No, they haven't banned wine and beer. But they're close to shutting down water taps in the Golden State, now turned a dusty tan. Today's California's governor officially declared a statewide emergency due to a three-year drought.
He has asked urban water districts for conservation measures and threatens to enforce mandatory conservation if water use doesn't drop enough. Meanwhle, agribusiness looks to be hardest hit as it uses most of California's water. Many ranches will get little or no irrigation water this summer. Crops and herds are going to be much smaller. For many people that will mean higher food bills.
On March 1 the federal water officials will stop all surface water deliveries in California for two weeks. Are they still watering all those golf courses in Palm Springs? Filling the swimming pools in Beverly Hills? Well, in some areas of California water recycling is already underway. Many officials in California could tell this drought was building into crisis. Here's an effort a year old to increase water recycling with some federal assistance. Let's hope local water and utility cmpanies find ways of getting some of the federal largesse to increase their water recycling. Here's the EPA website info on water recycling projects that are alfready functioning.
Since it is so unpleasant to try to live without water, should we perhaps be a little more serious about water recycling in the arid western states? I blogged earlier this month about how little attention water recyclig and purification has gotten from VCs and innnovators in the U.S. Energy has been a much hotter sector. But as drinking fountains go dry across Silicon Valley that may start to change radically.
Meanwhile tech companies will feel the crunch, chip-making use lots of water.