California’s drought could create ripple effects on water use

01/20/2014 1:01 PM

01/21/2014 7:39 PM

It will be back to the future for a lot of people living and visiting California because of the severe drought that has gripped the state.

Gov. Jerry Brown said California is in the worst dry spell in a century. Last year was among the driest on record.

People living in and visiting the state can expect the same kind of water rationing that folks had to endure there in the 1970s. Restaurants stopped routinely serving water to customers.

Water-saving toilets, showers, washers and dishwashers became the rule. But California’s population since the 1970s has about doubled to 38 million people, and the agriculture industries, which feed a large portion of the U.S., consume the bulk of the state’s fresh water supply.

So expect food prices to go up as the supply is affected by the availability of water, and just like in the 1970s, expect new water conservation trends in California to ripple out to the rest of the country.

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