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Evaporate the problem

Emma Nicoletta, Opinion Editor

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As upper-middle class families maintain their perfectly-watered lawns, the state of California remains at risk of becoming a massive desert land.

Last week, Jeffrey Kightlinger, the general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, warned WIRED magazine that only three year’s worth of water supply is left to satisfy the state’s 38.8 million residents. Despite this fact, people continue to be wasteful in their habits.

Droughts have been a recurring problem in California for the past four years. With the winter season coming to an end, no significant amount of rainfall has occurred to relieve the situation at all. In July 2014, the state attempted to solve this issue by setting water restrictions and penalizing people up to $500 per violation. This was expected to reduce water use by 20 percent, but water use actually increased by 8 percent on the South Coast.

The state also underwent its driest period in 120 years last month. These statistics alone reveal how actions must be taken immediately before resources are depleted and the situation worsens.

California’s inevitable lack of rain and water conservation combined put its residents at risk. People are refusing to realize the gravity of this situation. Water is such a vital asset to our daily lives and without it, things such as maintaining hygiene and watering plant life would be impossible to do.

Worsening the drought not only endangers the people, but it harms the landmarks that make California one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Living in a dry wasteland is not appealing to anybody, so people should prevent turning this Golden State into one.

Not only is our current plan failing, but the groundwater we use as backup is also disappearing. This is water that cannot be replaced and according to NASA scientist James Famiglietti, it’s being pumped out at a rate much greater than it can be replenished. Time is pressing and innovative and efficient ways of preserving this valuable resource must be created. Mandatory water rationing should be implemented as soon as possible. If everyone has a set limit to follow, they will be more encouraged to save water to avoid being fined.

Though the state has formed groups in response to the drought, California must also create a task force dedicated to generating strategies for long-term water management. By doing so, if we eventually relieve ourselves from this drought, we will be able to keep the water we manage to obtain.

In order to truly make progress, the public must take responsibility as well. Conserving water is a group effort–– everyone must contribute to help solve this issue. Instead of testing your rap skills or unleashing your inner Beyonce in the shower, cut it short or recycle the water you use up. Call a plumber to fix any running toilets and leaking taps or irrigation systems and constantly remind your family members or roommates to reduce water usage. Turning off the faucet may not seem like a huge impact but it makes a difference from a global perspective. No matter how things get done, it is time to start doing something now.

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Evaporate the problem