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California Drought

California Drought

Postby partofit22 on Sat Feb 01, 2014 4:32 am

On Thursday, the National Drought Mitigation Center upgraded about 9 percent of the state to an “exceptional drought,” the organization’s most intense level of drought severity. It’s the first time that any part of California has registered an exceptional drought in the 14-year history of the NDMC drought monitor.

Now, 14 years is an admittedly short period of time. But thanks to the magic of science (and tree rings), we can now safely say that California hasn’t been this dry since around the time of Columbus, more than 500 years ago. What’s more, much of the state’s development over the last 150 years came during an abnormally wet era, which scientists say could come to a quick end with the help of human-induced climate change.


http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2014/01/30/california_s_exceptional_drought_won_t_get_better_any_time_soon.html
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Re: California Drought

Postby desert_woodworker on Sat Feb 01, 2014 7:41 pm

p22,

Yes, it's a common lament.

Nearby, in Arizona, it's dry, too, especially in the southern part of our State.

Although, today we received 1/100 inch of rain at home. That's the first measurable rain of 2014 in the desert. I hope this same "storm" also helped California.

(meanwhile, I have been having to water our cacti).

--Joe

partofit22 wrote:
On Thursday, the National Drought Mitigation Center upgraded about 9 percent of the state to an “exceptional drought,” the organization’s most intense level of drought severity.
"The abundance of Nature is not a matter of its 'providing' ". -- William James, c. 1901.

"I'd like to say thank-you on behalf of the band and ourselves, and I hope we passed the audition". -- John Lennon, clowning on the Let It Be album (1970) recording session.
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Re: California Drought

Postby Carol on Sun Feb 02, 2014 6:24 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:p22,

Yes, it's a common lament.

Nearby, in Arizona, it's dry, too, especially in the southern part of our State.

Although, today we received 1/100 inch of rain at home. That's the first measurable rain of 2014 in the desert. I hope this same "storm" also helped California.

(meanwhile, I have been having to water our cacti).


We're getting a little light rain this morning-- 50 miles north of San Francisco -- which may continue off and on this afternoon. Supposed to be sunny tomorrow and throughout the week. It's dry dry dry here. Our normally green winter hills are brown. The local organic dairy industry has no forage for their grass-fed cows. Three nearby towns are on the list of communities that will run out of water in 100 days. And the California water wars are heating up over how much water to take from Northern California and send through canals to agricultural lands in Central California (where they waste vast amounts of water on poor irrigation practices).
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Re: California Drought

Postby desert_woodworker on Sun Feb 02, 2014 7:06 pm

Carol,

My heart goes out to you and yours, and all in your State.

(my sister's there too, in the heart of the Bay Area)

We had another 0.04 inch of rain in the garden gauge this morning, but it fell yesterday after the standard 7 A.M local reading-time for reporting to the Nat'l Weather Service. There are over 400 volunteer reporting stations around here, with precision gauges at home.

You can see the map of distrib. of the stations, and their reported rainfall, any day. There may be a few in S. CA, too.

care to see?:

http://rainlog.org/

I think CA agriculture may have to take a tip and some lessons from Israeli (or Arizona) agriculture. Drip-irrigation. But what a change-over. Uggh.

--Joe
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Re: California Drought

Postby Carol on Sun Feb 02, 2014 9:41 pm

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Re: California Drought

Postby desert_woodworker on Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:54 am

Carol,

I see. The more recent photo shows a lot less "green" in the State, and a lot less snow on the ground everywhere..

Note the earlier photo: see all the airplane contrails leading from CA airports out into the Pacific (or vice versa). This is ONE of the signs or signatures that can broadcast that there is intelligent and technological life on Earth, to great distances. The photos were taken from geo-stationary orbit, but imaging from even much greater distances could still reveal the contrails, given appropriate resolution being brought to bear.

I know this realization makes us "sixpence-none-the-richer" when it comes to rainfall, ...but there it is.

Ironic that the contrails are made of ...water.

--Joe

Carol wrote:NASA pictures reveal shocking impact of California drought
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Re: California Drought

Postby Carol on Mon Feb 03, 2014 2:56 am

desert_woodworker wrote:Carol,

I see. The more recent photo shows a lot less "green" in the State, and a lot less snow on the ground everywhere..

