By Sokunthea Muth
California is on its third year of water shortages. For the last two years, California hasn’t had much rainfall and this is affecting the farmers and the produce in the Central Valley, and has caused governor Jerry Brown to issue a drought emergency. As a result of the drought, workers in the Central Valley were unemployed due to the inability to produce crops because of California’s water issues.
Since there has been little rainfall in California for a long time, reservoir levels are decreasing. With no rainfall for this rainy season, some cities in California are being forced to conserve water usage. If folks are seen over-using water, they will be fined up to $1,000. According to a January article in the San Jose Mercury News, some cities such as San Jose, Sacramento, Fresno, and Bakersfield were at risk of running out of water in 60-120 days due to the drought.
“California is a well-known sunny state,” said senior Amy Zeng. “A lot of people use water for everyday use and I’m concerned that we’re running out of water. We need the rain!”
Governor Jerry Brown proposed a $687 billion aid plan for California because of the drought crisis. Legislators are approving water conservation and clean drinking water projects for farmers who are struggling to pay for mortgages and groceries. Towns and cities that are running out of water will get $15 million in emergency funds. “We must all do our part to conserve in this drought,” Governor Brown said.
According to the San Jose Mercury News, legislation will not include funds to build new water storage facilities. Meanwhile, residents in other parts of the country are jealous of California’s sunny and warm weather while they’re battling with snow and rain.
“The drought is definitely destroying our produce and water bills are increasing,” said Merritt College student Davy Loch. “I’m so concerned about this water crisis. What will this mean for summer camping trips?”
California is like a dusty blanket, leaving landscapes so dry, according to the Los Angeles Times. Some cities are also banning outdoor water activities. Despite the rain in February and March, California is still below average in yearly rainfall. People fear that this drought will break records.