Facing Reality: California's Severe Drought

Stephanie Liem

Summer 2014, many were made aware that California was approaching a severe drought. This news was shared through various radio and television broadcasts, news sites, and environmental conservation movements.  Despite the broad range of awareness across the state, most people are not letting this pressing issue affect their daily routines.
According to a recent study conducted by the Geophysical Union, this is the worst drought California has faced in the last 1200 years. California has been proven to use more water than any other state, each Californian averaging at around 181 gallons of usage per day.
Although students are conscious of the drought, they don’t allow it to affect their daily behavior and water usage. Even simple methods like turning off the faucet or the shower, although their effects cannot be directly observed, can ultimately help California’s drought.  Students are failing to realize that this drought is a reality each Californian must face.
Senior Angie Curiel who is currently conducting her Government Civil Action Project (CAP) on the drought, hopes to spread awareness of this expanding problem. She is doing so by showing others pictures of water reserves and lakes that have seemingly depleted due to the drought. Curiel hopes that her efforts will make others realize that they can in fact do something to make a difference. “I want them to conserve water and be aware of city laws (regarding water conservation) because apparently we do have them,” said Curiel.
“Most people assume that the drought will get better,” said Curiel. “But studies show that it will get worse.” The real issue is not that the drought itself will worsen, but that people are not taking the necessary environmental precautions at a time like this. Judging how water conservation is “not as cool as it should be”, it has become something that students don’t want to take the time to partake in. Junior Richard Yoshida said,“It doesn’t matter because I can just buy water down the street.”
President of Green Thumbs Club, Evan Dumas has always been water conscious even prior to the drought. Though, upon discovery of it, he wondered as to how is it possible to live in the 21st and are still face such basic problems as drought. Conscious of this issue, he has taken action by laying out buckets all around the school garden which then serve to collect rain water. At home, he uses the excess water used for washing dishes to water his plants.
Dumas doubts that dehydration will plague Californians or that the drought will exponentially grow worse but serves as a “symptom of a greater problem that we need to face.” He explains even if the drought blows over one day, practicing basic methods of water conservation would not cause any harm to anyone; there is nothing wrong with a surplus of water. Environmental awareness and conservation is important, and there’s no doubt about that. “It’s not where we are now but where we will be.”