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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 8/25/15

First visit to Yosemite

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On vacation last week in Yosemite, I admired the handsome new restrooms, the result of a fund-raising and construction effort. Problem is, they were locked. There's not enough water to operate them.

Driving there, through California's Central Valley, which NASA says is sinking nearly 2 inches a month due to drought and the pumping of massive amounts of groundwater, we saw huge tracts of land under cultivation, mostly almond trees and other nuts, a cash crop, an international crop (2/3 of the crop is exported). There were groves of mature trees and new groves of seedlings. This is a crop that demands tons of water. California almonds use as much water in a year as the City of Los Angeles in 3 years.

A dry stream
A dry stream
(Image by Mike Burns)
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I'd just seen the steps my daughter and her neighbors are taking to save water, including fake turf instead of grass in front yards. As I gazed out the window at the endless expanse of almond trees, my daughter said, "And agriculture has none of the limitations on water we have at home--no restrictions at all."

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Martha Moffett is a  retired editor, now a freelance line editor, and a writer (see books on Amazon)

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