Battling Drought with Private Reservoirs

With Gov. Brown announcing emergency statewide water restrictions this week, pumping out free rain barrels by local water agencies is one way to make a dent in the drought when and if it does rain. To help customers grab every drop of rain or drip of dew, the Laguna Beach County Water District is ready to give away up to four 60-gallon rain barrels to every customer. With 162 already claimed, the district still has 113 rain barrels on site. With rain, however, not on the horizon and no snow much


Capturing rainwater is a good idea.  Besides providing for local use, large scale versions can slow down flooding.  That’s what many dams are for.  However, when we don’t leave enough to maintain streams and estuaries, we cause harm to some of the most productive and sensitive natural habitats on Earth. Then it’s time to start reducing the human need.

Drought damage leads to widespread forest death

The 2000-2003 drought in the American southwest triggered a widespread die-off of forests around the region.


GR:  Die offs are occurring at lower sites too.  Substantial thinning is occurring in the pinion-juniper woodland and the interior chaparral.

NASA predicts global warming could dry Southwest America up

America the beautiful’s amber waves of grain could dry up and blow away if carbon emissions aren’t curbed, scientists predict.


NASA: A ‘megadrought’ will grip U.S. in the coming decades

“The Southwest and central Plains will experience a dry weather shift 35 years from now, a NASA, Cornell and Columbia study said” (Source:

GR:  The interactive map is interesting.

Sao Paulo’s Reservoirs are Drying Out When they Should Be Filling Up

“It’s the rainy season for Brazil. But, thus far, adequate rains have not come. A persistent high pressure system has lingered over Brazil. A blocking high of the kind that has now become so common with global temperatures spiking to more than +0.8 C above 1880s averages — thickening heat domes and granting these powerful weather systems an ever greater inertia. A set of circumstances that has set off a plethora of very severe droughts ranging the globe since the early 2000s”  Source:

GR:  The drought is impacting the great Amazon rainforest as well.  Coupled with deforestation by logging and grazing interests, the drought will have a massive influence on climate.

US Wet Areas to Get Wetter And Dry Areas To Get Drier

Click to view larger image.

GR:  These results confirm earlier predictions. The projected changes are milder if we cut greenhouse gas emissions now, but they still occur.  Interesting that while drought continues in the Southwest, the Arizona monsoon will intensify.

The following is from NOAA.

“The twenty-first century may bring the United States more of the weather it’s already got, whether wet or dry. The U.S. National Climate Assessment, issued in May 2014, examined multiple model projections of seasonal precipitation over the rest of this century. In general, precipitation is projected to increase in the northernmost parts of the country, and decrease in the southwestern United States.

“These maps show projected seasonal precipitation changes for the final decades of this century (2071-2099) compared to the end of the last century (1970-1999) depending on two possible scenarios for greenhouse gas emissions. One scenario assumes that greenhouse gas emissions peak sometime between 2010 and 2020 and rapidly decline afterwards. The other scenario assumes that greenhouse gas emissions continue increasing throughout the 21st century.”

Click for the rest of this article.


Water costs up 1,000% where half of US fruits, vegetables and nuts grow

Drought and Human Demand Wiping Out Natural Water Resources

GR:  The rising cost of vegetables and the crops fed to livestock may alter the diets of the expanded mass of poor people in the US. The real impact, however, is the drying of springs and ponds used by wildlife.  Drought and human competition for water will shove many species farther toward extinction.

1-IMG_1993Rising Costs for Urbanites

NaturalNews: “It is not as if there aren’t any economic factors influencing the price of groceries these days. Transportation alone, thanks to skyrocketing fuel prices, has lifted the cost of everything we buy at the grocery store. Now, one of the worst droughts in U.S. history is making the one thing absolutely vital for food production — an ample water supply — more expensive as well, and that, ultimately, will translate into even higher prices at the market.

“To set the stage, back in February the U.S. Bureau or Reclamation released its first outlook of the year, in which the agency found insufficient water stocks in California to release to farmers for irrigation. That was the first time in the 54-year history of the State Water Project that had happened.

“If it’s not there, it’s just not there,” said Water Authority Executive Director Steve Chedester, who noted that it would be tough finding water in the coming year or more. Farmers were to be hardest hit, the official added, stating, “They’re all on pins and needles trying to figure out how they’re going to get through this.”

“One way to deal with the drought is for farmers to plant fewer fields, which would mean that early on there would be fewer crops; in the law of supply and demand, when supply is reduced but demand remains high, prices rise.”

Read more at NaturalNews.

North American waterfowl are newest casualty of California’s drought – The Sacramento Bee

“California wildlife officials are asking the public to help watch for sick waterfowl that may be suffering because of the drought. Avian botulism is more likely to spread when birds cluster in small pockets of water. Already, hundreds of dead birds have been reported at three locations across the state, including the canal that bisects Sacramento’s Pocket neighborhood.

“Add another casualty to California’s prolonged and punishing drought: Wildlife officials warned this week that dry conditions in the state’s Central Valley could have a devastating effect on North American waterfowl.

“The Central Valley is recognized as the most important resting and wintering ground on the Pacific Flyway, a global migratory path for millions of ducks, geese and other birds. About 5 million waterfowl spend the winter on state and federal wildlife refuge areas and flooded rice fields in the Central Valley each winter.

“This year, the worst drought in a generation means those Central Valley habitats have been dramatically reduced in size. Wildlife refuges have had their state and federal water supplies cut by 25 percent. Rice acreage has been reduced by a similar amount as farmers also have endured water cutbacks.

“As a result, millions of migrating birds will be crowded into less habitat, significantly increasing the odds of botulism outbreaks, which spread rapidly and can kill thousands of birds in a matter of days. The problem is not limited to rural areas but can affect waterfowl drawn to urban water bodies as well. Officials also are concerned the drought could cause food shortages.

“Already, at least 1,700 waterfowl have died at Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge near the….”

Read more….


Exceptional Drought Blankets 58 Percent of California

For California, the punishment just won’t stop. Human-caused warming and a climate change induced blocking pattern have withered California under record drought conditions for the better part of three years.

Previous week’s values of 36 percent exceptional drought coverage rocketed to 58 percent in just one week. Exceptional drought is the highest drought category for the US Drought Monitor, representing the most extreme conditions in the measure. So most of the state is now sweltering under the nation’s worst drought category with the remainder covered by extreme and severe drought:

“(US Drought Monitor map of California showing 58 percent of the state covered in exceptional drought [brick red], 23 percent covered in extreme drought [red], and the rest covered in severe drought [orange]. California is now entering its fourth month of 100% drought coverage after more than three years of abnormally dry conditions.)

“One hundred percent drought coverage with worsening conditions has been the prevailing pattern ever since May when drought first surged to blanket the entire state. Since that time, conditions have been steadily worsening with agricultural regions drying out, farmers, communities and industries forced to further deplete limited ground water supplies, and with reservoirs dropping despite best efforts by federal and state officials to conserve.

More at:

GR:  Check out the long-range forecasts included in the post.

Extreme to Exceptional Drought Now Covers Over 80 Percent of California

It’s no longer a question of 100% drought coverage for the stricken state of California. That barrier was crossed months ago. Today, it’s how severe that drought coverage has become. And in a state…


Excellent article.