Did You Know? 3 Facts about California’s 2015 Drought

Since 2012, the drought conditions in California have gotten increasingly worse with 2015 being the driest year. The following are a number of reasons the dry conditions have accelerated and led to increased concern among environmentalist, government officials, and residents.

Snowpack, an important resource that feeds rivers and streams, was at 5% of its average in March of 2015.

California relies on the Sierra Nevada mountain range as a natural reservoir. When snowfall in the mountains is sparse or significantly less than average, water delivery and storage can be difficult. Even if a decent amount of rain falls it still may not be enough to recover from a dry winter in the mountains.

California appears to be entering another period of dryness due to climate variability.

The state is no stranger to periods of dryness and climate variability plays a huge role in creating these conditions. Weather patterns fluctuate. Periods of prolonged dryness are usually followed by long phases of wet conditions. In fact, according to environmental records, the past 150 years have been the wettest in California’s history. Unfortunately, the state seems to be transitioning out of this phase and entering a profound dry period.

Fact: Scientists’ recent data suggests that California may be entering a period of dryness that hasn’t been experienced in over 500 years.

California’s agricultural community is using too much groundwater.

Because of the state’s warm, sunny conditions year-round, the agricultural industry is big business. Unfortunately, without enough surface water, farmers have been forced to drill wells deeper into the ground. Or, they’ve needed to dig new wells to reach groundwater to water their crops, and to meet the demand to produce and distribute their crops nationally as well as globally. These actions have created a chain reaction where the land is actually sinking in some places where groundwater has nearly been depleted. The sinking of large areas of land, especially in the Central Valley, is a cause for concern not only because water sources are being exhausted, but because this changes the geological structure of the state.

What YOU Can Do to Help!

At Rooter Hero Plumbing, we know the drought isn’t just the legislature’s problem. It’s everyone’s problem, which means everyone needs to look for solutions even if the actions taken are seemingly small. Here are just a few things you can do today to conserve water and help California get through this dry period:

  • Take short showers
  • Embrace a brown lawn
  • Use recycled water, greywater, for watering houseplants
  • Turn off the water when brushing your teeth
  • Wash large loads of laundry
  • Use the dishwasher one a day or once every other day
  • Fix minor leaks right away
  • Replace old appliances like water heaters with new, energy-efficient ones

For more water conservation tips, click here or contact your local Rooter Hero Plumbing associate for more suggestions.