Since 1960, California's population has tripled while the water supply has not increased. If it were its own country, California would be the 34th largest populated country in the world and it's been the most populous state in the United States since 1962. Californians make up 12 percent of the U.S. population, despite slowed growth since 2000.
Now, the most severe drought in 1,000 years has towns and those 37 million people running dry.
So why should people in Detroit, Chicago, New York, Atlanta, and all points east of Death Valley and Lake Tahoe care? Well A) you're an American and B) half of the country's fruits and vegetables are grown in the Golden State.
The drought started in 2012 and it could last for years. That prompted California Governor Jerry Brown to order Californians to reduce urban water use 25% across the state. How do you do that?
There are several restrictions for Californians now including no longer being allowed to use potable water to wash sidewalks & driveways and using hoses with no shutoff nozzles. As for businesses, restaurants will now only serve water on requests and hotels will only wash towels if requested by guests.
When Charlie LeDuff and company rolled into Santa Barbara, it didn't seem the city was exactly thirsty, at least judging by the way water was freely flowing in the city that's the epitome of chic. Then he found went up the road and the lake they pulled their water from: to say it's bleak may be an understatement.
On the next Americans with Charlie LeDuff, the radical plans being proposed to increase and recycle water in California.