Imagine if there was a huge fire on campus and there was no water to put it out. The California drought isn’t that bad, yet. However, the effects of it are certainly being felt throughout the state.
Small towns in Central California are suffering the most. According to USA Today, California is a $45 billion agriculture industry. With the lack of rainfall, farmers in the area will be left with no choice but to plant less. This will affect their ability to make a living.
Some Las Positas College students are aware of the drought and are taking action to help improve this dire situation our state is currently facing.
“I’m taking shorter showers,” LPC student Stephen Morris said. “We’re washing our cars less often at home. They’re all little things but hopefully they will make a difference.”
Although California is going through a dry spell, the effects are minimal on the LPC campus thanks to some help from the city’s water department.
“Based on my past experience I don’t foresee the drought causing any serious problems for the campus landscape,” said Tom Fuller, Horticulture instructor and club advisor. “Our landscape irrigation water is supplied by reclaimed water from the Livermore Water Dept. Even if domestic (potable) water use is cut drastically in the City of Livermore, I don’t think there will be a sufficiently large reduction of sewage water to limit the use of reclaimed water.”
Fuller says the reason LPC’s grass has been able to stay green is because of the reclaimed water.
“Since Chabot obtained irrigation water from its own well, and the underground aquifer was not in danger, there was no reason for us to cut landscape watering,” Fuller said. “Rather than allowing the campus landscapes to be devastated by misguided public opinion, the College opted to put up several large signs stating “Landscapes Irrigated with Non-potable Water.”
As for the ‘mega-drought’, Fuller believes that the political people can’t afford to have dying grass everywhere.
“Political leadership is often adverse to negative public opinion.,” Fuller said. “However, I believe the financial cost of losing dozens of acres of lawn and landscape outweighs the need to stay popular.”
While the effects are not seen on campus, they are seen in the community. Local Livermore vineyards are going dry due to the mandated water usage cuts made by Gov. Brown. LPC student Erick Marshall studies Viticulture. He says some of those wineries are struggling.
“I know some of them are bracing for the worst,” Marshall said. “They’re watering the vineyards as much as they can.”
Some Livermore residents are even going the spiritual route to try and get out of this “mega-drought.”
“The priest had us pray for rain just the other day at church,” LPC student Francisco Cabrera said. “That’s when I realized this drought is pretty serious.”
On Tuesday afternoon, The National Weather Service announced that the chances of enough rain falling in the next three months to bring precipitation levels in California back to normal are 1-in-1000.
With those types of odds, try to save as much water as possible. This drought is not ending anytime soon.