It's official. The drought is back, and mandatory cutbacks in water consumption are imminent.
Water reserves are at or approaching historic lows in both Lake Mendocino (see at right) and Lake Sonoma. With seasonal rainfall totals for the year also running well below normal, the outlook is not encouraging.To monitor how conditions are progressing--or not-- you can use this like to see the Sonoma County Water Agency's graphs of declining water supplies in Lake Mendocino and Lake Sonoma(pdf).
Amidst all the agricultural and economic impacts of the drought, Dick Butler of the National Marine Fisheries Service pointed out the obvious--that it is also bad news for fish.
To help get a jump on the rationing that is almost certainly coming our way, here are the Sonoma County Water Agency's
Top 10 Water Conservation Tips:
- Reduce outdoor watering by one day a week
- Find and repair leaks now
- Inspect and tune-up your sprinkler system monthly
- Water between midnight and 6:00 a.m. to reduce water loss from evaporation and wind
- Use a broom, not a hose, to clean your driveway, deck or patio
- Use a bucket and a hose with an automatic shut-off nozzle when you wash the car, or take your car to a carwash that recycles
- Cover pools and hot-tubs to reduce evaporation
- Use front-load washing machines
- Run the dishwasher and clothes washer with full loads only
- Prevent and report water waste