Water Conservation

The front page photograph in the Time’s article says it all. To my mind it speaks to people’s arrogance, greed, folly and ignorance all in one image. To think that this form of development is in any way sustainable is so patently absurd that I have to wonder if we are indeed able to learn.

The image inside the article expands on this absurdity, but let’s not blame people and their ostentatious homes all by themselves. What about the fact that the farmers in California have resisted water conservation practices until forced to use them. Now they are beginning to use compost, masters and drip irrigation. Now, when the crisis is upon them.

water-conservationI can recall discussions about these landscaping practices when I was in college. Farmers would not use them because they cost more, they didn’t believe that they would work, or there were those independent minds that believed that government shouldn’t tell them what to do.

Homeowners were, and in most cases, remain adamant about their rights to have what they want in their yard.

Well, we are finding that sustainable agriculture and landscaping are generally most likely to occur when we mimic the natural system that is in place. If we can’t do that, we can at least use the most efficient forms of water conservation possible.

The article makes me wonder what the state of California’s water crisis would be if the methods of water conservation that have been around for decades had been adopted thirty years ago?

This would be an interesting analysis for a grad student.

Read the full article:
California Drought Tests History of Endless Growth
Limited free access; NY Times subscription may be required.

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