Water shortages in California have become a new reality. Officials are stating that this is a water crisis, and there is simply not enough water to meet demands of residents. This is not the first time California has faced a drought, in fact California residents changed the way they use water, including changing plants around their house during the 2012-2016 drought. This time, water usage is up in the state and residents are using more water than is available.
The reality is that we are beginning to see the impacts of climate change similar to what many places are already facing. Water is life certainly, but the lack of water also means bigger chances of uncontrolled fires among other natural disasters.
If residents collectively take action, then perhaps there is hope to conserve some of the water available. So, what can you do today?
Water environmentalists recommend making small changes indoors, which everyone can do.
- Turn water off while brushing teeth
- Only run dishwasher when full
- Check pipes for leaks
- Take 5-minute showers
- Do laundry only when you have a full load
Outdoor water usage is especially significant, since some numbers suggest that around 80% of water is used outdoors.
- Choose plants that are drought-tolerant like cactus, lavender, dusty miller and lamb’s ears
- Amend the soil to make it better at holding moisture and keeping in rainwater
- Use mulch and cover bare ground so it’s not exposed to the dry, hot weather
- Embrace succulents
We are a long way from having a widespread solution to water issues. Residents of the central valley have been struggling for years, and the issue seems to be getting graver.
The great news is some counties are showing us how to take systematic steps by making wiser and smarter conservation measures. San Diego has been strategically investing in diversifying its water sources to keep the region out of extreme water shortages. One way is the desalination plant in Carlsbad, which essentially makes saline water drinkable. The hope is for other counties to follow and for us to rethink how we use Earth’s resources.
Drought-Tolerant Landscaping: https://www.familyhandyman.com/list/10-drought-tolerant-landscaping-ideas/
Current U.S. Drought Monitor Conditions for California: https://www.drought.gov/states/california