March 9, 2009

Water Supply in California

It's complicated. Really complicated. Millions and millions of people live here. And they need water. California has limited water. Millions and millions of acres of California land are used for farming/ranching - growing food, cotton, etc. to supply the nation, & indeed, the world. But California is really a desert. Only water transforms it into an agricultural mecca. And water is in low supply here.

Ok. Here's where I leave off all the technicalities of the huge infrastructure that's been created here to capture snowmelt and rain (before it drains to the ocean) and disperse it to the people and the land. But here's a picture of our biggest reservoir (it's actually the biggest "off-stream reservoir" in the US). And check out the water level. Anything that's brown, including those trees, should be covered with water.

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Hmmmm, I've already used too many words in this post, sooooo, longer story shorter: not only does California have lots of people and lots of agriculture (and too little rain), it also has lots of lawyers and lots of special interest groups. Currently, a judge has issued an order not to pump any water into this reservoir due to some group's concern that the Delta Smelt (a fish) is heading toward "endangerment of extinction" status (nevermind that there's no proof that Smelt population is tied to pumps or water level ... stick a bandaid on it NOW and stop pumping!!!).

And further down the road ... here is some of the agriculture that's apparently not as important as the Smelt.

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4 comments:

Piggy said...

Your photos speak volumes that words can't express! What an effective way of conveying your message!

Chris said...

I love this post. I'm from Australia so I'm intimately acquainted with the problems and frustrations around low water supply. As for the Smelt fish... well, it will be interesting to see how it survives without water!

Great post and love the photos (as always).

American in Norway said...

Great post... Hope they sort something out fast...beautiful pictures....

Tonya said...

yah - the agriculture and the PEOPLE it supports - both farmers, laborers and consumers. But hey, gotta save those smelt...