2014.01.22 Drought!

The State of Californis is in one of its worst droughts in recorded memory. The rainfall is 10% of normal, the snowpack is mostly absent, and the reservoirs are at record low after the third consecutive year of below average precipitation. In some of the reservoirs the little towns that were located by the creeks before a dam flooded the valley, have begun to show themselves through the mud.

Residents of the state are asked to save 20% of their water consumption and as not watering the lawn is part of the equation, that will do it for many households. So expect to see no green lawns - except those made of astroturf.

Last time the state had a severe and long drought was in the seventies. Meanwhile, the population has doubled in California. One of the remedies back then was that the standard toilet flush was more than halved. That can only be done once - but the cisterns with big and small flush so common in Europe are still rare in normal homes. Locals tell stories that go "If it's yellow, let it mellow; if it's brown....". 'Nuff said.

What can you do? I have a 5 gal bucket in my shower so the cold water that has been residing in the hot water pipe doesn't go down the drain but down the toilet instead of a flush or two. If it comes to us not being able to water outside at all, it will be poured into the tomatoes and lemons instead.

Be civic-minded, fix any leaking faucets, turn off the water while you brush your teeth, and fill your washing machine and dish washer all up. Consider this a good time to get a low water front loaded washing machine - you may even get it subsidized by the state.

This is not the year to put in a swimming pool - I will look forward to rainy Denmark next time I go east.