Monday, December 30, 2013

Devastating Drought Continues To Plague California

California’s Central Valley—prime agricultural land—is being hit the hardest by the state-wide drought which could cause catastrophic losses to crops and food supply.

The third winter with precipitation averages way below normal. This directly effects agriculture, economy, the frequency of wildfires, health and other species. This is what climate change looks like regardless of what you will hear from those who still continue to deny its effects. I keep asking myself how many of these events have to continue to occur before people wake up as a whole. How many seasons with below average rainfall? How many winters without snowpack? How many dead crops? Livestock? People?

Snows in Egypt not seen in over a century, huge flooding in Great Britain, the Caribbean, extreme flooding and heat now in South America again this season, severe weather in places like Toronto where a monster ice storm still has residents without power as well as extreme weather continuing here in the US. Droughts, floods, extreme events, huge swings in temperature and wind patterns due to jet stream changes due to Arctic ice melt. THIS IS REAL AND HAPPENING NOW.

What will the people of California do should this drought continue as the drought in Texas did to the point of towns running out of water completely? Will Governor Brown frack California as well and even try to convince us that fracking does not effect water supply? There is a catastrophe at our doorstep and we continue to move in a haze as if it is just an illusion.

California needs water. However, do you really think government has the solution that will benefit all? Oil companies now want to move tarsands on the Great Lakes which are also below capacity! Does anyone else see the macabre irony in that? The Colorado River no longer flows to the Gulf of Mexico. Population continues to increase in this part of the country as casinos continue to pump gallons of water into their ornate fountains as rivers and reservoirs run dry and late season wildfires threaten and destroy homes and trees. Yet our rapacious rate of consumption of fossil fuels and resources continues.

Of course, if it gets to the point where towns are running out of water they can pump water from the Pacific Ocean and hope there is no Fukushima radiation in it... Realistically however, farmers are then going to have to rethink what they grow in regards to the impact on water resources and those with the huge swimming pools will have to decide if swimming or eating is more important. There is as has been for decades a new water war between South and North:

North-South California Intensify Water War

(Can't really comment regarding the veracity of the content but think the comments are worth the read to make the point)

The Twin Tunnels Project (which I am ambivalent about) is now causing this war to escalate and while I do not live in California and can't speak to what anyone on any side of this is going through, I can say that those in any part of the state continuing to live an opulent lifestyle knowing what the state faces regarding water resources should understand that they are part of the problem. As are politicians like Governor Brown who seems to have proposed this as a gift to rich farmers and businesses like the oil and gas industry only looking for profit. Also, let's not forget all those million dollar celebrity homes with the huge swimming pools that aren't really necessary.

Also for those who blame environmentalists, Delta Smelt and all other species have just as much of a right to water as we do. It is HUMANS making this problem and with climate change exacerbating it with decreased rainfall and snowpack it surely will be interesting to see where this all leads. One would think it would lead to an awakening, a metamorphosis of sorts wherein farmers, businesses and citizens learn to share, conserve and understand the real stakes involved in this. Sad to think that only politics, greed and selfishness will continue to rule until the greatest agricultural lands we have are bone dry. Hunger and thirst have a way of making you see the importance of priorities.


Devastating Drought Continues To Plague California

By Kiley Kroh

As California enters its third consecutive dry winter, with no sign of moisture on the horizon, fears are growing over increased wildfire activity, agricultural losses and additional stress placed on already strained water supplies.

California’s Central Valley—prime agricultural land—is being hit the hardest by the state-wide drought which could cause catastrophic losses to crops and food supply. The city of Los Angeles has received only 3.6 inches of rain this year—far below its average of 14.91 inches, USA Today reported. And San Francisco is experiencing its driest year since record keeping began in 1849. As of November, the city had only received 3.95 inches of rain since the year began.

The state is enduring its driest year on record and while a drought emergency has not yet been officially declared, the U.S. National Drought Monitor shows that as of Dec. 24, nearly the entire state is gripped by severe to extreme drought conditions.

The portion of the state currently hit hardest by drought includes the Central Valley, a prime agricultural area, and “a lack of rain and snow this winter could bring catastrophic losses to California agriculture, as water allotments are slashed by state agencies,” USA Today reported.

The lack of precipitation is also extending what’s been a devastating wildfire season in California. According to AccuWeather, fire season usually tapers off in the fall and December marks the beginning of the wet season, which usually extends through March. This year, however, looks to be different.

End of excerpt

Also see:

Driest Year Ever In California Sparks Fire and Water Fears

Drought Brings Water Rationing Orders

California Drought Deepens As Another Year's Rains Stay Away


California should call Arizona to see how its done:

Smarter Irrigation Returns Water to Arizona'a Verde River

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