Lake Powell will likely rise at least 40 feet by June from where it is today based on the current snow pack. In 2017, Powell went from 3,594 ft to 3,635 ft (41 feet) with a similar snow pack. So Powell might get past 3,610 by June. 3,700 ft is full pool, so a long way from full.

        Lake Mead is completely (almost) on how much water is released from the Glen Canyon Dam that holds back Lake Mead. Which is why political concerns about Mead’s level (which supplies Las Vegas) can be somewhat adjusted with more or less releases from Powell to suit the political winds.

        • I meant “…Glenn Canyon Dam that holds back Lake Powell.” Not Mead. The mighty Hoover Dam holds back Lake Mead. I miss edit.

    • For a drought determination, the hydrologists use models to calculate how much precip above average is needed to correct for recorded lack of soil moisture and reservoir levels. It takes a lot of above average rain and snow to correct for a previous dry year or string of years. So not wrong, you’re just comparing two different things.

  5. As an avid skier, I pay attention to the snow. This year, the Sierra’s haven’t had much of the usual Sierra cement and we got a lot of dry Utah powder instead. But then again, there is no average normal and instead, the normal here is bouncing between extremes.

  6. Anthony wrote: “From the ‘children just won’t know what drought is’ department.”

    Another classic opening, Anthony. It made me laugh…still smiling.

    Regards,
    Bob

  7. These things have a tendency to revert toward normal in a hurry. In 1977 we were told in Utah that the reservoirs were so depleted it would take a decade to refill them. Late Spring of 1978 they were letting water out of said reservoirs.

  8. “Climate science” uses one dubiously unscientific process after the other to get the required political results.

    Outside of tree rings and models, though, the worst one is using “average” anything.

    As mentioned here in Toronto, last year we had some local flooding due a single spring of above average spring run off. It was a media-driven full on apocalyptic event.

    Three years ago we had a single spring of below average spring run off. THAT was also a media-driven full on apocalyptic event.

    The two years in between were completely average, and therefore the media ignored them.

    Averaging the FIVE complete years gives you…a completely average reading. One that is, at the same time, completely accurate and basically useless.

  9. From what I see coming up the Atlantic Hurricane season will be below average this year. Maybe 1-2 major hurricanes (Cat 3+) and maybe none. The Southwest will probably have a cool April which will put a bite into the tornado season.

    If this all comes to fruition, I guess the climate bedwetters will only have the fire season this year. With all the water in the west, it’s possible the undergrowth will be plentiful and make for a lot of fires.

    The El Niño is going to hold through the summer which should keep overall global temps on the warm side with all the water vapor it throws into the atmosphere. The Solar Minimum’s effect is still up in the air but the graphs I’ve seen says less zonal jet streams in the winter so we could have some wild winters with increased water vapor and arctic air being pushed deep into the temperate zones.

    Also there is a good argument that the temps lag solar minimums by quite a few years. All in all it will be an interesting year or five.

  10. I’m sure President H. Clinton would have released massive recovery and relief funds to California based on that prediction.

  11. Real damage has been done to the California population due to the overblown fears. One of the reasons given for not building more water reservoirs is politicians believed they would be useless without the water to fill them. Why spend a fortune to build things to catch water when there would be no water?

  12. Those drought maps are based on the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI), which is known to guarantee virtual constant drought in the Western US (Palmer calculated that 48 % of all months had drought there, and 18% had severe drought).
    And if you don’t like it there is always the Keetch-Byram Drought index preferred by the Forest Service:

    https://www.wfas.net/images/firedanger/kbdi.png

    Note that while both have some drought in California, they are in different areas!

  13. Heard it all before.

    Here in Victoria Australia, a few years ago now, it was never, ever going to rain again. No use building a dam because it would never fill. Build a Desal Plant instead. Some Billions or dollars later, it opened in 2012 and ……… it rained. The thing has never been used. In fact the only time it was turned on for a test, the power system blew up. Here we are in 2019 and we have had a fairly dry year, Melbourne’s dams are down to around 50% (several years worth) and the Government is talking about turning it on again.

