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The Enemy Drought – Fight The Depletion of Our Natural Resources by Practicing Sustainable Living

“Water should never be treated as a nonrenewable resource; it should always be treated with the respect it deserves as the foundation of life on the planet.” -David Brown

California contains one of the most unique and diverse set of ecosystems in the world. The Golden State has snow covered mountains and fertile valleys, dry deserts and lush forests, an ocean on one side and the Sierra Nevadas on the other – all within just a few hours driving distance of each other. These natural resources combined create an ecological hotspot, deemed to be among the top 33 areas of biodiversity in the world. And we owe it all to water.

Waterways in California form an intricate web of watersheds comprised of snow and rain, rivers and streams, estuaries, and bays. It forms the beautiful snowpack of the Sierra Nevada mountains in the winter, melting in the summer to rage down the mountains and into our rivers, bringing life to the Central Valley. But now all of our watersheds are suffering. As we enter the third year of an extreme drought, we are finally awakening to the fact that our state is running out of water and what it might mean for us to be out of it.

California has a thriving agricultural economy that leads the nation in production and quality. Most of our crops rely on irrigation; waters diverted from the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers seed life into the millions of acres of crops. Fisheries and endangered species also rely heavily rain and snowmelt. Anadromous salmon cannot swim upriver and spawn if there is a lack of sufficient river flow. Water is also important for California’s population as well. The severity of the current drought ensures that our farms, fisheries, and consumers will be in a desperate struggle for every last drop.

California has experienced many droughts before, some lasting more than 200 years. We certainly hope that is not the case here, that this drought will be over and done with quickly. Unfortunately, we cannot count on this, nor can we say that another drought will not slam us again in the near future.

Again the whispers of climate change are becoming shouts, especially as the polar vortex continues to molest the midwest and northeast, and super typhoons pound the Philippines. Climate change is happening, but I will not imply that the current weather conditions here in California are a direct consequence. What I will say is that drought is a reason, a cause, for Californians to band together and live ethically. The drought is no longer at our doorstep. It has broken into our house and cut our pipelines. It has infiltrated our home and is destroying our crops, drying out our rivers and streams, killing our fish. It is an immense enemy that we cannot fight unless each and every person does their part. We are in a state of emergency and in order to conserve our natural resources, we must ACT. As Karen Ross of the California Department of Food and Agriculture says, “We are all in this together.”

It is our responsibility, our obligation to fight this enemy. We’ve all heard of ways to save water – mainly cutting water usage wherever possible. We have a terrible history of overconsumption; it is difficult for our society to regulate wants and needs, especially when we live in a nation that that allows us tremendous access to all of our modern delights. Now is the time, more than ever, to carry out mindful practices in our everyday lives so that we may have a sustainable future. As one mindful consumer writes:

“Mindful consumption means understanding that everything you purchase and use in your daily life can be traced back to another place on earth; a place that is filled with people, communities, and ecosystems.”

In this case, we must use mindful consumption not only for what we buy in the grocery store, but also for how we structure our use of water. The amount of water we use in the shower, washing our dishes, watering our lawns – it traces directly back to us and our people, our communities, our ecosystems. With this drought we will undoubtedly see rising prices in the produce section. Our fish will struggle and fail to make it upstream. Wildfires, like the devastating Rim Fire, will become more abundant with no rain to quench the rolling hills of dry grass. By working together here and now, we can help save our agricultural yield and our wallets while helping protect the unique ecology of our state.

We have so much access to so many wonderful things, yet we take it for granted. Let’s decide now to appreciate, protect, and conserve all that nature provides for us. Live sustainably with ethically sourced products from Pucci Foods and do your part to create a sustainable future.

 

4 thoughts on “The Enemy Drought – Fight The Depletion of Our Natural Resources by Practicing Sustainable Living

  1. I had vaguely heard that California had been suffering from droughts, but had no idea to what extent. It is quite disheartening to hear about how sever the shortage is. I think one of the biggest issues is people not taking the signs seriously. It would be one thing if there was one year of drought, but for it to be on its third, shows that the problem is not going away, and that it has the potential to get even worse. The effects are being felt by wildlife in ways that humans can’t really relate. I don’t think people will take it serious until it begins affecting them much more seriously. It might only affect fish prices, but when those species that people love to buy seize to exist, then what? I think that people wont realize how serious it is until it reaches that catastrophic point.

  2. Driving through California, especially through the Summer and Autumn months, it’s not hard to tell that something isn’t right. A lot of lakes dry up and plenty of foliage is dry as a bone. Not only does this hurt the ecosystem, but it also puts people at risk. Brush fires can erupt instantly from something as simple as a cigarette butt being ejected from a car. This can lead to homes being destroyed and lives being taken. If people around the world actually took the time to take environmental matters seriously, the risks associated with climate change would fall dramatically.

  3. While I will agree that things are changing, I do disagree with the overly alarming hysterical tone of this blog. Yes, we all must be aware, without a doubt. Yes, we need to conserve, most certainly. But the world has been changing for more than just the past handful of generations. Acknowledge that and we’ll start to get somewhere. Now it’s up to us to adapt. Move away from those horribly clogged up places on the west coast. Maybe Mother Nature doesn’t want you to enjoy all that beauty. Move more inland. Forge out a living in the mountains or in the plains. There are alternatives. It’s up to us to determine just how much we personally want to sacrifice. But no matter what we do, the world is changing. It spins along in outer space regardless of what we do. Peace!

  4. I have friends living in California and they are being told to do everything they can to conserve water. I must say that I do believe this has to do with climate change. Like it says in this article, we are terrible about overconsumption and also not thinking about the future of our environment. I was shocked to see the picture comparison of the sierra Nevada snowpack just in the last year alone! We are all in this together, and we need to start acting cohesively as one group, instead of one side fighting the other on the destruction happening to our environment. Everyone working together to create a sustainable lifestyle will help. If everyone can just do something small, I believe the impact can be big. Also, I hope everyone thinks about their actions during this time. Like a previous commenter noted, even a cigarette butt can start a brush fire that can wipe out whole ecosystems. Please be mindful, and like it says in the article, we’re all in this together.

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