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Water Waste and Overuse Costs More than Just Money

5 March, 2011 (03:54) | Drinking Water System, Water Usage, Water Waste | By: admin

The livelihood of the Imperial Valley in Southern California – and a large portion of our enjoyment of fresh fruits and vegetables in the winter – depends on the crops that grow there and the water they use to grow these vegetables. The Imperial Valley, according to one article from National Public Radio, produces about 80% of the nation’s winter vegetables. These crops grow from the same water source as the residents’ drinking water – the only water source – Lake Mead and the Imperial Dam filled by the once-mighty Colorado River. When the river was flowing years ago, an agricultural giant emerged as the water from the river was sent to the Imperial Valley’s dry, desert lands. The amount of water needed for these crops, combined with population trends on the rise and recent years of drought, has put a very serious warning from climate researchers on the area. They say that Lake Mead (which feeds the Imperial Valley and most of the southwest), “has a 50 percent chance of drying up in as few as ten years.”

This recent claim has sparked a lot of interest in the area among local governments, cities, residents, farmers, and business owners in how to preserve the water so that their crops and livelihood will continue to flourish for many years to come. Without these crops, food prices would affect the rest of the country, local economies like fertilizer or tractor companies, as well as the Imperial farmers themselves. In an already unsteady economy, the Imperial Valley needs this water to keep farms going but to also preserve low prices for these winter vegetables for the rest of the country.

Water usage and water waste is to be addressed and some areas are regulating the water allowed for the residents and farmers. The farmers aren’t keeping all of their water there, as they are pressured to sell some to bigger area cities by officials. They know, however, that the water is necessary for growing their crops. Lake Mead, a reservoir that holds the Colorado River water for the Imperial Valley, needs to have a fundamental change.

So researchers predict that if the trends continue, there will not be sufficient water in the source to provide both drinking water and agricultural water, both needing the other to survive. Many residents are encouraged to save water as well. One way in doing this is to look into drinking water systems that will use less water than traditional reverse osmosis. In today’s economy and climate, residents need to find a drinking water system that is both affordable and eco-friendly. Changes on every level are necessary before the water source in that area is no longer available.

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