In a state seeing one of the worst droughts in its history, water is a precious commodity. Yesterday's burst of a nearly century-old water main wasted eight to ten million gallons of water, putting more strain on California's already-burdened resources. Here's some perspective on how much water Los Angeles really lost yesterday.
The average thunderstorm can drop hundreds of millions of gallons of water during its lifespan. During a small thunderstorm that covers just two square miles of land, it will drop eight million gallons of water for every one quarter of an inch of rain it produces.
I used an acreage calculator on Daft Logic's website to find the rough area affected by the flooding, and the approximate area impacted by the water main break is just a little more than 100 acres.
According to the USGS, 8 to 10 million gallons of water flooding a 100-acre patch of land equates to 3 to 4 inches of rain. The amount of water wasted in yesterday's water main break is the same as a thunderstorm bubbling up over UCLA's campus and producing the same amount of rain LAX has seen since January 1 (3.55").
That's a ton of water. Well, 33381 to 41726 tons of water.
Any rain that falls over the next seven days in California's hardest-hit drought areas will generally amount to less than one tenth of an inch.
[Images via AP and Daft Logic/Google Maps]