Reading some other California garden blogs, you'd think it was a good year water wise. Big storms early on, even in Southern California.
Except that I've been feeling as if all that rain has been falling on other people's garden. Am I just being paranoid, or has this really been an exceptionally dry year for the Santa Clara Valley? An easy way to find out is checking the Santa Clara Valley Water District's Precipitation gauge information.
Have a look. In the Northwest Watersheds, Dahl Ranch up in the hills has a fairly respectable 18 inches, but down here, Sunnyvale has 11 inches, Mountain View 10, and Palo Alto not much more than 8. With the average at about 15 inches, we're at about 2/3 of average, so unless we get another really good storm or two -- not too likely that late in the season -- this has indeed been a dry year.
For the whole district, things look a bit better but not much. While some locations weigh in at 44 inches, and Lexington Reservoir received 27 inches, the reservoirs across the district are only at 66.9%. Not catastrophic, but not great.
I feel lucky to have native plants in my garden, but I also know that they won't look great unless they get at least average rainfall, or at least some supplemental water. I'm planning on having my irrigation system checked soon because the plants especially like a little extra moisture early in the season, before many of them go summer dormant.
In the meantime, I'll find my water meter in the shed and monitor the situation -- and I'll hope we'll have one more really good downpour (or two) before things dry out.