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18 Trillion Gallons of Water Inundate California

California is known as a perpetually sunny and pleasantly warm paradise. But residents of the Golden State have faced a startlingly wet and tumultuous February, with over 18 trillion gallons of rain soaking the state. Albert Hammond may have crooned that “it never rains in Southern California,” but the most recent tally of the damage from the National Weather Service tells a different story.

Improved Drought Conditions

ABC Meteorologist Mike Nicco noted that the total volume of rain that has hit California as of this week is about half the total volume of Lake Tahoe. This rain may not be ideal for vacationers and surfers, but this massive influx of rain has significantly helped improve the drought conditions in the state, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

One of the most important developments as a result of the rain storms is the replenishment of the Sierra snowpack. As of February 15th the snowpack was at 141 percent of normal, compared to the 21 percent of normal it was at on the same date last year.

Just months ago much of the landscape spreading from Southern California to the Bay Area was mired and blackened by a swell of wildfires. The wet winter and nonstop rain storms have greened up the dry vistas of California and  brought life to huge stretches of forests and wildlife preserves.

In wake of the rain storms only 1.6% of California remains in severe drought, with 9 percent in moderate drought and 52 percent deemed “moderately dry.” Though this rain has quenched much of parched California it is worth noting that nearly two-thirds of the state is still experiencing dry conditions that can easily slip back into dangerous drought territory.

Flooding and Mudslides

The endless rain storms have brought plenty of damage to counteract the improved drought conditions. In drought-prone states the ground is not acclimated to soak up water when torrential rain hits, causing flooding, mudslides, and plenty of property damage. This month the storms in California have caused freeways to flood and canyon roads throughout the state to be significantly damaged.

Flash flooding and severe rain storms took five lives at the end of January when the rain storms first began. Most of the fatalities were in flood-related car accidents. It is imperative for residents of California to heed weather warnings and to change travel plans during flash flood warnings.

Flooding is a serious issue that can cause long-term damage to your plumbing and to the overall quality of your drinking water. If you live in an area impacted by flash flooding, mud slides, and power outages as a result of the rain storms in California read our blog to learn how to ensure your drinking water is safe. For safer, cleaner after after flooding we recommend a UV filter system to safeguard against common pathogens including viruses, E. coli, cryptosporidium, and giardia.

Even though some of California has replenished their water supplies there is still a concentrated effort to conserve water across the state. Salt-based water softeners waste thousands of gallons of water per year — consider switching to a water softener alternative with salt free technology with a carbon filter system for cleaner drinking and bathing water for your whole home. A water softener alternative does not waste water and uses no electricity, making it an eco-friendly option.