    Nice to know California has weather cycles too.

      • We have some wise people too.

        About 30 years ago well before we had CAGW, I was talking to an old farmer while overlooking the Hume Dam on the Murray River. One of the largest water storage’s in eastern Australia. It then at 10% capacity. He said even then it had several years worth of water left and “ don’t worry it always rains at the end of a drought” I will never forget that and when I repeat the story most folks look at me a bit strange. But then I say “think about it”

    • yeah at a HUGE cost to run it
      bumping up everyones water bills wether we even use water from it or not.
      ie im on a bore supplied town but our water rates are set as if we used melbourne supply.
      and i dont even HAVE town water
      50% isnt reason to start desal
      i suspect it will be a late break but a reasonable rain yr for vic.

  14. I was just reading about the ten mile lake that now exists in Death Valley.
    Seems a reporter was trying to get to Furnace Creek, but was not able to because the way was blocked by flooding.
    In Death Valley.
    Groove on that.
    What next, cats making friends with dogs?
    Lambs and lions becoming pals?
    Socialism in the Land of the Home and the Free of the Brave?

  15. Anthony,
    How very unscientific of you. You haven’t waited for the ADJUSTED data, which will clearly show that the drought has got worse (apart from coastal areas, which will be flooded for to sea level rise).

  16. No problem thanks to the ‘heads you lose, tails I win ‘ approach ‘science’ takes all basis are covered and perhaps that is one reason its proponents can very say what would disprove the theory.

  17. Jerry Brown was guv during the late 70s drought and the 2016-2019 drought. Correlation is causation. Once he is pushing daisies CA will be safe.

  18. My prediction from about 4-5 years ago was for rains returning from late 2015, increasing through 2016, and too much by early 2017. And staying in a wet phase until 2024 because of the solar minimum increasing El Nino conditions.

  19. Looking at the map it still shows San Diego, Orange, & Borrego as ‘abnormally dry’.
    If this is abnormally dry, what is normal?

  20. Everyone does realize that if a new cycle starts and it starts raining too much in California…that will be because of man-made climate change as well, right? There is no beating this AGW crap.

    I can see it now…increased upper atmosphere warming in the tropics has caused an increase in the Hadley cell circulations and that has caused all of the raining…because there is too much CO2. We need more money to study this…

  21. I’m curious why 2017 is missing from the graph. 2016, 2018 and 2019 are all there, but no 2017, the year Oroville dam almost collapsed from too much water.

    • Jeff,
      You are repeating falsehoods.
      The Oroville Dam spillway was destroyed during normal usage. It fell apart due to poor maintenance, old age and perhaps faulty construction. The dam is a separate structure and was never threatened.

      • Albert, you weren’t paying attention. The faulty eroded emergency spillway was undercutting the dam structure, albeit somewhat away from the Dam proper. Thus the evacuation and being forced to use the damaged main spillway to lower water levels.

        A good portion of the dam is on bedrock, but there is a lot of the dam that isn’t…..the fear of collapse was very real….most dam collapses start with one little crack, and then all hell breaks loose from the force of the moving water.

        • Albert was right, the main spillway failed for the reasons he stated, because they then stopped using it the level increased until the emergency spillway was reached. There was no ‘undercutting’ of the dam structure.

        • Sorry Steve S but it’s you that wasn’t paying attention. Albert was spot on. The main spillway was damaged on February 7 2017 so the California Department of Water Resources stopped using it in order to assess the damage. This resulted in the waters continuing to rise until they flowed over the emergency spillway. It was the use of the emergency spillway the caused erosion and damage to the concrete weir of the emergency spillway, not the dam itself. The fear was that the *emergency spillway* would collapse causing a wall of water to be sent into the Feather River below and flood communities downstream. And that fear about the emergency spillway, not the dam itself, is what triggered the evacuation.

