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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Rain! Could this be the end of the drought!

My farm is located in Southern California which does have a winter.  Winter here means highs of 60-70 during the day and lows of 40-50 at night.    Residents of areas that have cold winters are probably jealous.   Winter is also the rainy season for us.  We generally only get rain from November to April.   Its quite common not to have any rainfall in the summer.    That is why water use and costs are a important component to farmers.   We rely on imported and well water during the summers.   Most cities will try to capture as much rain in the winter as possible to recharge ground water aquifers.  

California is in the midst of a 6 year drought with annual rainfall totals 1/3rd of normal, causing the reservoirs, lakes and aquifers at dangerously low levels.     This year appears to be different.   My farm has 3 inches of rain in December with the average around 1.3 inches.   We just has a 3 day storm that just left 1.5 inches of rain on the farm.  Here is a picture of the rain gauge.

I haven't had to turn any of the watering systems on at the farm for the entire month of December.  This will provide a great relief to the owner who pays a monthly water bill of $500-700.00.   I expect the same relief to continue through January.    Here are pictures of the orchard after the rain store today.   There is water sitting everywhere and its taking longer to soak into the ground due to the pre-existing moisture levels in the ground.