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Vivid article on water problems in California's Central Valley

NBC. Lots of good quotes:

“To shower, I use a cup, just like when I was in ‘Nam,” he said, stepping away from a stream of glistening neighbors, most of them just back from the fields. Some had dust on their ear lobes and deep in their wrinkles. None had a simple way to shower in town that night.

“We’re living in a third world country now,” he continued.


“Sometimes I pull over at a gas station and go into the bathroom, just to wet my hair down,” admitted Becky, a school bus driver. “I feel like a homeless person.”

Or, the reporter:

In the absence of a bailout, some people are trying to take care of themselves.

Too right.

Soon, the Patchecos will be, too. They’re not planning to be like the Chavez family, struggling through an unnecessarily hardscrabble retirement. They don’t want to live “Mexico-style.”

“Everything was so nice,” admitted Maria. But not anymore. “California is going dry.”

I don't know if we can predict long-term drought at the county level. But for years, the ridiculousness of American water policy has been clear: All you had to do was take a plane over the Southwest. Miles and miles and mikes of desert, and then a few tens of miles of lawns and trees and golf-courses, and then desert again. We built cities where they were not meant to be, and the water -- absent massive lifestyle changes, that capture every drop, like Dune -- to support them is no longer there. Bottled water (from Poland Springs, Maine?) won't be enough for long. And fracking doesn't help.

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jo6pac's picture
Submitted by jo6pac on

Miles and miles and mikes of desert

Just might be a spelling error or they're just to many mikes in Callie.

Or there's this and this is a wealth area of Calli.

There more than just the cities in the desert that refuse to use gray water it's also farming in areas of the central valley that was desert and now are row crops and orchards. Sad, very few cities other than Elk Grove, Calif. and Irvine, Calif do gray water. There might be more but I know in Tracy the do not have a system in place because developers didn't want the extra cost. It was great for the short run but a killer for the long run. Then well drilling is at an all time high and the state just passed a law for meters to go on well in the future. The water war is for real here and in other states as well. I can't wait for Fracking to arrive in Calli?

jo6pac's picture
Submitted by jo6pac on

Sorry should have read the link Tulare basin is the biggest problem in the state, one of the largest under natural lakes was under this area only to be pump dry by friends of di-fi in one of the largest planting of almond orchards in the world. This area was desert. More tomorrow

V. Arnold's picture
Submitted by V. Arnold on

...for people to live in the desert. But not if they try to make it something else.
Many peoples around the world live successfully in the desert.
We just did it stupidly...