There may not be much in common between California and Australia, but if there’s one thing Australia knows, it’s how to survive a long-term drought. And it’s this knowledge that California officials hope to use to handle impacts of the drought.
According to the latest Drought Monitor report, 99 percent of California is in a state of drought, including nearly 47 percent of the state in exceptional drought -- the highest level reported by the National Drought Mitigation Center.
USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey detailed in a monthly update just how dry the past few years have been, especially in downtown Los Angeles.
“Downtown Los Angeles completed its driest 4-year period on record, with 29.14 inches of rain (49 percent of normal) falling from July 1, 2011-June 30, 2015,” he reported. “The previous driest such 4-year period in the nearly 140-year history of Los Angeles climate records occurred from July 1, 1947-June 30, 1951, when 34.02 inches fell. “
No drought relief is expected through at least the beginning of October, but the state isn’t alone in its battle. According to CBS Sacramento in an article here, emergency help is coming from an unlikely source - Down Under.
Australian officials from the state of Victoria have promised to help Californians navigate through the drought. They bring their first-hand experience with prolonged drought. The four year drought seen in California pales in comparison with Australia’s Millennium Drought, which lasted from 1995 to 2012.
"Their collaboration with us, their best practices, how they ended up actually changing the culture of Australia to be more water efficient and more conservation oriented, those are great lessons for California," Mark Ghilarducci with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services told Capital Public Radio.