It feels like California’s 2011-2016 drought, our worst on record, had barely ended when the next one began. This is our second dry year in a row and, according to the state Department of Water Resources, the past winter tied for the third-driest on record. “Right now, California is dealing with a pretty severe and deepening drought,” said UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain. He calls this our second major drought within a decade and, if you’re like me, you’re wondering if we’ve done anything since the last one to help keep water flowing from our taps. The answer is yes.
Early during that record-breaking dry stretch, eight Bay Area water agencies that collectively serve six million people formed a partnership — called Bay Area Regional Reliability (BARR) — to bolster regional drought preparation. “Unlike in some places, Bay Area agencies have developed ties including relationships and infrastructure,” explained BARR co-project manager Bradley Ledesma, an East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) civil engineer. “When we hit record drought, it caused agencies to think about the bigger picture: how can we work together to increase resilience for the Bay Area?”
By Robin Meadows for Bay Area Monitor