Note the earlier photo: see all the airplane contrails leading from CA airports out into the Pacific (or vice versa). This is ONE of the signs or signatures that can broadcast that there is intelligent and technological life on Earth, to great distances. The photos were taken from geo-stationary orbit, but imaging from even much greater distances could still reveal the contrails, given appropriate resolution being brought to bear.

I know this realization makes us "sixpence-none-the-richer" when it comes to rainfall, ...but there it is.

Ironic that the contrails are made of ...water.

--Joe

Carol wrote:NASA pictures reveal shocking impact of California drought



Yeah, no snow pack and that's where most of the state's summer water comes from, and no green growth in the valleys. The low water flow in the Russian River is undermining the wells of one of the nearby towns. It's gonna get ugly as this gets worse. Competition for water has always been intense in this state -- the hard-won battles to protect the rivers for fish in the northern part of the state (which have begun recovering from years of diversion of too much water to the south) are likely to be lost again. And the maddening thing is the irrigation practices in the Central Valley, which are so wasteful and there are better ways -- as you point out. Many of us have been saying so at least since the last big drought in the '70s.

Interesting about the contrails. But I imagine our electromagnetic signals are broadcastiing our presence as well, if anyone is looking this way.
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Re: California Drought

Postby Kojip on Mon Feb 03, 2014 3:48 am

If this is going to be a long term problem, what is the solution? Where is the water going to come from? What is the pace of development in the region?

Sorry to hear about this. R
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Re: California Drought

Postby Carol on Mon Feb 03, 2014 5:28 am

Kojip wrote:If this is going to be a long term problem, what is the solution? Where is the water going to come from? What is the pace of development in the region?

Sorry to hear about this. R


Water conservation practices, especially in agriculture, are desperately needed. Truth is, though, we have exceeded the carrying capacity of the land.

I'm a strong believer in permaculture and agricultural reform, and also of lawn removal and replacement with xeriscaping and/or local home food gardening.
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Re: California Drought

Postby fukasetsu on Mon Feb 03, 2014 4:07 pm

Kojip wrote:If this is going to be a long term problem, what is the solution?


Kate Perry could work a sweat
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Re: California Drought

Postby desert_woodworker on Mon Feb 03, 2014 5:13 pm

The Central Valley of CA feeds much of the world. This is really worrying. --Joe

PS (My plum tomatoes, Peppers, and lettuce this week are from Mexico, and red grapes are from Chile)
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Re: California Drought

Postby Huifeng on Mon Feb 03, 2014 5:30 pm

Had a bit of rain last night in LA, now all it needs to do is continue like this for the next couple of months. Oh, sun's out already... It's really dry down here, the roadsides look like tinder...

~~Huifeng
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Re: California Drought

Postby partofit22 on Mon Feb 03, 2014 5:59 pm

Carol wrote:
Water conservation practices, especially in agriculture, are desperately needed. Truth is, though, we have exceeded the carrying capacity of the land.

I'm a strong believer in permaculture and agricultural reform, and also of lawn removal and replacement with xeriscaping and/or local home food gardening.


Exceeded the carrying capacity of the land, what does that mean? I believe in permaculture too- I've seen changes in vegetation in a very short amount of time in very poor soil situations- I'm not talking huge changes but certainly enough to notice- Wood chips/mulch from cut trees mounded around live trees increased new growth the first year- Not blowing the leaves out of ground cover and undergrowth produced healthier ground cover and undergrowth- Using a mulching mower rather than bagging the cuttings improved the health of the lawn/grass -- which I never watered or intend to- If it dies back, it dies back- I noticed the highway department using these roll out mats made out of vegetation that are seeded with what I don't know but I'm supposing something that will withstand the elements- And prevent erosion- I have nothing against grass aside from the constant watering of it- I've noticed a lot of people no longer maintain their lawns the way they used to-
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Re: California Drought

Postby partofit22 on Mon Feb 03, 2014 6:07 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:The Central Valley of CA feeds much of the world. This is really worrying. --Joe

PS (My plum tomatoes, Peppers, and lettuce this week are from Mexico, and red grapes are from Chile)


My produce is a mix, as it usually is- I haven't had a seriously good tomato since? It's been a while-
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Re: California Drought

Postby desert_woodworker on Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:13 pm

p22,

There's been frost this Winter here in the Sonoran Desert, USA, at this half-mile-high altitude, but the Winter has not yet been severe. My tomato crop is still doing well; the plants are "wintering-over". I've only let them do this several times before.

