By Joe Bongiovanni
The drought in California shows no signs of letting up after breaking record after record. The US Drought Monitor lists 22% of California in a state of exceptional drought with another 66% of the state experiencing extreme drought, the second worst category after exceptional. 2014 has already been one of the driest in history and is causing hardships across the state. Livestock do not have enough grass to feed on and are being sold off. The record breaking low rainfall has also depleted many of the reservoirs, adversely affecting hydroelectric production and drinking water supplies.
As water reserves dry up and access to feed becomes limited, livestock ranchers are struggling to achieve pre-drought levels of production. Dairy is a leading industry in California and the drought has already reduced it by 10 percent with over 1,000 dairy farms being lost. Farmers have said that weather trends are beginning to indicate that past and present strategies will not be adequate for sustainable production in the future. As more of the state reaches exceptional drought status, farmers are worried about further reductions to livestock and crops.
While the droughts have severely impacted the agricultural industries in the Southwest, energy production has continued without a hiccup. With hydroelectric power providing upwards of 15 percent of California’s energy needs each year, the lack of rainfall has significantly reduced energy production from this source. In 2013, only 9 percent of total state energy can from hydroelectric sources. This year’s output is expected to be even lower due over 3 years over consistent drought. The main reason the drought has not devastated the energy sector in California is because of the mix of resources used to create electricity. Natural gas and other renewable energy can be increased to make up the slack for poor reliability of hydroelectric power at any given time.
California’s water crisis has been felt particularly hard by rural communities. These areas generally have fewer residences so they have less funding for infrastructure and limited resources.
“CDPH’s Drinking Water Program oversees approximately 7,500 public water systems that serve drinking water throughout California. As part of its mission, the Program provides technical assistance to at-risk drinking water systems and works with them to identify potential solutions and funding sources. CDPH also works with state and federal partners to identify additional resources that may be available.
During the ongoing extreme drought conditions in the state, the program is identifying drinking water systems that may be vulnerable to acute drinking water shortages due to drought, and CDPH continues to monitor and evaluate drinking water systems to determine others that may soon be at-risk.
Small drinking water systems are especially vulnerable to drought conditions. They have fewer customers, which can mean fewer options in terms of resources like funding and infrastructure. However, a public water system’s size is not the only factor that may make it vulnerable to the effects of drought. Type of water source and local conditions also play a significant role in system vulnerability.”
–California Department of Public Health
Rural communities that rely on water from wells are at particular risk. Contaminants like pesticides and chemicals become more concentrated because they have less water in the system for dilution. These contaminants include nitrates from fertilizers and arsenic from industrial applications like oil extraction. The drought is making these conditions worse. These conditions also turn creeks and streams into stagnant river beds, perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes to spread diseases.
Don’t let your drinking water become contaminated with nasty chemical like nitrates and arsenic. Call Angel Water, Inc. today to find out how a Reverse Osmosis Water Filter can provide you with clean and safe drinking water for the entire family.