Sunday, February 16, 2014

California Water Crisis and What We Should Be Doing

It is hard to escape the fact that California is in a drought.  In one way or another, the subject of the drought makes it into the news every day.  Unfortunately, the events that the media covers are often staged and the media coverage is frequently very flawed, not mentioning the link between the drought and global warming and failing to acknowledge that the big agricultural operations plant inappropriate crops for the locale and exacerbate the problem through wasteful irrigation practices. I can't even begin to count the number of newspaper or television accounts I have seen that blame high unemployment numbers in the San Joaquin Valley on the drought and the lack of agricultural water allocation without letting you know that the same area has high unemployment even when the water is plentiful.

It is my intention to use California Greening as a platform to summarize much of the background that is required to develop, or understand, water policy in a geography that swings from extreme drought to seeming everlasting deluges.  If I can do that well, then California Greens might be able to formulate a policy that will ensure a better future if followed, or at least to give environmental activists an alternative to just voting for the latest Democrat because they are scared of a Republican bogeyman.

As I complete each section, I will post it here.  You can follow the blog if you want.  I will also tweet the link to each new section from @wrolley.  If you follow that, you will at least know when an update is available. 

The first piece of the puzzle that I will try to put in place will be to answer the question of whether there are technological solutions to water problems that we should be using, or at least planning for.  This is a rather clearly definable area but is not getting much attention unless it involves the perennial fights of the construction of desalination plants.  But even this is a large enough topic to require multiple posts if I want to cover it adequately.  There are others who are doing a good job of keeping us all informed as to the daily events.  Foremost among there is Chris Austin whose Maven's Notebook. is an essential resource.  If you care about what is happening in the California Water Wars, you should follow closely.

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