Yes, this drought is bad, but as our friends at the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences point out, with crisis comes opportunity. Dry years are always tough on fish, but fortunately California’s native trout, steelhead and salmon have survived drought periods many times in the past. But, we need healthy populations to be able to make it through these tough times. That means when times are good and wet, our native salmonids need to be able to take full advantage of the situation and build populations that are more resilient to and able to persist during these dry times.
From the California WaterBlog article:
California’s history is punctuated by droughts (Hanak et al 2011). Each drought reveals problems and becomes an opportunity to focus on improving water management and expanding smaller-scale innovations.
We agree that drought can lead to fundamental changes in the way water is managed in California. Shining a spotlight on the way we use water, where water is used inefficiently, and how imbalanced the price of water is for different users is all ripe for revamped policies on water management.