Lowest rainfall in 143 years

October 27, 2013

droughtDroopy trees, smelly lakes and wilted flowers blanket San Luis Obispo County as a result of the lowest rainfall experienced in 143 years.

The county is slipping further into drought with 3.5 inches of rainfall between January and October marking the driest year since record keeping began in 1870, according to PG&E meteorologist John Lindsey. The second lowest year for pre-October precipitation was 1984 with 4.3 inches of water.

Current precipitation levels are far from the average January through October rainfall of 16.49 inches, according to the weather channel. San Luis Obispo County averages 50 rainy days per-year with rainfall of 23 inches.

Rain is expected on Monday and Tuesday, though less than half an inch is predicted.



Anybody know how they determine this average because rain fall amounts are very variable in the county.


Even drought-tolerant trees are stressed.

If you usually don’t give supplemental water to your trees and large shrubs, but are concerned about the amount of dead leaves and branches and are considering irrigation, here are the things to consider:

1. If you irrigate deeply now, it will help bridge the dry days until we get a solid, decent rain.

2. Irrigating now, when the weather is cooler, lessens the chance of harmful soil fungi (the ones that kill tree roots) growing.

In my own landscape, I usually don’t irrigate the trees and large shrubs. However, this year the trees have shown signs of major drought stress, so I did a round of deep watering last week.

For those who where landscape irrigation simply isn’t possible due to lack of available water, just make sure there is a thick layer of mulch around the tree (a couple of inches away from the tree trunk, out to the leaf-canopy drip-line). It will help conserve any moisture in the soil. When it starts raining, you can remove the mulch and store it in a dry place. Then, when it quits raining in the spring, replace the mulch around the trees and shrubs.


Excellent tips, Mary! Thank you.

Ted Slanders

The Hebrew God of the Christian community has as much control over natural phenomena today as He did in the biblical era. As an example of great magnitude, He flooded the entire world and killed His creation of men and women, innocent fetus’ and babies, animals, etc., just because He was upset with them. Beware, this loving and forgiving God can do it again!

In His omnipotence He can stop the elemental forces in our modern world, like in this case, no rain. After all, Jesus Christ stilled a storm with just a few words, remember? (Mark 4:39). We need Jesus now to use His forces and provide California with rain!

What many Christians forget is that God’s will to let it rain in California comes with a condition: “If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them” (Leviticus 26:3). This command is what many Christians want to ignore, and subjectively and additionally, I blame it on the Catholics because of their noteworthy bad press of late, and other factors that California does to anger the Hebrew God!

Obedience to God is prerequisite to receiving the blessings of favorable weather and environmental conditions, according to passages like Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28. On the other hand, disobey God, and He says, “I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass: And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits” (Leviticus 26:19-20).

Job 38:28 reveals God as the father of rain! He is able to command storm clouds to serve His purposes (Job 37:11-13). Yes, sometimes God bathes the earth with gentle rain to show His loving concern and mercy—and other times God uses the weather to correct people! Deducing it to it’s irreducible primary, we’re in a “correction period” with God!

Christians, it’s a team effort, so start following ALL of the bible for a change to get our rain back on track! Thank you.


What is scarier than the drought is people still write crap like this. Your Hebrew god sounds like a very vengeful god! Thanks anyway, I would prefer I found my God in each and every one of us. My God doesn’t hide, he is here and in every one of us. When people finally get it, we will see less hell here on earth. War is hell! We have to stop killing people we don’t even know. Just because war is profitable to the industrialist, we pay the price with our children and brothers and sisters and also with our $$$. Stop and see the God in all people and for God’s sake, know that Love is the only thing that works best for all! Fear is used to manipulate people like you are attempting Ted.


Oh, for pete’s sake.


War is not just profitable to the “industrialist” – it has always been profitable for some people, long before any industry even existed (well, apart from prostitution and farming).

You may want to give some of the early Christian Church fathers a read: specifically St. John Chrysostom (the golden-tongue)… just a suggestion.


God already opened the fountains of the deep upon city hall ! he will not be mocked.

Jorge Estrada

Yes, we have a drought and the cities have used this to their advantage. They are after the water rights possessed by the rural property owners. This is manipulated through their creation of the recent ordinance that exempts cities and stops rural developement, of like nature, outside of the city limits.

Unfortunately the majority of voters live within some cityhood and allows this to happen. Is this the way things are done in the foreign countries that we send our children to, where they are shot and killed in the name of freedom, representing the U.S.A.?


