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Watch California Dry Up Right Before Your Eyes In 6 Jaw-Dropping GIFs

California is drying up.“This is a big deal,” California Governor Jerry Brown said at a ceremony Tuesday as he signed into law a trio of bills regulating, for the first time, the state’s groundwater use. As of Thursday, almost 60 percent of the state is facing “exceptional drought,” the most severe level of dryness measured by the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Folks, you need to care about this drought in California. It is the 5th-largest food producer in the world and the biggest in the States. Thousands of migrants risk losing their jobs as crops are quickly drying up. Food prices will inflate nationwide if this does not get better. Water rations in the state will get stricter and hit low-income communities the hardest. People may need to be moved out of California. Pre-existing inequality will worsen with the economic strain. So how much time do we have to address this? NASA estimates that California has about one year of water left. You NEED to care about this.

NASA: California Has One Year of Water Left

Plagued by prolonged drought, California now has only enough water to get it through the next year, according to NASA.

In an op-ed published Thursday by the Los Angeles Times, Jay Famiglietti, a senior water scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, painted a dire picture of the state’s water crisis. California, he writes, has lost around 12 million acre-feet of stored water every year since 2011. In the Sacramento and San Joaquin river basins, the combined water sources of snow, rivers, reservoirs, soil water and groundwater amounted to a volume that was 34 million acre-feet below normal levels in 2014. And there is no relief in sight.

“As our ‘wet’ season draws to a close, it is clear that the paltry rain and snowfall have done almost nothing to alleviate epic drought conditions. January was the driest in California since record-keeping began in 1895. Groundwater and snowpack levels are at all-time lows” Famiglietti writes. “We’re not just up a creek without a paddle in California, we’re losing the creek too.”

On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that one-third of the monitoring stations in California’s Cascades and Sierra Nevada mountains have recorded the lowest snowpack ever measured.

“Right now the state has only about one year of water supply left in its reservoirs, and our strategic backup supply, groundwater, is rapidly disappearing,” Famiglietti writes.

He criticized Californian officials for their lack of long-term planning for how to cope with this drought, and future droughts, beyond "staying in emergency mode and praying for rain.”

Last month, new research by scientists at NASA, Cornell University and Columbia University pointed to a “remarkably drier future” for California and other Western states amid a rapidly-changing climate. “Megadroughts,” the study’s authors wrote, are likely to begin between 2050 and 2099, and could each last between 10 years and several decades.

With that future in mind, Famiglietti says, “immediate mandatory water rationing” should be implemented in the state, accompanied by the swift formation of regulatory agencies to rigorously monitor groundwater and ensure that it is being used in a sustainable way—as opposed to the “excessive and unsustainable” groundwater extraction for agriculture that, he says, is partly responsible for massive groundwater losses that are causing land in the highly irrigated Central Valley to sink by one foot or more every year.

Various local ordinances have curtailed excessive water use for activities like filling fountains and irrigating lawns. But planning for California’s “harrowing future” of more and longer droughts “will require major changes in policy and infrastructure that could take decades to identify and act upon,” Famiglietti writes. “Today, not tomorrow, is the time to begin.”

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California is in its fourth year of one of the worst droughts in modern history, with recent reports showing only enough water to last the state one more year. Keep in mind that this is a state whose water fuels a major portion of our entire nation’s food supply. But while residents are urged to conserve water and are facing mandatory water usage restrictions, Nestlé is bottling this scarce resource straight from the heart of California’s drought, exporting it out of state, and selling it for profit. And this is all happening right under the state water regulator’s nose!

JOIN US to call on the California Water Resources Control Board to immediately shut down Nestlé’s bottling operations during this devastating drought!

Surprise -- Turns Out Nestle Actually WAS Stealing Water In Calif.

Surprise — Turns Out Nestle Actually WAS Stealing Water In Calif.

Nestle is already in hot water over the continuing pumping of water out of drought-ravaged California to feed its bottled water business. Now, it turns out, they did not actually have the permits needed to do so from at least one of their sources, according to an investigation by The Desert Sun. As reported by the San Jose Mercury News on Sunday, it turns out that their permit for water…

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A few facts about California’s drought and almonds.
  • It takes a gallon of water to produce a single almond.
  • Over 80% of the world’s almonds are grown in California across 800,000 acres.
  • Almost all of California’s almond farms are in the state’s worst-hit drought areas.
  • Almonds consume over 10% of the state’s water.
  • California’s almond farmers pump more water than LA and SF combined.

