California needs to be mindful of the drought status

Shana Blair/Prowler

One of the biggest misconceptions made within our community concerning our water usage tends to be the celebration that drought status is revoked whenever rain falls. In turn, people begin to make poor decisions in terms of their water usage and carelessly waste water. The gravity of this issue does not just fall within our community but as a global problem. After heavy rainfall, a majority of the community sees the grass turn green and immediately assumes they can go back to using large amounts of water to wash their cars, take unnecessarily long showers and other generally careless acts.

When thinking about climate change, often the first thing that comes to mind is the melting of glaciers and widespread fires but the issue is much larger than that. Majority of climate change deals with the crisis surrounding sustainable water. Globally, the growing demand for water increases the need for energy-intensive water pumping and transportation. Water-intensive agriculture for food production, particularly meat, and for growing crops used as biofuels, can further exacerbate water scarcity in certain regions.

As a result, a vicious cycle is created where the community attempts to reduce their water usage by ten-fold, only to overuse and waste more water once the rainy season rolls around. Consequently, we go right back to where we started, reducing our water usage so much that all our lawns and gardens die. We must stop excusing our irresponsibility by relying on the lack of rainfall and instead responsibly conserve our water supply. The issue is not the lack of rainfall but rather the abuse and lack of appreciation that our community shows towards our water supply. By using unreasonable amounts of water in our everyday lives, we are taking advantage of resources that are not immediately renewable. In order to take care of the environment and in turn prevent a decline in water, we must take initiative as a community to increase awareness in terms of our water usage.

In order to decrease the risks of declining into a deep drought, we need to take the necessary steps to properly preserve our water supply. This means our community must be more cautious about the frequency with which we water our lawns, and put in effort to change our everyday patterns. There are many ways to accomplish this, one of the more reasonable ones being the improvement of our carbon storage. Peatlands produce at least twice as much carbon compared to all of the Earth’s forests. Protecting and expanding these types of areas will have a major impact on climate change moving forward.

In situations like these, consistency is key. If we continuously monitor our water usage, even in the rainy season, our community will be better prepared for dry summers as well as the effective use of the water we do get in the winter and spring. The solution to this problem requires the thoughtfulness of both everyday people and bigger corporations. If as a community we stay consistent, the solutions to water waste will become more achievable. Moving forward, we must carefully rethink the way we handle our water supply.