Drought, What Drought?

Welcome Golden Gate ASHRAE members and friends,

As I write this we’re just a week into Spring and still more rain is forecasted for Northern California in what has been a record setting rainfall year in some regions of California. While just last week the USGBCNCC/PG&E/EBMUD/AIASF helped put together the 2017 Water Conservation Showcase in San Francisco to help further awareness and action towards further water conservation.

As shown in Figure 1 most of the major reservoirs in California have recovered from the past 5+ years of drought with most already above their average annual capacity. As of last week, we also had snowpack levels at 160% of normal for the state. So, are we out of the woods regarding the drought? While this question is likely to elicit a wide range of opinions, most experts had already predicted greater fluctuations in both rainfall and snowpack in California’s future and one government site shows that half to a third of California is still considered to be in a drought, mostly in Southern California (see Figure 2).

I have done my own research, I have read the opinions from many state and national experts on the subject, and this engineer for one is not backing off on his efforts to conserve water at home or in my design practices at work; also, my dream of someday owning a net zero energy stationary lap pool will have to remain a dream for now.

Tyler Bradshaw,

2016-2017 Golden Gate ASHRAE President

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