By Yazalex Lopez, Staff Writer
While in the bathtub enjoying a 30 minute shower, or deciding whether to give that dirty plate another wash, our entire state, California, is hitting a drought of which not all residents are even aware. A drought? Yes. A drought. Don’t worry, nothing to be alarmed about. Just something to keep in mind and be aware of.
Governor Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency for California in the month of January of 2013. And on July 15, of 2014 California imposed a statewide water restriction during the drought. According to NASA, last year, 2014 was California’s driest year in history, “It takes years to get into a drought of this severity, and it will likely take many more big storms, and years, to crawl out of it.” During the month of December in 2014 the government of California called an emergency drought alert and requested that people begin using less water to stop the unexpected drought. By November the water restriction climbed to 9.8% reduction in year-over-year water use. This drought has been so bad that believe it or not, NASA satellites can see it from space.
However, there is some good news. By the beginning of 2015 snow covered ground to a depth of 21.3 inches according to the Department of Water Resources (DWR) Frank Genrke, Chief of California Cooperative Snow Surveys. That’s precisely more snow than last year. That’s not the only good news. By January 6, 2015 there was an early season of rainfall that has delivered a third of what we need to end this prolonged drought. “Extreme drought conditions and similar precipitation would have to fall to end with this drought.” Notes the California Drought Organization website. Federal and State Agencies plan drought operations for 2015. Meanwhile, in Sacramento, Governor Edmund Brown issued an executive order streamlining efforts to provide water to families in dire need as the extreme drought continues to grip the state.
People from all over the state have been trying to raise awareness on the issue. One man even decided not to shower for 128 days to raise awareness about water conservation. However it will take more than not showering to let the state know about this unexpected drought before it’s a little too late. On January 7, of 2015 the California Arts Council invited California students to participate in the Conservation Creativity Challenge Poster Contest. This contest supports Brown’s goal and the State Drought Task Force to awaken all Californians from youngest to eldest about the ongoing need for water conservation in our state. This contest aims to raise awareness of everyday water conservation. It doesn’t necessarily mean we don’t need to shower, it just means that instead of 30 minute showers or sometimes even longer, we should start taking ten minute showers instead, and turning off the faucet when we’re not using it. Try watering plants a little quicker. Whatever you feel you could do to help save our water will help. It’s about time we all come together and give California a little back for everything it has given to us. Well, there you have it, it’s nothing to panic about. However it is something to keep in mind. After all, we’re under good care.