At this point, you’ve probably heard something about the veritable drying up of California. According to California state officials, the drought is one of the worst on record. You may be aware that San Juan County has also been suffering a dry spell, with rainfall over the last three months being 6 inches less than is normal. On May 15 of this year, Governor Jay Inslee declared the drought a statewide emergency. While California’s water situation is worse than ours in the Northwest, there are things you can do to help make sure we don’t reach that point anytime soon.Turning off the water when you brush your teeth can save more than two gallons per minute. Similarly, taking shorter showers – or fewer, if that’s your thing – can have huge results in the long term. If you accidentally put too much water in your kettle while making oolong tea, it’s better to use it to water your hydrangeas than to just pour it down the drain. It’s also worth it to look into fixing leaking faucets – don’t waste water you’re not using. Finally, your lawn probably does not need to be watered that much, and you really only need to wash your clothes and dishes if you have a full load. Water conservation doesn’t have to be hard, and losing too much water has big ramifications.
Drought can cause terrible thirst, but that’s not its only effect. It can also result in famine due to dying food crops, wildfires caused by dry conditions, and disease because of diminished access to clean water. In the case of California, about 15% of the state’s energy is supplied through hydropower. Some species of animals, such as migratory salmon, are also in danger due to the recently dry climate. Depending on its length, draught can wreak havoc on an environment. Water is important, folks. Treat it nicely.