ESSAY: Tips to quench an exceptional drought

By Rudy Raya

California’s thirst is real. It might be difficult to notice the effects of the water shortage when you live downtown or in a residential area, but please believe, California’s heartland is in a real hurt.

Harsh summer conditions coupled with skyrocketing water prices have pinched the agricultural sector this year for more than $2.2 billion in losses—forcing cuts to 17,100 seasonal and part-time jobs, according to a recent study by the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences.

The U.S. Drought Monitor classified almost 60 percent of the state as being in an “exceptional drought,” with Central and Northern California the hardest hit.

In this case, exceptional is not a good thing. This drought is “exceptional” in the fact that it’s the third worst ever recorded. In response, California has been forced to tap heavily into its dwindling groundwater reserves, which doesn’t bode well for a drought that’s predicted to last through next year, according to the UC Davis study.

While Sacramento has been one of the better cities at curbing water usage, we could always do more. Here are just a few (semi-) serious suggestions to help save California before it’s all shriveled up:

Stop watering your lawn. A lawn serves no real purpose outside of being a restroom for neighborhood pets. If your lawn has even the smallest patch of green, you are killing California. Your lawn shouldn’t even be yellow; it should be a dry stretch of dead, cracked dirt.

Stop showering every day. In a state of emergency like this, there’s no time for hygiene. Get some Wet-Naps and a can of Lysol, and you’re good to go. If you absolutely must shower, do so with a friend.

Stop drinking water. A majority of our daily fluid intake should consist of whole milk, high-fructose corn-syrup-based beverages and alcohol. No ice, either. All your refreshments should be room temperature or warmer.

Now, these may seem idiotic—and they are—but what would be even more foolish is to go about your everyday routine during a crisis like this. No more washing your clothes while you brush your teeth as you wait for the shower to heat up.

It’s time every Californian makes a conscious effort to reduce daily water usage. Or soon enough, we’ll all be in over our heads.

Rudy Raya is an SN&R intern.

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