Water Wasting in California

LevelBasinFloodIrrigation

We could end California’s drought right now. The whole nations heard about the drought in California, and Californians know that more than anything else. The people in California are cutting down on watering lawns, showering, getting car washes,etc. Water is becoming a scarce commodity and to conserve water, residence all across the state are using less water. This isn’t the right way to approach things. If all the people in California stopped using water altogether, water usage would still be above 80 percent. Why? Because 80 percent of water is used for agriculture. One of California’s main crops is almonds. Fun fact: it takes a gallon of water to make ONE almond. California produces 100 percent of America’s almonds and roughly 75 percent of the world’s almonds. So we more or less hold a monopoly on that crop. If we produced less, the price for almonds would increase and we could cut down the amount of almonds we make while still generating a decent amount of money. But this is just one of California’s crops. It takes twelve gallons of water for one head of lettuce. Imagine if we produced less of that too. But this brings up an interesting point. If California spends 80 percent of its water on agriculture, the agriculture MUST be generating a large amount of money, right? Well from the tone of that sentence you can tell that it’s not. Agriculture only makes up roughly 2 percent of California’s GDP. 80 percent of this states water goes into 2 percent of its GDP. That’s ridiculous. If California simply produced half as much crops, then this drought wouldn’t be a problem. California may produce 1 percent less, but imagine replacing all that farmland with something more productive. Just for the fun of thinking about it. If someone put solar panels over the area that would no longer be used for farming, they would produce 7.7 million GWh of energy. For reference, that’s enough energy of at least 650,000,000 homes. Imagine the endless possibilities of things that can be done with even ten percent of California’s farmland. It’s such as simple solution to such a serious problem, so why does California continue to waste its time and resources on something so insignificant?

-Brian Dang

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