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Snooth User: jescobio

California Water Shortage and Wine Output for 2014

Original post by jescobio, Jan 24.

So with the CA Governor asking for a 20% drop in water consumption and the predicted "100 year drought"....  I found this article:  

http://napavalleyregister.com/lifes...

I have a friend of mine who subsidizes his income through small sales off his own land in Bennett Valley... he said this year he will have zero yield.  Scary.

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Replies

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Reply by JonDerry, Feb 3.

More rain in so cal tonight!

Ironically just got back from Palm Springs and the golf course I played on was very green.

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Reply by EMark, Feb 3.

In today's L.A Times, there is a pretty interesting article entitled "A drier California than ever?  Pretty much."   A few points from the article:

  • The 2014 water year, which began Oct. 1, is on track to be even drier than the devastating drought of 1976-77. That year, precipitation was only 15% of average, reservoirs dropped to one-third their normal levels and 7.5 million trees in the Sierra Nevada weakened by drought succumbed to insect-related diseases, fueling massive wildfires.
     
  • How extreme is this year in California's climate history? To answer this, we need to look back further than the 119 years we have on record, to the geologic past. Based on the growth rings of trees cored throughout the Western United States, AD 1580 stands out as the driest year in the last half a millennium, drier than 1976-77. It was so devastatingly dry in 1580 that the giant sequoias in the Sierra Nevada essentially failed to grow at all; the cores show either extremely thin or absent tree rings. If the current drought continues in California through Oct. 1, this water year will be the driest not only in our modern records but in half a millennium.
     
  • Since 2007, we have had six below-normal years, this year being by far the lowest.
     
  • In the context of the longer-term climate history, the 20th century stands out as one of the wettest over the last 1,300 years, yet the droughts of the mid-1920s, 1977 and the late 1980s caused immense hardship for society, based as it is on heavy water usage. California's rapidly growing population and enormous agricultural industry rely on irrigation and groundwater.

 

Bottom line is that there are too many people.

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Reply by dvogler, Feb 3.

I guess it's okay to not be talking about wine?  :) 

There are those who dispute the whole climate change theory, as well, there are those who are calling this the "last days".  I like to be balanced and believe that there are certainties or facts.  One being that the world population is growing exponentially and along with that, the population of California.  I don't believe that the population growth along with industrial growth (and agricultural) can be sustained on a finite supply of water.  You might choose to move to British Columbia and enjoy space, nature, water and wine!

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Reply by outthere, Feb 3.

This year is not done. Rain season runs through June.We have 8 days of rain forecast in the next 10 up here. The pattern may be changing. The rainiest months here are Feb and March. We got 3/4" yesterday. Let's see what happens. The sky really is falling.

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Reply by napagirl68, Feb 4.

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Reply by outthere, Feb 7.
We've had 2" of rain in Sonoma County this week to bring our total in F'ville for the season to almost 7". Forecasters are predicting we double that in the coming weekend. The significant part of that number is there should be quite a bit of runoff with a 6-8" event which is good news for storage. Feb and Mar are the rainiest months of the year here and the storm door looks to be opening. Good news.
 
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Reply by dvogler, Feb 7.

Good news!  Especially for the grapes!

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Reply by JonDerry, Feb 7.

Hallelujah...'14 is going to be such an interesting year here in CA.

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Reply by dmcker, Mar 12.

"Here in Victoria (on Vancouver Island) we have a finite supply of drinking water and we've been through water restrictions too."

So, DVogler, what are the water management issues allowing that to happen on Vancouver Island, where it rains/mists/fogs/snows a LOT more than down in California--with a far smaller population, to boot?

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Reply by dvogler, Mar 12.

DM,

Vancouver Island is 300km long (North to South) and only 60-80km wide.  Victoria is at the southern most point.  There are mountains along the middle of the island with the highest at 7200'.  The rainfall is predominantly on the west coast of the island, but the towns and majority of the population is on the eastern side, which is sort of in rain shadow.

The reservoir that serves Victoria has more capacity now and watering restrictions are not likely, but that could change with demand.  Victoria has the mildest climate in Canada and short of Arizona and Florida, it's the most convenient spot for people to realistically retire.  Victoria is like San Francisco in that there's little room for expansion and property rates only go up.

Sorry, long winded ....Victoria only has only 24" annual rainfall, compared to Tofino (on the west coast of the island) 127 inches! 

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Reply by dmcker, Mar 12.

Yeah, I'm aware of the towns vs. hills and forests and primordial beaches nature of Vancouver Island east vs. west. I almost ended up living on Salt Spring Island at one point--which some people will say has better weather than even Victoria!  ;-)

Just wondering why the tax spending administrative organs in Victoria aren't doing better building reservoirs or implementing other policies that might help. Seems a lot easier to do that in B.C. than in California, at lower cost.

 

BTW, any shortages yet in retail wine supply from the trucker's strike in Vancouver?

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Reply by dvogler, Mar 13.

DM,

The water supply is the jurisdiction of what is known as the CRD (Capital Regional District) which encompasses southern Van Isle and the Gulf Islands.  I know that Victoria gets its' water from Sooke Lake (a large watershed that is off-limits to exploring).  They raised the dam about ten years ago and the reservoir is full.  There's a great Wikipedia article called Timeline of the Greater Victoria Water System if you're interested.  Salt Spring Island is nice, but the land is unaffordable anymore and the ferry might not be subsidized for much longer.  The Victoria to Vancouver route basically keeps the whole ferry system afloat (no pun intended).  I heard a blurb on the news last night about shortage of wine, but I'm not worried...strikes seldom last for too long :)

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Reply by dvogler, Mar 13.

How are things looking in California now that there's been rain? 

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Reply by JonDerry, Mar 13.

Think OT's comment from another thread says it all, we went from 5% of the rain we had last year to 70%, and '13 was a dry year so there's a deficit but it's not catastrophic...though the hardest hit areas figure to have significant issues, just not sure which specifically. D mentions Mendocino as one potential trouble area.

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