Highlights and Sticky Notes:Oroville >> People are wearing raincoats and watching water run down the gutter. However, the recent rains do not mean the end of California’s four-year drought.Butte County’s water resources scientist Christina Buck said the local rainfall is still only at about 89 percent of average for this time of year. That’s based on rain through last week and beginning Oct. 1, which is the start of the “water year.”Over the past four years more groundwater was pulled from wells, at the same time that rains were not replenishing that underground water supply. To get back to normal will take some time, and a lot of rain.Other areas, in and around Chico, for example, have seen groundwater decrease 10-15 feet since 2004, Buck explained via the charts.The overall average change of all the wells monitored in the county was negative 2 feet, Buck explained.This included 88 wells that registered lower, and 22 that were actually higher.The county’s proposal is to conduct preliminary mapping for a recharge area, using Butte Water District, mentioned above.Carol Perkins, a water advocate for Butte Environmental Council, told the members of the Water Commission that she hopes when those groundwater jurisdictions are established, they will consider watersheds, rather than existing water use boundaries. Some examples of watersheds are Butte Creek, Big Chico Creek and the Feather River, she said.
“This might give groundwater dependent farmers a more prominent voice in this process,” Perkins said.“As it stands right now, our only voice is the county for those areas.”Tags: water, california, Chico, Butte County, rain, droughtby: rdifalco