California drought’s newest battlefront is bottled water

May 20, 2015 at 10:01 am Leave a comment

The bottled water industry has become the newest battlefront in California’s struggle to cope with its devastating nearly four-year drought.

Multinational giants like Nestlé Waters, Walmart and Coca-Cola operate some of California’s 111 bottling plants and have historic rights to vast water resources throughout the state and are continuing to mine the product from springs, groundwater wells and some municipal water sources.

There is no doubt that California is in crisis. A recent NASA analysis of satellite data found that the state has just a year of water left in its reservoirs, and groundwater is depleting at an unsustainable rate. The drought has been amplified by abnormally high temperatures and a severely diminished snow pack.

Last January, for example, was the driest since record keeping began in 1895. The snow pack in some areas is below 10 per cent of the historical average.

Many scientists and environmentalists are also concerned that, as the drought continues, the massive farming operations in the Central Valley will increasingly turn to California’s limited supply of groundwater.

See HERE for article posted on CBC news.

And for another, related article:

The Thirsty West: 10 Percent of California’s Water Goes to Almond Farming

California almonds use a stunning 1.1 trillion gallons of water each year, or enough for you to take a 10-minute shower each day for 86 million years (using a low-flow showerhead, of course). Here’s the calculation: California as a whole diverts or pumps 43 million acre-feet of water each year to supplement its meager rainfall. In total, agriculture consumes 34 million acre-feet of that. (An acre-foot is just what it sounds like: the amount of water needed to cover an acre of flat ground up to a foot, or about 325,000 gallons of water.) In 2013, there were 940,000 acres of almonds in California, according to the USDA (PDF). Each acre of almonds uses three to four acre-feet of water each year, most of which are delivered via river diversions or groundwater.

Click HERE for article posted on Slate.

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Entry filed under: Climate, Food.

Act locally to counter climate change: Bob McDonald 3rd Annual Incredible Edible Plant Festival

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