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Visiting California during a drought

Spending quality time in California during a state of emergency drought

Visiting California during a drought
Traveling photo by Jodi Emmer

Going to California in 2014? There may be a major drought coming this spring and it shouldn’t really surprise anyone.  Long term climate change is apparently the driver of the California water crisis and it is indeed a crisis.  Much of the state’s economy will be impacted by a major drought.  Food prices will rise and jobs in farming and agriculture will suffer as well.

According to Wall Street Journal reporter Allysia Finley in her article written on January 6, 2014 “The California department of Water Resources reported the previous Friday that the state snowpack measures only 20% of average this year. “  Finley also mentions in her article that the choices California has to face are either to raise prices for water or ration water.  Finley also mentions that the unemployment rate due to lack of farming jobs in the state was 12%.

California has drought problems, they are fairly common and it leaves me to wondering about how those fancy hotels handle their tourism within a rationing situation. I tried calling about six major hotel chains and not one single human ever answers the phone.

Governor Jerry Brown declared a drought state of emergency on January 17, 2014.  He also mentioned that 2014 is predicted to be the driest year on record.

According to Evan Halper of The Los Angeles Times in an article written on January 26, 2014, Governor Brown has long range ideas in place that included building two 35 mile tunnels that would divert as much as 67,500 gallons of water every second from the Sacramento Delta to agricultural cities and farms to the south of Sacramento where it is needed to supply farmers in the central valley and beyond.

I love California as much as everyone else does, there are some really beautiful places to visit and enjoy.  The Redwood Forest and Yosemite Park immediately come to mind as does Lake Tahoe.  These are immensely beautiful places to visit. There are some wonderful museums and art and cultural centers all over the state that are being recognized as some of the best creative talent efforts in the state of California. There are some amazing beaches and gardens in Los Angeles and San Diego.  It is a real shame to recognize the reality of the situation, that our pollution and habits may have caused this situation and have we gone too far to amend the problem? 

San Francisco is considered one of the greatest cities to visit with its free spirited style and relaxed atmosphere.  It is very close to the Napa valley where some of the greatest scenery and vineyards are.  There are many artistic voyages for one inclined to see the art.  There is the Silicon Valley with its legendary innovation tales.  The list of tourism attractions goes on and on.  Five star dining and the Ghirardelli chocolate factory are all in San Francisco, and Ghirardelli is reason enough to move there as far as I am concerned.

So I say go and visit and try to conserve water as much as you can.  Hopefully, the state will recover from this emergency asap.  Enjoy the beaches and take shorter showers and try not to drive if you can.  They offer biking tours of the Napa Valley where you ride a bike between vineyards and samplings.  Again, there are many ways to conserve water as a tourist and I hope you will attempt to be a more informed consumer who may adopt better habits in the parched California sunshine.


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