Wait a minute -- there's been a drought in California for five years. There are the wild fires, every year a worsening epidemic of them. The mostly sunny air is often smoggy, hard to breathe.
Our son, JD, a working L.A. actor, lives in a North Hollywood house that we helped him buy. His land, about one fifth of an acre, used to be full of green plants, flowers, and fruit-bearing trees. He's enrolled in one of the state programs that give home owners grants to help them pay for converting their green lawns and gardens to desert landscaping -- replacing turf with rocks and cactus.
JD sent me two photos and explained, "The front yard grass is pretty patchy and unhealthy. There's a lot of clover, crabgrass, and poor, sandy soil. I am mainly focused on retaining the ficus -- it's like a picket fence that gives me some privacy, and separates me from the apartment building next door.
"The green in this recent photo of my backyard makes it look okay -- it rained recently -- but if you look too closely, it's not so good. Two months ago, there was more brown. I have considered re-doing both yards, ripping out the sprinklers and putting in native, drought-resistant plants. The DWP (Dept of Water and Power) offers a substantial rebate if you provide them with detailed plans. However, the companies that do this work are currently charging extremely high prices. So, I'm going to wait. I have my sprinklers set to low, and much fewer watering times."
Hey, I'm glad that JD is doing what most Californians are doing. They've reduced their use of water by recycling it, and replacing many lawns with rocks and desert landscaping.
And California Farmers are changing into "drip" irrigation that enables them to keep supplying half of the nation's produce with far less water. Because urban communities are cutting water use, the Southern California district is saving 1 billion gallons per day, that is as much as New York City uses in a day.
The drought has NOT inspired a Dust Bowl style exit. The state is thriving -- its economy has grown faster than our country's economy as a whole. They have set new employment records -- last year created 462,000 jobs, no other state comes close to that. The state is weathering the drought because it's been getting ready for this drought for almost 20 years.
Hey guys, that's what we have to do. Everyone in our country has to learn to save water. Every state needs to pass bills that stop wasting water.
California’s scorching summer of 2015 is showing us what to do. We just have to do it.