California has been a land of dreams for many years. From the lights of Hollywood to the fields of the San Joaquin Valley, California remains a diverse place of opportunity. However, the state has been in an extreme drought for several years. Last year, in the winter of 2017, California received enough rainfall to pull it from an extreme drought to just a drought. But that wasn’t enough to rescue it for good. 2018 has been a very dry year so far and it has farmers and environmentalists worried that California is heading into another catastrophic drought. This article features several different perspectives that show how large of an impact California’s agriculture has on the rest of the nation and the world.
Despite the intense amounts of rain that California has been receiving the past few weeks, the state overall remains in a drought. The rain is welcomed but it still poses large problems for both farmers and residents. Why? Here are a few reasons that you won’t find on every news page.
1. People Stop Conserving Water
Do you remember the past few years and how there was a plethora of signs asking California (including Malibu) residents to conserve water? Once last year’s rain storm hit us, the signs went away and lots of people thought it was okay to increase their water usage. That’s not the case AT ALL! Just because we had a little more rain didn’t mean that our water woes are over. It’s pertinent that we remember to still always conserve water when possible, despite how much water falls from the sky.
2. People Want Almond Products
How frequently do you go into the grocery store and see a variety of almond products, most namely lactose-free almond milk? The almond industry is booming and California farmers are scrambling to keep up. But the problem is that almonds take a LOT of water to grow and the demand is outweighing the supply. I’m not saying that you need to cut almonds and almond milk out of your life, but if you’re just purchasing it because you ‘think’ it’s healthy, you may want to do your research because there may be some better alternatives for you.
3. Most Water Doesn’t Go To the Farmers
Have you ever heard of Mulholland Drive? I certainly hope you have. Mulholland gets its name from William Mulholland, the man who is mostly responsible for giving Los Angeles water. He sounds like a great person, and for that reason he was. The problem is that in order for L.A. to get water, it siphons the water supply from the San Joaquin Valley and consequently from farmers. There’s a huge complex called the Los Angeles Aqueduct that takes a lot of water and delivers it to L.A. So the next time you pass Mulholland Drive, just remember that we’re thankful to have water in Los Angeles, but that it comes at a price.
What’s Life Like In the California Drought
Experience Life as a Dairy Farmer
California Compared to The Rest of the U.S.