Stewardship Monday: The State of the State’s Water

Happy New Year! We are all looking forward to so much this year. One thing to look forward to is more rain (fingers crossed). Many of us are wondering, after all the rain last month, are we still in a drought?

Drought is defined as a period of deficiency of water supply from the atmosphere, ground, or surface water. Drought conditions occur naturally and can last for several weeks to several years. In California, many plants and animals are adapted to drought conditions. Even though we have received quite a bit of rain in the past month, and the plants and animals are heaving a sigh of relief, humans must still be wary of this water shortage! In particular, the ground water in California is lower than average after a few dry years, and will need a lot more precipitation to bring those levels back up to “normal”. While native flora and fauna may be relieved by the rain, humans demand a tremendous amount of water, and want to know that the amount of water we have available will be secure in the future. Therefore, with the water table levels at lower than “normal” but demand remaining the same, if not increasing with a growing population, human communities are still concerned about the water shortage or “drought”.

No matter the weather we always need to do our part to conserve water to keep our environment and community healthy now and in the future. Visit: http://ca.gov/drought/ to stay informed about the state of our state’s water and to get daily tips for saving water!

This week’s tip: act like a drought-resistant plant and store up water when it is available! Set up a rain catchment system at your home. These can be purchased or set up by yourself. Rainwater collected in a barrel (simply direct your gutter to the barrel rather than the ground) can be used to water plants or wash things outside.

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