Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Solano County Drought Prevention Can Learn From Australia
Northern California’s longest and sharpest drought is trying to learn from Australia which is the planet’s driest inhabited continent.
Northern Californians are studying how Australia coped with its “Big Dry Period” from the late 1990s through 2012. Australia’s city dwellers had to accept tough water supply restrictions as cattle collapsed and died in barren fields, monstrous wildfires killed 173 people, and scores of farms went under.
Australia trades water. Australia’s efficiency programs reduced water supply use to 55 gallons, compared with 105 gallons per day in California.
California drought expert Linda Botterill of the University of Canberra says California droughts are here to stay.
California water officials routinely cite Australia’s experience. Solano County agriculture and California at lerge will have to cut farm water use.
Solano watershed property owners often face higher risks of fire. Even if a house on the Solano watershed property is made to be 100% fire proof, what about other structures on the raw land? Who wants a piece of Solano watershed property if all or most of the natural vegetation from Oak trees to brush burn down?
Northern Californian farmers still say Australia’s medicine is much too cumbersome. Solano real estate prices will be effected. For example Solano watershed property owners, plus buyers and sellers of Solano agricultural land may see big drops in watershed land values.
Northern Californians enjoyed and wasted abundant water for years. How will Vacaville’s and Fairfield’s underground water hold up in the hills and mountains such as in the Vaca Mountain and Blue Ridge mountain ranges? Solano County’s underground water is often running dry with the California water pumps going full force.
Australian National University says, “…the main difference between California and Australia is they’re dominated by a legalistic approach and dominated by rights….Australia’s is a…. more public-policy approach.”
While there may be years when rains may return to normal, the overall impact on Solano farmers and watershed property owners in Fairfield, Vacaville and Napa looks very bad.
Posted by Paul at 12:31 PM