California Drought May Still Have Affects

By Iris Poole

The drought that has had such a large impact on California that has allegedly ended this past winter season is still on the radar for the citizens of California.

We saw a longer rainy season than what California has seen in a few years. Though the impact was most severe in Southern California, Northern California definitely felt a hit as well. Lake Shasta, being one of the largest reservoirs was reduced down to what looked like a puddle, but since the rainy season, the reservoir has regained the majority of its water.

The Los Angeles Times in their article from January of this year, Call it the Southern California drought. Rain and snow end Northern California water woes, Joseph Serna and Matt Stevens site David Matson, assistant general manager of the Goleta Water District. Matson stated that “The drought has not let up on the Central Coast,” and later went on to state that the district is optimistic, but also keeping in mind that unless there is the constant flow of rain, the drought would continue. The article stated,

“Only about 2% of the state remains in ‘exceptional drought,’ compared with 18% last week, the drought monitor reported. A much smaller sliver of Los Angeles County, for example, is classified as such.”

In a report from the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) from this past June, Building Drought Resilience in California’s Cities and Suburbs, noted that urban water suppliers believed that they had “learned their lesson” from previous droughts from 1976-77 and 1987-92.     

“The state has also played essential roles in building urban drought resilience since the late 1970s by strengthening local water planning requirements, providing financial assistance, and fostering voluntary water trading to help move supplies to areas experiencing the worst shortages.”

Because of the severity of the recent drought, PPIC noted that the State developed a more hands-on approach to short-term water conservation. PICC named five areas in which clarifies and improves urban drought resilience: “Coordinating water shortage contingency planning and implementation, fostering water system flexibility and integration, improving water suppliers’ fiscal resilience, addressing water shortages in vulnerable communities and ecosystems, and balancing long-term water use efficiency and drought resilience.”   

While California has come out of the drought that has lasted so long, it is still important to take measures to ensure that California and the citizens of California are better equipped during another drought and strive for better steps in conservation.