Watering Schedule Helps Save Water & Keep Your Yard Green

Sage advice from our friends at Contra Costa Water District.

As we approach summer, it’s clear our water supply is in a good position. The state-declared drought that began in 2014 is officially behind us, but we still should be mindful of efficient use of our water.
You can give your yard the water it needs, but we ask that you do so wisely. It is possible to have beautiful lawns and gardens without wasting water.   Please remember the common sense water rules from the drought and make them habits: Adjust sprinklers to avoid runoff, fix breaks and leaks in your sprinkler system and turn off sprinklers during and after rains.   Please use our outdoor watering schedule to help you accurately set sprinkler timers to your yard’s needs each month.

Before and After Photos of California Drought


Lake before and after Lake Oroville Getty images
El Dorado Hills Getty Images
Before and After drought picture Getty Images

California looks a bit unfamiliar to residents these days: following historic rainfall, the state’s landscape has bloomed, bringing life to its formerly brown hills dogged by drought. On April 7, California Governor Jerry Brown officially lifted the state’s emergency water provisions, thus declaring an end to a record-breaking drought.

Brown, who’s been particularly critical of President Donald Trump’s climate policies, declared an end to the water restrictions he imposed in January of 2014. “This drought emergency is over, but the next drought could be around the corner,” Governor Brown’s statement read. “Conservation must remain a way of life.”

Source: Before and After Photos of California Drought | POPSUGAR News

Wet Winter Builds Strong Sierra Snowpack

California’s near record precipitation this winter has bolstered snowpack water content levels throughout the Sierra Nevada to 185% of the March 1 average, which bodes well for spring and summer run-off this year.

That was the overarching message disseminated Wednesday by officials at the California Department of Water Resources who released snowpack reading data taken both manually and electronically. The manual snow survey taken by DWR at Phillips Station in the Sierra Nevada revealed a snow water equivalent (SWE) of 43.4 inches, up from February’s 28 inches and January’s 6 inches. The March 1 average at Phillips is 24.3 inches.

Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program, conducted the survey at Phillips today.

“It’s not the record, the record being 56.4 (inches), but still a pretty phenomenal snowpack….,” Gehrke said in a written statement. “January and February came in with some really quite phenomenal More…



State Water Board Hears Input on Emergency Regulation Next Steps

Whether the state should extend the current emergency conservation regulation or let it expire was the focus of a workshop before the State Water Resources Control Board on Jan. 18.

Citing dramatically improved conditions, water agency representatives from throughout the state voiced support for letting the regulation expire in February. They emphasized, however, that urban water suppliers remain committed to helping their customers shift to permanent changes to improve water use efficiency on an ongoing basis.

Water suppliers also reiterated their support for the “stress-test” approach outlined in the current regulation, and many said they would continue monthly water use reporting and data collection if requested by the State Water Board. They encouraged the board to thank the public and shift the focus to the long term.

Their comments followed a presentation in which State Water Board staff recommended that the board extend the current regulation for another 270 days and revisit it in May when the rainy season is largely over and the water supply picture is clear. The staff also recommended that water suppliers update their stress tests to reflect changing conditions.

ACWA and numerous water suppliers said the emergency regulation had served to focus public attention on the drought, but has outlived its purpose. Much progress has been, they noted, and residents have changed how they view and use water. Continuing the emergency regulation could create credibility issues and confuse the public, they said.

“It’s clear that water agencies and Californians have stepped up in a big way in response to the emergency regulation,” ACWA Director of State Regulatory Relations Dave Bolland told State Water Board members. “Continuing to message that we are in a crisis or emergency is problematic for a lot of agencies…. It’s time to move on to the long-term, sustainable practices agencies are now focused on.”

Bolland and others said it would be appropriate for water suppliers to continue submitting monthly reports, but noted that could be done under a different mechanism than the emergency regulation. They also noted that the state will soon consider regulations requiring just that under the long-term conservation framework state agencies are finalizing as directed by Gov. Jerry Brown in his May 2015 executive order.

The State Water Board did not take formal action on the staff recommendation. Board staff indicated proposed regulatory language would likely be released the following week, with action likely at the Feb. 7 meeting.

Several Board members indicated they were interested in continuing the data collection and monthly reporting that has taken place under the emergency regulation.

Prior to the workshop, the State Water Board heard an update on the Save Our Water program’s successful 2016 efforts presented by ACWA Deputy Executive Director for External Affairs and Member Services Jennifer Persike and Department of Water Resources Public Affairs Director Ed Wilson. The program is focusing in 2017 on evergreen messaging and promoting a California lifestyle shift. Board members made several positive comments about the program and its results.

Submitted by Lisa Lien-Mager on Wed, 01/18/2017

U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook

United States Seasonal Drought Outlook Graphic - click on image to enlarge
PDF Version of Seasonal Drought Outlook Graphic 
Latest Seasonal Assessment – Although there have been regional changes in intensity, the areas covered by drought have not changed significantly in the past 30 days. There’s been some improvement along the northern tier of New England, in parts of the interior Southeast where extreme to exceptional drought was observed, across eastern Texas and the adjacent lower Mississippi Valley, and through the northern sections of both South Dakota and New Mexico. In contrast, drought expanded or deteriorated in southern New England and the interior mid-Atlantic region, the Ohio Valley, the eastern and southern periphery of the Southeastern drought region, portions of the south-central and western Plains, and some leeward sections of the Hawaii.

The seasonal drought outlook valid from December 15, 2016 to March 31, 2017 largely follows the 3-Month Precipitation Outlook, with adjustments made for climatology, the time of year, and expected conditions during the last half of December. A general pattern of improvement or removal is forecast for the north side of areas experiencing drought, with conditions persisting or worsening farther south.

Most areas of the Northeast are expecting at least limited improvement by the end of March, specifically interior areas that typically accumulate a deeper snowpack, and in areas of D3 (extreme drought) where removal is highly unlikely, but enough precipitation should fall to ease conditions slightly. Farther south, conditions should ease in the Ohio Valley and upper Southeast, but areas farther south, reaching down to the Gulf Coast, drought is expected to persist or worsen. Some expansion is anticipated into eastern Texas and the southernmost Mississippi Valley, as well as across northern Florida and adjacent southeastern Georgia.

Drought is not expected to improve in the central and southern Plains, where this is a drier time of year, but the Black Hills and surrounding areas, in addition to the drought areas in the central and northern Rockies and Intermountain West, should see some improvement. Areas from the southern tier of the West into central California outside the Sierra Nevada can expect persisting or worsening drought conditions, but improvement is anticipated farther north. In the leeward sections of Hawaii, with odds tilting toward a wet 3-month period, improvement or removal is expected.

Forecaster: Rich Tinker

Cleary Mulch


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