You can’t pick up a paper or listen to the news without hearing about the drought that has been affecting us for a number of years. Don’t take our word for it. Here’s what’s been reported recently about our water crisis. The West has been suffering through an acute drought since 2020, part of a mega drought that began in 2000. The last 20 years have been the driest two decades in the last 1,200 years. This year is so far the driest on record in California. Maintaining 'critical levels' at the largest reservoirs in the United States - Lake Mead and Lake Powell - will require large reductions in water deliveries.
Nearly three-quarters of the Western region is in a state of severe to exceptional drought. Meanwhile, states like California have instituted water restrictions, though water consumption has continued to rise
With water already becoming more scarece, the increasing popultion in the West - and
therefore demand for water - has inflamed the situation.
One of the most far-reaching questions in the United States over the coming decades is whether growth trends will ultimately collide with nature’s ability to sustain such a large influx of people, Daniel Newman, the report's author, wrote.
Fire and water
And, unfortunately, doling out water supplies isn't the only issue residents have to contend with.
Suburban neighborhoods sprawling out into more rural areas are creating a more substantial wild-urban interface at the same time as the wildfire season creeps earlier and longer.
The current water crisis 'underscores the need to prepare communities for wildfire, because when these large emergency incidents occur what we end up having to do is use a ton of water in an already in an already water-scarce environment to suppress wildfires.'
We don't have enough water supplies right now to meet normal demand. The water is not there', a Metropolitan Water District spokesperson said. January, February and March of this year were the driest three months in recorded state history in terms of rainfall and snowfall. The Metropolitan Water District said 2020 and 2021 had the least rainfall on record for two consecutive years. In addition, Lake Oroville, the State Water Project’s main reservoir, reached its lowest point last year since being filled in the 1970s.
Record dry conditions have strained the system, lowering reservoir levels, and the State Water Project – which gets its water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta – has estimated it will only be able to deliver about 5% of its usual allocation this year.Governor Gavin Newsom has asked people to voluntarily reduce their water consumption by 20%, but so far residents have been slow to meet that goal.
Just because there is an inch of undeveloped land and the possibililty of another dollar in the pockets of the city, it doesn't mean it has to be built on. too many people, too much traffic, too much pollution, not enough water. Stop building now!