As if anyone actually needed another reason to move out of the crazy state of California, now it is being reported that conditions in some areas of the state “are like a third-world country” due to the multi-year megadrought that has hit the state. In one California county alone, more than 1,000 wells have gone dry as the groundwater has disappeared. The state is turning back into a desert, and an increasing number of homes no longer have any water coming out of their taps or showerheads. So if you weren’t scared away by the wildfires, mudslides, high taxes, crime, gang violence, traffic, insane political correctness, the nightmarish business environment or the constant threat of “the big one” reducing your home to a pile of rubble, perhaps the fact that much of the state could soon be facing Dust Bowl conditions may finally convince you to pack up and leave. And if you do decide to go, you won’t be alone. Millions of Californians have fled the state in recent years, and this water crisis could soon spark the greatest migration out of the state that we have ever seen.
Back in 1972, Albert Hammond released a song entitled “It Never Rains In Southern California“, and back then that was considered to be a good thing.
But today, years of very little rain are really starting to take a toll. In fact, one government official says that conditions in Tulare Country “are like a third-world country”.
Near California’s Success Lake, more than 1,000 water wells have failed. Farmers are spending $750,000 to drill 1,800 feet down to keep fields from going fallow. Makeshift showers have sprouted near the church parking lot.
“The conditions are like a third-world country,” said Andrew Lockman, a manager at the Office of Emergency Services in Tulare County, in the heart of the state’s agricultural Central Valley about 175 miles (282 kilometers) north of Los Angeles.
As California enters the fourth year of a record drought, its residents and $43 billion agriculture industry have drawn groundwater so low that it’s beyond the reach of existing wells. That’s left thousands with dry taps and pushed farmers to dig deeper as Governor Jerry Brown, a 77-year-old Democrat, orders the first mandatory water rationing in state history.
The mandatory water restrictions that Governor Brown is imposing are going to be very painful for a lot of people. We have just learned that some California communities will be required to cut their water usage by up to 36 percent.
Californians are going to have to start preparing for a dry summer as the dehydrated state prepares for a water crackdown.
In a somewhat controversial move, California water officials drafted a set of mandatory conservation regulations outlining varying degrees to which communities will be required to cut back on water use, ranging from 8 to 36 percent, depending on their history of water consumption.
The regulations – slated for approval in early May – are part of California’s first-ever attempt at mandatory rationing. Earlier this month, Gov. Jerry Brown issued an executive order requiring a 25 percent reduction in urban water use, a historic step in a series of measures aimed at conservation ahead of the state’s fourth consecutive year of drought.
And of course it isn’t just the state of California that is dealing with drought.
All over the southwest United States, we are seeing conditions that we have not witnessed since the days of the Dust Bowl in the 1930s.
In fact, the water level in Lake Mead is now the lowest that it has been since those days, and it is expected to drop even lower in the months ahead.
One of the most stunning places to see its impact is at the nation’s largest reservoir, Lake Mead, near Las Vegas. At about 40 percent of capacity, it’s the lowest it’s been since it was built in the 1930s.
“Just to see the rings around it, it’s just . kind of scary, you know,” says Darlene Paige, a visitor from New York. She’s standing at a vista point above the Hoover Dam on the Arizona side of Lake Mead.
That “ring” is the infamous bathtub ring around the rim of the reservoir. The levels have dropped 140 feet over the past 15 years, exposing a white stain on the gravelly brown mountains above the water. The level is forecast to fall an additional 10 feet by this summer.
According to the Government Accountability Office, it is being projected that a total of 40 U.S. states will be dealing with a shortage of water by the end of the next decade.
It has been said that “water is the new oil”, and this is just the beginning. The truth is that as bad as things are here, we are actually in far better shape than almost everyone else in the world to deal with the emerging global water crisis. All over the planet supplies of fresh water are disappearing, and the availability of water is going to increasingly become a major geopolitical issue in the years to come.
And even now, the U.S. government is taking all of this very seriously. In fact, the EPA is already trying to train our kids to take showers instead of baths.
Parents across America who struggle to keep their young rambunctious kids clean now have a new obstacle: the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
As part of its effort to help save the planet from the dangers of taking too many baths, the EPA’s WaterSense program is trying to convince kids they should avoid bathtubs in favor of showers, which it says is a far more efficient use of water.
“To save even more water, keep your shower under five minutes long-try timing yourself with a clock next time you hop in!” the “WaterSense for Kids” website says.
For most of our lives, most of us have been able to take water for granted.
But now things are changing, and we are going to have to adjust to these new realities.
So what do you think about this emerging water crisis? Please feel free to share your thoughts by posting a comment below.
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