After flushing a trillion gallons into the Pacific, California finally gets rain

6851554027_fa3b330a50_zA rain delay for the San Diego Padres is as rare as, well … rain in California. After a five year drought that has been a financial disaster to hundreds of thousands employed in many of the Golden State’s agricultural businesses, California has thankfully received measurable precipitation as reported by the Los Angeles Times on Oct. 31, 2014.

Even though the current storms are forecast to end sometime in the wee hours of Sunday morning, Californians who’ve found themselves subjected to everything from fines for watering their laws on the wrong day to complete and total financial ruin are grateful to see rain no matter how short the duration. While Mother Nature has been particularly cruel to the state, more than a few Californios blame the Feds for making an already bad situation worse.

After environmental activists eventually convinced a federal judge almost six years ago to save the Snail Darter fish from the edge of extinction, fresh water designated for the agricultural powerhouse that is California’s Central Valley would have to be purged from the state’s series of reservoirs, aqueducts, storage facilities and canals, only to be essentially flushed into the Pacific Ocean. The Snail Darter is normally cut up into hook-sized pieces by locals as bait.

As cited by the news portal on Feb. 15, 2014, the Eureka State’s planners constructed a water system over a half century ago that would ensure a ready supply of runoff water from Northern and Eastern California’s many snow-capped mountain ranges to be available to farmers and ranchers in the face of even a five-year drought. However, to save the Snail Darter, 3 million acre-feet of fresh water was dumped from the system.

One acre-foot of water is measured 1’x66’x660′ while a single acre-foot equals 325,851 gallons. The 3 million acre-feet lost to the ocean equates to nearly a trillion gallons of usable fresh water.

While rainfall in the Central Coast region could top out as much as 1.5 inches, “rainfall elsewhere is expected to be between a quarter-inch and three-quarters of an inch for most of the rest of the affected region.” According to National Weather Service specialist Stuart Seto, “Los Angeles will be on the low end with only about a quarter-inch of rain. But even that amount is more than the area has had in months.” The Greater Los Angeles area “hasn’t had a significant rainstorm since April 1, when one-tenth of an inch of rain was measured.”