Drought continues

The drought continues here in California.  We did have a few small rain events since my last blog.  They brought enough water to create flooding (ironic because we are still in a “drought” and have had less than 20% of average rainfall).  Water restrictions in Sacramento have been increased to 40% and are being called “mandatory”, but because less than half of the residences in the city have water meters, this is virtually impossible to enforce.  Further complicating the issue is that a significant amount of the water used in the state is by farmers and comes  from private farm wells, which from what I understand is highly unregulated.  In addition, many cities in southern California sell water like a commodity, so local governments are hesitant to put restrictions on water usage fearing lawsuits from water companies.  The entire issue seems quite messy but the bottom line is that there is going to be catastrophic consequences in this state if people don’t start taking the issue of water conservation more seriously.

As part of my position here at the Cosumnes River Preserve I am responsible for overseeing some of the restoration projects currently underway.  I have made water conservation and efficiency major considerations in my irrigation system designs for these projects.  We actually just had a very successful workday last Thursday (2/13) and were able to get one of my drip irrigation systems fully installed.  After months of project reports, proposals, quotes, supply ordering, conceptualizing, schematic drawings, meetings, etc. it is always very exciting to finally see a part of your project installed and functioning properly.  This particular site is fully prepped and ready for plant installation.  Most of what we will be planting are cuttings of native species which I identified and collected several weeks ago from my reference site less than a mile away.  The cuttings are a great way to save money when funding is tight and depending on where you collect can also ensure that you are not introducing new, genetically inapt plants to your site.  More details as project progresses…

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