While the rest of the country suffers under the weight of heavy rainstorms, snow and ice, California continues to basks in all the sunshine and glory of beautiful weather. However, to the unforeseen eye, the state is actually suffering. California has had very little rain over the past couple of months, even years. Record high temperatures have brought lawmakers to their knees. A major drought has taken hold over the state and it continues to get worse.
Gov. Jerry Brown and California lawmakers have declared a state of emergency to combat this drought. Many reservoirs where water is stored is dangerously low. The creeks and rivers have dried up and drinking water and water districts in seventeen towns could run out of water in 100 days. Many other city’s water supplies are becoming more and more scarce. Thousands of businesses in the state, including agriculture and the wine industry could be devastated by the drought.
Brown has proposed 687 million in temporary relief, 549 million of that money will go towards local water conservation and recycling efforts, basically ground systems to capture storm water and recharge groundwater supplies. The problems don’t just stem from lack of rain, the state is also well over-populated. The state lawmakers never imagined that the state would grow to over 33 million residents and continue to grow.
President Barack Obama recently visited local farmers and community leaders to find ways to solve California’s drought problems. “We’re going to have to figure out how to play a different game,” Obama said. “If the politics are structured in such a way where everybody is fighting each other and trying to get as much as they can, my suspicion is that we’re not going to make much progress.”
After arriving in California, Obama proposed 100 million in livestock-disaster assistance for ranchers, 60 million for food banks to help families that are hurting financially because of the drought, five million for conservation assistance in the hardest hit drought areas, five million for watershed protection and three million in emergency grants for rural communities with water shortages.
However, more efforts from California residents need to be made. It would help if people cut down on irrigating the lawns, shorter showers, automated timers, flushing the toilet once, turning the water off while brushing your teeth, doing laundry once a week and washing dishes by hand. Everyone can do their part to save California’s water resources so that people can come live and visit this state. Why wait last minute to do your part on saving the earth when you could start now.