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Water Dams Vs. Bulletvtrain

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Fernanda Hernandez

Bullet train vs. dams

In Fresno, the region’s largest city, workers broke ground in January on the state’s high-speed rail line, a $68 billion project fervently opposed by many local residents. The Valley is also where the drought’s worst human impacts are being felt, between farmers following their fields after multiple water delivery cuts and residents watching their wells go dry or suffering from poor air quality. On January 17, 2014 California State Governor, Jerry Brown, declared a drought state of emergency. On April 17, 2017, Brown issued Executive Order, officially ending the drought state of emergency in all California counties. California’s drought highly affected agriculture because farmers water supply was low and they had to spend more money on irrigation or to drill new wells. Building a bullet train that will travel at a speed of 220 mph to provide Californians with a fast option to travel throughout the Golden State, over water storage is very ignorant. Although transportation is also a priority in California and the bullet train will transport anyone across the Golden State very quickly, building more dams will prepare us for future droughts because water in reservoirs would be stored in there and we could use that water in times of emergency.

Building more dams will prepare us for future drought because water in reservoirs would be stored in them so we would have back up water and wouldn’t have to limit our water usage. Rain has already exceeded the capacity of some reservoirs meaning that much water cannot be stored in the future so building more dams would help store more water. There’s been so much rain in drought-stricken California that excess water has led to flooded homes and damaged roads. This is an important reminder that conditions can change rapidly, as is happening now in California. It can be hard to understand how the challenges can move so quickly from one extreme to the other, but droughts and floods are actually both symptoms of the same water problem: too much water when it is not needed and not enough when it is.

Additionally, when another drought comes around we would have more dams stored with water and won't have to worry about limiting water usage. In my opinion building a bullet train over more dams is not the best option, a bullet train is not a necessity and water is what we should be focusing on. We just experienced the state’s worst consecutive three year drought and we should learn from it and prepare for future ones. It’s more than just Californians who are feeling the impact – the state uses its scarce water to provide the nation with more food than any other state. Although transportation is also a top priority, building a bullet train is not much of importance at this time especially when the state is still going through a consecutive drought. We should be prioritizing water above anything. Water is the lifeblood of the state of California. It is a precious and limited resource.

Finally, the most important reason building more dams will prepare us for future drought is because water stored would be used mainly for agriculture since 80 percent of the water is used by California’s farmers.



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