It has been raining in California. Is the drought over?
El Nino is coming through, delivering the hoped-for rain. The trees are gulping up life-giving water.
Tennis games are on hold.
Mud puddles abound.
The hills are green.
But is the drought over?
Folsom Lake in the Sacramento Valley gained 28.5 feet in one month. It is up to 25% capacity. (http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Water-starved-Folsom-Lake-is-finally-starting-to-6738359.php) That’s very good news, but…25%? We need more, but no flooding or landslides please.
Ground water is starting to rise in the Sacramento valley, too. But Tim O’Halloran, general manager of Yolo County’s Flood Control and Water Conservation District, says
“…while the recent rains have helped, many more storms are needed to make a dent in California’s four-year drought.”
The rain is helping, though!
Los Angeles County captured 3.2 billion gallons during this week’s storms as of Thursday afternoon…
San Diego collected about 800 million gallons this week at nine reservoirs as of Thursday morning, city spokesman Kurt Kidman said.
Near and very dear to this heart is Lake Tahoe. I couldn’t find how much it has risen from the recent snowfall. Perhaps it has to melt back into water before the lake will really rise. However in doing a quick search, I found an interesting site with this interesting information. There is only one outlet from Lake Tahoe, the Truckee River dam. The extreme for the period of record (which goes way back) shows 1997 as a high point:
EXTREMES FOR PERIOD OF RECORD.–Maximum discharge, 2,690 ft3/s, Jan. 2, 1997,
gage height, 9.59 ft; no flow for parts of many years.
2015 was one of those no-flow years as shown in this post I did in August, Walking in the Truckee River. So 2,690 ft3/sec to 0. What a wild ride.