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California calling for drought State of Emergency


Mauna Kea Cloudforest
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Scary facts about the looming drought:

  • below normal rainfall to persist into March 2014
  • 2013 driest year for Central and Northern California by a long shot since recorded weather history
  • State of emergency for California being requested
  • veggie prices will go through the roof
  • fruit prices will go through the roof
  • Abnormally high rainfall in Southeastern California (Riverside hills are green in December?)

See references below

California 2014 drought could send waves through US commodity markets
http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Suppliers2/California-2014-drought-could-send-waves-through-US-commodity-markets

Lawmakers including U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, U.S. Congressman and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, and state Republican State leaders Bob Huff and Connie Conway – are calling on Governor Jerry Brown and President Barack Obama to address California’s dire water supply conditions by declaring a state drought emergency.

“Some of our reservoirs are at the lowest levels since 1977. Last year we had lettuce at $7 a box and already it is at $23 a box,”


California Drought Builds; No Winter Relief in Sight
http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/fire-crews-work-to-contain/21189433

"It will remain dry through February and probably early March in California," AccuWeather.com Lead Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok said.

California's drought has worsened this year overall making it the driest state in the West as of mid-December. Oregon and Nevada take a close second and third, respectively.

"2013 will probably end up the driest year on record for the state of California," Pastelok said. "The reservoirs are already hurting from last winter's drought; this will be a serious situation."


NOAA Drought Outlook: below rainfall to persist into March 2014
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/expert_assessment/sdo_summary.html

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While the Sierra has been in the mid 50s/low 60s so I'm sure there is melting of what little is there. Pretty bad situation..

current_ca_trd.jpg

Edited by enigma99
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Pretty horrible skiing season, not looking good for any snowpack whatsoever. If we have dry weather into March, this is gonna be nasty.

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Build darned dams everywhere you can, even small ones with local capacity only. The EE finances the built of such dams in Greece. Many will argue that dames destroy enviroment, but this argument is only a short viewing one. I can assert without any reservation how new life accumulates in previously dry land, fruiting trees (and palms) gather insects and birds (birds can learn within a short time to feed on previously unknown fruits) and birds can also learn quickly to drink and bath using the dripping system, they can even remeber when dripping system sets on and gather nearby a couple of minutes prior to start time.

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Brisbane and many places in Australia have copped very bad droughts over last decade ( I'm sure many more previously as well ). About 6 years ago the main dam that supplies Brisbane was down to about 13% capacity, anything under about 8% and the water is too murky to be any good anyway... It was pretty scary that in this day and age a major city nearly ran out of drinking water!!! Associated with this was severe water restrictions and gardens were not allowed to be watered using the towns water. This was obviously very bad for gardens and the horticultural industry!!!

A few years ago we had major flooding and the dams filled to well over 100% capacity ( I know over 100% sounds stupid but that's how it was reported ).

Good luck!!

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snail darter, lawns. golf courses, cemetaries (combine the two, imagine the sand traps?), crappy water management boards, illiterate mow and blow crews who can't read an irrigation clock to save their life....think I'll stop there.

 

 

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Build darned dams everywhere you can, even small ones with local capacity only. The EE finances the built of such dams in Greece. Many will argue that dames destroy enviroment, but this argument is only a short viewing one. I can assert without any reservation how new life accumulates in previously dry land, fruiting trees (and palms) gather insects and birds (birds can learn within a short time to feed on previously unknown fruits) and birds can also learn quickly to drink and bath using the dripping system, they can even remeber when dripping system sets on and gather nearby a couple of minutes prior to start time.

There are already dams all over California, don't know how much room there is for more. There are also 38 million people in California, and a ton of agriculture. All in an fairly arid State.

Corpus Christi, TX, near salt water, zone 9b/10a! Except when it isn't and everything gets nuked back to the stone age of zone 8.

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Build darned dams everywhere you can, even small ones with local capacity only. The EE finances the built of such dams in Greece. Many will argue that dames destroy enviroment, but this argument is only a short viewing one. I can assert without any reservation how new life accumulates in previously dry land, fruiting trees (and palms) gather insects and birds (birds can learn within a short time to feed on previously unknown fruits) and birds can also learn quickly to drink and bath using the dripping system, they can even remeber when dripping system sets on and gather nearby a couple of minutes prior to start time.

There are already dams all over California, don't know how much room there is for more. There are also 38 million people in California, and a ton of agriculture. All in an fairly arid State.

