My home town of Los Altos, California, received normal rainfall the past two months, after four months of no rain. California cities have reduce water use by 20% from three years ago, and California is making some water conservation measures permanent.
Shown above, the toyon (heteromeles arbutifolia) is a California-native shrub that bears clusters of small, red, berry-like fruits around Christmas. Growing in the hills above Los Angeles, the toyon “gave rise to the name Hollywood”.
In October and November we received 2.56″ of rain, about the same as our normal rainfall of 2.72″. We received 62% of our normal rainfall since I started following this in January 2013.
November was warmer than normal: the average high temperature was 3 degrees F warmer than history, and the average low was eight degrees F warmer than history. For example, we still have three tomato plants that haven’t been killed by frost yet, without covering them at night. In prior years, we’ve had to cover them by Thanksgiving to protect them from frost.
The California Water Board released a draft report Making Water Conservation a California Way of Life. The 72-page report has four objectives:
- Using Water More Wisely
- Eliminating Water Waste
- Strengthening Local Drought Resilience
- Improving Agricultural Water Use Efficiency and Drought Planning
The title’s right, and these seem like the right objectives. A good first step.