The Drought Is Not Over

By JOHN M. DERBY
Times Publisher
May 4, 2017

When we hear “The drought is over,” we know down deep it is not over. We have just received a reprieve.
Clearly, California does not have enough water for the people and the products it grows. Something has to give.
We can’t continue to increase the number of people, and keep our agriculture at the level it is now, unless we increase water conservation and water storage.
Cutting the number of people is out of the question, and if California cuts its agricultural production it will have devastation repercussions.
Every year the state budget gets tighter — more money for roads, more money for schools and education, more money for utilities. Where will it end?
Actually the electorate has voted to spend more money on water projects, but this money fails to solve the problem because state politicians earmark that money for many other things besides water conservations and storage.
Water conservation and storage, however, are the solution, if taken seriously. We still act as if this is an oasis, with an unending supply of water. We insist on planting more lawns when we live in a semi-dessert. We should be planting cactus along with xeriscape yards.
Storage has become a joke. It would cost the state next to nothing to raise the level of the storage dams just 10 feet, but no one has the guts to do it.
There seems to be some excuse for not spending the money which the voters have approved, on water storage capacity.
As a result the politicians look at agriculture to take the hit. We have seen zero water allocations in the past, and they will be back again if nothing is done. Add to the zero allocations the increase in demand from the State Water Board on the amount of water coming from California’s rivers.
If California’s ground water was a solution; that would make a difference, however, the underground reserves have been drained and in some case can't be replaced, even in record years like this when there has been an abundant amount of rain.
So, be careful when you say “the drought is over.”
It gives people the feeling that we will not see drought for several years. The drought could come back next year and most certainly the next few years.
Drought is the new norm in California.
The rainfall we had this year is unique, and we can't depend on it. The drought is far from being over.


SHOPPING FOR NEW CUSTOMERS?
ADVERTISE HERE!
Call (209) 383-0433
or (209) 358-5311

© 2017 Merced County Times. All Rights Reserved. Powered by  Imedia West