We're in a relatively wet part of the state where we manage to get over 100 inches of rain per year in places, but 2013 provided maybe 30" out of those 100. We have 100% local supply. It's not just us that count on tbe rain, the entire ecosystem and the associated miles of redwoods need the rain.

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A lot of the water used in central CA is pumped from the underground aquifer by farmers and cities. Building dams is just going to take away from water that should be running under ground. Farmers already have to keep drilling deeper because all the water gets sent to southern CA, and also used faster that it is filling back up.

If it got real bad for several years, you would see a ban on watering landscaping, at least on lawns.

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Not good at all. This is what happens when a major population lives in an arid area. It's just a matter of time before a weather anomaly comes along and causes havoc. We've had similar issues on the west coast of Oz, but admittedly we get 3 times So Cal's rainfall and we have around 2 million population so we are nowhere near as efficient in water use as those in So Cal. Here they have built desalination plants along the coast. These use large amounts of energy, but we are now seeing more and more wind farms being set up to supposedly take the pressure off fossil fuel energy production.

I don't envy So Cal's situation. Often governments, instead of being forward thinkers and planning for these inevitable situations, just hope it doesn't happen in their term of office and do nothing or very little, until the problem is so severe that doing nothing will cost them votes. Here in the west of Oz, we have a huge water source in our tropical north, that dwarfs all water sources around, in Lake Argyle in the Ord river. They've been talking about bringing a pipe down to Perth since the 60's. It seems they can do it with a gas pipeline, but as yet they've done nothing with the water pipeline. I suppose you can't export water.

I think water will be one of those most valuable resources that as Earths population climbs and we keep damaging the environment will likely be the cause of future conflicts and problems.

  • Upvote 1

Millbrook, "Kinjarling" Noongar word meaning "Place of Rain", Rainbow Coast, Western Australia 35S. Warm temperate. Csb Koeppen Climate classification. Cool nights all year round.

 

 

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We'll have to deal with the situation and there will be mandatory conservation if the rains don't materialize but it's too early to panic. These drought predictions have occurred many times in the past before late winter and spring rains turned things around despite previous predictions of continued dry weather.

Jim in Los Altos, CA  SF Bay Area 37.34N- 122.13W- 190' above sea level

zone 10a/9b

sunset zone 16

300+ palms, 90+ species in the ground

Las Palmas Design

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Elegant Homes and Gardens

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Yep, I fully agree with Tyrone's final conclusion. We focus to much on the problem of fossil-fuels and overlook the imminent and more vital future problem.

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We'll have to deal with the situation and there will be mandatory conservation if the rains don't materialize but it's too early to panic. These drought predictions have occurred many times in the past before late winter and spring rains turned things around despite previous predictions of continued dry weather.

It's called miracle March and it has never failed until last Spring. This year, there is the potential for such a failure again.

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Not good at all. This is what happens when a major population lives in an arid area. It's just a matter of time before a weather anomaly comes along and causes havoc. We've had similar issues on the west coast of Oz, but admittedly we get 3 times So Cal's rainfall and we have around 2 million population so we are nowhere near as efficient in water use as those in So Cal. Here they have built desalination plants along the coast. These use large amounts of energy, but we are now seeing more and more wind farms being set up to supposedly take the pressure off fossil fuel energy production.

I don't envy So Cal's situation. Often governments, instead of being forward thinkers and planning for these inevitable situations, just hope it doesn't happen in their term of office and do nothing or very little, until the problem is so severe that doing nothing will cost them votes. Here in the west of Oz, we have a huge water source in our tropical north, that dwarfs all water sources around, in Lake Argyle in the Ord river. They've been talking about bringing a pipe down to Perth since the 60's. It seems they can do it with a gas pipeline, but as yet they've done nothing with the water pipeline. I suppose you can't export water.

I think water will be one of those most valuable resources that as Earths population climbs and we keep damaging the environment will likely be the cause of future conflicts and problems.

Yes , as Nostradamus predicted 500 yrs ago..World War 3 will be fought for "Water".. Climate is certainly changing , population is certainly exploding and "some " areas of the World are becoming "drier" and some areas are becoming "wetter". "Nothing Lasts Forever" Pete :)

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Let's hope that Accuweather's forecast is correct and we have significant rains in CA the first and second weeks of January. If so, maybe it will be the start of good things to come.

Jim in Los Altos, CA  SF Bay Area 37.34N- 122.13W- 190' above sea level

zone 10a/9b

sunset zone 16

300+ palms, 90+ species in the ground

Las Palmas Design

Facebook Page

Las Palmas Design & Associates

Elegant Homes and Gardens

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Let's hope that Accuweather's forecast is correct and we have significant rains in CA the first and second weeks of January. If so, maybe it will be the start of good things to come.

