The California drought is not over. The great hope for major replenishment of California's surface and groundwater supplies — the “Godzilla” El Niño — has failed thus far to live up to its super-sized hype, delivering only average amounts of rain and snow, primarily to the northern half of the state.
Average, however, is welcome. Average means that snowpack is visible atop the Sierra, water levels are rising in many reservoirs and a drought-fatigued public is getting a little emotional relief after enduring one “hottest-ever, driest ever” winter after another.
Average also means the State Water Project and the Central Valley Project, California's two major north-south water transfer aqueducts, can increase surface water deliveries to farmers and to Southern California cities in 2016, which will reduce groundwater pumping across the state in the months to come.
But, unfortunately, average is no drought-buster.