Last weekend, I took my son down to the Nimbus Dam to show him something I hope he remembers forever.
I wanted him to see the water roaring through the dam near our house. The water situation in Northern California has become pretty extreme, with the situation in Oroville making national news. So, to go to our nearby dam to see just how high the river has risen was pretty incredible. We were looking at a river that wasn’t just climbing its banks, but was climbing what were previously seen as sheer cliffs. The spot where people typically fished for salmon below the dam appeared to be 20 to 30 feet below surface now.
Of course, all of this water is good for California.
Chris Beytes of GrowerTalks published a piece highlighting how quickly things have turned around here in California, saying, “What a difference a year makes.” It certainly has.
Check out these “before and after” drought monitoring maps.
The imagery is pretty self-explanatory. Red is bad, etc., etc. You can see here the year-over-year position of the state, and then what it looked like in November of last year. The change is dramatic.
And the rain just keeps coming. More rain is expected hit Northern California starting on Thursday, and then Friday for Southern California. In fact, there are weather warnings in the Santa Barbara area indicating heavy rain and high winds. Coincidentally, that’s right where that little spec of red remains on the map.
The cloudy and rainy weather has had some impact on cut flower production. However, the pros have certainly outweighed the costs. Some of our farms are benefiting from the free rain water coming through in these storms, and for those that have had production impacted, the silver lining will be less politicizing of the water situation in the Capitol during this year’s legislative session. Hopefully, all of this water during the “wet years” refreshes conversations on how to better serve and solve California’s chronic water issues during the “dry years.”