Rain, Rain, Don’t Go Away

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Rain, Rain, Don’t Go Away

Allison Alben, Staff Writer

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    Over the last few years, the chances are getting lower and lower of hearing someone sing “Rain, rain, go away,” anywhere in California. Why? We are in desperate need of rain after last year’s El Niño failed to help provide us with the rain. Luckily, we have been hit with storm after storm this month, putting a much-needed dent in our drought. But how long is this rain going to last?

    After only getting about 65 percent of our average rain last year, it’s been nothing short of a miracle that we’ve received so much rain lately. In fact, we’re due to get another six to nine inches by next week. Living in a Chaparral, we generally only receive 10 to 17 inches of rain every year, most of it coming in winter, so it’s definitely notable that we’re receiving half of that before the end of January.

  “The storms this year have already reduced the amount of surface water drought in California. At the beginning of the rainy season, almost 100 percent of the state was in surface water drought.  As of last week, that number had been reduced to 48 percent of the state in surface water drought.  If the trend continues, most of the state will be out of surface water drought, except for Santa Barbara county,” according to Laura Solarez, the AP Environmental Science teacher.

    As a whole, this rain has been absolutely fantastic for California. “As of January 10, approximately 42 percent of the state is out of the drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Roughly 34 percent of the state is drought-free,” said KTLA writer Tracy Bloom. Though most of the newly drought free areas are in northern California, the rain has still been a major help for us down in southern California.

    Sounds like all good news, right? Though it is great that the surface water drought has been helped so much along with northern California, there’s still a groundwater drought to be concerned with.

  “We have still withdrawn significant amounts of groundwater that we must try to recharge or replenish when we have excess surface water.  This is a difficult task, but there are some methods that have been tried and are successful with groundwater recharge programs,” said Solarez.

    Unfortunately, after these next couple of storms, it doesn’t seem that we’re getting more rain until the end of February, and two inches less than average at that. However, our rainy season lasts into March, and it’s possible that it can rain in April and May if the conditions are right. Let’s hope that these storms keep coming.