By Marion Gil |Staff Writer|
“We have a scarcity of water everywhere, but what we do have is a lot of talk about water everywhere these days.”
David Nahai, president of David Nahai consulting services was the keynote speaker at a forum on California’s water crisis on Tuesday, Nov.12, in Los Angeles.
The forum was held to bring attention to the causes of the water crisis and to discuss potential solutions, with many environmentalists and water conservation advocates gathering to discuss their ideas.
Evidence of the crisis can be seen in the Owens and Colorado rivers, with the Owens river having already dried up and the Colorado river beginning to suffer water shortages according to evidence presented at the forum by the speakers.
The Colorado river provides water for California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Colorado.
Global climate change and irresponsible water use by humans are the main causes for the water crisis, according to the speakers at the forum.
The Southwest has experienced very rapid population growth over the years and still continues to grow.
The Southwest is also requiring that more water be diverted from rivers and underground aquifers.
According to the documentary, “The American Southwest: Are We Running Dry?” shown at the forum in LA, the average American uses over 100 gallons of water a day.
As rivers begin to dry up more water is being pumped from the underground aquifers, a source of water that will never be replenished and that have a direct affect on the wetlands above.
“We have taken more and depleted the reserves that nature has put in and there have been consequences,” said Scott Slater, member of Water & Public Lands Group and speaker at the forum.
The forum also held discussions on possible solutions to the crisis.
Large scale solution suggestions included water reuse, harvesting rain water and storing it in cisterns, xeriscaping, and desalination of ocean water among other possible solutions.
The CSUSB campus has already taken steps towards less water consumption.
“I try and value water as much as possible and am attentive to how much water I use/waste, even in the smallest possible ways,” said student Aimee Villalpando.
One major example of CSUSB taking a step towards water conservation was the creation of the Water Conservation Demonstration Garden.
The garden is a campus xeriscaping project that utilizes native plant life that require little water while still beautifying the campus.
“Native plants have been overlooked for their aesthetic beauty in gardening,” said Brett Gorforth, a CSUSB associate professor and specialist on local plant life.
“They offer great potential to reduce the amount of water used for irrigation on campus and in Southern California neighborhoods,” added Gorforth.
Gorforth is also excited that the utilization of local plant life will restore local wildlife saying “species ranging from butterflies to birds will benefit from restored habitat provided by native plant use.”
While climate change is still an unpredictable factor in the water crisis, steps are being taken to raise awareness and to conserve water.