By Brandon Mercer

(CBS SF) — The worst drought to hit California since the Middle Ages is already making indoor plumbing irrelevant in several Central Valley towns that exhausted their entire water supplies. Others are running low and rationing the precious resource.

Despite the brown lawns and dire climate predictions, there’s always a silver lining to the non-existent rain cloud. Here’s why the glass is literally half-full:

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#13: FEWER ALLERGIES
Who needs all that pollen anyway?

Spring Flowers

Wildflowers, like these yellow bush lupine, provide burst of color along Pomponio Creek on Highway 1 south of Half Moon Bay. (James Irwin/CBS)

#12: LAKE TAHOE CLARITY
No rain and no snow means no runoff. Lake Tahoe is getting clearer, and it was already pristine to begin with. Go rent a clear kayak and enjoy amazing views clear to the bottom.

(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

#11: EXPLORE NEW HISTORIC TREASURES
Sure mighty lakes are now puddles, but now we get to explore what was there before the massive dams were built during the public works programs. Historic train tunnels, and Gold Rush era towns like Mormon Island (formerly) under Folsom Lake are prime tourist destinations. This news has even gone global, when the UK’s Daily Mail reported it.

(Credit: Brandon Mercer, CBS SF)

(Credit: Brandon Mercer, CBS SF)

#10: LET’S BE HONEST, WE PROBABLY SHOULD HAVE BEEN CONSERVING WATER LIKE THIS YEARS AGO

Seriously, once we survive this drought, California’s water future will have never been better! With all the water projects in the works, thousands of lawns being ripped out, and mandatory low-flow toilets being the law, there will now be more water to waste on other things, like washing down your driveway in Beverly Hills.
Right now, Beverly Hills does not ticket water wasters. Residents have only been asked to turn off decorative fountains and stop hosing down driveways “voluntarily,” measures that don’t get them close to the new state-wide mandate of a 25-percent reduction.

An East Porterville resident takes water from a tank. Tulare County has resorted to delivering water to town residents after wells have run dry during the drought. (CBS)

An East Porterville resident takes water from a tank. Tulare County has resorted to delivering water to town residents after wells have run dry during the drought. (CBS)

#9: IT’S A RARE OPPORTUNITY TO PAN FOR GOLD!
Low river levels have exposed areas to gold diggers (the mineral kind, not the Kanye West kind), meaning more flecks and nuggets exposed to eager miners.

A person pans for gold. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A person pans for gold. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

#8: BIGGER BEACHES
All those lakeside picnics used to be surrounded by bushes, poison oak and brush, but look at all this beachfront real estate now. Perfect for a game of football, or landing a 747.

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Low water levels are visible at the Stevens Creek Reservoir on January 30, 2014 in Cupertino, California.

Low water levels are visible at the Stevens Creek Reservoir on January 30, 2014 in Cupertino, California.

#7: DIRT SKIING
With no snow in the Sierra, it’s a perfect opportunity to try dirt skiing!

#6: NO LAWNS MEAN HUGE BUSINESS FOR ARTIFICIAL TURF AND A NEW INDUSTRY OF “GRASS PAINTERS”

Green Canary worker Samuel Bucio sprays green water-based paint on a partially dead lawn at the Almaden Valley Athletic Club on July 21, 2014 in San Jose, California. As the severe California drought continues to worsen, home owners and businesses looking to conserve water are letting lawns die off and are having them painted to look green. The paint lasts up to 90 days on dormant lawns and will not wash off.

Green Canary worker Samuel Bucio sprays green water-based paint on a partially dead lawn at the Almaden Valley Athletic Club on July 21, 2014 in San Jose, California. As the severe California drought continues to worsen, home owners and businesses looking to conserve water are letting lawns die off and are having them painted to look green. The paint lasts up to 90 days on dormant lawns and will not wash off.

#5: COWS WIN, SORT OF
All that water being used to help produce that steak on your table adds up, and vegetarians are using the drought to discourage meat eaters. Did you know how much water your meal actually uses? We put together this chart.

Hereford cattle roam the dirt-brown fields of Nathan Carver's ranch which his family has owned for five generations on the outskirts of Delano, in California's Central Valley, on February 3, 2014. At this time of the year normally, the fields would be covered in lush green grass, but the western US states's worst drought in decades has reduced the land to a parched moonscape, leaving the 55-year-old father-of-four praying for rain. While Carver remembers tales his grandparents told of the Dust Bowl years in the 1930's, this is as bad as he has ever seen it in his lifetime, he said.

Hereford cattle roam the dirt-brown fields of Nathan Carver’s ranch which his family has owned for five generations on the outskirts of Delano, in California’s Central Valley, on February 3, 2014. At this time of the year normally, the fields would be covered in lush green grass, but the western US states’s worst drought in decades has reduced the land to a parched moonscape, leaving the 55-year-old father-of-four praying for rain. While Carver remembers tales his grandparents told of the Dust Bowl years in the 1930’s, this is as bad as he has ever seen it in his lifetime, he said.

#4: WE’RE FLUSH WITH INNOVATION:
Don’t you wish you’d thought of the toilet tank sink?

Toilet Sink

A northern California woman, Robin Weld, is battling the drought by attaching a bathroom sink to her toilet tank. (CBS)

#3: SUCCULENT GARDENING IS FUN AND CHALLENGING
Why not start a new hobby, and plant succulents, cacti, and native plants?
Watch out for thieves, though.

#2: GOOD TIME TO CATCH UP ON ROOF REPAIRS AND PAINTING

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(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

#1: INVITING SOMEONE TO SHARE YOUR SHOWER IS NOW YOUR CIVIC DUTY
Just ummmm… turn the water off if you get “distracted.”

(Thinkstock)

(Thinkstock)