Cal’s DroughtWatch anxiety is shifting to WetWoes


Yep, California is shifting from the longest dry spell in modern times to a year which looks to go down as it’s wettest-ever, at least foir major regions of the Golden State,

From the Los Angeles Times:

The frantic effort over the last few days to lower water levels at Oroville Dam after the structure’s two spillways became damaged is part of a larger drama playing out as California rapidly shifts from extreme drought to intense deluges.

Large swaths of the region are on track to experience their wettest winter on record, with many areas having already surpassed their average precipitation for an entire year.

And all that water is putting new strains on the network of dams, rivers, levees and other waterways that are essential to preventing massive flooding during wet years like this one.

The biggest danger zone lies in the Central Valley at the base of the Sierra Nevada, whose tall peaks can wring the skies of huge amounts of rain and snow. The area is essentially one giant floodplain that would be easily transformed into an inland sea without man-made flood control. At 400 miles long and 40 miles wide, it has only a tiny bottleneck from which to drain — a one-mile opening at the Carquinez Strait at San Pablo Bay — before water heads into the San Francisco Bay.

“You got this big bathtub — water doesn’t flow out of it very quickly,” said Jeffrey Mount, senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California and former director of the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences.

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