Follow the Water

An anxious California awaits the start of the rainy season, still months away. There’s been quite a bit of reporting on how water use patterns have changed, or not changed. Unlike energy use, it’s pretty easy to tell if your neighbor has not cut back on water use. If he has a front lawn, and it’s green, there’s really no other explanation. And yet, we still see some bright green lawns around the neighborhood. Those of us in the dead lawn group see this, point it out and criticize. It’s like the scarlet letter, only it’s green and not typographical. And it’s not just the water guzzling homeowner that concerns us. The Central Valley farmers are clamoring for more water, insisting that climate change is a hoax, and claiming that their farms have been turned into a modern-day Dust Bowl by environmentalists. Helpfully, NOAA has come out with these great true color satellite images, and we can take a look at how the Central Valley is doing. Are they running low on water?

Central Valley

All evidence to the contrary. Looks rather green to me. In fact, I think maybe they could even cut back on their water use a little bit, instead of draining and collapsing the aquifer. Mellowcat has cut back on the water consumption: check this out.

Water use

Look’s like a 50% reduction from here. And I’m not saying the Mellowcat is good and Farmers are bad, necessarily, although if you want to make that argument I won’t stop you. We’re just pointing out that a good citizen should use a fair share of our limited resources. I don’t have a recent satellite view of our home to share, but I can assure you that it would not include any green. Everything’s pretty much dead. I do understand that a farmer would want to avoid that condition, but also think that the valley’s looking quite a bit greener than we would expect during the worst drought in our history.

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