Try as we might to lay out the best plans for our RVing adventures, our RV Lifestyle Fellow Travelers know that it’s simply impossible to control the weather.
The best you can do is look ahead and rely on historical data to try and plot out where you travel.
For example, if you want snow, you can probably count on it if you head to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in January (which is something we do annually).
But what if you like it nice and dry? No rain?
I have the perfect list for you, thanks to the good folks at TravelTriva.com.
They recently did a story called “5 Driest Cities in the U.S.” And while the story obviously focuses on cities, you can use the info to get a sense for how much rain might fall in nearby areas that are attractive for RVing. Not to mention, I thought it was also pretty cool to learn more about how they get water.
Here is the list:
5. Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles only gets an average of 12.8 inches of precipitation a year. So with that little water, how does this city of roughly four million people get by? Thankfully, there is some serious infrastructure in place to get water to these millions of residents. From drinking water to maintaining landscaping, all the water to sustain this massive city comes from elsewhere.
The first main source of water the Owens River. This water actually collects in Mono Lake near Yosemite and other reservoirs in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. About 430 million gallons of water make their way to Los Angeles daily via the Los Angeles Aqueduct. That accounts for about one-third of the Los Angeles water supply. Other sources of water? The Sierra Nevada snow pack and the Colorado River Aqueduct, which brings about half of Los Angeles’s water to the city from the Colorado River.
4. San Diego, California
San Diego (identified as a perfect place to go in June and September) is on the beach, and the days are sunny and warm, but it’s also dry, dry, dry — it gets barely over 10 inches of rain per year. That’s not enough water for its nearly 1.5 million residents, let alone tourists.
As a result, San Diego has to purchase 80 percent to 90 percent of its water from northern California and the Colorado River. Water gets to San Diego from these sources via aqueducts. They also get water from the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant, which turns salt water from the ocean into usable freshwater. Officials are in the process of finding alternative sources, such as creating basins to collect groundwater and have it processed for public use.
Be sure to check out the RV Lifestyle feature called “Southern California attractions for the RVer” that talks specifically about San Diego and the surrounding area.
3. Riverside, California
Riverside has the same average rainfall as San Diego, with about 10.3 inches per year. Also, Riverside has a much smaller population to support, and it has an excellent system for collecting groundwater for the community to use.
Bunker Hill and Riverside Basin are two regional collection areas for rainwater and snowmelt that provide water for the entire city. Water settles into pools deep in the earth. Fifty-four wells operated by Riverside Public Utilities draw water up to provide the city with all of their water needs. Although rain is sparse, these basins collect it effectively.
2. Phoenix, Arizona
Head to Phoenix (home of the Super B RV Show), and you’ll see a massive city of over 1.6 million people — and lots of sand, rocks, and cacti. Do you know what you won’t see? Rain. Phoenix gets 8.04 inches of rainfall each year. As the city grew, officials knew they would need major infrastructure to support the water needs of this metropolis.
As a result, Phoenix gets most of its water from two sources. The first is the Salt River Project that imports water via pipeline from the Verde and Salt Rivers. The second source of Phoenix water is the Central Arizona Project, which brings water from the Colorado River to Phoenix and the surrounding area.
1 Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas is the driest city in the U.S. What might surprise you, though, is how little rainwater it truly gets — an average of 4.2 inches per year. With a population of about 640,000 residents and a whopping 42 million tourists each year, it just doesn’t seem plausible that the town could survive, let alone thrive, considering the lack of such a vital resource. So how do they do it?
Las Vegas and South Nevada get 90 percent of their water from the Colorado River. In fact, nearly all of these cities we’ve mentioned are reliant on the Colorado River, which begins in Colorado in the Rocky Mountains, and flows for 1,450 miles until it reaches the Gulf of California in Mexico. The other 10 percent of Las Vegas water comes from groundwater. When the demands for water are highest during the summer, groundwater provides up to 25 percent of the water needed.