Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Saving water is saving lives.

Should We Be Concerned?

The southwestern United States are suffering a severe drought like we've never seen before. California has by far, suffered the worst. According to the LA Times, two-thirds of our water loss is accredited to the pumping of water for agricultural purposes in the Central Valley. Desperate farmers have been pumping up groundwater to irrigate their fields, and now, some areas in that regoin have been dropping one foot in eleevation yearly! Yet surveys show that 94% of Californians are concerned, yet only one-thirds of the population are willing to ration their water usage. As of today? We only have enough water to sustain us for one more year.

Using It All Up

ca.water.usgs.gov states that the average Californian uses a whopping 181 gallons of water daily, a majority of which are composed by unessesary machine dish-washing, washing machines, and toilet flushing. Seems bad? Well, what you eat needs water as well! According to sustainability.about.com, it takes 26 gallons of water to grow an ear of corn, 2,000-2,500 gallons for a pound of beef, 120 gallons for an egg, 300 gallons for a loaf of bread, and, believe it or not, 12,000 gallons of water to grow just one bushel of wheat! Agriculture is responisble for one-third of our water depletion. In the Central Valley, the heart of Californian agriculture, farmers are desperately pumping up all of our groundwater to sustain their crops and livestock. Some areas have even started to drop a foot in elevation yearly! But even more interestingly, California's inland region's golf courses and lush gardens use far more water compared to the coastal regions. See the statistics and map below.

The Water We Have Left

Seventy percent of our precious planet Earth is coated with water. Ninety-seven perccent of that water is salty- toxic and useless for the most part. Some plants have been able to distill ocean water into water we can use, yet their methods are far too costly to perform on a large scale. That leave three percent of our water to be freash and clean. Two percent of that water is trapped in the icy glaciers at the tips of the globe. In the end, less than one percent of all the water on Earth remains fresh, usable, and within reach. Does that make you want to reconsider taking that long, warm bath? In California, we get most of our water from the Colorado River, yet Lake Mead, the largest Colorado River resevoir, has dropped nearly two hundred feet since 2000, according to National Geographic, about thirteen feet per year, if the depletion was even. Imagine- with only 1,080 ft of water left today, if this keeps going (and lowers at the same rate, which would be highly unlikely), Lake Mead will run dry in the year 2093, just after our generation... but sooner if our ignorance doesn't stop. Yet again as you have read earlier, most scientists predict that if we continue down our road, we will only have enough water to last another year.
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Ending It Now

Below are some easy methods of making a difference in the drought. It may not seem like much, but if everyone puts in the effort, it may all soon be over.

by Megan Bui - Fifth Period