Google the phrase “food insecurity” and about 6.1 million results pop up in roughly a half-second.
The top three responses are advertisements. The fourth defines food security as: “a condition related to the supply of food and individual’s access to it.”
Keep scrolling and articles from mainstream media outlets pop up.
Not mentioned in any of this is the abundant access to water.
While terms like “food security” have become talking points and buzz-words, “water security” is scarcely mentioned, yet the two are intrinsic to each other.
It is getting some attention in California as the state slips into a fourth year of drought and entire communities face third-world realities of no running water for their residents.
Where’s the outrage and embarrassment in 21st Century California over the fact that human beings are required to carry water in buckets into their homes. I thought that only happened in third-world countries.
The Fresno Bee reports that taps may run dry in one Fresno County town after residents there voted down a rate increase to their water bills. This follows repeated reports of domestic wells going dry in neighboring Tulare County.
It doesn’t seem to make a difference when we rightfully point to the political and bureaucratic cause to this effect. Bureaucrats and lawmakers continue to decide against the humans they purportedly serve, though local lawmakers in Tulare County did recently vote to help east Porterville residents by drilling a new well. While that will reportedly cost the county $1.6 million, at least someone is doing something.
Real changes still need to happen at the state and federal levels.
Meanwhile, California cities with capital and the ability to spread the pain by having millions of residents pony up a few extra dollars a month for water are bidding up the price of water to the point that it’s more lucrative for commercial growers to not plant anything and simply take the money.
How far will that go in a hungry world where water is necessary to produce the food we eat?
California Department of Water Resources Director Mark Cowin recently told a northern California audience that if they have a project idea to create new water in a thirsty state, it had better fit into the Governor’s Water Action Plan, or don’t bring it up.
I didn’t hear Cowin speak, so I can’t tell if that was a veiled threat for northern California to get on board with the Governor’s plan, or else; or, an honest bit of advice to a part of the state that has the water sheds and land available to generate and store new water.
While all this happens California Gov. Jerry Brown continues to promote the $68 billion bullet train project that does nothing to solve the state’s current water and economic woes.
I ask again: Is anyone in elected office truly embarrassed that a growing number of California residents are forced into third-world practices of carrying water into their homes in buckets?