Is the California drought as bad as it looks to an outsider? The online media paint a very bleak picture. I have just read that Western USA has lost, in this drought, 63,000,000,000,000 gallons (63 trillion) of groundwater which has caused the surface of the earth to rise. I don’t know the science behind it all but it sounds very scary to me.
I saw a photograph recently of an aircraft depositing tons of water on a Yosemite Forest to try and stop it burning down.
There might come a time when water in California is worth more than any other item in the state. It might become more valuable than diamonds and gold and real estate or whatever you want to name.
We don’t know yet whether it is global warming but a lady commented that she had been visiting the Sierras regularly for over 20 years. It used to be that the mountain passes were buried under 20 feet of snow every winter but now she says she can go out there and walk on them. She says that she stood on a bare Ebbetts Pass during December. There was no snow on the ground.
As an outsider it looks worrying to me but we don’t get much press about this in Europe. But if the drought is that bad and if California cannot recover even during the wetter months and winter then surely this will affect everybody and it affects everybody it must affect the domestic cat as well and it also must affect the cougar which is protected in California but the law can’t protect against a drought.
What will happen to the mountain lion? A prolonged drought may change the habits of the mountain lion. It may force the mountain lion away from its natural habitat seeking water and prey. The continuing drought may force a mountain lion to prey on livestock which in turn will of course jeopardise its existence.
I’m sure that this water shortage is not just about a drought but also about the use of water by big business and by the expanding human population. Eventually the rivers cannot cope and we have seen that in Russia with the Aral Sea. The Aral Sea was at one time one of the four largest lakes in the world but it has now almost disappeared; just 10% of its original size due to the rivers that fed it being diverted for Soviet irrigation projects.
It is all very brutal. Industry is terribly brutal on nature.