By Paul Rogers, San Jose Mercury News
Lots of issues divide Northern and Southern California: The Giants vs. the Dodgers. Hollywood vs. Silicon Valley. Southern Californians say “the” before naming a freeway; northerners don’t.
Now, after this past weekend’s soaking storms, there’s a new difference emerging: the drought.
As the state faces a possible fourth year of drought, Northern California is enjoying a healthy wet winter so far, with rainfall levels at 100 percent of their historic average or above in nearly every city, and reservoirs, while still not back to normal, steadily filling. But rainfall totals in the south are anemic, and falling further behind as each major storm only drenches the northern part of the state, leaving the south dry.
If the trend continues, this summer there may be two droughts in California: a mild one in the north that most residents barely notice, and a far more severe one in the more populated southern half of the state with more fire risk, smog, desperate groundwater pumping and more strict water rationing.