Thursday, July 17, 2014

Hello there drought, I would like to ask you to leave now

Dear California Water Crisis,

Fun fact for everyone out there: California is in a drought. There are many reasons on why and how we have come to this point ranging from the lack of storage facilities in the form of new reservoirs (bureaucrats) to unmet conservation measures (city dwellers) to inadequate and outdated irrigation methods (farmers) and finally to the lack of rain and snow that we have seen fall (Mother Nature). What I’m trying to say is that there is not just one person or persons to point the finger at and blame for California’s current water or lack of water situation. In the last week I’ve seen all these ugly aforementioned realities first hand. Flashback to Saturday and a quick trip to Lake Oroville to enjoy an ice cold beverage and much needed time on the water (I know, I don’t get enough of it). The lake which has just over 3.5 million acre feet of storage and holds on average around 2.7 million acre feet during the month of July was sitting at 1.3 million acre feet, so roughly 1/3 of total capacity. Now I know that we all didn’t call Chico State home for 6 years so numbers might not be your expertise but the point I’m trying to make is that without above average moisture during the winter months we are in trouble. It should not take someone 20 minutes to walk from the launch to the water no matter what shape they are in. I live in a fairly nice section of Chico which I like to refer to as the “Hollywood Hills”. Trees line the streets along with rich luscious foliage and all with well-trimmed, green lawns….Except for mine. Sprinklers run at all hours as each neighbor tries to outdo the other to achieve a front yard that would make AT&T Park look like a parking lot. Sunday as I was driving to SoCal (this is what they like to call anything south of Butte Co. in these parts) I passed numerous older blocks of trees that were well past their prime production years and shall we say not being farmed with best management practices in mind. Weeds were prevalent throughout along with the different methods of watering systems being used during the peak heat hours of the day. The point that I am so eloquently trying to make with the picture I have painted is that we are all in this together. The only solution that will solve the immediate problem is for the skies to open (preferably after harvest) and it to rain and snow like we haven’t seen in years. The more long term solution is to address all these issues. Let’s invest in the future with more storage facilities. Make conservation a priority. Don’t water your lawn 5 days a week along with washing the car. If you farm, continue to monitor your usage and update your irrigation systems. When times are good like they are currently in the industry put it back into the product. All stake holders must put aside their differences for the benefit of us as a whole. Until then I’m going to keep praying for that rain….

PS. Happy Thursday peeps on this cool, yet southern feeling day in the north state. Enjoy it and remember….Tell someone special they’re beautiful, they won’t get tired of hearing it.

#drought #California #jerrybrown #empireliving

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