The reports have been alarming Beverly Hills residents, along with the rest of California, for years. Higher temperatures and lower rain total over an extended period resulted in virtually all of the state experiencing moderate to severe drought. This crisis prompted the governor to declare a state of emergency in 2014.
While the water-saving measures since that state of emergency designation happened have eased water usage to some extent, the real hero of this crisis was stormy old Mother Nature herself.
Just how severe has the state’s drought been? A staggering 95 percent of California was under some degree of mild to severe drought conditions before the onset of the past winter season, a crisis extending back at least five years.
But a combination of heavy rainstorms in some parts of the state -- notably the flooded regions near San Jose -- as well as snow accumulation in the crucial Sierra Nevadas, have combined to wipe out most of California’s official drought conditions. The storms also built up snowpack amounts in the areas which feed into the state’s streams, rivers and aquifers.
What’s even more amazing is that most of the recovery from the long drought, which held the state in its grip for at least five years, was achieved in such a short period -- the first two months of 2017.
How the Recovery Helps Beverly Hills Residents and Other Californians
In times of widespread drought, California's economy, which is heavily reliant on agriculture, has been in serious jeopardy. The problem extends beyond the individual farm, vineyard and orchard owners to the complex consumer and corporate system depending on those goods, whether it’s on an investment level, or simply for shoppers concerned about affordable, high-quality produce.
The drought also threatened to impact the quality of drinking water and the availability of energy through hydropower. Boating, swimming, gardening and a host of other recreational activities have additionally been impacted.
Beverly Hills residents, in particular, felt a bit of an economic pinch, after being fined in 2015 for not meeting water conservation standards. And throughout the city and around the state, air quality and natural beauty were on the line, as millions of trees succumbed to drought conditions.
Cautious optimism is the watchword of the moment, as local and state officials collect more data about snowpack totals and groundwater levels. Of course, water conservation methods such as drought-tolerant landscaping and low-flow showerheads should never go out of style.
But it’s possible that spring and summer activities like boating and fishing, as well as freshwater swimming and, of course, cooking with California’s famously fresh produce, may be in for something of a Renaissance in 2017.
Have you caught the spirit of optimism? To find out what’s in store for activities at the Beverly Hills Carmel, call us at 310-278-9720.