No the recent ordinance is to try and slow down big rural water users like wineries from sucking the aquifers dry. When people’s well levels are noticeably receding each month it’s time to take action.

Jorge Estrada

Sounds altruistic but nobody has a right to force shallow wells to remain intact. Remember this drought is stronger than an ordinance and if wells need to be redrilled an ordinance fixes nothing.

The taxpayers are being abused into funding a taking for the benefit of bad gov that is using a personal issue to justify the taking of another personal right available to all.


The ignored truth.

According to the Counties Paso Robles Basin Water Demand Studies “1981 to 2012”

Rural Residential Water Demand increases by over 250%

Urban Water demand increases by over 216%

At the same time.

Agricultural Water demand decreases by 55%


Hey can you link to that report?

That said, the amount of vines planted in the last 25 years is huge, only +55% would be a suprise.


Agricultural Water demand decreases by 55%

Ag water demand has decreased because water-thrifty vines have replaced crops that have much greater water requirements.


The silence is deafening. . .

Jorge Estrada

In the news yesterday, The County of San Luis Obispo recieves a 1.4 million dollar grant for rural development.

If we now have an ordinance that stops rural development, should the County give the money back?

I think rural property owners should have access this money for their legal defense so that they can appropriately develop their land.


Not sure why people “freak out” over low rainfall periods, the weather is constantly changing (on it’s own or because we drive cars, whatever your personal world view is).

I was looking over the historical data from 1948-2005 and saw many years that were 0.00 inches, and other that were a lot. The overall mean precipitation seems fairly close to average, really… sure, it’s 0.8″ less than 1984, but really… the previous year (October 1, 1983) we had a record high of 5.21″.

All with a grain of salt.


I still fault Debbie Arnold for not taking this drought-fueled opportunity to expand the government.


Haha, good one! Reminds me of Rahm Emanuel, “You never want to let a serious crisis go to waste.”

need water

I blame Debby for continuing to allow vineyard expansion. The wink-wink sure build whatever you like, don’t worry about the water, we’ll fix that later.

I blame Frank for not letting people know the real crisis unfolding, and for letting greed blind city leaders.

They are ruining the Paso that we fell in love with. Shame on them.


Continue to allow?

She, and the others, do not, and should not have the authority to regulate that. It is a blatant Gibson powergrab.


Rain on Monday: Paso approves 700 homes and eleven new hotels…


Unfortunately, the city wants to approve much more than that: 1100+ new residences PLUS commercial development. The original plan did call for about 700 homes but of course the Paso leaders want to build, build, build…even though we do not have enough water for our current residents.

Concerned Paso Roblans: This Tues Oct 29 at 7pm is a public workshop re. the Beechwood Area Specific Plan. If you cannot attend this very important workshop at City Hall, contact the Paso City Councilmen. Council@prcity.com

Remind them that because of severe drought conditions (plus lack of road maintenance, infrastructure, etc) the Beechwood subdivision is a BAD IDEA for Paso.


I agree that with the current drought there should be more scrutiny than ever regarding water availability or non availability. That’s the micro view.

What I’m interested in is how would you feel about development if water wasn’t an issue. Remember Paso has an approved General Plan and as far as I know, this proposed development fits within that plan. That’s the macro view.


Judging from the botched leadership of Paso City Manager Jim App and past/present city councilmen, it’s ~their~ views that I don’t trust–micro AND macro.

Look at how they’ve handled the Lake Naci Pipeless mess, the extremely poorly maintained roads, the 3 year closure of Centennial Pool, the failed tenure of Lisa Chitty, the recent resignation of long-time city employee Charles Lorenzen because of theft allegations…

Now they want to build a large hotel complete with hobby vineyard near 46, 1000+ new homes off Beechwood, the Uptown Project on North Spring…despite the fact we’re in a historic drought and current residents have had 3+ years of mandatory water rationing.

If we supposedly have the water for 1000+ new homes, then we should also have enough to power wash our filthy downtown streets/sidewalks again, to use our sprinklers every day during summer, to hose down our driveways, etc…


if we get a little rian could we build more vineyards?

need water

Vineyards will be planting, and more vineyards will come unless people become very vocal about not letting it happen. Sadly, the people that want to leave the area, and sell, either because of little water, or not wanting to stay to see the impending crisis occur, aren’t going to be speaking out.