It’s no secret that California has been in a brutal drought for the past few years. It started all the way back in December 2011, when parts of northern and southern California became “abnormally dry” – the least serious classification of a drought. But at the height of the drought in 2015, more than half of the entire state of California was under “Exceptional Drought,” – the most extreme classification – and all of us, from the Central Coast, to San Diego, and of course the farming-centric Central Valley, felt the effects.
For the past five years, there have been water restrictions, orders from our governor Jerry Brown, and heavy news coverage reflecting the stories of rural Californians with literally no water to survive on. The drought was perhaps the biggest news story that California shared with the rest of the country, and it affected other states as well due to California’s huge agricultural impact. Prices for produce skyrocketed across the country!
Thankfully, this rainy season, the Sierra Nevadas have gotten 173% of normal snowfall, indicating a replenishing of the thirsty land, and potentially, getting rid of this pesky drought! We’ve had heavy rains and snowstorms all throughout California, and the LA Times reports that now, California is not experiencing exceptional drought – anywhere! In San Luis Obispo county particularly, we’ve had over five inches of rainfall in the past couple months. Despite the consistent rain, we’re so happy that it looks like the drought is getting better. No longer in “Exceptional Drought,” San Luis Obispo County is now two classifications lower in “Severe Drought.” It still might sound bad, but it’s a vast improvement, and about half of California is actually not experiencing drought at all.
There’s still a long way to go. We doubt that the California government will change the water conservation efforts, or eliminate the need for regular citizens to conserve water in their daily lives. We’re not out of the woods yet, but with a little more rainfall and some time, we could be out of the drought for good. But with the hills bright and green due to the recent rainfall, we’re enjoying the Central Coast life, and even more excited for the beautiful wildflowers that will no doubt bloom brightly and healthily come spring.