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Environment & Science

California Drought News: Will El Niño get us out of this mess?



Sea surface temperature in the equatorial Pacific Ocean on March 6. El Niño is characterized by unusually warm temperatures and La Niña by unusually cool temperatures in the equatorial Pacific.
Sea surface temperature in the equatorial Pacific Ocean on March 6. El Niño is characterized by unusually warm temperatures and La Niña by unusually cool temperatures in the equatorial Pacific.
NOAA

Good news, maybe! Climatologists say global weather patterns may shift so that the drought could end later this year. But let us not count our chickens until we examine sacred cows.

This is not to say that a warmer climate can’t and won’t act to decrease soil moisture. It simply reminds us that the current drought event, like its historical ancestors, continues to be strongly driven by the vagaries of storm tracks and the manner in which rains are delivered to the narrow stripe of the U.S. West Coast. (DotEarth/NYT)
"The desert aquifer is tied to growth on the southern coast. Why else would a small Orange County water agency do a project in the middle of the desert?” says Conner Everts of the Southern California Watershed Alliance. “We call these ‘zombie water projects’—projects that come back to life when people worry about drought. At some point California is going to have to make water a much more serious part of land-use decisions." (Bloomberg)

And Minnesota's Alex Lamb may have cracked the code on this whole drought problem: 

Offer your solutions to the drought in the comments before you have a great weekend!