In the Sierras, winter was summer.
This picture was taken back in February, at the top of the mountain range that supplies much of California's water.
That's actually what it's supposed to look like in August!
In February, it should have been under five feet of snow.
First mandatory cutbacks
For the first time ever, our Governor has issued a mandatory 25% cutback in our water use.
As NPR reported, this will mainly hit big green spaces like cemeteries, golf courses and campuses.
And the governor wants to replace 50 million acres of turf with more drought-tolerant plants.
The elephant in the room!
But this order doesn't apply to the state's biggest user, agriculture.
“He’s scratching the surface and not addressing the elephant in the room,” said Adam Scow, director of the advocacy group Food & Water Watch. (SFGate)
But how can you get blood from a stone? Farmers are already getting little to no water from their normal sources.
So they are pumping groundwater. That can't last.
Between 2003 and 2010, the valley’s aquifers lost a total of 20 cubic kilometers of groundwater — enough to meet the household water needs of New York City for 11 years. (Billmoyers.com)
And that was before the current drought started!
A gallon of water for each almond
It takes a gallon of water to produce a single almond — more than three times the amount required for a grape and two and a half times as much for a strawberry. There’s more water embedded in just four almonds than there is in a full head of lettuce. (Billmoyers.com)
And almonds are booming. I know, I use them every day, and so, probably, do you.
So this leads to ever more almond plantings in California.
Yes, other crops are being reduced.
But the fact is, this is some of the most fertile land in the United States. It's not going to stop being planted.
So what's going to happen?
First, reduce water wastage. That will mean a lot of brown golf courses in places like Palm Springs.
Second, reclaim dirty and polluted water. That's where OriginOil comes in.
For example, we are working with the California oil industry to help them reuse their annual 75 billion gallons of their produced water for agriculture.
And where there are tainted aquifers, our technology can actually clean up vast amounts of water, cheaply.
Finally, we are entering the waste water treatment industry, where we can reclaim lots of very foul water.
Third, ocean water.
There's plenty of ocean, right?
But desalination is hugely expensive. The new desal plant in Carlsbad is costing San Diego more than twenty times their own lowest water cost based on ancient water rights...
So the threat of desalination will drive everyone to look at the water they are now throwing away and think of ways to reclaim it!
We're here to help, and help we will.
Have a great week!
Riggs and Team
President & CEO
OriginOil, Inc. (OOIL)