Water Trouble

The drought in California is now being called the worst in 500 years.  Tensions are mounting as water is rationed to the industrial farms (which depend heavily on irrigation) to assure there is enough for the massive and ever-growing urban populations.  Growers are bemoaning the loss in yields they’ll have to bear.  Cities are complaining that their water sources are being diverted.

The situation is an unsustainable mess and it will continue to get worse over time, drought or no drought.

We’re asking the California environment to do things it isn’t capable of doing.

We’ve made ourselves dependent upon food grown there, in an environment not suited to that kind and scale of agriculture.

Someday folks will be asking the question we ought to be asking now:  Why did we allow this to happen?

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16 comments on “Water Trouble

  1. Jeff says:

    Here’s a really interesting article that addresses, in part, the topic of your post. It doesn’t deal with water scarcity; rather, it deals with a number of your other concerns regarding farming, food production, obesity, and poor nutrition.

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  2. nebraskadave says:

    Bill, how did we get this way? Supply and demand took an evil twist. The public demanded cheap food and California took them up on it and gave it to them. Cheap petroleum transportation only encouraged the practice of moving food thousands of miles to the consumer’s plate. California actually dried up an entire river and diverted the water into the valley to grow the ever increasing demand of cheap California food. Not to be out done Florida jumped in with fruit orchards, then Texas with watermelons, Colorado with peaches and the list goes on and on. In my life time food went from seasonal to having any kind fresh food any time of the year and within the price range of most budgets. Of course this structure of food growing and delivery was doomed from the beginning. Although it’s made a good run, my personal opinion is that it’s on the downhill slide and can’t really last too much longer. I just hope that the government don’t try to prop it up more than it already has.

    Have a great local food day.

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    • Bill says:

      Once again I think you nailed it Dave.

      One half of the fruit and vegetables eaten in the U.S. come from California. It’s an arid environment, being used to grow crops that require a lot of water. The resulting irrigation is drying up rivers, as you note. Then add a drought so there’s no snow melt or rain and the problem gets really bad. Plus you have millions of people living in places that aren’t capable of sustaining them (like Las Vegas and Southern California).

      It can’t last.

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  3. El Guapo says:

    Yet once the drought eases, I doubt anyone will re-examine the decision to base so much agriculture there.

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    • Bill says:

      Exactly. In one article I read a scientist said exactly that. Once the drought is over, we’ll just forget about the problem and keep on as before. But we’re driving toward a wall.

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  4. Perhaps as we struggle to put food on our tables we will finally digest this food for thought?

    Blessings ~ Wendy ❀

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  5. Dee Ready says:

    Dear Bill, I think we’ll be asking that question about a lot of things that have been happening for the last 75 years. Peace.

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  6. Steve says:

    Who will be the first person to demand a pipeline that taps into the Great Lakes?

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  7. If you can “green the desert” in Jordan using responsible and sustainable methods, maybe there’s hope for California and other areas that are in similar situations. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sohI6vnWZmk

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