The plants that are doing well are near the house, where they don't "see" the entire cold-sky at night: they may see (1 pi steradians, vs. 2 pi steradians). Hence the foliage hasn't frozen. In Winter daytime, I flood the plants with extra sunlight from movable flat mirrors.

The varieties I plant are "indeterminate" varieties, meaning that they produce fruit continuously (and not in just one peak flush as determinate plants do, after which the determinate vines die).

May our Zen Buddhist practice also be thus "Indeterminate",

--Joe

PS (I won't comment about the flavor and quality of the fresh home-grown organic tomatoes; just understand that I am "spoiled rotten" all year)

partofit22 wrote:My produce is a mix, as it usually is- I haven't had a seriously good tomato since? It's been a while-
"The abundance of Nature is not a matter of its 'providing' ". -- William James, c. 1901.

"I'd like to say thank-you on behalf of the band and ourselves, and I hope we passed the audition". -- John Lennon, clowning on the Let It Be album (1970) recording session.
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Re: California Drought

Postby Carol on Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:27 pm

We're lucky to have a good well on our property. But I don't know how it will do over next summer ... we'll see.

I grow veggies year-round. Winter greens, broccoli, cabbages, beets, lettuce & root crops. Summer tomatoes, corn, squash, peas, beans, cucumbers, greens, potatoes, and other stuff that strikes my fancy.

It's possible to do a good winter garden most places in the US with a little protection. See for example Mother of a Hubbard.

The "carrying capacity of the land" means the population that it can support, i.e., there is enough water and agricultural land to feed people without destroying the soil fertility and draining the aquifers. California is over-populated in some areas. The California Central Valley is a major food production area for the country -- but it has been done with imported water that damages rivers and ecosystems to the north, and by using vast amounts of fertilizers and pesticides that destroy topsoil and the ability of the soil to hold water, as well as destroying natural fertility, pollinating insects, etc.
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Re: California Drought

Postby desert_woodworker on Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:24 pm

Hello, Huifeng,

The "LA" clouds have moved into s. Arizona late this morning. They're thin and fragmented, but now obscuring the sun.

I see sheets and tassels of virga falling, rainfall that does not reach the ground (floor of the desert), but evaporates in a drier and warmer air layer beneath the clouds. I doubt we'll have measurable rain here from this frontal passage, but it's cooling down.

I have some Dharma friends who often have virga over them, and don't experience getting wet. Others, who are being rained-on all the time out of the empty sky, but yet who never track an excess or unwelcome water along with them (ah, the grace of natural balance). And so, we practice.

Thanks for the heads-up about the weather coming downstream.

Safe travels,

--Joe

Huifeng wrote:Had a bit of rain last night in LA, now all it needs to do is continue like this for the next couple of months.
"The abundance of Nature is not a matter of its 'providing' ". -- William James, c. 1901.

"I'd like to say thank-you on behalf of the band and ourselves, and I hope we passed the audition". -- John Lennon, clowning on the Let It Be album (1970) recording session.
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Re: California Drought

Postby Kojip on Tue Feb 04, 2014 2:31 am

Carol wrote:
The "carrying capacity of the land" means the population that it can support, i.e., there is enough water and agricultural land to feed people without destroying the soil fertility and draining the aquifers. California is over-populated in some areas. The California Central Valley is a major food production area for the country -- but it has been done with imported water that damages rivers and ecosystems to the north, and by using vast amounts of fertilizers and pesticides that destroy topsoil and the ability of the soil to hold water, as well as destroying natural fertility, pollinating insects, etc.


From afar it looks as if the entire southwest has exceeded it's carrying capacity, or close to it. The vast water resources of the far north all drain into the Arctic Ocean or Hudson Bay. Occasionally there is concern up here that a thirsty south will tap the great lakes basin if things get bad enough.

It's a tough situation. I hope your well stays wet and healthy. R
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Re: California Drought

Postby Michaeljc on Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:14 pm

It looks like you have no choice Carol

Buy yourself a couple of ox, a wagon and head out to the Midwest. Who knows after a time you may even be able to ride those ox :lol2:
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Re: California Drought

Postby partofit22 on Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:27 pm

Much needed rain/snow arrives ...
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