California Responds to Drought Crisis

Article by Sarah Gelbard | esPResso Committee Member

California_Drought_Dry_Riverbed_2009

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

California residents have been struggling recently to survive dry humid weather, which has caused a massive drought. Dusty air and thirsty lawns are common sights.

The drought is blamed on a vast high-pressure zone in the atmosphere over the West Coast. The high-pressure air has been blocking Pacific winter storms from coming ashore. In an interview for USA Today, William Shatner said, “California’s in the midst of a four-year-old drought. They tell us there is a year’s supply of water left. If it doesn’t rain next year, what do 20 million people in the breadbasket world do?”

According to NBC News, one of California’s largest water suppliers is moving toward a plan to reduce the amount of water it delivers to more than two dozen cities and agencies serving 19 million people during this drought. The company may be making a strategic move. By cooperating with Governor Jerry Brown’s call to reduce water usage by 25 percent it could improve the company’s government relations and spare it from scrutiny as the water crisis continues.

All industries now have to carefully monitor their water usage, and citizens are not allowed to hose down driveways and sidewalks, nor are they allowed to water their lawns and landscapes. Ultimately, the only thing that will help the situation is rainfall and snowfall. Water districts in California will need to work quickly to develop a plan in case the drought continues and keep citizens informed on ways they can help.  The government needs to be transparent in its actions in order to maintain the trust of its publics which include not only citizens but farmers who are losing money as well.

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