T. R. Williams

This our thirsty land

With the disconcerting news of this season’s meager 5% of normal snow pack in the northern region that feeds our water stores, many have become more aware of our water usage of late. Yet still, do we accurately recognize the full ramifications of our daily deeds?

Let’s say any given day you drink a glass of orange juice, eat a bowl of oatmeal, and a piece of fruit before partaking in a 15 minute shower. Enjoy a mid-morning cup of joe around the water cooler, then have a cheeseburger and iced tea around noon. Finishing the day out with a lovely meal of beef (1,847 gallons/pound), and pasta(222 gallons/lb.) - or possibly chicken (518 gallons/lb.) along with veggies (501gal/lb.), and rice(299 gallons/lb.). This seems a fair assessment wouldn’t you agree?

So what would you say if I told you that this humble day consumed a whopping 2,000 gallons of our most precious resource? Hard to swallow? Worse is the reality that a mere 5% of our water is lost to taps, toilets, and hoses.

With each and every one of the 38 million Californians doing such seven days a week, 365 days a year, if I’m adept enough at my math, we’ve expended 77.6 million gallons of water in the measly preceding 24 hours alone - Ouch.

Some of the most seemingly innocuous of our traditions are essentially the most improvident in the ways of H2O. Who’d imagine that stopping by the local pub for a cold one would charge our aquatic supplies 296 gallons? Wine connoisseurs don’t be so prompt to judge now, as that coveted glass of vino shockingly costs an insulting 872 gallons of water reserves.

Vegetarians shouldn’t judge either when tofu horridly swallows over 300 gallons, and as for nuts ... might I suggest you take a seat before I state that those tasty little morsels cost us between 1,260 and 1,929 gallons of water per pound.

This unpretentious assessment isn’t even the entire footprint either, as many indulge in an afternoon treat of a frothy vanilla (15,159 gallons/lb.) latte, coveted creamy mocha (chocolate: 2,061gallons/lb.) - or possibly a mouth watering cinnamon (1,860 gal./lb.) cappuccino, when milk alone runs 122 gallons a pound. Even that convenient dash through the car wash expends an eye-popping 45 valuable gallons.

The reality of my jeans and t-shirt exhausting an offensive 5,300 gallons turns my stomach. Though I don’t plan on refraining from donning them anytime soon ... still I’ll proceed more prudently when ultimately considering retiring them to the rag pile.

Though I find that I’m quite dependent on my nifty Smart-phone, as most of us are in this fast paced modernized world, never would I have assumed that it had taken a ludicrous 240 gallons of water to construct it.

What is the genuine expense of convenience to our magnificent lands future? How long will we refrain from facing the deafening verity? I’m not much for bidding into the conjectural ‘global warming’ claims, as history has proven droughts are somewhat cyclical.

Does anyone recall the Dust Bowl dearth of the 30s? How about the Great Plains deficiency of the 50s? Hold the hate mail, as I indubitably agree we humans are molesting our planetary blessings at a terrible expense.