Monday, 14 July 2014

Drought: How Can We Live without Water in the Golden State

Growing up in Southern California, the spector of not enough water seemed frequently present.  Not enough rain falls to support a population a tenth as big as it was then, so water was imported from hundreds of miles away.  This year those sources are suffering from a three year drought, and it looks like some drastic measures should be taken to conserve what is there.
But according to the New York Times, not everyone in the Golden State has gotten on the band wagon.  In San Diego where I spent most of my childhood, water consumption has actually gone up since 2013.  Much of this goes to food production (and the choice of crops bears some re-evaluation), but apparently you're still allowed to use water to clean concrete surfaces in some parts of the state.  Seventy percent of water districts "have not imposed reasonable mandatory restrictions on watering lawns and keeping backyard pools filled," the story says.  Tomorrow the State Water Resources Control Board will finally get around to "placing restrictions on some outdoor water uses like washing paved surfaces."
We'll be paying more for fruits and vegetables from California this year, it's clear.  But that's not the big concern.  In a time when disaster and droughts due at least in part of climate change are more and more prevalent, how can people act to turn things around, when in many cases they seem unable to take steps to mitigate the mess we've made?

The photo by the way was taken in Eastern Washington last year, which, interestingly, seems to have had good rainfall this year.

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