Colorado River Struggles
The Colorado River supplies around 40 million people with the water they need for everyday use. As population has increased in the west over the past 100 years, the level of the Colorado River has decreased in tandem. The Lake Powell and Lake Mead reservoirs have seen startling depletion over the course of their time, now bordering on catastrophic levels.
California as a state uses approximately 42 million acre-feet of water annually. Of that amount, about 34 million acre-feet are used solely for agriculture. Agriculture is incredibly important in California for many reasons, not the least of which is its economy. If conservation efforts are not deployed, we may see the end of agriculture in California as we know it, and the ramifications could be disastrous.
Utilizing subsurface drainage and irrigation offers California farmers the opportunity to significantly reduce evapotranspiration from antiquated over-land sprinklers and pivot irrigation systems, saving the Southwest in water usage and saving money for the grower. These systems also allow the ability to collect and store loose water during times of intense precipitation on the West Coast, enabling the farmer to use that water at a later date and time. By taking the time and resources to install better water management systems, we can ease up on the tired Colorado and reverse its current trend.