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Water is precious even when it seems plentiful

Water wasters face fines in California
Water wasters face fines in California

News today is that California is fining citizens for wasting water. While the polar vortex is bringing plenty of water to the east, out west, there is a drought. We may have plenty here, but the quality isn't great.

Too many people live in the wrong places. Southern California is a desert for the most part. Sure, the climate and the beaches are most pleasant, but the population to natural resources ratio is out of whack. That’s what makes California whacky?

More and more illegal immigrants flock to the state, and that population increase exacerbates a problem that shows up in the state’s finances too. Demand for social services outstrips revenue production, putting the state into a financial talespin.

State taxes on corporations increase, and that forced many defense contractors to move their headquarters and operations away from California. Hollywood and the entertainment industry is good for the state. Growing fruits and vegetables there might be a good thing, but something has to give. It is parch the plants and water the people, or vice versa.

The California situation is worsened by the prospect of cataclysmic natural disaster. An enormous earthquake is bound to happen soon, and when it does not only will the loss of life be great, the calamity to people living there will force a mass exodus. The economic calamity will make a huge dent in the U.S. economy.

How do you convince citizens to relocate? How do you convince a state to get smaller in population size? Economic forces don’t seem to be enough to dissuade people. Maybe only natural disaster will do it.

Yet then, national planners must be thinking about what next? Where will the people go? Where should the future of America be located? What are the ideal demographics? What will result in a more sustainable American economy?

Politicians aren’t thinking about these things with the exception of Governor Jerry Brown. He has always been a forward thinker and that is why he must be the problem-solver now.

“Wasting Water in California Will Now Cost You $500

By Kayla Ruble
July 16, 2014 | 8:24 am

Californian, where a sizable percentage of the food Americans eat is grown, is in the middle of a historic three-year drought. And yesterday, the state issued its first mandatory water restrictions just in time for the height of the state's wildfire season and hot-weather energy demands.

The State Water Resource Control Board (SWRCB) voted on Tuesday in favor of a new set of emergency regulations limiting outdoor irrigation and other wasteful water uses including landscaping and watering sidewalks. Public officials would also be given the authority to issue fines of up to $500 for violations.

“Immediate action is needed to effectively increase water conservation so that remaining supplies are maintained to address the present drought emergency,” read the proposal from July 8.

According to the state government, California is currently experiencing one of its worst droughts ever. The crippling water shortage is affecting everything from agriculture to local water supplies to recreational activities.

“It’s a pretty serious drought," said David Feldman, a water resources management expert and professor at the University of California, Irvine. "The State Water Resource Control Board is looking at efforts that will really send a strong signal to the public and local decision makers that something more is needed."

In January, California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency, asking local officials to take all precautions to deal with the drought. More recently, Brown ordered a 20 percent reduction in water use throughout the state through voluntary conservation efforts. Survey results from the SWRCB released on Tuesday, however, indicate that water consumption in California actually grew by 1 percent.”

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