Progression to Perfection,
Photos by Dorian Toy. Davis, CA.

Ignorance to no end.

I honestly don’t know how people can sleep at night, knowing the immediate water crisis that California is facing. If you don’t know already, California has reached a record breaking dry spell that has left many of the streams parched and snowfall bare. In 2013 according to the National Weather Service, San Francisco only received 5.6 inches of rainfall (expected to average 23.7 inches). Death Valley EQUALLY matched the 5 inches in the same year. Since December 2013, it’s still been dry, dry, dry. Jay Lund, director for the Center for Watershed Sciences at UC Davis comments “But I think everybody has heard by now that 2013 was the driest year on record, and so far this year has been very, very┬ádry.” Let’s not forget about the indirect effects. These include increased risk to wild fires and warmer temperatures have been observed. Animal behavior and weather patterns become erratic and less predictable (ie the Soda Fire in the Southern Sierra Nevada - a 7,000 ft elevation fire in the middle of January where there would usually be several feet of snow). Last week, Sacramento reached a record high of 79 degrees. 79 DEGREES. IN THE MIDDLE OF JANUARY. Look at me with a straight face and tell me something ISN’T wrong here…?

Many counties across the state are starting to take measures to conserve water such as preventing the watering of lawns (Mendicino County), preventing the washing of cars (Marin County), and not allowing restaurants to serve drinking water unless specifically asked to by customers (Santa Cruz).

It’s great. BUT MORE CAN BE DONE. Here’s a small list of small things that if we all practice, will yield BIG impacts and I HIGHLY recommend pursuing IMMEDIATELY:

  • The home and water: A 10 minute shower averages about 50 gallons of water. Now multiply that 7. That’s 350 gallons of water a week, which is enough to flood a small house. Solution: Shower quicker/less often.
  • Transportation and water: Refining fossil fuels into consumable oils and gas is very water intensive. Heavier things take more gas to transport. Solution: Carpool, bus, or bike to work/school. STOP ORDERING EVERYTHING ONLINE. BUY LOCAL.
  • Agriculture and water: Farming plants and animals (especially animals) for consumption is extremely water intensive. Also, animals are heavier to transport. Solution: Eat more local and less water intensive foods. Producing a bar of chocolate requires 27,000 liters of water because cocoa beans are so water intensive. STOP BUYING COFFEE AND CHOCOLATE. All that crap is imported anyways and the farmers are slaved with unethical wages.

Think it doesn’t affect you? My few points to convince you otherwise:

  • Do you think California’s population is increasing? (I don’t know why you would answer “no”…)
  • If we cannot even meet today’s water demand, how can we expect to meet the future’s needs with a larger population?
  • Would you compromise the future generation’s accessibility to resources for the exploitation of those resources today?

Water is an essential necessity in life. Imagine a week without access to clean water. How would you brush your teeth, shower, or use the bathroom? How would you have any food? How could the electricity you consume be generated? How could the fossil fuels that you use to commute be refined? Without water, we would go absolutely insane. We need to stop taking water for granted and open our eyes to the choices we are presented with in life.

A single sheet of paper may be easy to fold in half. However, a stack of papers is enough to induce a significant change (such as forming a resistance to folding or ripping).

We often forget that our actions bear consequences. We are almost exclusively blinded by our fears, if not deliberate ignorance. Daily habits are executed without a single thought as to its repercussions. Every. Single. Action. has its consequence, and it’s up to us to lessen the consequences, conserve water, and maximize resource availability for our future generations. So go on. Live life a little precariously and step out of your comfort bubble for a bit. Try something new. Your kids will thank you later.