Record Lows: In need of water

, Written by Jennifer Elliott, Posted: Thu, December 26 2013 at 1:22 PM, Updated: Thu, December 26 2013 at 1:47 PM

 Medford is less than two weeks from hitting some of the lowest rainfall levels in history.

   Instead of La Nina, it's being termed 'La Nada:'

    "We're seeing several wells need deepened," says Gary Newman with Southern Oregon Well Drilling. He's working in Shady Cove... digging deeper in search of water.

     "They've run out of water. They had 30 gals approximately back in the day, now nothing."

     Come the new year, without more precipitation, Medford - along with several other cities, will see the driest calendar year since they started keeping records in 1911.

    Since the beginning of this year, the National Weather Service has only measured 8.97 inches. the record low is about ten and a half... from 1959.

     Right now - Medford's total isn't even half their average. The result of a dry summer and fall.

   "Water year isn't good at all this year, but the Calender Year is an interesting aspect, but it doesn't take into account timing," comments Meteorologist Jeff Heaton.

     Heaton explains that a Calendar Year measures from January first through years end... the Water Year starts, at least in Medford, on September 1st.
    And since the water year is what really applies to crops and summer droughts, Heaton says there's still time to bail us out,"Sometimes a very dry start to a water year can be saved by simply a wet spring."

     And as people maintain hope for a wet spring, "People don't appreciate water until they don't have it, or there's a lack of," says Newman... who for now, remains busy drilling... because some people need water now.

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About the Author

Jennifer Elliott

Jennifer Elliott anchors the primetime newscast FOX26 First News at Ten on NBC5’s partner station, KMVU/FOX26. She also reports for NBC5 News.

Jennifer began her career at NBC5 News in 2011 as a production assistant. Raised in Southern Oregon, she studied voice and piano while attending South Medford High School.

After graduating from Brigham Young University-Idaho, she returned home and added organ playing to her music repertoire. In addition to her musical talents, Jennifer is an award winning artist.

She has also co-hosted Southern Oregon’s Got Talent, the area’s premiere talent show. Jennifer is married and the mother of two young sons who keep her busy and very happy.

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