All of us know about the drought stricken California during the El Nino years. Those who were staying in the state at that time had been badly affected by it and this severe calamity has been compared to the one in 1970’s, when California was faced with a similar crisis.
Suffering drought for some years that almost seemed like eternity, California launched a ‘Save Our Water’ campaign in April, 2009 as an urgent need. Whereas the average annual rainfall in Bakersfield was expected to be 6.5%, in reality, it was only 4.8%, between the years 1999 to 2006. The same holds true for Los Angeles. Statistics showed that the average yearly rainfall which was supposed to be 15% actually stuck at 13.8%.
Economic crisis was an issue with land owners and cooperative small scale businesses were being forced to shut down as drought hit hard in Central California. People were either moving out temporarily or migrating permanently to other states as the government set a restriction on accumulating water from the delta. Conventional irrigation methods worked no more.
California, often termed as a “salad bowl” is one of the major agricultural states in the USA. Hence the drought in California affected the rest of the country as well. The director of California’s Department of Water Resources stressed on the need to conserve water. Each and every citizen had a role to play in this. Changing one’s habits is indeed difficult, and requires time and effort.
As all the water agencies in California sought a voluntary conservation of water, California’s Department of Water Resources assisted local governments in preventing erosion, run off, irrigation problems and in recycling of water. Using Drip Line irrigation as well as sprinklers was a good way of sustaining agricultural practices.
Even today, people in California and Los Angeles are trying to preserve as much water as possible to avoid future crises. Many Landscaping Companies now opt for dry resistant plants to create the effect of a shady oasis which requires minimal watering.