Over the past century, the United States has experienced many extreme droughts, all ranging in severity. A drought is defined as the deficiency of precipitation over a period of time which leads to a shortage of water, impacting the community, agriculture, economy, and much more. The intensity of a drought varies depending on the region and its average amount of rainfall. For example, if a region that typically receives rain every day were to go a month without it, they would struggle much more than a region that typically only gets rain four months out of the year. Because of this, there are multiple factors that weigh in on characterizing the drought and its intensity as well as its consequences, both short term and long term, on that specific region. There are several different droughts that have occurred in America that depict the severity of the drought itself and its effects on the region.
The California water drought has been declared a crisis by the governor of California. 2013 was the driest year on record, and California could be running out of water. Californians should be water wise, and their use, or no use, of water will have an enormous impact on this drought. They can use the techniques published in a recent Time article called, 5 Ways to Bust California’s Drought, to reduce their water use. Landscape techniques, alternate water sources, and the personal conservation of water can reduce the use of water, and can have a positive change on this water crisis.
Zara Beadle METR 113 16 December 2015 Final paper California Drought The California drought has been extremely harmful to the states’ air quality. Since 2012, California has seen the worst drought conditions in 1,200 years and it is severely affecting air quality (California’s drought, 2015). As of 2015, the cities of Hanford, Merced, Modesto, Fresno, Yuba City, Lancaster-Palmdale, Chico, Sacramento, and Bakersfield have experienced exceptional drought coverage (Pestano, 2015).
The lack of water has caused an increased demand in the drilling of wells, which create even more problems with water shortage. “‘ If you own your own property, you can dig a well and you can pump as much groundwater as as you a want…” (Source 3). This shows the problem of over usage of what little water there is. The wells dug at the edge of properties drain and steal water from the surrounding estates. By doing this, you do not know the amount being drained from the aquifer. “‘Groundwater is like a bank account. You can’t take out more than you put in on an ongoing basis,’” (Source 3). The unwatched drainage of water by farmers can empty out an entire aquifer if it is not filled back
This is not a problem which is limited to the developing world either, as even the United States has also been experiencing the effects of water shortages in recent years. In the US, the average citizen uses more than three times the amount of water as many European countries (Data 360). A key difference between the US and the European continent is the geographical variation. A majority of the large cities in America where water is becoming more scarce are located in the West and are surrounded by arid landscapes, although it should be noted that shortages are not limited to this area alone (The Atlantic). Most water usage in the country is reserved for irrigation of farmland, general landscaping, and home use (EPA). It is estimated by the EPA that the average family uses over 400 gallons of water every day, and that the cumulative volume of water used in homes is much less than the former two greatest uses. Not only is extreme overuse a problem, but seasonal droughts have become increasingly frequent throughout the US. Here, we will look more closely at the causes, effects, and implications of water shortages across the United States and beyond.
Drought is no stranger to the state of California especially is the southern part of the state. California has been a technological creation since the first American settlers starting migrating from the east. It naturally has a semi-arid climate. It was inevitable that prolonged severe drought would occur in such a climatic region from time to time. California has depended on redirecting natural waterways and investing an incredible amount of money into pumping water to Southern California. This is not only a California debacle but a global one as well. According to the World health Organization, 1 billion people do not have access to clean, piped water. A world Resources Institute analysis adds that 2.3 billion people, 41% of Earth’s population, live in water-stressed areas, a number expected to climb to 3.5 billion by 2025. To make matters worse, global population is rising by 80 million a year, and with it the demand for new sources of fresh water (7 pg. 1). Water affects everyone and everything including the economies of both developing and industrialized nations. “The current situation has heightened the need for reliable sources of water, especially in these type of times when there is rationing across the state, “said Paul Shoenberger, assistant general manager with the West Basin Municipal Water District in Carson and chair of a desalination subcommittee for the Association of California Water Agencies. “ Desalination is more available and isn’t linked to rain or snow pack.” The only methods to increase water supply beyond what is available from the hydrological cycle are desalination and water reuse (8).
For more than five years the state of California has been in a drought, and now all the people of California want is a break from all the rain. The state is being put under water from top to bottom. More than 200,000 people have left their homes in parts of north California, in fear of the dams breaking. With this amount of rain the question on many people’s mind “Is California’s epic, record-setting drought, five years long, finally over?” Some are saying yes while the other are sure it is not. The top part of the state is out of the wood from drought, while the middle and southern part is still very much in a drought. The last time the state had what is considered an abnormal amount of rain/snow was in 82/83. This year’s amount is almost
Freshwater is essential to not only life, but also the economy and society's ability to function properly. As of January 17, 2014, and to this day, California has been in a perpetual state of emergency; the worst drought recorded in the state’s history has forced Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr to take executive action, in order to combat the extraordinary lack of water reserves. If left unregulated, the water shortage could culminate as one of the greatest calamities in California history. Not only would California’s agricultural industry collapse, a chain reaction would be set off, causing a halt of the state’s economy and eventually leaving millions of people across the state without functional access to water. In order to ensure that California
. Some cities, like San Francisco, had already been conserving water, which means it wasn’t much of a change for them. Other cities, like Beverly Hills, will be facing consequences if they don’t make the effort to save water. Water regulators are now able to fine people up to $500 if they take long showers, use a non-shutoff nozzle hose to wash their cars and sidewalk. After making changes like that, the state decided to focus on the smaller issues. For example, if you go to a restaurant, servers can’t bring you water unless you request. As you can see, many changes have been in made in the state of California to minimize the drought. There is a clear problem that California’s drought was caused at first by nature with “La Niña” but only
For about five years California has experienced above average temperatures and a lack of rain. This lack of rain and snowfall has caused California to become increasingly dry, starting arguments over whose right to water is more important and who needs to be more mindful with their use of water. Farming in California truly began during the gold rush when water was redirected to land where food was grown for those looking for gold (Siegler, 2015). The farmers that have stayed on that land now have senior water rights (“Water wars”, 2015). Farmers that settled their land before 1914 are those with senior water rights (Terrell, 2015). Governor Jerry Brown has called for a cut in water use by one-quarter percent to people living
Here are two places in the World that are having big drought problems and are at risk of depleting all of their fresh water due to the excess digging into their aquifers. Waukesha, Wisconsin, USA and Sana’a, the capital of Yemen, which is located in the Middle East; both are the scarcest regions of the world. Both regions are at risk of losing all of their fresh water...
A drought means there is not enough precipitation. It is a period of unusually dry weather that keeps on long enough to cause environment or economic problems which result in a water shortage and destroy vegetation, animals and crops. Drought can happen even if there is some rainfall. Bushfires and heat waves will occur because of drought. (Francesca.F, 2000)
“For most of the history of our species we were helpless to understand how nature works. We took every storm, drought, illness and comet personally. We created myths and spirits in an attempt to explain the patterns of nature (Druyan).” According to Fox, Drought came also be seen as a slow- motion train wreck. We still have a very short time to get the people off safely before the crash. This drought is causing long dry period in regions were rain fall is usually frequent enough. From there this drought is turning to more like a famine because the area in drought is so huge and is causing much conflict for the survival of the people (2011). These areas include Somalia, southern Ethiopia, and northern Kenya.