Hot temperatures greet us on bright, summer afternoons, however as warned, temperatures are seeing record highs this summer and while that may be fine news for kids it is not for our crops or water supplies.
California serves as the foundation for the American food supply and as the temperatures rise, our food supply is threatened and the need for water increases. Death Valley, California is one of the areas being hit the hardest and for those farmers in the west, these temperatures have consistently reached up to 130 degrees – with no end in sight and they’re still going up.
The majority of our food comes from the 17 western states. Everything ranging from green beans and grapes to barley and wheat are grown right around that western belt. And with this lasting heat wave, we will have to prepare ourselves to say goodbye to both the quality and quantity of those foods. There have already been setbacks when it comes to apricots, barley, and zucchini, crops that are in full bloom during the heat wave couldn’t be picked fast enough. Most crops have a fairly narrow range of temperatures at which they’ll produce the most food. Go beyond that range and farmers will see fewer results for their efforts.
Another problem arising from these long-lasting heat waves is much more expected, but just as dangerous. Droughts are happening over these same western areas. As the temperatures rise, so does the need for more water. Crops will require more water in order to survive resulting in tapping into the water supply more frequently thus reducing the amount in the reserves. Many in these areas have already depleted their surface water and groundwater supplies and have to pay extra to pump water in from other locations.
This problem is not exclusive to America. In France scientists predict losses of up to 12% of the corn yield over the next 20 years, and wheat and soybean harvests will fall up to 30% by 2050. The loss of these crops will contribute to our world’s future outlook – global food shortages.
Clearly, these heat waves have massive negative impacts on our lives. In order to prepare ourselves for the coming dangers, we should learn how to be smarter about buying less, wasting less and creating “new” sources of water. Something as small as “buying less – wasting less” may reduce our national food crisis and preserve our resources.
In the meantime, during this time of excessively hot weather and daily drought threats, we need to be mindful of our water supply. During these summer months, every single day represents a decline in our potable water supply; therefore, it is time to deploy technology that can turn food waste into “new” water. This new water resource will represent a little relief during the hot summer months.