In the Central Valley, considered to be America's "breadbasket," fields of brown dust and shriveled shrubs can be seen for seemingly endless miles – and with no end in sight.
Much of the western United States is dryer than a bone at the current time. This, coupled with the state's gross mismanagement of its water resources, is creating a potential famine situation that will take many off-guard once it fully manifests.
Local authorities are already warning that there may not be enough water even for people's homes, or for wildlife that live in the area. Many farms have already been cut off as there is simply no water to be had for their crops.
All along Interstate 5 through the Central Valley, signs saying something along the lines of "Save California's Water" are visible. Many point to the fact that California's government is "dumping 78% of our water in the ocean," referring to the draining of reservoirs in order to allegedly save an "endangered" delta smelt.
The whole situation is a disaster that shows no signs of being rectified. It will take mass starvation before the city-dwellers of California, and the rest of the country for that matter, wake up to the truth about what is really going on in the Golden State.
"I had two wells dry up last week," says 28-year-old Nick Foglio, a fourth-generation farmer and feed broker. Up to "2,000 acres (800 hectares of alfalfa" is also "going dry," he says.
While it is true that rain has been scarce this past year, the fact remains that California has not done nearly enough to reinforce and upgrade its water infrastructure.
With this "wrong political agenda, we're simply going to starve ourselves and probably the rest of the world," Foglio warns.
Despite all this, the California government recently passed new "emergency" legislation to make it even harder for California farmers to get the water they need to grow America's food. The new rules prohibit farmers from diverting streams or rivers to their land.
"In a year when Mother Nature doesn't make it rain, there is no water for them," says Jeanine Jones, a manager with the California Department of Water Resources, about what her state's farmers are facing.
The situation is nothing short of devastating, and the implications of it have yet to fully manifest. This is a biblical-level tragedy in the making, and by the time more people figure it out, it will probably already be too late.
"The situation is pretty terrible," says Liset Garcia, the owner of a 20-acre farm that is now all dried up after her well rant out of water.
Garcia has been waiting for weeks for a well-drilling service to come and help her find a new underground water source. They are so backed up with requests from other farmers for the same that she could be waiting a while.
Garcia is still able to sell some vegetables at a local farm stand, but many of her crops have long since been destroyed by both the drought and excessive heat.
"There's a lot of foliage that is already burnt and pretty much just crisped up," she says. Fruit is also "not getting a size – not getting its juiciness and sweetness," she says.
"It becomes even a luxury to have food," she said. "Does that sound insane?"
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