Is it a drought or not? Officially, the California Department of Water Resources must declare a drought and then California’s governor must give it an official proclamation, which then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger did in Feb. 2009. According to the State of California, we are not in an official drought.
I contacted Brad Sherwood, a public information officer with the Sonoma County Water Agency on Friday and he described it as “Drought-like conditions”.
With summer levels of Lake Mendocino not seen since the 1970’s, there is a good bet that Lake Mendocino and Lake Sonoma-which hasn’t seen levels this low since 2009-will drop more in the coming months, that is, barring early season rains.
On August 14, I ventured up to the lake and was alarmed at the depth of water, or lack there of. Clearly we will have some water problems next spring and summer if beneficial winter rains don’t produce what our reservoirs need. For now it’s natures next move. Remember those five minute showers your parents told you to take? Maybe it’s not such a bad idea.
According to the seasonal U.S. Drought Monitor, it shows that the Bay Area and most of the state is experiencing severe drought, with a portion of SoCal in an extreme drought. Expect that red area to creep a little more in the coming months.
Whatever you want to call it, we need the rain.