The new drought data is out and it shows a slight increase of extreme drought in California compared to last week. As you can see on the map below, all of the Bay Area is under this extreme drought along with much of the Central Valley down to Los Angeles. Of course, this drought was set in place from two horrible rain seasons. This year we are down -8.00 to -21.00” for the rain season and snowpack only finished the season at 59% of normal.
A closer look at the Bay Area in the image below and you’ll see every square inch is under that red color indicating the extreme drought. This will obviously bring increased fire danger and if fires start they will burn at a higher intensity. Other side effects will include the chance of crop damage, trees becoming stressed and lower river flows.
While we are likely to head into the worst drought tier “exceptional” this Summer, what are ways you can start saving water? I put together a checklist you can see below. A big way to save is putting your landscaping on drip irrigation, using drought tolerant plants, install a smart irrigation timer and check for faucets that drip and other leaks. Also, don’t forget to check with your local water company like EBMUD. As there are some rebates available that can be up to $2,000 to help you make changes.
You can find out more about how the Bay Area climate is changing in a series of stories the Microclimate Weather Team worked on across the Bay Area.