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What is allowed, still not allowed now that Santa Rosa has ended its drought emergency

in Community

With Santa Rosa’s drought emergency ending, residents will be allowed to water their lawn any time of day and will soon be able to clean their patios and driveways without water restrictions.

But some measures remain in effect.

Water users must comply with statewide water savings measures issued by the State Water Resources Control Board. State measures call for residential and commercial water users to reduce their water use by prohibiting or limiting:

— Washing vehicles without a shut-off nozzle.

— Washing hard surfaces like driveways or sidewalks.

Continue Reading on The Press Democrat

NOAA: California drought continues for 3rd year as ‘driest on record’

in Weather

It’s official. California faces a “prolonged, persistent drought” that will “elevate the risk of wildfire across the West,” the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration announced Thursday in its spring outlook that runs through June.

Following three-year precipitation levels that were the “driest on record” for Central California since measurements started in 1922, the “low snowpack going into the dry time of year in May and June” isn’t helping, as NOAA’s meteorologist Brad Pugh pointed out on a virtual press conference call. “This sets the stage for wildfire activity.”

Pugh singled out the Bay Area as an area where “the concern is quite high as we go into spring and early summer” in respect to wildfire danger and water resources drying up.

“We’re running out of time to make up for any precipitation deficit,” he said.

Despite atmospheric river downpours in October and December, January and February were well below normal in producing any type of ground drenching.

Continue Reading on North Bay Business Journal

California still deep in drought despite atmospheric river

in News

LOS ANGELES — The deluge California received from a powerful atmospheric river made streams and waterfalls come alive while coating mountains with snow, but as the storm headed east to the Plains on Tuesday it left the Golden State still deep in drought.

The atmospheric river, a long plume of moisture pulled in from the Pacific, capped a series of back-to-back storm systems that abruptly switched the state’s immediate emergency concerns from wildfires to flooding.

But the long-term problem of a drought that scientists say is part of a warming and drying trend driven by climate change was not washed away.

“One storm this early in the water year does not predict the rest of the winter storm season,” state climatologist Michael Anderson said in a statement. “After this system we see a period of dry conditions return to California.”

Continue Reading on The Press Democrat

Fire season, meet drought season. This is the new normal.

in News

In the past couple of years, society has locked on to the term “new normal.” We hear it daily in our conversations with others, on the evening news and on social media. Pick most any subject that has changed in the past several years and someone will mention the “new normal.”

When discussing fire season, we in Sonoma County are all too familiar with the new normal when it comes large scale vegetation fires. Since the Tubbs Fire in 2017, Sonoma County has experienced more than its fair share of catastrophic fires. The current drought situation in California is certainly alarming and the affect it has had on our vegetation around the state is of significant importance. Is this a new phenomenon for our county? It depends on who you talk to or what scientific data you read. Is it normal? Currently, yes, it is? But is that to say it won’t change at some point in our lifetime? Scientific data says it will.

Continue Reading on Sonoma County Gazette

Fire season already? 85% of CA is in severe, extreme, or exceptional drought, latest numbers show

in Weather

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KGO) — The rain system that came through the Bay Area this past weekend has moved through — and didn’t leave much on the ground.

Experts say a majority of California is dealing with drought conditions, and they continue to worsen.

If you blinked on Sunday, it’s very possible you missed the rain, drizzle, or whatever you’d like to call it. Bad news — as places like Santa Rosa were expecting half an inch of rain.

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California Reservoirs Are Half-Empty, Recalling Historic Drought

in People

California’s reservoirs are half-empty and dryness has reached levels similar to 2014 and 2015, when the state suffered an historic drought.

The state, known for its water-intense almond production, is facing its third driest year on record, according to a report issued by the Department of Water Resources Thursday. The last time California was this dry, the state imposed widespread water-use restrictions, some of which have since become law.

The state’s April 1 report on snow across the Sierra Nevada is key in determining California’s water resources for the rest of the spring, summer and fall. The state received just half of its usual precipitation this year. And while winter has brought more snow than rain to many areas, the ground below may be so dry that the soil absorbs the moisture before it can fill reservoirs, said Sean de Guzman, chief of the department’s snow surveys and water supply forecasting section.

Continue Reading on Bloomberg

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