The Stream, March 3, 2020: Sacramento and San Francisco Record Zero Observed Rainfall in February

The Global Rundown

San Francisco, California, goes an entire month without measurable rain as the state slides further into drought, while Sacramento receives trace amounts. A weather expert warns that large storms will menace Wales with increasing frequency. Pattison Sand Co. submits a second request to export water from Iowa to western U.S. states, after withdrawing their original, larger request two weeks ago. Two agricultural engineers in Peru turn to ancient technology to preserve rain and glacier water. A new report examines the long-term impacts of Australia’s lengthening summers. 

“If it feels like Australian summers are getting longer and hotter, that is probably because they are. The summers many Australians grew up with no longer exist.” –A report by the Australia Institute, in reference to shifting weather conditions across the country. The discussion paper says it is “highly likely” that Australia’s summers will continue to become longer, hotter, and drier, a phenomenon that would lead to harsher bushfire seasons, intensifying heatwaves, and damages to crops and livestock. The Guardian

In context: In Australia, Echoes of Past, Glimpses of Future As Country Braces for Hot, Dry Summer

Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue

What’s Up With Water – March 2, 2020 — This week’s edition of What’s Up With Water includes coverage on a new law in Madhya Pradesh, India calling water a human right, a ruling against temporary well permits used in poultry operations in Oklahoma, and a an initiative in Chicago to help conserve water drawn from Lake Michigan.  

HotSpots H2O: Government Response Criticized as Third Storm Deluges the United KingdomLast month was the wettest February ever recorded in the United Kingdom, and more rain is expected over the next week, warns the country’s Met Office.

By The Numbers

3.21 inches Average February precipitation in downtown Sacramento. Trace amounts of rainfall were recorded by the National Weather Service at the Sacramento airport on the final day of February, breaking a dry spell that would have made it the first time on record for the city to go without rain for all of February. The city of San Francisco had no measurable rainfall observed for the entire month, the first time since 1864. Sacramento Bee

50 percent Increase in rainfall that the south Wales valleys could see over the next decade, according to Liz Bentley, an expert at the Royal Meteorological Society. Wales, along with the rest of the United Kingdom, sustained heavy rainfall and flooding from Storm Dennis in mid-February, and Bentley warns that the weather event was a “taste of things to come.” BBC

Science, Studies, and Reports

As mountain glaciers melt in Peru, water is dwindling for many people, including the Quechua indigenous community. In order to combat the growing scarcity, Quechua sisters and agricultural engineers Magdalena and Marcela Machaca are exploring the use of mountain lagoons, an ancient water-saving method, to secure water resources. The man-made lagoons capture rainwater during wet months, then replenish groundwater during the dry season, mimicking the role of mountain snowmelt. Reuters

In context: Mountain Regions, ‘Taking the Heat,’ Face Growing Hazards As Ice Melts, UN Climate Panel Warns

On the Radar

Two weeks ago, Iowa-based Pattison Sand Co. withdrew a request to export 2.1 billion gallons of water annually from Iowa to parched western U.S. states. The company has now submitted a second request, this time asking to export only 34 millions gallons each year. Des Moines Register 

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