Gutter Water

May 11, 2015

jpeg-26Rain for a change on California’s north coast this early Monday, seemingly more like a drizzle now, but dribbling sounds off the gutters indicate water volume has been decent enough — lived in this apartment so long I can recognize rainwater totals off ping-pang-pop of its external rooftop drainage system.
Apparently, the heaviest of the heavy drizzle fell earlier during the night — overcast a bit at sundown yesterday — and the amount of rain it takes to pucker my gutters is way-way-down from even appearing as official ‘rain.’ Although the NWS calls the current conditions as ‘Light Rain, Fog,’ there’s no real precipitation information.
Dude, the shit is drizzle, doesn’t count. And speaking of whoa-shit, do you know how much drizzle it takes to make real rain?
Maybe, like 11 trillion gallons

And that noted count means rain/snowfall totals that can be applied toward our nefarious drought, seemingly growing-unwieldy day-by-dry-day.

(Illustration found here).

Even up here in the foliage, and tucked behind the Redwood Curtain — we’re short, too. Not as short as many down south, but still short. And this storm system, which started my gutters going early this morning, supposedly will peak Wednesday with about two inches of rain over a five-day period.
Statewide we’re unique — from the local Times-Standard last week:

As the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District sells water to many of the area’s largest municipal suppliers, they all have the benefit claiming the uniquely full Ruth Lake as their main water supply.
While some reservoirs in the state like Folsom Lake have come close to dead pool levels, Ruth Lake has already filled to capacity four times since December and has enough water for three years without any rainfall, according to Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District General Manager Carol Rische.

California is a whole state, though.

Although a spring storm in southern regions late last week brought snow and rain — “It’s more than we got all winter!” — the results don’t stick, and won’t count.
Even a lot can be too little, especially if it’s maybe way-too late.
Via the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, down in San Bernardino County

“It has virtually no impact on the drought,” said Doug Carlson, spokesman for the state Department of Water Resources.
“It is simply not enough rain to make a big difference.
“Even if you had a downpour, it’s a downpour in the middle of the four-year drought and we haven’t seen anything like the kind of downpour that would be necessary to end the drought.”

Rain ain’t the only problem. Our state’s water system not up to the job and worse, the original design relied upon nature for smooth sailing — although the State Water Project started in the 1960s to get water to the places that needed it, and indeed it appeared to work, the natural flow demanded a wet season. If no wet season?

One key element built into that system, and the current big problem, was that Northern California must also get drenched along side the southern portion in order to keep the drought at bay — we received zero precipitation last week when those storms hit SoCal.
We’re just not at all prepared to handle the drought, on many levels.
From yesterday’s LA Times:

“Between 80 percent and 90 percent of the rain that falls in the urban Southland winds up in a vast storm drain system that eventually dumps it into the ocean,” said Bill Patzert, a climatologist with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena.’

State water resources officials have said it would take 150 percent of the average rainfall in the northern Sierra for California to recover from the current drought.
An index of eight measuring stations there said Friday that 34.1 inches of rain had fallen in the area, about 74 percent of normal.
And now that summer is weeks away, Patzert does not expect improvement any time soon.
“Unless you have some biblical intervention, we’re done,” he said. “
“We’ve got to get through between now and October. It’s guaranteed it’s going to be dry.”

Pretty much…fire season, too, just not enough rain on the roof.

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