California Drought Worsens
Water Is Running Out, We Need Solutions
The Worlds Water Crisis
All living things need water for survival. About 70% of Earth is covered in water. Most of Earth's water is saltwater and saltwater has too much salt for humans to drink. If humans drink saltwater they risk dehydration and death. Of the 70% of water that is on Earth, 2% is freshwater. Humans don't have access to most of the freshwater as it is in glaciers or ice caps. Almost all of the liquid freshwater is used to grow crops, the rest of the freshwater is used for industrial and household purposes. As the world's population keeps growing, the demand for water is too. Industrialized countries, such as the United States and Japan, need more water to support the population. The freshwater sources on Earth are being used up and contaminated. Pollution is a big way to contaminate water. In poor countries, such as Zimbabwe and Zambia, people relieve themselves directly into their water sources causing many deadly diseases. Greenhouse gases lead to climate change, climate changes can cause drought and massive storms. Humans and livestock die of starvation and lack of water from droughts. In some countries water has been so crucial for survival that civil wars brake out. Recently, farmers in Syria moved from their farms and into the cities because they can't make a living off of dead crops from the drought. Although the Syrian government did little to take care of them. This resulted in a civil war. Without water in the twenty-first century, life as we know it will cease to exist.
Water Is Running Out
As people keep misusing and overusing water, it runs out. Since 2002, California water levels have been steadily declining. As of now, California's groundwater and snowpack levels are at all-time lows. Wells are being depleted and backup water is going dry. If the water levels keep declining at this rate, only one year of water is left. There needs to be solutions, then maybe California can be out of this terrible drought- with water.
This picture was above released Thursday April 23, 2015 by the U.S. Drought Monitor. The map shows the severity of the drought that is currently happening in California.
Both Droughts and Solutions Have Harmful Effects
Even though solutions are supposed to help situations, they may also have harmful effects. The drought has caused land near Central Valley to sink by one foot or more per year. One solution that California is working on is desalination. Desalination takes in ocean water and cleans it to drinking water standards. Desalination is supposed to solve the water problem right? Although it is a solution, it has very harmful effects. The discharge of desalination would be twice as salty than when it left the ocean. The discharge will then be hard to mix back in with regular ocean water. The solution to mix the water together is sprayers, even those have harmful effects. The sprayers along with discharge may kill some sea life.
Desalination Is In The Works
There are many solutions to conserve water, desalination is one. Some solutions to conserve water that California has come up with are mandatory water rationing, enforce the Sustainable Groundwater Management act of 2014, and desalination. The Carlsbad Desalination Project, in Carlsbad, California, is being built. The plant will take in 56 million gallons of seawater daily and turn it into clean drinking water. San Diego County is supporting the project. Water bills of the residents of San Diego will go up by $5, but they will not get the desalinated water. It costs $2,257 per acre-foot of desalinated water. San Diego County will buy 48,000 acre-feet of water yearly. For California, desalination is the future of water which may be why a dozen more desalination plants are being planned throughout the state.
The picture above shows the Carlsbad Desalination Plant that is in the process of being built. The plant is supposed to use reverse osmosis to turn 56 million gallons of seawater into clean drinking water daily.