California’s severe drought has reached epic proportions, with little snowfall throughout the Sierra Nevada Mountains in recent winters, and with reservoir levels all over the state withering to all-time lows. Everywhere, homeowners are increasingly turning to alternative landscapes, with synthetic grass turf the often-favored choice. Minimal water requirements and a clean, beautiful surface enable houses to have a delectably manicured lawn without any worries over major droughts and high water bills.
But weather forecasters are now predicting a major development in the current drought. El Nino has returned, and scientists are predicting extensive weather patterns for the entire West Coast, specifically the charming area of Southern California. Will heavy rains and snow across the state finally bring an end to the drought and allow yards to grow with real green grass again?
Maybe, but a closer look at the evidence shows that this may be false hope. For one, a prediction of an El Nino winter doesn’t mean that there will definitely be higher precipitation in California; it just raises the odds. Additionally, the results of such an occurrence happening usually just means lots of rain for the southern part of the state. While that may temporarily give some much needed rainwater to areas like Los Angeles, Anaheim, and San Diego, it won’t fill the reservoirs up north, and much of the water will flow wasted down into the ocean.
Another problem with increased rain in Southern California is the associated risk of flooding and mudslides. The drought has caused much of the soil to become dry and chalky. When heavy rains come to such an area, the caked ground has trouble soaking it in and often gives way, wreaking havoc and damage to property and threatening lives.
What will actually end the California drought are a couple years of good snowfall in the mountain areas like Tahoe and Yosemite. When the snowpack melts in the spring, the water fills up rivers and streams that head south through the Central Valley, providing relief to farmers and helping boost the reservoirs. This will boost the struggling agriculture of the state and finally give some water to the many lakes that have dried up entirely throughout California. It will also add vital supplies to our struggling groundwater systems.
But this is something that will take a couple years, perhaps even longer given the immense population and heavy farming that currently takes place in the state. Also, given the severe situation of this drought, who’s to say another drought won’t happen again in just a few years after this current one? The reality is that California may never truly regain the ability to completely water all the residents who call this state home with our current water usage. For this reason, homeowners would be wise to adopt an artificial grass lawn. Every drop of water is becoming more and more precious here, and even an El Nino winter won’t stop the calamity of our shrinking waterways. With synthetic yards providing a cheaper alternative to natural grass lawns and a far more environmentally sound alternative, the answer is obvious: If you happen to live in California and care about this state (and your water bill), you need to remove the grass and find an alternative solution.