With the amount of rain the U.S. has been getting, especially here in California, assumptions have risen concerning the drought. From mudslides to record-breaking rainfall all throughout Southern California this month, it does appear that we should worry more about protection from the rain than the drought. But our luck with Mother Nature and rain may run out, so the question remains: are we officially out of the drought or on the verge of implementing even more water conservation practices?
Gov. Jerry Brown first declared a drought state of emergency on Jan. 17, 2014. Homeowners were asked to water their lawns at night, sometimes to even forgo watering their greens altogether, in a water conservation movement that campaigned the slogans “Brown is the new green” or “Stay golden, California.” It was hard to go a day with- out hearing parents chastise their children for wasting water with a simple,“We’re in a drought!”
Three years later and things are finally looking up. For us students, the beginning of January meant a new semester of school. For Californians in general, it meant the end of El Niño and many weeks of ongoing rainfall. Since October 2016, San Jose has received over 8.14 inches of rain, according to the Mercury News.Despite complaints about the cold weather and constant pitter-patter of the rain, many know this is he best thing that could happen to California so far this year.
The wet weather brings growth and, of course, more water. More rain equals less sad-looking lakes. According to Collective Evolution, he state’s largest reservoirs have filled to almost 111 percent of its total storage. So not only did the past few weeks of rain make up for the dry spell, they overcompensated.
Moreover, California’s major crops, such as grapes that make world-famous wines as well as rice that gets exported all the way to Asia, now have a chance at redemption with the excess groundwater available to farmers. As a result of the drought, agricultural production in California since 2014 meant smaller and lower quality crops. Fortunately, the outlook for rain in California is quite high, with Three storms projected to hit Southern California, continuing into February and well into spring. You know the saying-April showers bring May flowers.
Although much of the state does remain in drought conditions, water districts are ending the State Water Board’s mandatory water usage restrictions. A new conservation method will be implemented in May, once it is fully developed.