Three years into a historic drought in California, with 2013 being the driest year on record for the state, stories like the ones above are proliferating. They point to the fact that Californians are finally turning their concern about the drought into changed behavior. “I think people are just taking it more seriously,” says John Moore, an insurance salesman from Sherman Oaks.
When Chipotle warned investors back in March that it might suspend serving guacamole at its restaurants if avocado prices rose because of the California drought, climate change hit home for chip-and-dip lovers, who took to Twitter in distress. Things have not gotten better since then. It takes 74 gallons of water to produce one pound of avocados—and drought-stricken California produces 95 percent of the avocados grown in the United States.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has sounded a stark warning over California’s sustained drought, publishing its latest findings where satellite surveys show a rapidly depleting groundwater supply. And with California as the United States’ most valuable agricultural state, and thus key to America’s food supply (and much of the world’s as well) that could mean drastic consequences for food commodity prices and potential shortages. The Nature Climate Change journal carried the report, which Think Progress summarized:
As California’s severe drought moves into a fourth year, state and local water agencies are working on something called “allocation-based rate structures,” a kind of precursor to water rationing that’s all the rage in Sacramento and in some areas such as Santa Cruz, Irvine and Santa Monica. Here’s how it works: Your local water company, special district or city assigns you and your household a number in gallons — a daily water allocation.
It’s worst and getting worst-er. Hundreds of domestic wells in California’s drought-parched Central Valley farming region have run dry, according to AP, leaving many residents to rely on donated bottles of drinking water to get by. With government set to regulate deeper drilling, hope is plunging that a solution to California’s drought will come anytime soon as groundwater levels plunge.
Water wells in central California have begun to run dry, reports the LA Times. (1) “Extreme drought conditions have become so harsh for the Central Valley community of East Porterville [that] many of its residents dependent on their own wells have run out of water.” Tulare County has confirmed their wells have run out of water, and so far hundreds of homes have no running water.
Extreme drought conditions have become so harsh for the Central Valley community of East Porterville, many of its residents dependent on their own wells have run out of water. Roughly 300 homes have received a three-week supply of bottled water after Tulare County officials discovered their wells had gone dry. In all, county officials distributed 15,552 1-gallon bottles of water, and have been filling a 2,500-gallon tank with nonpotable water so residents can flush toilets and bathe.
Hundreds of rural San Joaquin Valley residents no longer can get drinking water from their home faucets because California’s extreme drought has dried up their individual wells, government officials and community groups said. The situation has become so dire that the Tulare County Office of Emergency Services had 12-gallon-per person rations of bottled water delivered on Friday in East Porterville, where at least 182 of the 1,400 households have reported having no or not enough water, according to the Porterville Recorder ( ). Many people in the unincorporated community about 52 miles north of Bakersfield also have been relying on a county-supplied 5,000-gallon water tank filled with non-potable water for bathing and flushing toilets, The Recorder said.
The ongoing drought in the western United States has caused so much loss of groundwater that the Earth, on average, has lifted up about 0.16 inches over the last 18 months, according to a new study. The situation was even worse in the snow-starved mountains of California, where the Earth rose up to 0.