As California enters its fifth year of severe drought, residents concerns seem to be dwindling day by day.
“Do your part to conserve water”, “Brown is the new green”, “Every drop counts”.
Signs, billboards, even buses remind Southern Californians about the imminent threat the drought is, yet many seem that they couldn’t care less.
What happened to California?
According to takepart.com, 25 percent of the United State’s food is produced in California. This being said, a majority of our water is relocated to agriculture needs, 80 percent to be exact. Without California, it is presumable that the rest of our great nation may go hungry. Yet, with the water levels decreasing day by day: who’s to say they won’t?
Not only does the Golden State provide the country food, but also water (ironically enough). Arrowhead Water, owned by Nestlé, supplies people from SoCal to New York City, and everywhere in between, with bottled water. Now for those who did not excel in geography in grade school, Lake Arrowhead is located in beautiful California; the same state that just so happens to be facing the worst drought since 1977, according to California Water Science Center.
Who’s to blame?
There’s a lot of fingers that can be pointed, but who really deserves the blame?
Some blame global warming, contending that the overall warming trend of the planet is responsible for the evaporation of California’s water source. What has caused global warming is a whole other article, but for those who believe in this theory, the answer to solving the problem is about as convoluted as what caused global warming in the first place. Although popular amongst Yogis and Whole Foods enthusiasts, global warming alone has not been the cause of the drought.
So how about those farmers using 80 percent of the state’s water? Without water, plants can’t grow, therefore you can’t get your vegan quinoa burger, which would be an absolute travesty. There is controversy regarding farmer’s outdated irrigation systems such as digging ditches to store excess water, but the fact remains that kale salads are very important and to get kale, farmers need to stay in business.
It couldn’t be the environmentalists, could it? The warriors challenging the ills of society such as plastic bags and micro beads? Though they may not be the source of the problem, they may be contributing to it. The sacred fish, Delta Smelt, lives in the San Fransisco Bay Delta, a major source of water the California government has been looking at as a potential aqueduct point. However, the five centimeter fish has lived in the Bay ever since it’s been a fish, and cannot be moved as to prevent monumental consequences of forcing the fish to find new breeding grounds.
The obvious answer however, is of course, the government. Because they’re behind everything, right? Back in 2014 there was a waterline that burst in Los Angeles, flooding the streets with over 20 million gallons of water. Those pipelines, according to the LA Times, had not been replaced since 1926.
Should we still be concerned?
On Jan. 17, 2014, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency, two years later people are watering their lawns at two in the afternoon. Five years ago there was a great push from residents and city governments alike to turn the drought situation around. With lakes evaporating before our very eyes, acres of forest burning down to nothing and resources quickly dwindling, it’s time Southern Californians wake up and smell the roses. The drought is real, and it’s time we do something about it.