California has to date endured multiple years of extreme water shortage. However, while water shortage in general is nothing new to California residents on a historical basis, this is the first time in a while such conditions have been sustained for so long at quite this level. What’s more, the voters have spoken in regards to their feelings about it all. As of late February of this year, it can officially be said that very close to all California voters – over 94% to be more exact — believe that the current water shortage is a “serious” problem and that something must be done about it. However, those polled were admittedly split on whether or not rollbacks to environmental protection should be implemented as a potential way to address the issue.
Exploring the Reasons for the Current Water Shortage
Many people are naturally looking for answers as to why the water shortage is so severe at this time. After all, California has been what many would call an arid location for thousands of years. (This is exactly why during the days of the Native Americans, it was one of the nation’s most sparsely populated regions.) Historically, California doesn’t receive enough annual rainfall to truly support a blooming, sustainable population.
Twentieth century politicians on both state and federal tiers made it their mission to turn California into a blossoming paradise despite these facts. They also largely succeeded. However, many people consider the current state of affairs to be proof positive that California’s vastly unnatural state of being is incompatible with efforts to sustain natural ecosystems and environments. In other words, the situation has reached a point where there isn’t really enough water to meet the needs of both the natural environment and the people that call California home. Yes, we’re currently in the middle of a long drought… but the lack of rainfall is not the only contributing issue.
How Will California Politicians Address the Issue?
California’s political teams are already working to solve the dilemma created by the current water crisis. However, it may be a while before some of the efforts are able to bear fruit that we can all see and experience. For instance, Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation last fall that allows for more efficient groundwater management. However, since it will be close to 20 years before all affected agencies will be legally required to comply with the new laws, this makes them of far less use in the short term.
Water rationing is already in full effect statewide. However, not everyone is going along with such rations willingly. This is especially the case with agriculture and understandably so. Agriculture is currently responsible for up to 80% of the state’s water usage, so they’re being hit hard by rations and pending regulations. Many politicians and citizens alike feel future regulations should affect agriculture entities differently than it will the average citizen, the better to keep water affordable for everyone. However, without California farmers, many parts of the state would quickly recede to dust bowl status. Politicians and environmentalists are currently exploring more options related to drought resistant crops, new methods that conserve water, and so forth to help strike a balance everyone can live with.