Encourage Sustainable Irrigation in California

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Target: California Governor Jerry Brown

Goal: Lessen the effects of drought by encouraging adoption of drip irrigation systems.

California’s monumental drought has been making headlines for quite some time. In an effort to curb the effects of the drought, Governor Jerry Brown has encouraged Californian residents to reduce their water usage. Where encouragements fall short, fines for overuse of water take their place. However, even if every resident were perfect water-conserving citizens, it wouldn’t make much of an impact on the drought problem; households only make up about 10% of all water usage. The main consumer of water is agriculture, using a whopping proportion of over 70% of the state’s water for irrigation.

Agriculture is California’s main industry, providing most of the country’s food; so cutting back on agriculture is not an option. Instead, we need to focus on making irrigation more efficient. Drip irrigation is proven to be the best, with a greater than 95% efficiency rate. However, drip irrigation systems are expensive, making them not a common choice for farmers. The solution to this problem lies in how solar panels are being implemented into society. When people install solar panels, the government gives them rebates, which makes up for the initial high cost of installing them. That way there are no real risks of investing in solar panels. If the same thing is done for drip irrigation systems, the farmers are more likely to invest in them, which will definitely make an impact on our drought problem.

Governor Jerry Brown needs to reward farmers for using sustainable irrigation methods, not punish residents for using water. Urge him to use rebates and tax incentives to encourage the use of drip irrigation systems. The drought can only be overcome if our farmers are getting the most out of their water supply.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Governor Brown,

California’s drought has reached catastrophic levels, and we must do all we can to lessen its effects until it is over. The residents of California have been diligent in their conservation of water, but there is only so much that they can do. Households only make up 10% of the total water usage, which is nothing compared to the 70% that agriculture uses. If we are to have any real effect on the drought, we need to encourage our farmers to switch to drip irrigation systems.

Drip irrigation systems have proven to be the best method of conserving water, having a stunning 95% efficiency rate. However, they are very expensive, which discourages the wide use of them. In a way, they are just like solar panels. Yet solar panels are more widely used than drip irrigation systems. That is because the government uses rebates and tax incentives to make up for the high cost of installation. If this idea is applied to drip irrigation systems, then farmers will be more likely to adopt them.

As one of the main food producers in the U.S., California needs to make sure that farmers can make the most of their dwindling water supply. Please offer rebates and tax incentives for drip irrigation systems.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Joby Elliott

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