Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

    State would savor strong ‘El Niño’

    Despite a high chance that California may see above-average rainfall this winter, it looks like the statewide drought may still worsen. The Bay Area could be one of the few areas to see even slight improvement, while more than half of the state’s water reserves are expected to continue dwindling.
    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released an outlook report on Oct. 16 detailing the expected weather conditions for California through the winter. Though the initial report doesn’t bode well for California, the high chance of above average rainfall is a good sign for the future.
    Last week’s NOAA report also suggested that the Tropical Pacific weather pattern, El Niño, could offer some minor relief to California as well. A strong El Niño can push moisture into the state, but most likely not enough to create actual precipitation. Considering that California is facing worsening drought despite the heavy rains that may or may not occur, any extra moisture is very welcome. Earlier this year the NOAA had reported that 2013 was the driest year on record in California. The lack of rain sent a large portion of California into the most severe category of drought, “exceptional drought,” which has now grown to include more than 60 percent of the state.
    State reservoirs are currently only 36 percent full in total. The largest, the Shasta Reservoir, is at only 25 percent. Lack of water reserves also forced many Central Valley farmers to leave fields unplanted this year because the state could not provide water. Hefty fines of up to $500 for wasting water have been imposed state-wide, which means no washing the car without a nozzle or leaving the sprinklers on. Firefighters fought around 1,000 more wildfires than average this year, costing more than $200 million of state money. Wells, streams, and rivers have run dry throughout California.
    While state-wide water usage has not dropped as much as hoped, Oakland’s water municipality, East Bay Municipal Utility District, has stated that its customers did exactly what they needed to. When EBMUD asked residents and businesses to reduce water usage by 10 percent earlier this year, that’s exactly what happened.
    Whether or not we will see heavy rainfall this winter is still uncertain, but either way Oakland residents are continuing to work hard to conserve water resources. Dirty cars and dried lawns are no longer seen as disgraceful or unkempt, but as a badge of conservation honor.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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