For the last five years California had one of the harshest droughts in its history.
You might have seen the pictures of Lake Folsom or Lake Oroville, among many, many others.
Courtesy: State of California
But the worst is yet to come…
A third of California’s water comes from the Sierra Nevada mountains. Just this month the Department of Water Resources predicted that the mountains will produce about three quarters of the normal runoff during the months of heaviest snowmelt, shorting the rivers and reservoirs that typically provide California’s water.
This will become the fifth year of historic drought for the Golden State.
Governor Jerry Brown has just issued an executive order that makes certain emergency water cuts from the past few years permanent. “Now we know that drought is becoming a regular occurrence, and water conservation must be a part of our everyday life.”
You might be thinking, I don’t live in California. Why should I care?
Did you know that more than 50 percent of all our fruits and vegetables are grown in the state of California?
And it’s not just fruits and vegetables. This year’s cattle herd hit a 61-year low of 89.3 million head of cattle, and this number is decreasing every day.
In 2015 the drought cost California over $2.7 billion, according to a new UC Davis study. (Source)
The study also states that the drought has reduced seasonal farm employment by 10,100 jobs this year and 21,000 if you count the indirect job losses (truck drivers, food processing workers, etc.).
The Californian Department of Food and Agriculture warned that current drought conditions coupled with the existing man-made drought mean that Americans will pay more for groceries. (Source)
…which means that YOU’ll pay more for groceries!
The things that scare me the most are the studies that show that this drought will continue. It will stay with us for a long time….
And it is already starting to have devastating effects.
Recently I’ve seen this video of a small town called Stratford, California. Haven’t heard of it? Well, if the drought continues, there will be nothing left to hear about….
Farmers are forced to sell land to pay bills, others are forced to move to bigger cities, and almost every business is on the verge of bankruptcy.
This rattles me because we are not talking about big oil, big pharmaceutical companies, or big food processing companies; we are talking about Americans just like you and me, about the average citizen who works every day, at one job or two jobs, to put food on the table.
Everybody is in pretty bad shape, and the thing that scares us the most is that this is out of our control.
Don’t think for one moment I’m just sitting here doing nothing, waiting for the government to help me. I feel the same about our politicians as I feel about the weather:
I hope for the best, but I prepare for the worst.
I am constantly looking for ways to improve my crops. My research led me to a lot of interesting and innovative ways of growing food. I know the best plants to grow in arid zones, I tried hay stale and bale gardening, and I found the most productive ways to use small patches of land. If you’ve heard of it, I’ve tried it—maybe even some methods that were clearly destined to fail. But what you shouldn’t do is just as important as what you should do.
So after a while I realized that the best way to grow vegetables is a system that recycles water. The best part of this particular method of growing food is that you don’t lose any water to soil infiltration, only through evaporation, plus you won’t get just fruits or vegetables; you’ll also get meat. If you are interested in this method, you can learn more from this video:
Want to find out more about the drought and how to build your own aquaponics system with a low budget?
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