According to a study conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, natural oceanic and atmospheric patterns—and not global warming—are to blame for the massive drought that California is currently experiencing. The study suggests that a naturally-induced high pressure area off the West Coast, coupled with sea surface temperature patterns, has blocked rain-bearing storms from making landfall in the state.
Now’s the time to prepare
Regardless of what’s causing the current California drought, one thing’s for sure: it’s been months since some parts of California have gotten rain, and that is indeed worrisome. There is, however, one topic that seems to have been left on the backburner: the drought is the perfect time to prepare for the upcoming rainy season, and in turn, prepare for similarly severe droughts in the future.
The story of stormwater
Stormwater runoff is caused when rain and snow hit water-resistant surfaces such as streets, rooftops, and parking lots instead of being absorbed into the ground. As such, water accumulates and, in the process, collects trash, chemicals, and other pollutants as it makes its way to waterways. Due to this threat, stormwater runoff is often viewed as a liability. In California, stormwater is a major source of pollution.
The best stormwater solutions for California
There are many opportunities for efficient storm water management, but arguably the biggest one that concerns The Golden State is groundwater recharge. The state of California can counteract stormwater runoff’s negative impact by implementing water infiltration systems in large residential and commercial areas. This type of stormwater management solution helps slow the flow of water and allows it to be absorbed into the ground, eventually helping communities increase their water supply reliability, which can be extremely helpful in times of drought.
According to Richard Seager, lead author of the NOAA study, droughts such as the one California is currently experiencing are bound to happen again. With that in mind, measures to capture and reuse every drop of water will not only be wise, but crucial too.
Everyone can do their part
As a home or business owner, you can do something to conserve water, improve your locale’s watersheds, and slow the flow of stormwater from your home or business when the rain returns. Contact stormwater management BMP solutions providers like StormChamber to learn how.
(Source: Causes of Calif. drought natural, not man-made: NOAA, USA Today, Dec. 8, 2014)