Like so many things, California may be setting the trend for the country in how to manage the hardships of climate change.
The state that supplies U.S. consumers with more than half of the fruits and vegetables they consume is in its fourth year of a drought — the worst in decades. Also, the snow that California depends on to stock its reservoirs didn’t happen this year in the Sierra Nevada, leaving precious little water for people to use.
That prompted Gov. Jerry Brown last week to sign an executive order, requiring the State Water Resources Control Board get cities and towns to reduce overall water use by 25 percent compared with 2013 levels. State residents, farmers, businesses and other water users will be affected.
Climate change is brought on by human consumption of fossil fuels, pumping more greenhouse gases into the environment. It’s causing polar ice caps to melt and sea levels to rise.
But in some states like California, Kansas and Nevada, where precipitation isn’t at all plentiful, people are experiencing the harsh effects of droughts lasting longer than in the past.
That makes ground water a concern.
Farmers are depleting the supply digging deeper wells to keep crops growing in the fields. Water tables are falling, and so is the land.
Yes, it does sound like Kansas with farmers’ heavy draw on the Ogallala Aquifer. That fuels growing concerns of more water being pumped out than rainfall can replenish.
California will have to come up with a more sustainable water use policy or face people and agriculture being run out of the state because of the drought.