Water ‘Behavior’

April 6, 2015

jpeg-26Overcast with a bit of chilled drizzle this early Monday on California’s north coast as we await a decent-sized rain storm to come our way, probably crossing near the shoreline at this precise moment — maybe.
The NWS expects ‘heavy rain‘ for today and tonight, culminating possibly with 1.5-inches of rain or more during that span, and supposedly no sunshine until Wednesday.

Coming from the Gulf of Alaska, this system is really two — one popped yesterday, and late tonight another whopper with snow is expected to cross our threshold with more rain. Yet nowhere enough. California Department of Water Resources spokesman Doug Carlson (via the Sacramento Bee): ‘“Any rain of substance will add to the storage levels of the reservoirs, but (they) will still be below average for this time of year. I can’t say (the rain) would have a minimal effect, because it certainly helps, but it won’t have a drought-busting effect, either.”

(Illustration found here).

Up here behind the Redwood Curtain, we’re in a rare state, speaking statewide — although also considered in a drought, this area has the water totals, so far. I live in an unincorporated portion of Humboldt County, so the McKinleyville Community Services District handles our water issues. The district’s board of directors met last week, the day before Gov. Jerry Brown mandated more water cuts.
From the Times-Standard, and District General Manager Greg Orsini: ‘“Our per capita consumption of water is lower than the state average. We’re only going to be able to cut so much water before we ask people to stop taking showers and washing clothes and drinking from faucets.”
And that time will come, and maybe sooner than we think, though we be sitting good up here:

Unlike most areas in the state where reservoirs are depleting, Arcata, McKinleyville and several other municipalities in the Humboldt Bay region enjoy a surplus of water at the Ruth Lake reservoir, which is currently at full capacity.
The Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District holds water rights to the reservoir and sells the water wholesale to the municipalities and other industrial customers.
District General Manager Carol Rische said her district has requested to be exempted from the state’s past two water mandates due to the “surplus” of water, but the state has denied both requests.
“When we’re seriously in a shortage and we ask the community to do things to conserve, we want them to trust and believe in us,” she said.
“That’s one of the things about this that has been a little frustrating for us.”
Since the Samoa pulp mill shut down, 80 percent of the district’s water demand has been cut, according to Rische.

Yesterday, Gov. Brown moon-beamed the reality card for climate change deniers — from the Guardian:

“With the weather that’s happening in California, climate change is not a hoax,” Brown said, on ABC news.
“We’re dealing with it, and it’s damn serious.”

“It is a wake-up call and it should be for everyone,” Brown said on Sunday.
“It affects lawns. It affects people’s how long they stay in the shower.”
The governor said that if people ignored rationing, which could be measured through local water districts, they could face fines. “The enforcement mechanism is powerful,” Brown said.
“In a drought of this magnitude, you have to change behavior.”

Brown responded to criticism the new water rules don’t cover agriculture with pessimistic reality:

Brown said shutting down agriculture production in the state was possible but “that would displace hundreds of thousands of people, and I don’t think it’s needed.”
“If things continue to at this level, that’s probably going to be examined,” he said.

So, it will be examined — the ‘change behavior‘ part, deal maker.

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