A couple of years ago my parents decided to start their very own vegetable garden –a long-time dream. Growing tomatoes, cucumbers, and cauliflower prooved to be more challenging than expected. Except the salad, which consequently is served for dinner for four summer months straight. Tomato diseases and bad weather cause some disappointment every now and then, yet never did it mean there was no food on the table. In the end, my mom still brings plenty of fresh produce from the supermarket every week.
California is not the only place who’s suffering historical droughts. The Canteira system is at its lowest level on record, posing a serious threat to water provisions of South-America’s largest city Sao Paullo. The government was forced months ago to install daily rationing. If the current situation doesn’t change dramaticcaly, Sao Paola can fall dry by February next year. Brazil relies heavily on hydropower and has to start up very polluting coal plants since no water means no hydropower. In the meantime, many speculate about the reasons behind this unseen drought. Antonio Nobre (one of country’s most respected Earth scientists and climatologists) believes the far going deforestation in the Amazon and the almost complete disappearance of the Atlantic forest are the main reason. The forest used to cool down the region and inforced a water cycle which is now broken.
For a third year in row, California is suffering severe droughts. As a consequence, the water level of Lake Oroville has decreased towards historic lows. This also leads to a significant decrease of available hydropower and California is forced to rely more on natural gas plants, resulting in more CO2 emissions.