Instead of getting a ringside seat, you’ll be in the ring and fighting to survive.
It’s the final California war.
You’ll have locals blast canals with dynamite and Los Angeles’s use of deception to steal water from farmers in the Owens Valley sounds darling.
And if everything goes south – general conditions as well as actual water to the SoCal area – it will be a battle for survival.
The day has come to estimate that 39.5 million people were happily ignorant of not just a possibility but an inescapable one.
California is experiencing an exceptionally severe drought.
It is an exceptional measurement in precipitation levels that have been below average and on a three-year downward slide.
Sure, there is still water in the tanks that occupies about half of it.
But this is the start of the hot season.
As we pull the cabinets down, there will be less and less carry-over storage for next year.
The fourth year of drought will not even bring them back next June to the low levels they are at now.
No problem right. We’re just going to put more straw in the ground.
Take a look at NASA images that show the incredible shrinking of California’s aquifers over the past 50 years.
Drop in Corcoran, the San Joaquin Valley town that in the past 14 years has sunk 11 feet in places.
There have been landing spurs occurring as the entire first floor of a two-story house has been swallowed up within a relatively short period of time.
Long story short, groundwater sources are already declining due to over-pumping. Putting more straws in the ground or sucking up more straws that are already there will only make matters worse.
This is a different kind of disaster.
It is not a wildfire, earthquake, flood, or even a hurricane.
It slowly creeps up on you.
It’s not like wildfire where you can wait until the last possible moment to evacuate.
In a drought, waiting until disaster strikes gives you no recourse.
When the wells dry up and tank bottoms turn into cracked cakes of dry mud, there’s no escape.
This brings us to the challenge we now face.
Convince people to back off from frivolous or unnecessary use of water.
It is clear that rationing as defined by individual water use per household is next to impossible to implement or enforce.
At the same time there will be denial.
The grass will still be green – at least in front of most homes.
Water still flows when the tap is turned on.
So what’s the problem?
Once he’s gone, he’s gone.
Then there will be an aberration.
We need to build more dams.
We need to rethink water rights.
We need to change the water distribution.
We need to stop the growth.
These may all be valid points, but it’s kind of like having a firefighter ask if you had a smoke detector, left a burning candle, or had faulty wiring instead of dealing with the obvious and present danger that your house was engulfed in flames while it was happening. to speak.
Come to think of it, if the drought intensifies, it could be that a 9-1-1 call regarding setting fire to your house might have such a response.
So how will California — or more specifically cities like Turlock — get people to cut back on water use?
This is not just an exercise in order to be an exercise.
The mandatory 20 percent reduction is designed to keep the pad in place.
It’s also a gamble that some of the factors that reduce water availability never go above a certain limit.
But if they do, the country is ready to go into 100 percent survival mode with a game plan to enforce a mandatory 50 percent cut in water use.
Keep in mind that most of the easy and thoughtless things fall into place.
Low flush toilets.
Low flow shower heads.
Water saving washing machines.
This does not mean that it cannot be used more efficiently.
Soft yellow may become the emblem of toilets.
Short rains may become the norm.
Full loads may be required in washing machines.
There is only one low hanging fruit that can guarantee a worst-case scenario delay for household water that requires placing buckets under shower heads to reuse the water for washing dishes.
Those hanging fruits are watering lawns for decoration.
More specifically, the prevalence of non-native grass is unsuitable for California’s Mediterranean climate.
They are water pigs.
Mostly they are eye candy. A front lawn trimmed with turf blades is so short that it can burn its roots in the California sun unless it is watered consistently. No one’s feeding.
There are more water-efficient ways to control dust and eye attraction.
The “Leave it to Beaver” front yard works well in the Midwest, East Coast, and South where it rains nearly every day. These same herbs that have been imported here for the past 150 years may be the death of California as we know it.
We would be wise to expand our water supply. Great civilizations died out due to water scarcity due to misuse and extended periods of natural cycles over thousands of years.
The current ban on watering commercial, industrial and institutional ornamental grass with drinking water should be enforced.
Adding more ornamental grass in the front yards of new homes should be prohibited.
More responsible watering of the existing residential lawn should occur and should be applied.
And if the drought continues to deepen and supplies continue to shrink, we will have to stop watering our front lawns altogether.
2030 will mark the centenary of the start of the six-year slow-motion disaster known as the Dust Bowl caused by a severe drought.
Unless you have concerns about directing the fame of the Joad family of the Grapes of Wrath, you may want to start treating water as if it were a precious commodity.