          The thing to remember is the emergency spillway, due to the idea that it would be seldom used (per FERC engineering guidelines), wasn’t designed to the same structural standards as the main spillway. A problem further exacerbated by the fact that the hillside below the emergency spillway wasn’t bedrock (as a geological report from the 1960s suggested) but was actually weathered rock subject to deep erosion if the spillway were to be put into use. in short it was much more prone to erosion than officials believed.

        • Steve is absolutely correct. The run off from the emergency spillway was cutting unstable rock and the cut was moving horizontally to the Southeast, threatening the head gates and upper main spillway. Had the emergency spillway been constructed in such a way as to force the water flow to the Northwest there would have been no problem. While the gate structure failure might not have have led to complete dam failure, it still would have meant an uncontrolled release of a massive amount of water. Hence the evacuation of 160 – 200 thousand folks who were down stream.

          pbh

          • Steve is absolutely correct

            No, he isn’t.

            The run off from the emergency spillway was cutting unstable rock

            Yes, and that was undermining the concrete weir of the emergency spillway, not the dam itself as Steve claims. Two different structures.

            While the gate structure failure might not have have led to complete dam failure, it still would have meant an uncontrolled release of a massive amount of water. Hence the evacuation of 160 – 200 thousand folks who were down stream.

            The evacuation was due to the threat of an uncontrolled release of a massive amount of water from the emergency spillway, *not* the dam itself. there was no threat of uncontrolled water being released by the dam itself. Hence Steve is absolutely wrong to suggest otherwise.

        • And in case it wasn’t clear in my last post, the concrete weir of the emergency spill way and the dam proper are two separate structures. It was the concrete weir of the emergency spillway, not the dam itself, that was being “undercut”. The dam itself wasn’t in any danger. The danger was from the emergency spillway.

  22. I agree with your analysis except, The term Drought is actually not the correct term. Drought is a term that is not solely based on the amount of rainfall in a region. It is my understanding that the term is the ability of an agency/city to supply its population with water. Therefore, if the population grows and the water supply stays the same, the drought could increase. I remember a few years ago, before 2016/2017 rains that they said it would take years of excess rainfall to get out of the drought and fill the reservoirs. They were wrong about that also. Keep up the great work.

    • drought.
      [drout]
      NOUN
      1.a prolonged period of abnormally low rainfall, leading to a shortage of water.

      Drought, by definition, is a term that is based on the amount of rainfall in a region. So, yes, drought is the correct term.

  23. Any “science” that depends on a consensus is not a science. Consensus has never been a part of the scientific method.

    But it is a primary instrument of politics.

  24. The idea that CA’s future is permanent drought is part of why no effort has been made to provide additional reservoir capacity. Why waste money building something that will never be needed or used. Well living in northern CA (Redding) I can attest to the fact that Shasta Dam has been spilling water since late February to make sure there is adequate room for possible future rain storms. As of 1 PM today they have released enough water (640,000 Ac-ft) to fill the additional 18.5′ increased planned for the dam. If no water was spilled the lake would be within 26,000 Ac-ft of normal full capacity of 4,552,000 Ac-ft and there would still be 640,000 AC-ft of reserve space assuming the 18.5′ addition was built. There is a chance the plans could be stopped if certain folks have their way. The addition to Shasta Dam has been talked about for decades now so it is not a new idea. In Jan & Feb of 2017 there was a large spill that even exceeds what is happening this year. The point is twice now they have spilled precious water that could have been stored had pointed headed leadership not been in charge. A talked-about downstream off-site reservoir that pumps excess water during high winter flows has also been kicked around with no action. A perfect example of how climate change thinking has adversely impacted common sense fixes.