So yeah, no wonder it’s been called “the 800-pound gorilla.“

Nestle Water Bottling Plant Protest in South Sacramento by Darla-Tess Weaver

Protesters are trying to stop operations at the Nestle Water Bottling Plant off Florin-Perkins Road. Demonstrators gathered as early as 4:30 a.m. to stand up against the company’s water practices.

Water activists are arguing that the facility is draining up to 80 million gallons of water a year from Sacramento aquifers while the state is in a drought.

The Nestle plant manager, Shawn Edmondson, tells FOX40 they are also concerned about the drought.

“We are also a regulated facility. So anything that comes from the water board or the city of Sacramento, we will comply,” Edmondson says.

(Photo Credit: US Uncut)

Would Going Vegetarian Actually Help California Battle The Drought?

You can’t taste it, but a whole lot of water went into producing that hamburger.
As Californians cut residential water use by 25 percent under Gov. Jerry Brown’s unprecedented mandatory restrictions, pressure on the drought-stricken state’s water resources continues to come from its robust agriculture industry, which accounts forabout 80 percent of the state’s total water consumption.
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NYTimes is running spectacular coverage of California’s mega-drought. In this article, the Times questions if “constant growth” (vs a sustainable population and flat economy) is part of the problem. 

Mother Nature didn’t intend for 40 million people to live here,” said Kevin Starr, a historian at the University of Southern California who has written extensively about this state. “This is literally a culture that since the 1880s has progressively invented, invented and reinvented itself. At what point does this invention begin to hit limits?

California, Dr. Starr said, “is not going to go under, but we are going to have to go in a different way.”

An estimated 38.8 million people live in California today, more than double the 15.7 million people who lived here in 1960, and the state’s labor force exploded to 18.9 million in 2013 from 6.4 million people in 1960.

California’s $2.2 trillion economy today is the seventh largest in the world, more than quadruple the $520 billion economy of 1963, adjusted for inflation. The median household income jumped to an estimated $61,094 in 2013 from $44,772 in 1960, also adjusted for inflation.

You just can’t live the way you always have,” said Mr. Brown, a Democrat who is in his fourth term as governor.

“For over 10,000 years, people lived in California, but the number of those people were never more than 300,000 or 400,000,” Mr. Brown said. “Now we are embarked upon an experiment that no one has ever tried: 38 million people, with 32 million vehicles, living at the level of comfort that we all strive to attain. This will require adjustment. This will require learning.”

How One Scientist Is Helping Plants Survive California’s Worst Drought

Every living thing has its own natural responses to stress. 

When critical nutrients are in short supply, our bodies, for example, find ways to maintain normal function until those nutrients are replenished. Plants do the same. In drought conditions, natural processes kick in to keep them alive until they can be watered again.

When faced with a water shortage, plants produce a stress hormone known as abscisic acid (ABA), which signals the plant to consume less water. ABA binds to a specific protein receptor in the plant, signaling stomata—or unique guard cells—to close and reduce the amount of water lost. This receptor is so important that its discovery by UC Riverside’s Sean Cutler, his team and others was listed as one of 2009′s breakthroughs of the year by Science magazine.

To help plants survive extreme drought conditions, some have tried spraying ABA directly on crops during water shortages. The move can improve crop yields, but ABA is expensive to produce and breaks down easily, even before a plant can absorb and use it.

Read more about how Sean Cutler is helping plants survive California’s worst drought

Image credit: Adam Shomsky

WHY DOES NO ONE CARE ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE? Warnings about California’s drought are apocalyptic. Yet only a minority of Californians support rationing. Are we too lazy to address the issue or are we simply in denial?

WATCH THE VIDEO: http://skr.cm/19ftCSy

Innumerable scientists have tried to convince us that climate change is real and human actions are to blame. In the U.S., no matter how many different ways experts explain it to us, many people remain unconvinced. Even those who are, often make no discernible effort to contribute to a solution.

Working against climate change education is the fact that it’s strongest support is science and science doesn’t deal in absolutes. While denialists can say that global warming is obviously untrue because they found a snowball outside, people on the other side of the argument have…

READ MORE: http://skr.cm/19ftCSy

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How California’s Drought Affects The World

A NASA scientist recently said that California only has one year of water left. What happens if California runs out of water, and how does it affect the world?