We, like many water conservation advocates, are finding ourselves in a bit of an unusual position in 2016. For the past couple of years, the government, the media, and the public have all seemingly been on our side. Epic drought ravaged the state, and everyone agreed that cutting back on our water usage was not just important, but a necessity.
But now, the Godzilla El Nino is crushing many of our water conservation dreams just as real Godzilla (er, real fictional Godzilla?) crushes Tokyo on a regular basis. We’re happy for the rain, of course, but as we read reports about high levels of snow pack and refilling reservoirs, we’re biting our nails with anxiety.
Why? Isn’t a heavy precipitation year exactly what we wanted? Well, kind of.
First and foremost, we don’t want to give the impression that we’re ungrateful for the rain and snow we’ve received in these winter months. Things were getting pretty dire throughout much of the state, and any bit that can ease the suffering of local plants, animals, and people is a blessing. However, for The Longest Straw, drought was never the real enemy. It was more like a henchman for the larger issue of water mismanagement, and now that it’s been defeated (and maybe not even permanently at that), we’re worried that people may believe our water troubles are over.
In fact, this very blog has touched several times on how the water infrastructure in California and the world is a complicated matter, and how water conservation is important no matter what the status of the drought is.
If you’ve been checking out our trailers or keeping up with our movie in general, you know a bit about the story of the Los Angeles Aqueduct. What’s important to keep in mind is that the aqueduct will always transport water from the Sierra Nevadas to Los Angeles, rain or shine, and our wasteful behavior can negatively impact others regardless of whether it’s a drought or not.
And it’s not just locals in the Owens Valley and Mono County who are impacted – every Angeleno pays for the aqueduct in more ways than just with money. In this blog post, we lay out the impacts of the aqueduct for a hypothetical verbal adversary who isn’t convinced the LA Aqueduct matters. And of course, these points stand even in rainy years.
And the sad fact is, Los Angeles is far from the only city to transport its water across great distance. Sure, the California drought has been in the news recently and is a helpful tool to illustrate just how resource management can go wrong, but the drought isn’t the only story. So while raindrops may roll down your window and newscasters celebrate the generous snow pack, keep in mind that we still need to be mindful of how we use our water.