I’ve been thinking a lot about the water shortage since the Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency last week. It’s pretty clear that the situation is getting dire, with evidence everywhere you look: reservoirs are running at below half of normal; the snowpack is at 20% to 15% of normal; January temperatures have been abnormally high; and red flag fire conditions have been declared in many communities that haven’t seen any rain at all during what are supposed to be the wettest months of the year. This is serious and it affects the economy in general. The impact will be felt by farmers, ranchers, and consumers not just throughout the state but throughout the country.
And locally? So far the Governor has asked residents to voluntarily cut back water usage by 20%, but soon we’re definitely going to reach the point of mandatory rationing– it’s just a matter of when and how soon. During all of 2013, Los Angeles only got 3.4 inches of rain– that’s less than 1/5 of what is considered “average” rainfall.
I’m grateful that several of my recent clients have ripped out their lawns and requested that they be replaced with drought-tolerant landscaping and drip irrigation. Thank goodness people are getting the picture.