Recently, the San Francisco PUC (Public Utilities Commission) asked the 2.4 million Bay Area residents it serves to start conserving water. This came before summer even started. Last winter left the Sierras with only 29% of their normal snowpack and the PUC is at lower-than-normal capacity because of a seismic issue with one of its reservoirs.
Still, most of California’s municipalities that rely on Sierra snow will start this dry season with full tanks. In the previous wet season most areas of the state received more precipitation than normal. So though the PUC is asking customers to voluntarily cut back on water use, it’s too early to call it a drought.
Thanks to climate change, normal weather patterns are becoming abnormal. So next year NorCal may be put back into water balance by another overly-wet year or sent into the throes of serious drought and water rationing. During this time of upcoming watershed restructure in San Francisco, one wonders how future rainfall will be predicted. Will we be able to succeed in better living in tune with nature’s rhythms if we don’t know what they will be?
Posted by Julia C.