Californians are used to being told the state faces water shortages as population grows, making the crises of periodic droughts even greater than they’ve been in the past. A good overview of the situation is given in the S.F. Chronicle which reports on the low resevoirs in the Bay Area and further afield. Unless the very heavy rains come in February and March, many of us are facing mandatory rationing this summer. The Bay Area League sponsored an educational day on Jan. 31 called “Water: California’s New Gold” where participants heard about the many areas in which we are failing to safeguard our water. The Delta faces threats as its ecosystem is stressed by increasing demands for water while invasive species threatened the populations of fish and other creatures that maintain the system. Private individuals can do their share to conserve water in many ways, but it will take large public efforts, perhaps including a peripheral canal around the Delta to offer long-range solutions. Even though the economic system is suffering and people are feeling poor, it’s important that we don’t lose sight of the major public interests that require public monies. We need to continue to press our legislators to look to the long term as well as the short.
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