  25. John,Alex &

    Interesting perspectives from all of you. Thanks. I hope you are right and that you will survive the odd 10 years of dimished precipitation.
    Perhaps you must just understand what imho is causing the coming drought times in Europe and USA. .
    Most of the sats and data sets show that earth is still warming. However, my data set is showing the opposite. It is cooling. Especially minimum temperatures are dropping.
    Click on my name to read my rpeort on that.
    Simple physics tells me that as the temperature differential between the poles and equator grows larger due to the cooling from the top, very likely something will also change on earth. Predictably, there would be a small (?) shift of cloud formation and precipitation, more towards the equator, on average. At the equator insolation is 684 W/m2 whereas on average it is 342 W/m2. So, if there are more clouds in and around the equator, this will amplify the cooling effect due to less direct natural insolation of earth (clouds deflect a lot of radiation). Furthermore, in a cooling world there is more likely less moisture in the air, but even assuming equal amounts of water vapor available in the air, a lesser amount of clouds and precipitation will be available for spreading to higher latitudes. So, a natural consequence of global cooling is that at the higher latitudes it will become both cooler (winters) and warmer (drier summers). It is happening already, is it not? Europe had one of its driest summers ever. USA had one of the worst winters.
    We here in the South Africa are still in drought time but I think / hope that the worst is already over.

  26. Regarding California’s failure to build any new dams recently: the major problem is that we already have over a thousand significant dams here and there aren’t really any good places left to build them. The two major proposals–Sites Reservoir in the hills on the west side of the Sacramento Valley and Temperance Flat on the San Joaquin–don’t make economic sense. Too costly for projected water yields. And the whining about the Delta Smelt forcing us to “waste” huge amounts of water is a big distraction for all sides. The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is an extremely complicated hydrologic and ecosystem that has been extensively modified by humans already but which still supports tremendous numbers of local and migratory birds and fish of many species, as well as a significant number of farms. The water battle isn’t people vs. fish, it’s various groups of people against other groups of people, some of whom live, farm, and/or fish for recreation in the Delta. The water rights issues are messy and complicated even if you ignore the fish. We now have a human population 40,000,000, so there’s no way to have the super abundant fish and game populations the state had 150 years ago, nor can water stay as cheap as it was 20 years ago. But we certainly could have more fish and a more efficient water market than we have now. My personal vote is to solve our electricity and water problems at the same time by building a couple of new nuke plants on the Socal coast and using the waste heat for desalination.

  27. Of course there’s an ongoing drought and of course there is ongoing climate change…

    California’s climate IS now one of drought, punctuated by blocks of extreme rainfall. Its climate has changed: climate change did that.

    If I eat 3 meals a day, then switch to eating the equivalent of 20 meals once a week (were it possible) I’d still technically have eaten the same amount… so too with Californian rainfall.

    • And what does the human body do when it has this type of eating pattern? It stores the excess for future use when food becomes scarce.

    • California’s climate IS now one of drought, punctuated by blocks of extreme rainfall

      Same as it always been. There hasn’t been a decade in the past century for which that pattern doesn’t emerge. California has been battling frequent drought conditions ever since it became as state in 1850, and it will continue to do so. There’s nothing unusual about the same thing happening again and again.

    • “…California’s climate IS now one of drought…”

      No. It is absolutely is not according to CLIMATE indices and definitions. There’s no debate.

      “…If I eat 3 meals a day, then switch to eating the equivalent of 20 meals once a week (were it possible) I’d still technically have eaten the same amount…”

      3 meals per day is 21 means per week, not 20 meals per week…so it is not “technically…the same amount.” Jumping Jesus on a pogo stick, you can’t even do simple multiplication.

      “…so too with Californian rainfall…”

      Drought conditions are not solely about rainfall. But with regard to rainfall, long-term drought conditions reflected in the images above are related to 6-60 months of rainfall. That’s long-term stuff.

      The hydrologic system is far more complicated than just rainfall amounts or frequencies. But let’s go on with your diet analogy. If you eat 3 meals per day for a week (just to remind you again, 3 x 7 =21, not 20), the effect on the body would be much different than, say, eating no meals for 6 days and then cramming 21 meals into day 7. The same is true of rainfall…the effects of 21 units of rainfall (remember, 3 x 7 = 21) spread evenly over 7 days (or months) are vastly different than those of having 21 units of rainfall concentrated over 1 day (or month). The latter condition is more likely to result in long-term drought indices. And yet only 1% of CA scores in “abnormally dry” or “moderate drought” conditions. So apparently your alleged extremes are not really so.

