When in Drought

Al Seib / TNS

It’s going to take willpower to fix the driest  four years in California.

Staff Editorial

Don’t let the recent rain clouds fool you. Despite downpours in late November and early December, the California drought is far from over.

We avoid or ignore the water crisis because our toilet still flushes and the shower turns on. Taking water for granted and the “out of sight, out of mind” approach is making things worse.

At the start of 2014, under a third of the state was classified as being in extreme drought. Now 80 percent of California is, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. These numbers show that despite years of warnings from experts, not enough has been done.

Rivers and lakes are receding at alarming rates. Farmers are struggling and food prices are rising. Wildlife seeking water is becoming a common sight in residential neighborhoods.

As far as relief goes, the outlook is bleak. The recent rain wasn’t nearly enough to compensate for what the state has lacked this year. Recycling or desalinating water is expensive. Recently some city governments have put restrictions on watering and urged residents to conserve.

Meaning, water plants less often and at cooler times of the day. Brush your teeth in the shower. Cook with the correct‑sized pots. Check faucets for leaks. Wash clothes or dishes only when there is a full load. All these things can save thousands of gallons a year.

Right now every drop counts. All it takes is willpower.

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