Author: Amanda

Water is the lifeblood of our life

Water is the lifeblood of our life

As drought drives prices higher, millions of Californians struggle to pay for water

A man walks a water gage measuring the amount of water flowing into Lake Oroville during the 2016 drought. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

California needs water.

But it’s not water we’re getting.

So we live with a daily, relentless headache of shortages and long lines and growing pressure on communities to take more water from their communities. Most worry about not only what they’re going to eat, but how much they’re going to drink, how much money they’re going to make, whether their children will have an accessible education and whether their grandchildren will have a future.

And what we get back is a growing list of environmental grievances.

If you’ve driven over the Golden Gate Bridge and seen the towering spouts of San Francisco Bay, the Pacific Ocean or Lake Oroville, you’ve seen the water that comes out each morning.

If you’ve seen the giant algae blooms on the California shoreline, you understand what the water is supposed to look like.

If you’ve ever tried to drink or bathe in it, you know the quality of the water is variable at best. And as the years go by, we watch the water that comes out of the reservoirs – the ones we’ve had for years – diminish even more.

Some say we’re already too low a price. And as this year’s drought turns out to be more severe than everyone has been prepared for, it may take months, even years to repair the damage.

“We know we need water.”

That was how Stan LaPrelle, a farmer and former city councilman, put it to me. A few years ago, he was preparing to raise his three children in their farmhouse on the side of a steep mountain. The water was flowing with the kind of volume that he and his neighbors had been storing for the past four decades.

But then the water was cut off. A decade of drought and record-low prices had taken a toll on their water allocations and, they feared, on their water rights.

“Water is the lifeblood of our life,” said LaPrelle. “Everything else is

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