After 7 Long Years, The Drought Is Officially OVER In California

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Lake Tahoe in late February. Image: SnowBrains

After 7 long years, the drought is officially over in California.

According to the National Drought Mitigation Center, the state experienced some form of drought for 376 consecutive weeks.

In 2017, California experienced plentiful precipitation, but it wasn’t enough to alleviate the drought.

This winter has delivered to California, so much so that it’s eliminated drought conditions, but nearly 7% of the state remains ‘abnormally dry.’

“With the end of the statewide hydrologic drought from 2011 to 2017, the Pacific Institute Drought Response Team is no longer providing monthly drought updates. We will continue to work toward sustainable water solutions in California and beyond. Continue to follow our work on www.pacinst.org.”

– Stated Pacific Institute on their website

U.S. Drought Monitor. Image: USDA

The drought officially kicked off in December of 2011.

While these stats may seem simple, they’re a sign of relief for those in California.

Stats:

  • Population In Drought: 0
  • Population In Abnormally Dry Areas: 5,813,000

The Sierra Snowpack is reaping the benefits of all this precipitation.

Substantial snowfall is currently sitting in the mountains, which will lead to some serious run-off this spring.

On top of that, Lake Tahoe is currently sitting pretty when it comes to water levels.

All in all, the water situation in California is headed in the right direction.

The Water Year is off to a great start in the Northern Sierra. Image: USDA
Reservoir conditions are looking solid. Image: CA DWR

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3 thoughts on “After 7 Long Years, The Drought Is Officially OVER In California

  1. The water in Lake Tahoe benefits Nevada, you may not realize the Truckee river ends up in pyramid lake .
    The snow melts too fast in the current global warming situation to be beneficial for California. Declaring the drought over is a major mistake.

  2. Any discussion about the hydrologic picture is incomplete without an evaluation of the groundwater storage. As the drought progressed, agriculture and water purveyors were limited in surface-water allotments. Agriculture already used groundwater as part of their operations so it was easy for them to just pay the added cost to pump water. Water purveyors generally had existing water supply wells as their contingency plan and easily turned to them. The ever-growing wine industry installed wells to insure that their crops would never have to be denied the water. The net affect is that the groundwater levels decreased throughout the state. Significantly.

    This is similar to the plight of someone who gets laid off and spends all of their retirement savings and maxes out their credit cards. Once they have been employed a few years and paid off their credit-card debt they are not officially past the damage done from the unemployed period. It will take them years to rebuild their retirement savings just as it will still take years to replenish the groundwater.

    1. The groundwater situation is not years from repair, it is irreparable damage; unless you are talking about geological time.
      It is the same as taking out fossil fuels from the ground, it’s just kick that to the future generations to solve.
      Central CA has sunk 28 feet. Even with above normal rainfall, the land will never rise back up 28feet or retain the 28feet of water that was removed.

      At best, just like burning fossil fuels, the groundwater level depletion can be halted where it is.

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