Recent weather systems welcome, but more storms needed to end drought

The recent “Pineapple Express” weather system that occurred several days ago was certainly a welcome; however, the storm system did not come close to getting California out of our record-breaking drought.  Although, the runoff from the storm bumped Folsom Lake from 15 to 29 percent of capacity over a weekend; Folsom Lake is still at about half of historical average for this time of year.  So, to put it all in context, the storm yielded a temporary boost in water flowing into Folsom Lake, but we are still in a serious drought.

Our biggest problem is our overall lack of snowpack, which will have serious implications in summer and fall of 2014.  The latest storm carried a large amount of warmer rain, but a relatively low amount of snow pack.  Snowpack in the Sierras is a natural water storage mechanism that slowly releases water as runoff that feeds Folsom Lake, particularly during the summer, when our region does not receive much precipitation.  Currently, the statewide snow pack is 25 percent of average for this time of year, even after the “Pineapple Express” storm we just experienced. 
All of this underscores why it is so important that residents and businesses reduce their water use by 20 percent or more now.  Reducing our water use now will help our community weather what is stacking up to be a very dry summer and fall.

For easy tips and tools on how you can reduce your water use, go to