Weather in the Foothills

Posted by on May 3rd, 2012 and filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

“The mystery of language was revealed to me. I knew then that ‘W-A-T-E-R’
meant the wonderful, cool something that was flowing over my hand.
That living word awakened my soul, gave it light, joy, set it free.”
                                                                                   ~ Helen Keller

Remember the scene from the classic movie, “ The Miracle Worker?” Helen Keller’s hand is held, by her teacher Anne Sullivan, under a stream of cold water as it pours forth from a hand pump. At this moment a connection is made outside of Helen’s dark and silent world, as the word W-A–T-E-R is spelled unto her palm. The very essence of life had also become the breakthrough in the life of a young girl.

As our rainy season ends, we start to evaluate our water reserves as every drop counts. Last week’s 100% chance of rain was a big disappointment. The rain-gauge barely recorded .50 of an inch. April showers are finished, May flowers are blooming and the seeds in my pumpkin patch have sprouted. A little more rain would be nice before the heat of summer arrives … but with each passing day our chances dwindle.

Water in the foothills? The folks at Crescenta Valley Water District are more than happy to share their time and knowledge.

A few weeks ago, I called the CVWD to compare my season rain totals with their recordings. Not only did I find out our calculations only differed by .10 of an inch (due to elevation difference), but at the present time local wells supply 70% of our water. During the summer it drops to 50%. Where are all these wells? Are they made of stone, have a wooden crank and bucket tied to a rope? Somehow I don’t think so.

Due to the protection of Home Land Security post 9-11, finding information regarding local drinking water (especially exact location of wells) is difficult. After extensive research and one more phone call to Dennis Erdman, civil engineer and general manager at CVWD, my questions were answered.

At this very moment in the Crescenta Valley, 13 out of 17 wells are considered active and are pumping water from an underground reservoir – the Verdugo Basin. Hundreds of feet below ground-level, rainwater has continued for millions of years to percolate through the porous sand and gravel to collect here. This water reserve covers a vast 4,400 acres bound by the San Gabriel Mountains, the Verdugo Mountains and the San Rafael Hills. The CV Water District serves approximately 32,000 customers. With conservation and purchase of water from other sources, we are able to sustain our population. Rainfall is crucial in our semi-desert climate.

May arrived wet. Rain or drizzle, it measured at .20 inches and puts our season total at 13.90 – 10 inches below average.

Temperatures will remain constant into next week, with highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s. Sunday breezes may clear the clouds, but not for long … “May grey” arrived right on schedule!

Sue Kilpatrick is a
Crescenta Valley resident and
Official Skywarn Spotter for the
National Weather Service. Reach her at  suelkilpatrick@gmail.com.

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