Recent rain and snow have helped to quench the thirst of the recent drought. Mother Nature has provided the elixir for all of us to collectively catch our breath from ongoing concerns about water reliability. The soils are saturated with water from the past events weeks ago and are barely able to absorb additional inputs of water.
As seen by the last series of storms, flooding, erosion, infrastructure interference, roads and bridges being washed out, mudslides, and property damage are all a symptom of erratic and intense weather patterns brought on by a changing climate.
While the hills and our lawns begin to green up, the need to reevaluate our personal relationships with water moves into focus. Is it more important to have water consistently flow from your tap, or to have a green lawn? How do your choices on water usage impact someone else? Does curb appeal have to be a home with grass?
As of February 28, 2023, Lake Oroville – the reservoir that supplies LVMWD’s service area with water from the State Water Project, sits at 73% total capacity and 116% of its historical average for this date. Going back to December 31, 2022 Lake Oroville sat at 36% capacity or 69% of its historical average. The rain events of the past two months have provided a significant amount of water to our delivery system.
Statewide, the California snowpack rests at 189% of normal for this time period which equates to approximately 43.7 inches of water. As temperatures begin to normalize as spring comes into focus, this deep snowpack will continue to provide additional water for all reservoirs that are connected to the aqueduct system.
Due to the significant rainfall this year and the already saturated soils, residents do not need to irrigate their landscaping for several weeks. Turning off outdoor watering systems is a way to save both water and money and not utilize a resource that has been stretched thin for the last few years.
“What our region recently went through with the latest drought, was an unprecedented and historic time that none of us want to go through again,” stated Mike McNutt, public affairs and communications manager for Las Virgenes Municipal Water District. “We are continuing to have discussions with Metropolitan Water District to bolster their water delivery system to provide our region with an additional source of water from the already stretched Colorado River. But all of us must continue our personal and collective evolution to transform our outdoor living spaces from lawns to climate appropriate landscapes to be better prepared for the next drought.”