Precipitation and Flooding - Michael Tiffany
Changes in climate causes weather to become erratic and unpredictable. There will be an increase of precipitation in the form of rainfall and an increase of drought days. This increase in rainfall and extended droughts will make many areas more susceptible to flooding. Soil that is very dry is not able to soak in water at a fast-enough rate, and an increase in rainfall at less frequent times is a recipe for a campus disaster. Based on projections from CalAdapt, Chico is expected to have an increase of about 4 inches of annual rainfall by 2037. During these wet years there will be less snow fall and more rain causing snow packs to melt quickly, increasing the flow of water in rivers and creeks.
This increase in rainfall and water flow poses a huge threat to the campus and town. The town has two diversion channels that prevent flooding, but these systems aren’t perfect. When a huge surge of water comes it could break the diversion levees causing campus and much of the town to be flooded. The damages caused by flooding are very expensive and difficult to repair. These damages can pose a threat to public health due to mold and mildew buildup. Some of these floods could get so bad that people may not be able to drive or may get stranded without a way home. During these times getting to school may be impossible, causing many students to miss class and risk their grades. These effects may even cause problems for local farms by damaging root systems or over saturation, killing some of the money-making crops.