My long range "go to" charts also indicate the storm door opening for the first half of January. And it looks like 'warmer' (less northerly) storms. That would be nice.

animated-volcano-image-0010.gif.71ccc48bfc1ec622a0adca187eabaaa4.gif

Kona, on The Big Island
Hawaii - Land of Volcanoes

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My 2 cents.....

The current 'plan' to divert water via canals from the delta to SoCal will cause the death of the habitats in the California Delta, destroy the agriculture, and the bargain, cost $67 billion for which there is no mechanism to repay.

Imagine how many desalinization plants could be built for the same money......oh, that's right, no construction on the precious Pacific Coast.....

John Case

Brentwood CA

Owner and curator of Hana Keu Garden

USDA Zone 9b more or less, Sunset Zone 14 in winter 9 in summer

"Its always exciting the first time you save the world. Its a real thrill!"

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I find it amazing the taxpayer costs and tenacity of those fat cats involved, just to supply socal with water to build more houses for wealthy people.( if the water was for Ag , I would be ok with it. )

My plan....Tear down the stinking SoCal Ghettos first, then create "green" ghetto high rises camouflaged in the shape of giant Jubeas just like they do cell towers .

( the displaced people could live with relatives)

These new green high rises ( Ghetto's ) would be designed to use a minimum water and capitalize of socal's mild climate without power hungry A/C or heat units. this will save a lot of water and electricity.( the energy saved, would then be sent north to the San Joaquin valley and SF bay Area and sold at discounted rates to subsidise high electricity costs during our chilly winter and broiling summers.

Then use the money that is earmarked for a tunnel under the delta to create a subway tunnel under LA to relieve the crazy freeway system.

Leave Norcal delta water alone.... SF bay area needs it to build there version on LA.

LOL... I say these things tongue in cheek of course.

Modesto, CA USDA 9b

July/August average 95f/63f

Dec/Jan average 55f/39f

Average lowest winter temp 27f

Record low temp 18f

Record high temp 113f

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Let's hope that Accuweather's forecast is correct and we have significant rains in CA the first and second weeks of January. If so, maybe it will be the start of good things to come.

My long range "go to" charts also indicate the storm door opening for the first half of January. And it looks like 'warmer' (less northerly) storms. That would be nice.

Which charts do you look at? Currently no rain in sight at least until Jan 12. NWS says this:

UNFORTUNATELY THE REGION IS FORECAST TO REMAIN DRY THROUGH AT

LEAST THE NEXT 7 TO 10 DAYS. THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTERS 8 TO

14 DAY OUTLOOK (VALID FROM JANUARY 6TH THROUGH JANUARY 12TH) CALLS

FOR WELL BELOW NORMAL PRECIPITATION FOR THE ENTIRE STATE OF

CALIFORNIA.

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Let's hope that Accuweather's forecast is correct and we have significant rains in CA the first and second weeks of January. If so, maybe it will be the start of good things to come.

My long range "go to" charts also indicate the storm door opening for the first half of January. And it looks like 'warmer' (less northerly) storms. That would be nice.

Which charts do you look at? Currently no rain in sight at least until Jan 12. NWS says this:

UNFORTUNATELY THE REGION IS FORECAST TO REMAIN DRY THROUGH AT

LEAST THE NEXT 7 TO 10 DAYS. THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTERS 8 TO

14 DAY OUTLOOK (VALID FROM JANUARY 6TH THROUGH JANUARY 12TH) CALLS

FOR WELL BELOW NORMAL PRECIPITATION FOR THE ENTIRE STATE OF

CALIFORNIA.

Yep - things backed off about 24 hrs. after I posted. When I posted it had three storms marching right into north/central CA.

But here is what I used. You may be interested. Go to the chart in the lower left - you can java animate out 384 hours with precipitation and some other metrics.

http://weather.hawaii.edu

animated-volcano-image-0010.gif.71ccc48bfc1ec622a0adca187eabaaa4.gif

Kona, on The Big Island
Hawaii - Land of Volcanoes

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  • 2 weeks later...

So here's the tally so far for our area, direct from the National Weather Service:

CLIMATE...SAN FRANCISCO HAS REPORTED MEASURABLE RAINFALL ONLY 6
DAYS SO FAR FOR THE WATER YEAR (GOING BACK TO JULY 1, 2013). THAT TIES
THE RECORD FOR FEWEST NUMBER OF DATES.

