Heavy Rains With Warmer Temperatures Not Diminishing California’s Drought Worries

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — This week has gotten off to a rainy start with some areas receiving more than an inch—a nice addition to last week’s heavy rain. Despite that, it may not be delivering exactly what California needs to get out of this drought.

Reservoirs and ground water are being replenished by our recent rain. But for the Bay Area, the snow pack in the Sierra is vital.

“That snow lasts through the spring and sometimes, if we get enough, even into the summer and that helps provide the runoff that we need, the storage capacity that we need, to get us through the long, hot dry summer months,” Peter Gleick, president and co-founder of the Pacific Institute in Oakland told KCBS.

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Gleick said recent rain has been accompanied by warm temperatures which produces little snow and that the state will need a lot more of both to get out of this drought.

“Our reservoirs are less than half of what they should be even this time of year—even with these storms,” he said.

With the threat of climate change bringing warmer temperatures, we may have to re-think our water system.

“Our system is designed for snow. We’re either going to have to rethink the way we manage it—rethink where we store water and maybe in the ground instead of reservoirs because it’s going to be hard to find places to build new reservoirs that aren’t controversial.” Gleick said.

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