A view of the California drought from Marine One during President Obama's visit earlier this year. (Photo: White House)
OPINION: There is an Armenian proverb: “On a rainy day many offer to water the chickens.” And in a very dry year there are many who want to follow the call to tear out their lawns. The call is coming from the Department of Water Resources and others for urban homeowners to start tearing out their lawns, with financial incentives for doing so.
An old wind-driven pump that tapped groundwater on a California ranch. Photo: Steven Frame)
As the warm temperatures melt California’s meager snowpack, turning rivers into streams and streams into mere trickles, communities and farmers across the state will be increasingly turning to groundwater to meet customer demand and to keep crops and livestock alive. But there’s a problem: Many will be drawing from aquifers already depleted and long under stress as groundwater levels in many basins across the state are reportedly at historic lows.