The Creek Beat: How Dry Are We?

This drought is starting to feel worse than the dry spell of 1977-78

Sports Basement uses the dry weather for a little marketing on Saturday
Sports Basement uses the dry weather for a little marketing on Saturday
I knew things were getting bad when I was driving home from San Ramon on Saturday afternoon and I put on the air conditioner.

It's mid-January. I should be using the windshield wipers.

On Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown declared what most of us already knew -- California is in a drought emergency.

The declaration makes it easier for state agencies to transfer water. It also makes it easier for local water districts to start adopting mandatory conservation measures.

It doesn't appear we're going to get any rainy miracles the next few months to bail us out either. The National Weather Services predicts the dry conditions will persist through April.

This current drought reminds me of the first winter I lived in the Bay Area. That was the 1977-78 season.

That was the end of three straight years of dry weather. Marin County was particularly hard hit, but I remember all of us flushing toilets with shower water and letting our lawns turn brown.

My memory may be faulty, but this drought seems worse.

First off, the numbers indicate this to some extent. The year 2013 was the driest on record in California. The gauge on Mount Diablo got showed 6.5 inches of rain this past year, 26 percent of average and significantly lower than 1977-78.

Plus, there are more people living here than there was three decades ago, so there's more demand for water.

The air, to me, just seems parched. It reminds me of growing up in East San Diego County. That's a semi-arid region. This isn't supposed to be.

I like the rain, at least during the winter months. I miss it.

I think our bodies get on a yearly clock and I think we are biologically expecting rain, so this January just doesn't feel right.

Not sure when it'll rain again, but I'm not optimistic.

The Sports Basement store near my home is using the dry weather as a marketing tool.

They had a sign up Saturday afternoon that said "20 Percent Off Until It Snows."

Let's hope that discount doesn't last for that long.


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