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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

NBC5 News at Sunrise co-anchor Jennifer Elliott spent most of her life in the Rogue Valley.

After graduating from Brigham Young University–Idaho, she was excited to come home again. Jennifer began her career at NBC5 in 2011 as a production assistant.

Her loves include drawing, playing the organ, fishing and of course, her husband and young son.

Catch Jennifer co-anchoring with Travis Koch weekdays on NBC 5 News at Sunrise starting at 5:30am.

Connect with Jennifer

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