GOOD

After 7 years, California drought is officially over.

“Conservation must remain a way of life."

FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

April showers bring May flowers. But in California’s case, heavy showers over a period of four months bring good news… and also flowers. Lots of flowers. This year, the spring in California is more glorious than ever before, because we went through a lot to get here.


Since December 20, 2011, California had experienced some sort of drought. But now, after almost a decade, the California drought is officially over thanks to a winter of heavy rains. Less than 7% of California is experiencing abnormally dry conditions. The Golden State is, in fact, golden instead of a yucky, deadish brown.

Because of the rains, reservoirs have been filled, soil moisture improved, and the bloom is super. "If we have a few more years of this, then maybe our groundwater conditions will be in much better shape and we might be in a better shape to deal with another potential drought, which will come," Newsha Ajami, Stanford University's Director of Urban Water Policy, said. "California has a Mediterranean climate so we do experience a lot of ups and downs in our weather conditions."

The entire state experienced above average rains. Between October and April, downtown Los Angeles got an unusual 17.99 inches of rain. Up north, the Sierra Nevada Mountains received snowfalls 153% above average, and Sacramento had rain levels 126% above normal. California wasn’t the only state to receive much-needed rain. This winter was the wettest in the United States since record-keeping began in 1895. We asked for rain, and the rain gods delivered!

Just because the drought is over doesn’t mean it’s okay to now take super long showers or water your grass just because you have nothing better to do. Right now, California’s poppies are popping, but conditions could turn dry again without warning. “This happened last year: It was a wet winter, there were beautiful blooms in the spring and then it dried out really fast,"

Jessica Blunden, a climatologist with NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information, said. "Don't be complacent, because it can change pretty quickly.” You can actually monitor the drought (or lack thereof) on www.drought.gov and see where we stand.

Gov. Jerry Brown declared the drought a state of emergency and ended water restrictions in 2017 when less than 9% of the state was under drought conditions. “The next drought could be around the corner,” Gov. Brown said at the time. “Conservation must remain a way of life." In 2019, 75% of California experienced some level of drought. But really, is there ever a time when conservation is a bad thing?

So, get out there and enjoy all the green hills and abundant wildflowers the heavy rains left behind! Just stay on the trails!

Articles

When former Pittsburgh Steelers' center Mike Webster committed suicide in 2002, his death began to raise awareness of the brain damage experienced by NFL football players. A 2017 study found that 99% of deceased NFL players had a degenerative brain disease known as CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy). Only one out of 111 former football players had no sign of CTE. It turns out, some of the risks of traumatic brain injury experienced by heavily padded adults playing at a professional level also exist for kids with developing brains playing at a recreational level. The dangers might not be as intense as what the adults go through, but it can have some major life-long consequences.

A new PSA put out by the Concussion Legacy Foundation raises awareness of the dangers of tackle football on developing brains, comparing it to smoking. "Tackle football is like smoking. The younger I start, the longer I am exposed to danger. You wouldn't let me smoke. When should I start tackling?" a child's voice can be heard saying in the PSA as a mother lights up a cigarette for her young son.

Keep Reading Show less
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

On Tuesday morning, President Trump tweeted about some favorable economic numbers, claiming that annual household income is up, unemployment is low, and housing prices are high.

Now, just imagine how much better those numbers would be if the country wasn't mired in an economy-killing trade war with China, bleeding out trillion-dollar-a-year debts, and didn't suffer from chaotic leadership in the Oval Office?

At the end of tweet, came an odd sentence, "Impeach the Pres."

Keep Reading Show less
Politics

October is domestic violence awareness month and when most people think of domestic violence, they imagine mostly female victims. However, abuse of men happens as well – in both heterosexual and homosexual relationships. But some are taking it upon themselves to change all that.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

At this point most reasonable people agree that climate change is a serious problem. And while a lot of good people are working on solutions, and we're all chipping in by using fewer plastic bags, it's also helpful to understand where the leading causes of the issue stem from. The list of 20 leading emitters of carbon dioxide by The Guardian newspaper does just that.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via International Labour Organization / Flickr and Michael Moore / Facebook

Before the release of "The Joker" there was a glut of stories in the media about the film's potential to incite violence.

The FBI issued a warning, saying the film may inspire violence from a group known as the Clowncels, a subgroup of the involuntarily celibate or Incel community.

Incels an online subculture who believe they are unable to attract a sexual partner. The American nonprofit Southern Poverty Law Center describes them as "part of the online male supremacist ecosystem" that is included in its list of hate groups.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture