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Author Discusses How Focus on California Drought Can Have Nationwide Policy Impacts

California has been in a severe drought for the past five years, making national news once Governor Brown announced the need for immediate, emergency drought relief. The nation is grasped by the stories of the prolonged and severe dryness that has spread across California as well as the potential resolutions and the variety of programs and procedures that have been implemented to mitigate the drought’s impact. In all the media attention related to California’s drought, the Colorado River Basin’s 15-year drought still has had very little discussion surrounding it.

Author Cynthia Barnett, in an opinion published by the Los Angeles Times, emphasizes the need for a nation-wide discussion concerning drought within a nation-wide dialogue. Conversations concerning drought will have limited success and impact if they are only had in a limited arena. But quoting scholars, such as Chistiana Peppard, who specialized in environmental ethics at Fordham University, Barnett notes that the attention given to the California drought increases overall awareness of the issue.

“It was as if Jerry Brown said, ‘Let there be drought,’ and finally, there was drought,” said Peppard.

This more general awareness is critical because continuing drought in the west will have nationwide impacts.  As Barnett states in her conclusion, “We can call it California’s, but this drought is America’s.”

Read It’s not just a ‘California drought’


Written by Stratecon Staff