      And just as a reminder, in case you didn’t catch-on yet…3 x 7 = 21, not 20. I can direct you to some multiplication table exercises, if necessary.

    • Griff, as per normal, you are an idiot. This is not a change for California, it is normal. It is the way it always is. In fact Jon & Johanna Hall wrote and Orleans sang about it more than forty years ago in their song Golden State:

      California, I’m in love with you
      Your magic always the same
      Your season’s always summer
      Except for driving rain
      A little bit of sadness
      And then the sun comes out again

      Have you ever been to California? My family has been here for over 150 years and let the record show that they almost starved to death on long, cold, wet, miserable winter. Reduced to digging roots because the rain would not stop.

      And if you have not read…

      Up and Down California in 1860-1864;
      The Journal of William H. Brewer — https://www.yosemite.ca.us/library/up_and_down_california/up_and_down_california.pdf

      then you need to just shut up about things about which you have no clue. Read it and tell me why there were floods of biblical proportions in 1862 and virtually no water for the next two years. The cattle ranches of southern California were stripped of all livestock because there was no water and no feed.

      And no vegetables for your stupid non-sequitur illustration about human eating patterns. This is like every other comment you ever made… stupid, illogical and fallacious. Learn to start your brain before you turn on you computer.

      And no…this isn’t ad hominem. That presumes that I’m avoiding the issue to attack the person. In this case, Griff is the issue. As usual.

    • “California’s climate IS now one of drought, punctuated by blocks of extreme rainfall. ”

      As it always has been. Ever heard of the Great Flood of 1862?

      Sometimes I wonder whether you are for real or a bot griff. Can a real, living person really be so infinitely credulous?

  28. Data does suggest that ‘permanent readiness for drought conditions’ is required for Californian politicians.

    I remember a San Diegoan medical Professor on sabbatical in Oxford telling us of the Californian drought of the early Nineties, so it is a safe bet to suggest that drought will reemerge sometime in the next decade.

    Looking from the outside, one does ask if the actions of the early European settlers were consistent with climate reality in that part of the world.

    They have to live with the consequences now, though.

    • so it is a safe bet to suggest that drought will reemerge sometime in the next decade.

      California has regularly had to battle drought since before it became a state in 1850. There hasn’t been a decade in the past century that California hasn’t has a drought at some point during that decade. So that is a very safe bet indeed.

  29. Weren’t “we” also worried about the southeast USA when Atlanta was in a drought period a few years ago?

  30. What we need is a nationwide network of canals and pipelines to move water to where it is needed, just as we long ago built out worldwide electric-grid connections. We need more dams, too.

    The reason we don’t have either is twofold: (1) the farm lobby, which wants to go on getting subsidized water, and (2) the urban-planning scam, whose believers are sure if they don’t build enough infrastructure, population growth will all go somewhere else, even though that has never happened.

    So long as these stupid government interventions prevent the market from working, we’ll have water shortages. Just don’t try to tell me they’re results of the free market. What free market?

  31. You can download the rainfall statistics for the bay area in particular for 150 years.

    The drought that ended after 4 years in 2015 and 2016 was the 4rth worst in the 150 year period. It was not close to the worst.

    The problem is that california has 38 million residents now and the bay area is 9 million. Even though we have added sources of water like Colorado the amount of water needed is growing because of population.

    In other words this has nothing to do with the actual amount of water that fell but the amount we need.

    Because of growing population we can’t assume that we will have enough water. We either need to import more or institute more rigid water saving procedures.

    America is water rich and it wouldn’t be that hard to get more water in but it would be a project and expensive and a lot of environmentalists don’t like us moving things around like this so they would prefer we sacrifice. I don’t have a strong opinion until they till me I can’t shower or water my land as needed.

Comments are closed.