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The Madera Tribune

Water, money and human necessity

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webmaster | 07/12/14

Water. Whisper the word in the Parkwood neighborhood, and you’ll catch the attention of everyone within a dog’s hearing range.

Historically, it was considered to be one of the four basic elements, along with air, fire, and earth. In the central California valley, we understand the absolute necessity of the substance. For the past couple of hundred years, it has been a critical matter for farmers. But, the general population becomes conscious of its importance only during severe droughts, like the one that we’ve been experiencing.

Because of the vastness of our state and its ecological diversity, drought is inevitable and unpredictable. We are faced with an inverse relationship. Whereas 75 percent of the state’s runoff occurs north of Sacramento, 75 percent of the water demand is south of the state capital.

Years ago, we addressed this problem by building the California aqueduct which diverts water to some farmland, but mostly to the populous southern urban areas. Although this may have provided a temporary fix, it is no more than a Band-Aid, given today’s conditions. Therefore, the only solution to potential water shortage is constant water conservation. This also means that we need to have adequate storage facilities during the “wet” years...


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