This is one of those slow motion trains that makes me wince when I think about it. The Colorado hydrates 30 million people, in 7 states and Mexico. And it’s going dry. For the past decade it hasn’t reached it’s Sea in Mexico. It is used for drinking water, manufacturing, and agriculture. I hear you thinking, “so what? I don’t live in one of those 7 states, or near this river.”
We’ve put a lot of eggs in that basket. 90% of all the leafy greens grown in the US come from the river’s basin. Almonds, tomatoes, melons, lemons, broccoli, wheat, grapes, strawberries all have a large percentage grown along this river too.
To put this in perspective, the Yuma area is home to nine salad plants that produce bagged lettuce and salad mixes. During peak production months, each of those plants processes more than two million pounds of lettuce per day.
Do you like to eat salad? You might want to consider where it will come from if the Colorado goes dry enough to limit irrigation uses. Are you going to leap into action only when it hits 10$ a bag? Get a “head” start, (that’s lettuce humor there) and grow some of your own. It’s not only salad vegetables either.
California is a real heavy weight in US food production. They are already stretched thin on pollinators, and they have a lot of fields irrigated with Colorado River water.
The state produces nearly half of US-grown fruits, nuts and vegetables. Across the nation, US consumers regularly purchase several crops produced solely in California.
If you don’t have a food producing system in place or connections with someone producing excess food, you might want to take a hard look at where your food is coming from. Is it coming from some where that’s in a drought like the Colorado River? I consider this good to know information. It’s cool though, if you want to just assume that your food will magically keep showing up at the grocery store. I’ll stick to my garden and farmer’s market.
How do you buffer your family from food price spikes? and food production crop failures? Shout out in the comments!
– Calamity Jane