New rules passed in California Tuesday will impose up to $US 500 fines on residents caught wasting water on lawns, cars and sidewalks, NPR reported, citing the Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times. Despite the severe, 3-year drought, residents in the state have not reached water conservation goals through voluntary measures alone.
Meanwhile, farmers in California’s Central Valley will likely lose $US 810 million in crop revenue due to the drought, according to a study released by the University of California, Davis, Bloomberg News reported. The report found that supplies of river water used for agriculture have declined by a third.
Water supplies in the western United States and Canada are set to become much scarcer in the future, in large part due to declines in snowpack and glaciers that feed major western rivers, Yale Environment 360 reported. In British Columbia, for example, glaciers are losing 22 billion cubic meters of water each year.
Urban farming is drawing more interest from entrepreneurs looking to develop technology to grow food using fewer resources, the Guardian reported. The Association for Vertical Farming touts that growing food indoors uses 98 percent less water and 70 percent less fertilizer.