Water Water Everywhere…Except in California…

The next section of your chapter deals with precipitation, which is water falling from the sky. Here in Pittsburgh we get a lot of it. Sometimes we get so much that its easy to wish the rain would just let up for a few days. However, we’re really quite lucky. Pittsburgh sits in the middle of an area that has more than enough water. I want to take a moment and look at what happens when the rain stops falling.

Drought Monitor for conus

Drought Monitor for conus

In the past few years many areas (Georgia, The Dakotas, California) have been dealing with higher than normal temperatures and below normal precipitation. This past March things have become very dry in California and it looks like its going to get even drier. The governor of California has told everyone that they need to cut back their water usage by 25%. This will be tough on a lot of people, but particularly on farmers. Many of the crops grown in California need a great deal of water.

Current U.S. Drought Monitor

First, listen to this news report on the drought in California.

Second, read this article on the drought in California – Here is a link to a bigger version of the chart they show in the article

Now answer these questions.

1. What is causing the drought in California?

2. What are the possible immediate solutions?

3. What long term solutions are possible?

4. How do you think the drought in California will affect the rest of the United States?

5. Should the Governor or other officials be allowed to tell people how they can use water? What uses should be approved? Which should be banned?

Work with a partner on these questions or you can answer them individually.

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