As we weather this drought, and mourn the losses, I am mostly not complaining. We have the hang of water conservation, and I continue to be a happy Californian. I’ve lived here all my life. I am one of those people who is emotionally tied to home. I do have a strong affinity for a few other places on the planet and like to visit them regularly, but my home is California.

The Truckee River is one of the things I really miss. It is, or was a source of beauty, recreation and a living for many people and a source of life for plants and animals. I hope it comes back.


Lake Tahoe has pulled far back from its shores, but is still a beloved national treasure.

Lake-Tahoe-13 Lake-Tahoe-2

I was thinking about our  water conservation efforts and the fact that we managed to meet the new quotas. I feel really good about that, and this article in the New  York Times by Charles Fishman, author of “The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water,” further encouraged me. The article is titled How California Is Winning the Drought. One of the author’s points shows that my prediction that population in California might stop growing or shrink to fit the water supply does not seem to be happening:

The drought has inspired no Dust Bowl-style exodus. California’s population has grown faster even as the drought has deepened.

Instead, we are tightening our belts and innovating, and our governor is helping with that. (Remember his comment that Californians have to learn to eat more veggie burgers? I thought that was hilarious.) I think we are eating more veggie burgers (and by implication, less water-intensive beef). I know I am! We found a super yummy one from Don Lee Farms. Super Food Veggie Burger

Governor Brown also said Californians are going to have to get over the idea that they have to have nice lawns. Um… yeah. We did this a couple years ago.

Here’s another encouraging quote from this awesome article.

Last fall, prodded by Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration, the California Legislature passed a sweeping groundwater law, taking California from having the least regulated groundwater in the country to being a model. The concept is simple: No community will be allowed to pump more water from the underground aquifers than can refill those aquifers — either naturally, or with human help.

The law is so innovative, it will eventually remake water use across the state, and if other states pay attention, across the nation. The law could inspire new techniques for getting rainwater to refill overtaxed aquifers.

We still need rain and snow, though.

California’s resilience is fragile. It won’t last another two years, it might not last another year.

Some towns’ wells have run dry, leaving residents having to get bottled water. Hopefully, El Nino will bring us water this year. We’ve seen a lot of unusual precipitation, storms dragged up here from the tropics, not by El Nino, but other factors. Unfortunately, they come with lightning and trigger wildfires, but there has been some rain.

Fingers are crossed throughout the state that storms will come this year. We and friends of ours are getting roof repairs done in anticipation!

12 thoughts on “Chronicles of the #CaliforniaDrought 6

  1. I completely understand what you are going through, we had 9 years of droughts here, though it turned out that while most people in their homes were being good, it was business and industry who were the biggest wasters of water. They are putting things in place here so it will never be a problem again, it is costing us all a massive fortune, and will be bad for the environment, so I’m told, but a desalination plant is being built and there will be water for all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting Leanne. Thanks for sharing. We don’t hear about the details of life there. That’s partly why I’m chronicling my experience, figuring people might be interested.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The Philippines right? Do you have a well on your land? I bet you have good ideas. We have been doing simple things with big results. I like how some cities mentioned in the article are capturing and recycling water. That’s hard and would be much easier for a municipality to do than for an individual.


      2. We have a big water tank at the side of our house. I think it’s a 5,000gal tank, not sure. There’s a big truck ( like a truck that delivers gasoline , what do we call that ? ) that delivers water once a week. We re experts on how to make that water last, lol.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh wow!! That’s what those people in those California towns that don’t have water any more can do. I never thought of it! And that’s we can do too if it comes to that. What a relief! (I can’t move, love it here.) Thanks, Ren!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t know how it is that people fall into a cultural trap. When I was growing up, people thought: if you buy a house, you MUST have a nice green grass lawn, and you MUST water it diligently so no one will complain how ugly it is if you don’t water it. It never occurred to me when I was growing up that if watering was necessary that obviously we lived in a place where the climate was NOT suitable for grass, and no one had any cows or sheep that needed it. But everyone always said “Of course, you have a house, therefore you have a lawn.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment, Doug. I grew up on a mountain so the suburban thing was new to me. When we bought a house there was a lawn. We mowed for years. Gradually it looked worse and worse. They are a lot of work! Then I decided I didn’t care if we looked worse and or different! Freedom from the tyranny of the lawn. Now we look forward thinking. You are so right about them being inappropriate in a semi arid climate.


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