Three years into drought, Californians adapt to a drier way of life

Drought - Public Domain

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. “I see the sign on the highway, ‘Serious drought: [help] save water,’ and so I turn off the water when I’m shaving. I read about farmers fallowing their fields, and something in me just says, ‘Take a shorter shower.’ ”

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1 thought on “Three years into drought, Californians adapt to a drier way of life”

  1. Lasagna gardening would help. If done right, it takes a fraction of the water that other gardens use.
    The major change over is expensive. That means changing over to toilets that use seawater instead of fresh water. That is at least 5 gallons of fresh water per day difference. I suggest that storage drums be put high in shaded areas and tap those for the sea water delivered to the door. 55 gallon drums would work. Probably about 5 of them per household. That should cover people for at least a week at a time, possibly 2 or 3 weeks if they regulate how the toilets are flushed.
    If you saved 5 gallons of fresh water per day per household, that is a lot of water.
    Tapping the ocean is one way to save fresh water.
    Hydroponics is the next best way. By using drip bottles instead of hoses the plants can get along on a lot less water than normal. Especially if it is only done at night.
    Long term the ocean is your answer. But it is going to take some engineers thinking outside the box to make that happen. I suggest solar heat engines to boil the water off and create artificial rain storms. That will take a whole lot of heat engines to make it happen. It might also change the climate. To do something like that is going to cost a lot of money.
    I think they need to put a pipeline in from somewhere north like Canada where there is plenty of water to spare. That might be the cheapest of the expensive ways to get water to California for the crops. It is too big an expense but the government might be able to do it.
    Places like Montana, Wyoming, and Washington, might be able to farm water to the south.
    Something as simple as hardwood mulch on the gardens might reduce the amount of water necessary to keep the plants alive.
    While I have a problem with dandelion plants, they do put down extremely deep roots. The broad leafs would substain the ground even through a severe drought.
    What we all need to do is plant plenty of carrots. That is right! Carrots. Per plant, carrots convert more carbon dioxide to oxygen than most other plants. Carrots in abundance might just turn the excessive carbon dioxide around. But it will take literally millions of them to do it.
    Personally I love trees. Trees planted along every highway in the country might help a lot. I leave the logistics to engineers.

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