According to a study conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, natural oceanic and atmospheric patterns—and not global warming—are to blame for the massive drought that California is currently experiencing. The study suggests that a naturally-induced high pressure area off the West Coast, coupled with sea surface temperature patterns, has blocked rain-bearing storms from making landfall in the state.
Now’s the time to prepare
Regardless of what’s causing the current California drought, one thing’s for sure: it’s been months since some parts of California have gotten rain, and that is indeed worrisome. There is, however, one topic that seems to have been left on the backburner: the drought is the perfect time to prepare for the upcoming rainy season, and in turn, prepare for similarly severe droughts in the future.
For a state that uses more water than it can provide, California is treading on perilous parched grounds. Although its key reservoirs can deliver water by the trillions of liters every year, the state uses billions every day. Add the ongoing drought and economic growth and you have one of the largest water supply systems in the U.S. pushed to the limit.
SoCal takes the brunt of the state’s water supply problem. To sustain the growth of cities such as Los Angeles and Sacramento, utilities providers have to import water from either up north or the Colorado River next door. Sixty percent of Los Angeles County’s water supply is imported from these places, reports Steve Scauzillo of the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
Motor oil floating and swirling on water may be a mesmerizing sight, but it can be harmful to the environment. A 1-acre parking lot generally collects about 4 gallons of motor oil in a year. Most will find its way into the stormwater system, eventually polluting streams, rivers and lakes. In many developed locations, stormwater runoff is the biggest source of water pollution.
How efficient is your storm water system?
Basic stormwater systems make use of drains, gutters, and sewers to transport rainwater from residential and business areas to nearby bodies of water and prevent an area from flooding and the associated damage it incurs. Unfortunately, with an inefficient system, any litter, debris, and other pollution will flow with the water. Stopping this pollution at its source is critical to maintaining the health of existing natural waterways and the communities that benefit from them. For this reason, stormwater systems need to be enhanced, as necessary, to enable better funct