2007-11-13

Last rainfall of the season?

We had a light rain followed by some fog on Sunday. I'm guessing a few hundredths of an inch all in all: There had been substantial evaporation by the time I got to my rain gauge. According to reports on NPR yesterday, that may be it for this rainy season because of La Nina conditions. Weather modelers reportedly give scant hope that La Nina will weaken before January, meaning that we'll have to rely upon late season rain or nothing at all. It's not completely outlandish to draw an inside straight with rain - remember the March Miracle of 1991 which ended five years of drought? But in my book it's better to be prudent.

While our total rainfall thus far this year exceeds last year's total, it's still quite low -- low enough to qualify as a second, back to back, severe drought year.

My urge to eradicate all grass starts to look smarter and smarter, since I predict the start of water rationing in Los Angeles by early 2008. The city of Long Beach has already started rationing. Green grass has high water needs, and I doubt that my remaining lawn would get any water at all in a rationing situation.

Ironically, the highest water wasters are better off in a drought situation than those of us that have conserved in previous years. This is because water allocations are based upon your previous history of usage (usually during winter months when non-wasters wouldn't use much outdoor water). Users with historically high water usage are assumed to have greater water needs, a not unreasonable going in position. However, this also favors the waster who has a lot more easy remedies to live within their new water allocation. (You mean I have to give up showering until the water runs cold and turn off the faucet while brushing my teeth?}

So far as I know, there is no easy way for the water utility to discriminate between need-based usage and waste-based usage. However, in previous years there has been an appeal process to increase water allocation, and this was successful in the one case where I heard of it being used.