It’s almost March and California cities are seeing little rain. Water supplies are low in some areas, and 82 percent of the state is officially considered to be in extreme drought.
The solution to this ongoing problem is implementation on all scales, from major residential water conservation to a cutback on agricultural and industrial waste, according to Brent Lund, a student at the University of California, Davis, writing in the school’s newspaper.
“The California drought initially put a toll on state and local governments to allocate more time and money to water resource projects. However, these investments are lagging, and the money and time allocated by the respective governments aren’t enough to fight the increasing shortage of water,” he stated.
He noted that the state’s aging water system infrastructure is a challenge. In July last year, more than 29 million gallons of water were wasted when pipes burst on Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles.
Today’s drought is far more serious than past California water problems in the late ’80s into the early ’90s. Now the state is trying to supply everyone’s need by pumping more groundwater. “Unfortunately, this is not a permanent situation — groundwater wells will dry up as surface water is less frequent. So this solution is not the best,” Lund reported.
Since about 50 percent of the nation’s supply of fruits and vegetables come from California, everyone is suffering in the shortage. In 2014, California lost over $1 billion in agricultural revenue and an estimated 15,000.
Lund suggests change is required across the entire spectrum of water use. “Policy needs to be implemented on a national scale to limit large-scale and industrial use of water. Agricultural industries need laws which limit their water use without limiting production,” he wrote, adding that owners of homes and businesses must conserve water as well.
All individuals are responsibly for water use and conserving water, he said. “Once we realize how important our water is, only then we can start combatting the drought on a large scale.”