The water crisis in California is one of the biggest State’s problems. Although the region often deals with severe droughts, the main reasons for this crisis are actually related to the irrational use of water for industrial needs and to the incorrect pricing. Both State’s authorities and scholars have already developed several strategies for countering this issue.
One of the weakest solutions to the problem of the water crisis is grounded on the shortage of the population of California. Many people, especially those, whose income is higher than the average, believe that they deserve more water than others due to the fact that they pay more taxes. Such prejudices are common because society appears to be far from actual fairness and equality. The process of relocation of people is problematic from all possible social, ethical, political, and economic points. Of course, the State’s authorities can work on the process of prevention of further population growth, but the results will be better if they focus on policies and technologies. Scientific progress helps to address numerous problems that seemed beyond any human solution. Therefore, it is necessary to look if there are any modern instruments available.
There are several organizations working hard to help the cause. The members of the Pacific Institute, for example, have developed an issue brief devoted to water reuse potential of California (Cooley). According to the scholars, such a strategy provides a reliable water supply that reduces droughts and has certain benefits for environment and economics. In particular, the agricultural branch is the one that uses the biggest amount of water, meaning that recycling will lead to tangible savings (Cooley 2). It is necessary to emphasize that the reduction in the number of the industries engaged in dairy farming or growing crops is not an option because California is a major manufacturer of dairy products for the U.S. Therefore, this strategy would be harmful to the region’s economy and the whole country. An implementation of new recycling strategies and the establishment of the contemporary water cleaning and desalination systems, on the other hand, are beneficial.
Another solution was suggested by the scholars from the KQED Science. They believe that the reservoirs used to provide water supply in winter can be used more rationally (Sommer). According to the scholars, almost half of the reservoirs remain empty in order to avoid floods (Sommer). The contemporary situation in California, however, is opposite, as the whole region is suffering from drought and fires. The development of a new flood control system would help to use the reservoirs as permanent additional sources of water. Nowadays, California gets most of its water from the Colorado River basin, which also supplies other states, meaning that alternative sources are essential.
Finally, it is necessary to admit that the government works hard to solve the crisis. One of the recent outcomes is that the California Legislature has included emergency drinking water funds in the 2017-2018 state budget (Rural Community Assistance Corporation). As a result, the $17 million allocated will be used to address such crucial needs as an emergency replacement of domestic wells and connections to community water systems, as well as the development of an Electronic Benefit Transfer water benefit pilot program (Rural Community Assistance Corporation). Still, it is also necessary to establish some long-term frameworks that could help to create a sustainable funding of the state’s water systems.
The problem of the water crisis is especially burning in rural, low-income communities of California, meaning that there is a wide field for improvements in both federal and State’s policies. The alternative sources of water, as well as changes in farming and agriculture, are the effective actions that should not be ignored.
- Cooley, Heather. “Water Reuse Potential in California.” Pacific Institute Issue Brief. June 2014. http://pacinst.org/app/uploads/2014/06/ca-water-reuse.pdf
Accessed 6 Dec. 2017
- Rural Community Assistance Corporation. “California Budget Takes Steps to Address State’s Drinking Water Crisis.” RCAC.org, 16 Jun 2017. http://www.rcac.org/press-release/california-budget-takes-steps-address-states-drinking-water-crisis/ Accessed 6 Dec. 2017
- Sommer, Lauren. “California Reservoirs Are Dumping Water in a Drought, But Science Could Change That.” KQED Science, 29 Feb. 2016 http://ww2.kqed.org/science/2016/02/29/california-reservoirs-are-dumping-water-in-a-drought-but-science-could-change-that/ Accessed 6 Dec. 2017