Why We Should be Cautiously Optimistic with All This Rain in California

As I write this, the city of Los Angeles is being dumped with what seems to be weather from Juneau, Alaska. What I mean is that, it’s raining, and it’s raining a lot. I am very familiar with rain, and so I am not as concerned or intrigued as other LA citizens are. But I’d like to take a moment today to look at the weather from my perspective, because I find it vital for us to know where California stands with its water. In the past five years, California has been hit with a drought that has ravaged and wreaked havoc on its agricultural economy. And this was the cause of multiple concerns about California’s ability to sustain its citizens.

But recently, California has seen rainstorms that have given life blood back into the state. At least, that’s what the average citizen believes to be true. As I watch my friends film the effects of the rain on their Snap Stories, or talk about it in passing, they remark that, “California is out of the drought!!” Not that they are wrong, but only parts of California are safe, while Southern California is far from that target. This misconception can have massive and detrimental effects on the Los Angeles community. If this thought is reciprocated throughout all of Southern California, we may be in more of a disaster than before the rainstorms. Now, I’m not saying the rain is bad, but I am saying that the people thinking that we’re out of the drought is bad. Let me explain.

When say, you are told that you have to conserve water, you don’t question it if you see the effects of the drought. You are more aware of the importance to try your best to prevent drought. You see dead or dying plants, and you don’t question why you should stop watering your plants. The average citizen will see the reasons why they should conserve water to the best of their ability. However, this whole rainstorm will throw things off. LA citizens, and possibly all of Southern California will watch the large amounts of water before them and assume that since it has rained, we have no worries.

This will allow Southern Californian’s to rationalize that they have no need to conserve water. But this conception is totally wrong, as Southern California is still in a heavy drought. Water use will then increase, and possibly spike as citizens are frivolous with their water consumption. The combination of an increased use of water, the continuation of the drought, and the misconception that Southern California is out of the drought can be a home run for water consumption collapsing into a disaster. And so, I advise everyone in Southern California to use water as thrifty as if we never had rainstorms. This will at least allow for Southern California to rebound quicker. And so California citizens, hold off on watering your plants, hold off on taking longer than necessary showers, and understand how crucial water is to the California economy, and ecosystem. (As a side note, I would like to observe that Los Angeles-at least nearby USC-is unable to handle torrential rainstorms as of recently, and so water, is not being collected efficiently as it should be, but it is improving.)

Sources:

http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/Home/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?CA

https://www.nasa.gov/press/2014/december/nasa-analysis-11-trillion-gallons-to-replenish-california-drought-losses

https://www.wired.com/2017/01/wet-year-wont-beat-californias-never-ending-drought/

http://dailytrojan.com/2017/01/11/usc-village-installs-rainwater-containment-system/

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