Paul Kaplan Group - Bennion Deville Homes

The Blob: The answer to the drought in California and Palm Springs

Posted by Paul Kaplan on Tuesday, May 12th, 2015 at 9:48am

7-10-15 -  Update to post-  more news about our wet winter expected this year.  CLICK HERE


California Desert

A frequent question I get as a real estate agent in Palm Springs here at The Paul Kaplan Group, is "What about the drought?"

As a native of southern California, I have seen my share of droughts over the years.  In the 1970s, it was quite severe and the State of California enforced strict water restrictions-  including not washing your cars, refraining from watering your lawn during the days, avoiding flushing your toilets.  Fines were imposed on those that were not able to conserve water.

It wasn't until the past few weeks, that Gov. Jerry Brown set a statewide water conservation goal of 25 percent, and California’s Water Resources Control Board set specific reduction targets for individual water districts.  All over Palm Springs, you'll see evidence of our citizens trying to cut back -  decorative lawns are being replaced with desert scape everywhere you look.  The City of Palm Springs has been offering cash for lawn replacement programs as an additional incentive.  I personally replaced about 1/2 of my lawn with a deck and additional fruit trees, (trying to do my part!)

Palm Springs

In my experience, however droughts are often followed by climate changes that bring on intense tropical rains.  This is what occured in the 70s and the 90s.  Back then, the big term in the news was "El Nino" which produced extensive rainfall, which eventually got us out of the drought.

So how long will this drought last?  Today, I read an artical from the Coachella Valley blog, titled, "Climate Scientists See Evidence Drought Will End Next Winter."  A new term seems to be emerging, called "the Blob." 

"this meteorological phenomenon could herald the impending end of California’s devestating drought, according to JPL’s Bill Patzert and other respected climate scientists." 

Apparently, the Blob is this century's version of an El Nino.  Per the article, the Blob refers to an amorphous mass of water warmer than what surrounds it off the coast of North America. Unusually cold or warm water masses have been linked to climate patterns onshore, notably the wet phenomenon dubbed El Nino.  Recent climate conditions have indicated to scientists that the Blob may be a sign of wet weather to come. The last time it appeared – in 1997 – it was followed within months by one of California’s wettest El Nino winters ever.

California Drought

 The good news, as stated in this article,

"Whether it’s this year or next, it’s [heavy rain] coming. This will not be a mega drought,” Patzert said, quashing the notion that the type of decades-long drought that geological records indicate can occur every few centuries.

So-  to get back to the concerns of many of our clients, yes you should be concerned about the drought.  We should all continue to conserve water.  However this drought, like others I've experienced in my lifetime, seems to be part of the typical California climate cycle.  Is it safe to buy real estate? In my opinion YES!  And if this article is accurate, the Paul Kaplan Group may need to invest in some umbrellas for all our clients that purchase houses this year, to prepare for the wet weather to come next winter.

For more information on this and to read the article, visit the following link:

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