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As Ebola distracted the world, California's water supply dried up for thousands

California drought

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(NaturalNews) In autumn 2014, Ebola consumed all major headlines and was a major focus of the federal government, the CDC and the NIH. President Obama sent thousands of troops to West Africa to set up infrastructure to fight the disease. While all this unfolded, as the troops scattered to a faraway land, California descended into a time of relentless drought, as water supplies dried up for thousands. Large-scale water shortages continue to multiply in the Central Valley, a problem unfolding quietly before the world's eyes.

Always quick to fix problems overseas, the federal government failed to address what was happening right in their own borders, in the golden state of California. The major headlines failed to mention the large-scale dry-up of water wells throughout the state and the loss of agricultural production. While Ebola distracted the masses, many in California were faced with greater problems of their own. Running water came to a trickle. Warm showers came to an end. Toilets stopped flushing. Americans living elsewhere couldn't hear the calls for help within their own country because they couldn't see through the sheets of rain in front of their own eyes, the very water they take for granted each day.

Hundreds of wells dry up as impacted counties struggle to share water

In fact, the state's three-year drought began to climax in autumn for thousands. In Tulare County, more than 500 wells dried up. The wealthiest farms paid immense sums to provide irrigation for their citrus and dairy products, but not everyone can afford to keep water moving in to keep the creeping desert at bay. Andrew Lockman, manager at the Tulare County Office of Emergency Services, said that larger farms have doled out up to $1 million to drill up to 2,000 feet into ancient aquifers in the Central Valley.

But even pocketfuls of money cannot hold up against the laws of nature. According to reports in Central Valley, more fruit trees withered than ever before, as herds of livestock were put down, their numbers drastically reduced. State governor Jerry Brown declared a state emergency back in January, and even signed an executive order later in the year to bring drinking water to those whose wells have dried up. Now, the state is looking to protect the remaining groundwater that's embedded deep in ancient aquifers.

For now, some residents are getting water from the nearest fire station. The water is hand pumped into barrels and then driven back home just to keep toilets flushed and sewage moving forward. Community members now go door to door, dispersing bottles of water from charities. Getting enough water to bathe is a chore of its own. People from all walks of life and all ages now go to school and work without the ability to come home and clean up at the end of the day.

While communities throughout the US anticipate the next Ebola case and look onward, a much greater problem has unfolded out of sight, out of mind. As the desert expands in California, how long will it be before the three-year drought gains the national attention Ebola that has garnered? It's hard to see through the sheets of rain that we take for granted in our own little bubble we call home.




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