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Drought strategy: learning good stewardship, becoming more self-reliant

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The extreme drought is not only hurting farmers and ranchers in California, but many consumers are bracing themselves for the decimation coming to extreme budgets and an escalating cost for groceries.

The President underscored the drama. From the White House transcript of remarks made by Obama on a recent tour of California:

"Droughts have obviously been a part of life out here in the West since before any of us were around and water politics in California have always been complicated, but scientific evidence shows that a changing climate is going to make them more intense."

He also stated the facts about the agricultural importance of the state in America:

"... California is our biggest economy, California is our biggest agricultural producer, so what happens here matters to every working American, right down to the cost of food that you put on your table."

Local strategies:

Locally, the work of drought-proofing the county continued more visibly last year. It involves a pipeline linking a seawater desalination plant, built by Poseidon Resources in Carlsbad, and the countywide distribution system of the San Diego County Water Authority.

The plan is to provide San Diego County with "... a locally-controlled, drought-proof supply of high-quality water that meets or exceeds all state and federal drinking water standards," according to the Carlsbad Desalination Project website. Here in the North County it means a pipeline that will "... help distribute the region’s first significant source of drought-proof local water," as reported last year by Phil Diehl in the U-TSanDiego.

The pipeline begins on Rancho Santa Fe Road in San Marcos and makes a "... 10-mile-long, 4½-foot-diameter ..." journey across three cities: Carlsbad, Vista and San Marcos.

Consumer strategies:

Beyond supply of water, quality is also important.

When consumers suddenly lose access to clean drinking water, as did 300,000 West Virginians who suffered through a chemical spill according to the NYTimes article online, private storage of rainwater may be a smart investment. West Virginia’s secretary of state, Natalie E. Tennant, was quoted:

“We must have confidence that the water coming out of our faucets is not going to make our families sick.”

The American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association website promotes "... sustainable rainwater harvesting practices to help solve potable, non-potable, stormwater and energy challenges throughout the world."

About 98% of homes collect no rainwater, according to the business website for rain-watersystems.com. A philosophy written there brings the idea of stewardship home:

"I started to look and think about the way we as a society act and realized that it was true; we are doing things to ourselves and our planet that will make future generations pay more for water, and perhaps even live shorter lives."

So water harvesting the rain we actually receive may help consumer peace of mind. A few San Diego companies where water harvesting products may be found:

San Diego Rain Gutters

Ace Rain Gutters

A press release regarding the desalinated water deal and distribution by San Diego County Water Authority can be found at the PoseidenWater website.

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