Is there a drought in California?

In California it’s always been about the WATER.  Is there a drought in California?

I had a beautiful trail ride a couple of weeks ago along the shore (well, it used to be the shore) of Lake San Antonio.  Beautiful grasses were growing and cattle grazing where the lake USED to be!  Nice for trail riding but I’m afraid that this pretty Spring picture is not a IMG_2140sign of good news for the farmers.

No one is really SAYING that California is having a drought, but here locally, where farmers like the Cagliero’s depend on rainfall to grow the native grasses to feed the cattle or grow the hay, there’s a drought.Cagliero Farm  When it doesn’t rain enough, more money is spent on electricity to run the well pumps, and more labor is needed to move the irrigation pipe more frequently.  It’s just math.  The farmers know we’re in a drought.

And at the ranches I visited last week on the Chamber of Commerce Ag Tour, where there are large herds of cattle, are all making plans to eliminate a portion of their herds in order to financially survive these dry years.  Add to that the declining water tables in Paso Robles and the lack of Delta water available for the farmers in the Salinas Valley, and we’re all thinking about doing the raindance!

John Steinbeck, who was raised in the Salinas Valley, once said that in the dry years everyone forgets about the wet years, and in the wet years, people forget that we ever had dry years.  We’ll there’s something to that!  Eight years ago I remember we had 26″ of rain at our house.  This past year we may have gotten 10″.   But if Steinbeck is right, there’s are flood years ahead as well!

One more example.  I just returned from a trail ride in Ranch Oso, east of Lake Cachuma.  (You probably think that all I ever do is ride, but if you work with me, you’ll know I spend most of my time with clients, selling real estate – I usually just dream alot about riding).  I’ve been to the area many times.  Ralph at Rancho OsoWe rode into the Santa Ynez river bed the first day where we are normally plunging our horses into chest deep water.  This time there was NO water.  The riverbed in that spot was dry sand and rocks.

There’s a drought in California.  Hold on to your water bottles and go fix the irrigation lines on your property.  We all need to conserve!

Joanie Williams

“Always Expect the Best”

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