Saturday, December 22, 2007

Los Angeles Rainfall: Dec 2007

Brent has been sharing his rain gauge readings. Our house got 1.4" this week through Friday evening when the rain slowed to a drizzle and I emptied the gauge. Then Mark went to the grocery store without a jacket and walked home in a miserable downpour. The gauge showed another 0.2 inches from that brief rain band. Add the inch we got the previous week and the early storm in October, and LAX rainfall is at 106% of normal for this time of year. Still not enough to make up for the severe drought last year.

For the latest rain year data, see the California Nevada River Forecast Center page for data for the most recent two years. Or data for the past 6-24 hours.

Some thoughts on water policy.
[LA] Mayor Villarairgosa called for voluntary water conservation, but only if it does not involve sacrifice or inconvenience for anyone. I suggested to Mark that we let our small patch of lawn in the front yard go brown in anticipation of replacing it with EasyTurf like in the backyard. Mark was adamant that we will not do any more conservation of any sort because we will be punished again.

(Remember Stick that Up Your Light Socket? We conserved electricity in 2000 so we weren't eligible for $ credit in 2001 when people were rewarded based upon how much they reduced their electricity usage between 2000 and 2001.)

If we conserve water now, we will be punished again when water rationing is implemented for real. They are suggesting baseline water allotments based on historical use. If you used more in the past, you will be given a higher allotment. There will likely be an appeal process, which will be as inconvenient as possible to discourage people from using it. Unlike Brent, I object to being put through administrative hoops to get a reasonable water allotment. (I am busy enough.)

It will be galling to watch profligate water wasters be given a higher allotment because they "need" more, based upon prior history. Consumers do learn--the wrong lessons. Perhaps we should fill our jacuzzi tub for nightly bubble baths for everyone to establish that we have a "need" for huge amounts of water. Or maybe I will wash our cars in the driveway twice a week.

Los Angeles Rainfall
California and Nevada Precipitation Data both real-time and archival long-term history


  1. Last year we had 3 heatwaves, this year none. Droughts we have had.
    I've been delivering (snail-)mail for 3 weeks now, and been keeping it dry each day. That's december for you!
    No snow either, just wind.
    Can't wait what next year will bring.
    Happy new year to you and yours...

  2. I don't know that I agree that administrative hoops OK, whether one jumps through them or not.

    I just couldn't think of a better and still feasible way of initially allocating water usage in times of rationing / drought.

  3. A friend in GA is facing this same situation. If they use more than they used last year, they are fined heavily. No exceptions are made if you have a new family member, guests, etc. If you use more, you pay A LOT more.

    She had to ask her guests to stay in hotels as she'd had no guests last year during this time and couldn't afford the several hundred dollars fine.

    She had to remind her kids, obsessively, to turn off the water ALL the time as she had two smaller children last year who did not play with the water the way they do now. She says she has no idea what she'll do if this continues to the point where she can't bathe her opposite sex children at the same time.

    It seems to me the best thing to do in a situation like this is to do a sampling of water bills based on housebhold size and determine an average usage for each household size. People who need more water can appeal that.

    But basing it on past usage without giving any exceptions for any changes and past conservation is assinine.


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