Water, Water Everywhere

We’re in a drought here, or what they call a drought in California, so I’ve been thinking about water. Unfortunately, I’ve been thinking in terms that use lots of words and have led so far to dead ends. (Just a minute: a blog, dead ends–what’s the problem?) Anyway, for now, just a couple of numbers, from Shasta Lake, the biggest of the big network of reservoirs built to turn California’s mountains and rivers into a reliable water bank. In the past month at Shasta Dam, on the Sacramento River just north of the city of Redding:

–More than 20 inches of rain has fallen.

–The amount of water in the reservoir has increased by about one-third, from 1.41 million acre feet to 1.86 million acre feet.

–The amount of the increase over just a month, 450,000 acre feet, is about enough water to supply 2.2 million people for a year.

–But that’s not a lot in term of the demand for water here: About 80 to 85 percent of the “developed” water in California–water that’s impounded behind dams and delivered on demand to customers around the state–goes to farms. The rest goes to industry and residential users. The population of California is 36.5 million.

I’ve got lots more numbers kicking around, but that’s enough for now. In the next installment–soon!–I’ll try to make some sense of them.

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