California drought worsens

Hannah Preston, Staff Writer

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The now four-year-long drought throughout many regions of the state of California can’t get much worse—right?  That seems to be the general consensus among many citizens, but the travesty is really only in the beginning stages.  Predicted to last around ten years at the rate changes are being made, the lack of water in the area has caused many communities to turn to the available water inside the reservoirs around the United States, including the Colorado River Basin, which has lost over 65 million kilometers of water in the last ten years alone.

It became clear that change was in the future when Governor Jerry Brown announced a cutback on the use of water by 25% in 2015 on April 6, the first time that there has even been a mandatory water restriction in the state of California.  As a result, many fingers have been pointed at the cause of the drought, sparking serious controversy in media.

Using irreplaceable groundwater to pick up the slack may seem like the perfect solution—until the real issues begin.  What happens after it’s gone?  That is the question that is being posed to state lawmakers in California as well as its other western companions.

Many solutions have been discussed within the Californian government from desalinating ocean water to using rain barrels to collect it naturally, but all have negative drawbacks and many will take years to take effect.  Still, citizens continue to live in a state of denial, watering their lawns and taking the resource for granted.  There are still no serious plans for the cutback on water-usage.  Renovations on farming policies, including the “use it or lose it” law that forces farmers to use perfectly good water for low-value crops, are the main focuses for conservation efforts, as well as swimming pool owners and golf courses.

Pushes for low-flow toilets and shower heads are being implemented all over the state of California, but this will only make a small dent in the gaping hole that is a drought.

Drastic changes are upon the West.  It’s only a matter of how long it takes for them to take effect.

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