California’s historic drought has sent the Golden State into crisis mode and left officials panicking for answers. As California quickly dries up, what are the solutions leaders are considering to prevent imminent calamity?
California is pulling ideas from some of the most arid regions around the world and testing out innovative new programs at home to replenish the state’s dwindling water resources.
Officials are taking cues from Australia’s efficient water management programs, specifically the country’s strong cap and trade policy that is similar to greenhouse-gas emission exchange except for water usage.
Instead of worrying about the weather Israel relied on advanced water recycling and irrigation techniques coupled with their aggressive desalination plants to solve the country’s severe drought.
These programs gave the dry country a surplus of water —something California desperately needs given the state requires 11 trillion gallons of water to catch up with the current deficit.
As Santa Barbara considers bringing back online their desalination plant, environmentalists worry the technology will just exacerbate California’s climate change problem with more disastrous consequences instead of providing reasonable solutions.
The extensive water filtration process sucks up and kills marine life, the excess salt pushed back into the ocean will certainly disrupt the ecosystem and desalination actually uses up more water than it produces. The process takes up two gallons of seawater to produce one gallon of potable water.
Other creative alternatives are being implemented like Los Angeles’ cutting-edge "shade balls" solution that helps protect water from evaporating. While more radical solutions like transforming sewage water into drinking water are being proposed, despite the general public’s squeamish response.
While prospective solutions remain at a standstill, governments are vehemently cracking down on water usage going as far as to fine residents for wasting water. To prevent unnecessarily wasting water and tedious fines, water experts suggest Californians give up their manicured lawns altogether, which take up 50 percent of residential water use!