WITH JUST 1.30" OF RAIN SO FAR FOR THE CURRENT WATER YEAR, SANTA
CRUZ IS HAVING ITS DRIEST START ON RECORD. IN A TYPICAL YEAR,
12.55" WOULD ALREADY BE RECORDED.

The long term forecasts are suggesting the storm door opens Jan 20th for some more significant rainfall. But until then, nothing but trace rainfall is predicted.

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No rain in sight, any sign of rain for Jan has dissapeared. Drought expected to worsen.

RIDGE OF HIGH PRESSURE WILL BUILD BEHIND THE TROF AS IT HEADS TO

THE EAST. LATEST GUIDANCE IN HAS GOOD AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE MODELS

THAT THE RIDGE WILL RESTRENGTHEN ENOUGH TO PUSH THE STORM TRACK

BACK TO ALASKA AND CANADA. ZERO SIGNS OF ANYTHING UNDERCUTTING THE

RIDGE, IN FACT LONGER RANGE GUIDANCE ACTUALLY HAS THE RIDGE

SPREADING OUT AND COVERING MORE OF THE WESTERN CONUS. THINGS LOOK

SO DRY THAT THE 16 DAY GFS SHOWS VIRTUALLY NO RAINFALL FOR THE

ENTIRE PERIOD FOR ALL OF CALIFORNIA. INSTEAD OF TALKING ABOUT

PACIFIC STORMS AND HYDRO ISSUES, THE LAST FULL WEEK OF JANUARY

WILL FEATURE MORE RECORD HIGHS AND FIRE WEATHER CONCERNS.

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If drought continues to next summer, you will have problems with soil, even if you irrigate, soil will constrict and many roots will die back.

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Does Cali have any sort of tax credit or water bill reduction for homeowners who employ a cistern or water barrel collection system to provide for landscaping needs?

Something we've been toying with is the use of aquifers as a storage space for water. If they can agree on methods to avoid groundwater contamination, they would like to pump water into the aquifer that would have otherwise been lost to run-off and then extract that water later during the lean times. I'm not as familiar with California geology, but there should be at least a few formations that could accommodate stored water in this way?

As for the canals plan. I agree, really really dumb. Considering how well the technology is working lately, explain to me again why you can't have a couple dozen desalination plants on the coast? Or even, do it a couple miles inland and pipe the sea-water in and the brine out?

Edited by Funkthulhu

"Ph'nglui mglw'napalma Funkthulhu R'Lincolnea wgah'palm fhtagn"
"In his house at Lincoln, dread Funkthulhu plants palm trees."

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If drought continues to next summer, you will have problems with soil, even if you irrigate, soil will constrict and many roots will die back.

I don't even want to think as to what this could mean. The soil is already bone dry, this is definitely a disaster in the making. If we continue to not get any rain, soil constriction is the last of my worries. Large portions of the West's forests will burn. This includes all of California, Nevada and Oregon and other parts of the West. All the redwoods up and down the coast are critically endangered as there has NEVER been a period this dry in the history of recorded weather.

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Looks very bad here.

Way above normal temps have made things worse.

Here in Modesto, we've had only 1.5 inch of rain since July.

Jeff

Modesto, CA USDA 9b

July/August average 95f/63f

Dec/Jan average 55f/39f

Average lowest winter temp 27f

Record low temp 18f

Record high temp 113f

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As per NWS tonite:

DISCUSSION...AS OF 9:10 PM PST TUESDAY...AT THE CLOSE OF THIS

CALENDAR DAY WE ENTER A DEEPER PHASE OF THE CALIFORNIA DROUGHT

LARGELY UNSEEN BY MANY ALIVE TODAY. THIS IS CERTAINLY THE CASE FOR

SAN FRANCISCO AS ONE WOULD HAVE TO GO BACK PRIOR TO SAN FRANCISCO`S

RECORD KEEPING (1850) TO FIND DRIER CALENDAR YEARS...AND AS OF

MIDNIGHT TONIGHT...DRIER WATER YEARS...IF THEY EXIST. THE SEVERITY

OF THIS SERIOUS LACK OF RAINFALL GROWS BY THE DAY AND WILL SERVE

AS A BENCHMARK FOR FUTURE ANOMALOUS WEATHER PATTERN AND CLIMATE

STUDIES AND RESEARCH. FOR MORE INFO ON SAN FRANCISCO`S CURRENT

WATER YEAR PLEASE REFER TO THE CLIMATE SECTION BELOW.

