A team of experts asked to assess California's water situation have published their findings, and it ain't a pretty picture.
"Our assessment of the current water situation [in California] is bleak," says an economist involved in the research. "California has essentially run out of cheap, new water sources."
Not that we didn't already know that, but if we needed any confirmation, there it is.
According to the report, water quality is getting worse, agricultural pollution is on the rise, and water management efforts are crippled by a fragmented system of local and regional agencies responsible for water supply, treatment, flood control and land-use decisions.
"Today's system of water management, developed in previous times for past conditions, is leading the state down a path of environmental and economic deterioration," says the economist.
The solution? Nothing major, just a wholesale reform of the state's water management system. All of us Golden Staters -- consumers, farmers, utilities, and landowners -- need to take a long view and realize that sweeping changes are a must.
If you're a student and you want to get involved, get your feet wet with the California Water Tour organized by the Student Sustainability Coalition.
Photo: Water from an emergency reserve, for use during drought conditions, sprays from a well pipe and into a canal near Bakersfield, California. (David McNew/Getty Images via LIFE)