In his first major interview since becoming U.S. Energy Secretary, Steven Chu did not ‘mince’ words with regards to the status of California’s agriculture.  The state is in its third year of drought, which is compounded by higher global temperatures preventing snow accumulation.  That runoff is what feeds our rivers and reservoirs, ultimately leaving our farms high and dry.  With California as a producer of half of all U.S. vegetables, the future of our food chain could be severely impacted by the end of this century. How can we help?

No matter where you live, begin reducing water consumption at home as soon as possible.  Even with drastic rainfall in the next few months, there will undoubtedly be water rationing as we head towards summer.  Take shorter showers, flush the toilet less often, turn off the faucet when brushing teeth. And the lawn can take a break in winter (or better yet, go ‘forever green’ with artificial turf. NO water needed and it looks SO real!)

Learn about the crisis with another influence on agriculture: the honey bee. As if  the drought isn’t bad enough, there has been a significant drop in their population with colony collapse disorder.  These little guys are responsible for pollination of a majority of our crops and their demise is seriously devastating.

Support local farms.  Know the source of your food and the methods of farming.  Small farms are in dire need of support to ensure food safety and sustainability.  Remember, we are what we eat – and drink – which may be one in the same before long.


Comments

Salad Bowl to Dust Bowl? — 6 Comments

  1. My son,an economist, who works and lives in Las Vegas, believes that the farmers in Califonia have more than their share of water, but are using what they have irresponsibly This is a ploy they’re using to save their own asses. Believe it ir not, 90% of the water used by the casinos is recycled. I wish these educated dummies would stop pushing their ecological mumbo-jumbo down our thoats and just do what’s best for everyone. Who needs these farmers now that we have South America? Think about it.

  2. Hi Theresa,
    Thanks for your comment. I had heard that about Vegas too, but we still have to be mindful of water usage – everywhere. It is a precious commodity with no guarantee of supply.
    As for the farmers – I am all about supporting local producers to keep fossil fuels low and sustain biodiversity. I’m curious about your comment ‘just do what’s best for everyone…’ – please elaborate.

  3. I agree we all need to be responsible for our water usage…

    I’d add get a rain barrel to water your plants, only use the dishwasher when it is full, likewise for the washing machine, buy LOCAL produce, cheeses, meats – better yet grow what you can yourself.

    There are so many things we can do to help conserve the resources we have. If you’ve got more ideas I’d love to hear ’em.

  4. Mrs. BJH,
    Great stuff! With regards to the dishwasher, we use the ‘quick cycle’ and put it on delay to run late at night when energy usage is lowest. And, we have a bucket in the shower to catch the water when it’s warming up, then use it to flush toilet by gravity flow.
    Our home garden uses a drip system for the veggies and we are currently replacing our water-hog lawn with artificial (but real looking)lawn.

  5. You would be surprised, if not shocked to learn the amount of water that goes to watering lawns in our country. We could save so much water if more people transitioned to synthetic grass.

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