IS THERE ANY RAIN IN SIGHT? UNBELIEVABLY NO. WE DO NOT SEE ANY HINT

OR SIGN OF AN APPRECIABLE JET STREAM PATTERN SHIFT FAVORABLE TO BRING

RAIN TO CALIFORNIA IN THE NEXT 10 DAYS WITH MODERATE TO HIGH CONFIDENCE.

THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER FORECASTS AN ABOVE NORMAL LONG-WAVE

RIDGE TO BE STUCK OVER THE WESTERN CONUS AT LEAST THROUGH DAY 10

WITH SOME POSSIBLE SUBSIDING OF THE LONG-WAVE RIDGE IN DAYS 8-14.

OF COURSE THE ONGOING RAIN DEFICIT SINCE JANUARY 2013 WILL VERY

SOON BE SETTING A NEW DAILY PRECEDENT EVERY WAY ONE LOOKS AT IT

USING STATISTICS...UNTIL IF ANY APPRECIABLE RAINFALL ARRIVES. AS

AN ASIDE...TYPICALLY THERE IS A MID-WINTER BREAK FROM RAINFALL

APPROXIMATELY THIS TIME OF YEAR...EVEN IN A STRONG EL NINO/ABOVE

NORMAL RAIN SEASON THERE IS A SHORT AND PERCEIVABLE BREAK FROM THE

RAIN (LASTING ~1 WEEK IN EL NINO YEARS AND SLIGHTLY LONGER IN ENSO

NEUTRAL YEARS).

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Does Cali have any sort of tax credit or water bill reduction for homeowners who employ a cistern or water barrel collection system to provide for landscaping needs?

Something we've been toying with is the use of aquifers as a storage space for water. If they can agree on methods to avoid groundwater contamination, they would like to pump water into the aquifer that would have otherwise been lost to run-off and then extract that water later during the lean times. I'm not as familiar with California geology, but there should be at least a few formations that could accommodate stored water in this way?

As for the canals plan. I agree, really really dumb. Considering how well the technology is working lately, explain to me again why you can't have a couple dozen desalination plants on the coast? Or even, do it a couple miles inland and pipe the sea-water in and the brine out?

Because your thoughts make too much sense that's why. And the California Coastal Commission has no common sense either.
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Just read another story about the delta project. $25 billion.. could be better spent on desalination. Considering the states current population, suggested future growth, and the fact that most people still scoff at the thought of giving up their lawns, I don't see how digging a tunnel, let alone diverting more water is going to solve the water issues there + have enough for Ag interests + enough for all the ecosystems which depend on it.

-Nathan-

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:crying:

post-126-0-10734900-1389989138_thumb.jpg

Matt Bradford

"Manambe Lavaka"

Spring Valley, CA (8.5 miles inland from San Diego Bay)

10B on the hill (635 ft. elevation)

9B in the canyon (520 ft. elevation)

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:crying::bemused::crying:

reserv.jpg

Wunderground blog with more discussion.

FolsomLake2014_001.jpg

Folsom Lake

FolsomLake2014_011.jpg

Source for images: Ron's Photo World

Grasses germinated with Nov-Dec rains failed to grow. No green hills yet. Live oaks are holding fewer leaves. Fruit trees are emerging from dormancy early exposing the flowers to frost damge risk. Native plants are waking up but with little water in soil. If this continues the native woodlands and forests will build up a lot of dead wood this summer setting the stage for a horrible fire season. Soils are August-like dry, compacting, and crusting which will inhibit percolation if/when rains return. If it rains too hard it will just run off.

No rain predicted for rest of January. If the snaking jet stream shifts east it may bring some moisture but more likely colder dry air from Alaska. We need the jet to straighten out to bring Pacific moisture from due west to catch up.

February and March will tell our fate.

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80º f right now, 11% rh. Dang, I love this weather, but it's dry.

Matt Bradford

"Manambe Lavaka"

Spring Valley, CA (8.5 miles inland from San Diego Bay)

10B on the hill (635 ft. elevation)

9B in the canyon (520 ft. elevation)

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Well, so much for that... showers are no longer in the forecast. No surprise. I am going to try and get my stuff green and watered now because it might be a lonnng summer with big restrictions

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This is really starting to get scary. Expect some pretty serious produce and fruit shortages this year, prices will skyrocket.

Looks like many ranchers are selling their horses to slaughter houses because they can't afford the hay to keep them alive as the land is bone dry and the grass isn't growing like it normally does.

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And to think .....all that water sitting there in the Pacific and no desalination plants because of government and bureaucracy.

David Simms zone 9a on Highway 30a

200 steps from the Gulf in NW Florida

30 ft. elevation and sandy soil

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