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Facing the enigma of Californias Water Crisis - Essay Example

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This study is about the current water crisis that California faces. Millions of Californians depend on the Bay-Delta for their water. Currently, with increasing diversions and exports the Bay-Delta is deteriorating. Agriculture, Industries, Businesses and People all depend on the Bay-Delta waters.
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Facing the enigma of Californias Water Crisis
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Download file to see previous pages These include water conservation, recycling and ground water desalination.
The San Francisco/Bay Area's agribusinesses, wildlife habitats, and fisheries are gravely endangered by state and federal agencies' plans to increase water diversions from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, rivers, and estuaries. Already, water exports are killing fish indigenous to the area and poisoning water quality in upstream rivers and the delta. Increasingly, these diversions will only add to the problem, while subsidizing corporate produce growers in the San Joaquin Valley and urban sprawl in Southern California. The planned diversion is unnecessary because there are possible solutions through conservation, water recycling, and ground water desalination. The growing demand for water, at a low cost, can be met without further imperiling Northern California's wildlife and water quality.
Water use in California is very high due to a combination of factors. One, it being an agricultural state, and the other, is its population rate continues to rise rapidly. Keene's (2003) research finds that, "California's population is projected to increase by 600,000 every year." Water is a precious and limited resource. Yet there are few who are aware of this. We waste our water down the drain all the time. Since it is a public resource, we treat it as our property and not value it as much. California, like many other places, is well known to face problems related to power and oil. Yet what is much less known is the growing water crisis. As California's population keeps growing and new industries emerging, the demand for water and consumption also increases. So diversions were created in "the Bay-Delta Estuary, which includes the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, Suisun Marsh and the embayments upstream of the Golden Gate. The Delta and Suisun Marsh are located where California's two major river systems, the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers, converge to flow westward through San Francisco Bay" (State Water Resource Control Board, 1998). California diverts more than half of the water that naturally flows through this ecosystem. The water was drained faster than the rain could refill it. As billions and billions of gallons were diverted, there appeared to be concerns about the quality and shortage of water.
This idea of water diversions is not something new. "For 150 years, the Bay-Delta has suffered from human activity. Frequent pumping from the Bay-Delta has made it no longer function adequately as either a water supply or a healthy habitat for fish and other wildlife" (The Bay-Delta, 2004). So what are these diversions According to the hyper dictionary the word diversions have three different meanings.
1. The direction of water in a stream away from its natural course.
2. The draft of water from one channel to another
3. The interception of runoff by something which discharges it through unnatural channels
In plain words these water diversions are man-made and unnatural.
The Delta is an important part of California. Reviews of research on the Bay-Delta (2004) find, businesses from Sacramento to the Bay Area and all the way down to southern part of California in San Diego--all rely on the Bay-Delta water. Whatever the kind of industry--computer sciences, healthcare or construction--most need large volumes of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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