California is in the middle of a severe drought. Unless you have lived under a rock recently, I am sure everyone realizes this. California has been all over national and world news with the Governor’s Executive order last week mandating a 25% state wide reduction in water usage. While there has been what seems like a million news stories covering this issue, not all are correct. Some pointing blame to farmers for using too much water, some complain about the excess of water that is being pumped into the ocean and others outlining water conservation tips for consumers.
Over the course of the next few weeks, I will be digging deeper into California water. I hope to break down the history and structure of California water, explain the truth behind agriculture water usage and provide some helpful hints for conserving water at home. All are important to understand how we got where we are and how we can help to prevent it in the future. I by no means am an expert on water, I just aim to educate people with what I do know and research what I don’t.
When it comes down to it, California has over 38 million people living in our state, a number that has doubled in the last 30 years according to the US census bureau. When looking at a list of our major dams and reservoirs in California it is safe to say, we have not made substantial growth in our water storage to match our population. With a population that just seems to keep growing and an agriculture economy that feeds the nation and world, it is puzzling to me that our state didn’t plan for such an event. But gradually agriculture has been receiving less and less water and our population centers keep growing and consuming. Agriculture has found ways to conserve, cut back and become more efficient because we just didn’t have a choice. We are doing more with less.
So just where does California get its water and why are we in trouble?
How much water does agriculture really use?
And how can you do your part to conserve?
Until Next Time,