California Legislators Take Action to Regulate Ground Water (Finally!)

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California is experiencing the most severe drought in history. Ninety-five percent of California is listed as “extreme drought.” This  didn’t happen over night and anyone who pays even a little attention knows it hasn’t rained significantly in the past three years. Why do our elected officials drag their feet when it comes to being pro-active about serious problems…  like water???  Who knows? But, finally they took action.

The California State Legislature passed a plan that regulates ground water use. This is the first time in history such a legislation passed in California. It now goes to Gov. Jerry Brown to sign into law.

There is a total of three bills that make up the groundwater regulatory plan: one tells local agencies to come up with water management programs, another establishes parameters for state intervention, and the third delays that intervention in areas where groundwater pumping has affected surface water.

If we had a normal rainfall we still use forty-percent of groundwater, and if we have a dry year, we use sixty-percent. This is the third dry year in a row. Places in rural San Joaquin Valley actually ran out of water this year! Can you imagine getting up tomorrow, turning on your faucet and nothing comes out? It happened to those people. How would you like having to buy bottled water to drink and clean up with? Forget about taking a shower. How about a nice sponge bath instead?

This image was done in January of this year. The red covers more territory today.

I am happy that our legislators finally took action but more can be done. We can do our part to save water. Stop watering your lawn so much or better yet plant native plants (this is the desert you know). Bring your car to the car wash. Take super fast showers or bathe with a friend! Sweep your patios instead of washing them down with a hose. Don’t let the water run when you brush your teeth or shave. Think like someone who gets their water from a private well. I know someone who does and even if there is normal rainfall, he is conscious about his water usage.

This drought affects every single one of us and we can help to conserve what little water we have. And maybe a little “rain dancing” to the Rain God Zeus couldn’t hurt.

About Inge

Cancer survivor. Healthy organic food coach. Public speaker. If you have a story you want told, contact me at