Last week, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRC) officially approved to extend the drought regulations. The regulations in place are similar to the ones previously imposed: the stress test approach, the monthly report of customers’ water consumption and prohibitions of wasteful water use practices such as irrigating a lawn immediately after rain; however, it does not include any limits on how much water these agencies can sell.
Still, water agencies are annoyed, claiming that this emergency extension could confuse Californians and send them a mixed conservation message when there is no actual threat since the reservoirs are almost filled up.
Nothing could be farther from the truth for three major reasons:
Groundwater is only visible when they flow from springs and wells. During the last drought conditions, the state compensated for the shrinking water supplies with these underground reservoirs to meet 60 percent of the water needs, according to a report from Stanford University.
The problem is groundwater cannot recharge from rainfall or stream flow. All that water that we pumped out is gone forever. And as they are depleted, potential environmental changes such as land sinking will raise.
Water might be currently abundant in the Golden State, however, there is great uncertainty for future conditions. California is an arid, drought-prone area. Rain and snow might be overflowing the reservoirs, but we cannot count on these conditions to continue. In 2016 and previous years, snowpack levels have been reduced due to warmer weather conditions. And, the State Water Resources Control Board is extremely uncertain about future conditions.
Imminent Water Crisis
Intelligence agencies worldwide have pointed out water scarcity as a major global concern. Due to climate change, 30 percent of the world’s population who currently live in dry areas (like California) will suffer from land degradation and scarcity of natural resources.
And, if you think that nobody else is taking note on the water crisis. You should know that investors are already protecting their portfolios against water scarcity.
Water conservation is a joint effort. By proactively working together, we can prolong our natural resources.