Water Weather Rain

Episode #801

June 8, 2024

I used to talk to my best friend Pat about where to retire.
We were both looking to buy our last house.


Pat argued that due to global warming, southern California will succumb to drought. He believed that the water would run out. He focused his search on northern California, Oregon and Washington. I have lived in SoCal all my life and did not want to leave. 

Heeding his warning, Paula and I searched as far north as Bend, Oregon and as far east as Colorado. Most of these places were too remote for us. When we looked in SoCal, Pat’s belief that the water would run out was always at the back of our minds. Also, the dense population and expense of SoCal caused us to reject place after place. 

When we found property in the mountains of Riverside county it was at an altitude of 3600 feet with a valley aquifer 500 feet below. The aquifer is fed by a 4,700 foot granite volcanic mountain. As clouds scrape across the mountain the moisture is absorbed and transferred through granite fissures to the aquifer. It is this water that feeds our well. 

It was an informed risk to trust that water would continue to flow under our property. As clouds wash across the mountain chaparral, native plants such as evergreen Manzanita, Saltbush and Red Shank are watered. Water accumulates onto the ground directly from the clouds.

We bought the house in the mountain chaparral.

Drought was present here in Aguanga, but the cloud base continued to water our property. My conversations with Pat fostered a continuing tension about the time when draught would overcome the supply of water.

Last year global warming gave us an unexpected gift. The warming and evaporation of the eastern central equatorial Pacific ocean has created an El Niño weather pattern. El Niño pulls the jet stream south creating atmospheric rivers that flow through Southern California.

In the last three years our rainfall has gone from 4” to 13” to 20” annually. We had four snow days last year.

Ironically, in recent years, the north western coastal states that Pat and I were considering have experienced more severe draught and lower amounts of rainfall.

As with all weather, these conditions may reverse. Even though the time between El Niños is shortening, drought may continue to recur every four years or so. However, global warming should assure the continued evaporation of the Pacific Ocean and the delivery of water to our home.

For now, the flow of nature showers its life on ours.


“Skydivers Know Why Birds Sing” by Ricki T Thues is now available on Amazon.
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One Response

  1. Glenn Still June 8, 2024

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