Let's Go Fishin': Low water stress
by Mike Baxter
Jan 23, 2014 | 1803 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Courtesy of Mike Baxter
Courtesy of Mike Baxter
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As much as I wish creating rain is under my control, I have to remind myself it is out of my hands. The wonderful weather comes with pleasure until my mind switches from the beach to the river, then I begin to realize a slow underlining feeling of worry and fear. I think this concern is carried by many of us who have concerns that are greater than ourselves and the daily pleasure of nice weather. So many factors relay on regular rain and snow fall totals. It is hard to not wish for rain.

The governor’s recent announcement that California’s drought has been declared a state of emergency, related to California’s driest year on record will bring changes. Changes will include water-usage and management regulations.The declaration is directed by state officials to assist farmers and communities that are economically impacted by dry conditions and to ensure the state can respond if Californians face drinking water shortages. The governor also directed state agencies to use less water and to hire more firefighters. It also initiated a greatly-expanded water conservation public awareness campaign. More details can be found online at www.saveourh2o.org. Unfortunately these changes will not enable us to make it rain.

In the meantime as we wait for rain, rivers are low and flows are decreasing. It is a two-fold problem. As the lack of rain decreases flows, the majority of our rivers are watersheds released from reservoirs, so at this time, releases are reduced as water retention efforts increase in the reservoirs.

The San Lorenzo River has stayed in single digits most of the fall and early winter with an average of five cubic feet flowing per second. The department of Fish and Wildlife is considering emergency closures and continuing the low flow restriction on many Northern California rivers. As many rivers are reduced to a trickle, it becomes even more concerning to see the California aqueduct flowing towards the south at maximum levels. I can only hope that the precious fluid is consumed wisely.

It still may not hurt to hope for rain as we use today’s water wisely.

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