The California drought crisis is one that has seen a significant impact across the board in the United States. While many in the U.S. have been left with the false notion that only those living in California are the ones actually feeling the true crisis, the truth is that those living well outside the borders of the state are going to be dealing with the side-effects of this crisis for decades to come.
Experts have pointed out that it would take five years of torrential rain to actually change what has become a deadlocked problem. That is largely due to the fact that the west is widely supplied by water through the Colorado River, which has been getting overused, and overspent for more than 100 years. This is something that has now become so challenged that water restrictions have been placed throughout California, and now those living along the Colorado River also face significant problems.
Even cities like San Francisco, which is notoriously one of the smallest consumers of water in the state – as far as water goes – are being told to reduce their usage during the California drought crisis. Farmers though say that the $46 billion industry is going to be seriously impacted, and that “enough is enough.” The state of California though, as they search for a solution, is being left with a stark realization that there probably is not much that can be done to actually improve the situation as a whole in the short-term.
The answers that need to be sought out are climate and usage related, rather than being related to the overall supply of water that exists. The simple truth at this point is that water is running out – and the Colorado River is being killed. This is something that has been talked about repeatedly, but people don’t realize that as the river has been tapped for more than 100 years, and is continuing to get tapped beyond its run – that it is a pace that simply cannot be kept.
Officials continue to call the California drought “extreme and exceptional” and that’s saying something for a state that has remained in that classification for more than 4 full years. This means that even if a solution came to be, the problem itself would still persist for another 5-10 years.
Experts also pointed out that to this point, the drought has cost California $2.6 billion in 2015 alone. To put the overuse in perspective though, it should be noted that when water rights to the Colorado River were established, the individuals establishing those figures vastly miscalculated the numbers.
There was significantly less water in the river, and flowing through it annually, due to it being a wetter than usual period. This is the biggest reason why the Colorado River is drying up, and how much the California Drought is pushing it and making it worse. The California drought is something that is going to take years, and year to recover from, and at this point just getting to a “recovery stage” seems like something that might not even be attainable given the current situation.