Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Rain trend this year, reservoirs are filling

The Mercury News/Paul Rogers, 1/10/16. "California storms add 350 billion gallons to parched reservoirs," includes 33 slides by Gary Reyes/Bay Area News Group, and Staff writers Patrick May, Rick Hurd and Eric Kurhi contributed to this report.

Image result for California reservoirs filling up picture
Rain is filling reservoirs, but sediment limits capacity.
Image result for California reservoirs filling up picture
CA reservoirs are
dumping water, uh?
"The powerful storms that soaked Northern California over the past week did more than trigger power outages, mudslides and flash floods. They sent roughly 350 billion gallons of water pouring into California’s biggest reservoirs — boosting their storage to levels not seen in years, forcing dam operators to release water to reduce flood risks and all but ending the five-year drought across much of Northern California, even though it remains in the south, experts said Monday.

'California is a dry state and probably always will be in most years, but we certainly don’t have a statewide drought right now,' said Jay Lund, a professor of engineering and director of the Center for Watershed Sciences at UC Davis. 'We have to be careful about crying wolf here,' he said. 'You have to maintain credibility with the public when there are critically dry years, so you have to call it like it is when conditions improve.'

.... Despite concerns that the weekend storm’s warmer temperatures would significantly deplete the Sierra Nevada snowpack, it grew significantly. Last Monday, it was 70 percent of historic average. This Monday, it had grown to a staggering 126 percent for this time of the year. .... ...'It’s early and the precipitation patterns could dry up at any time,' (Nancy Vogel, a spokeswoman for the state Natural Resources Agency said. 'We’ll see where we are in March or April.'"  Read article.

Related article.. UC Berkeley, Cal Alumni Association/California Magazine/Glen Martin, 1/10/17, "No Joy in Mudville: amid drought, California's reservoirs are clogged with gunk." "As the drought drags on and reservoir levels keep dropping, our politicians predictably are clamoring for new dams. But there may be a better and cheaper way to squeeze more water out of California’s desiccated watersheds: Clean out the gunk behind existing reservoirs. That’s because dams collect sediment from eroding watersheds along with water. Our reservoirs rapidly are filling up with silt, sand and rocks—and the more sediment, the less room there is to collect life-sustaining water. 'So far, there’s about 1.7 million acre feet of sediment behind California’s dams,' observes U.S. Geological Survey geomorphologist J. Toby Minear, 'and more is deposited every year.'"

Note photographs.  Reservoir spilling water from KQED Science/Lauren Sommer, 2/29/16, "California Reservoirs are dumping water in a drought, but science could change that."  Reservoir filling from the related California Magazine article (above). 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

1 comment:

The Donald said...

Trump said there was no drought.

He fixed the drought even before taking office