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Evan Popp
Professor Linda Borgen
Rhetoric Writing Skills 100
Section 1
7 December 2015
Word Count: 1156

Project 4

California is currently in a drought, and will continue to be until the correct actions are
taken to stop the misuse of water. A common outcome of being in a drought is to use the
groundwater that is found throughout California to supply what the default supply of water cant.
Continued draining of the groundwater with no caution can lead to disastrous results in the
future. In the article Draining California by Rebecca Terrell the many assumed dangers of
running out of groundwater are mentioned. As Terrell continues to worry about the draining of
groundwater in California, we analyze her text.
Throughout Draining California by Rebecca Terrell she mentions that in the 1930s and
1960s the excessive usage of aquifers and groundwater caused for outrageous pumping costs and
wells to dry out. Rebecca Terrell believes that the pace we are at currently will cause for the
same issues to occur in the near future. When writing about the current ongoing issues with
draining groundwater, Terrell uses facts and statistics to help present her reasoning behind her
opinion. Over using water in California now is a finable offense that can go up to $500,
Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in 2014 and has since issued increasingly

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strict mandates, including his April executive order on urban water reduction, calling for fines of
$500 a day for people watering their lawns or taking long showers (Terry 1). If farmers run out
of water for their crops, they are allowed to drain water from their land to supply their crops.
California not receiving rain and being in a dry state did not help with the drought at all, while
people still drain water from underground in their own land can be harmful to the environment
all around the area. When Terrell presents these facts and reasons behind her ideals she uses
fairly advanced definitions and statistics, making the text suitable for a college educated middleaged person.
Although Terrell presents many accurate facts as to why she believes we are going to
repeat a drought issue that occurred during the 1930s and 1960s, I find her to be to reliant on old
facts and history. For example when she mentioned the restricted water usage and fines that
would come along if violated, evidence from 1977 This is only the second time in California
history when the state has limited senior rights; the first was in 1977, also under Governor Jerry
Brown (Terrell 41).
The video that we watched was the Italian Job, it related to the topic of the drought in
California through symbolization of gold as all the water in California. In the movie the actors all
had to cooperate to keep the gold from falling off the bus and from falling off the cliff, this gold
is represented as water and also the fact that everyone in California needs to work together to get
past this drought. This representation is true in the fact that all of us in California do need to
work together to get past the drought without causing harm to our beloved state. If we see the
water as gold and put it on the same level as it, it is much easier to work together to preserve it.
Another film we watched was China Town by Roman Polaski which was about a investigator
who is assigned the task of investigating a murder which is linked to Hollis Mulwray who is in

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charge of the Department of Water and Power in LA. This film represents the danger that people
have of affecting the water in our cities.
In the text How Draining Global Groundwater Supplies Could Harm the Food Supply
by Justin Worland, the current drought situation is presented in a way that shows how lack of
water can not only put is in a drought but also in a food shortage. Worland presents how farmers
are turning to using groundwater to supply their farms. "These aquifers can typically not
recharge, and once this 'fossil' water is gone, it is gone forever- potentially how and where we
can live and grow food, among other things" (Worland P4). Worland presents his argument in an
easy to understand way that appeals to high school educated people. Although arguments
presented are valid, many of them contradict themselves for example when Worland presents the
fact that we are running out of groundwater, there is a fact presented later that says we have
trillions of gallons of freshwater Trillions of gallons of fresh groundwater are hidden beneath
the Earths surface, according to estimates by the U.S. Geological Survey (Worland 4). This
challenges the fact that groundwater is something we should not be worrying about currently.
The second text I read was Will Mount Shasta Bottle Its Water For Profit? by Leighton
Woodhouse, talks about how water-bottling facilities that rely on withdrawing groundwater to
supply their source of water are still currently being built, even in this drought. The graph
presented below shows that 13% of Californias water is used towards commercial reasons such
as bottling water, which is huge. That is 13% of Californias water that may be being sold to
other states through water bottles. It is also presented that these companies will dispose of
contaminated water into the ground contaminating groundwater sources. Woodhouse states, "In
addition to groundwater depletion, Stevens and others are concerned about the risk of
contamination of the aquifer, which is at the headwaters of the Sacramento River. The plant plans

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to discharge its contaminated wastewater, which it claims will be well within all applicable
standards for drinking water quality, in a leach field, which will percolate into the ground

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(Woodhouse 4).

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After reading these groups of texts I was more educated on the current issues regarding
drought and groundwater depletion in California. There is a huge amount of groundwater
available to California but depleting it will only hurt us in the future if we become reliant on it
again. There are still issues springing up currently in the news where a company will bottle
groundwater in California and sell it to other states, causing dilemmas. Reading the few texts and
watching the films have influenced me to think that we do need to take the drought and
groundwater situation in California more seriously. There are many ways we can reduce the
impact we have on our environment even in a drought that everyone in California should be
After viewing Group Bs presentation on poor water policy I came to the conclusion that
their facts and analysis strengthened my ideas on the ground water and drought issue in
California. When the fact that currently nine states are suffering through the same issues that
California is with water, showed that there are poor water policies in our nations that need to be
fixed. Poor water policies have more of an impact on the drought than the climate change has
had on us.

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Project 4 Citations
1) Worland, Justin. "How Draining Global Groundwater Supplies Could Harm The Food
Supply." Time Inc. 30 Jun. 2015. Academic Search Premier. Web. 4 Nov.
2) Terrell, Rebecca. "Draining California." The New American
Magazine. 26 August. 2015. Academic Search Premier. Web. 4 Nov. 2015.
3) Woodhouse, Leighton. " Life In Time Of Drought: Will Mount Shasta Bottle Its Water
For Profit?." Huffington Post. 12 May. 2015. Academic Search
Premier. Web. 4 Nov. 2015.
4) Chinatown. Dir. Roman Polanski. Perfs. Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway. Paramount
Pictures, 1974 Web. 5 Nov 2015.
5) Cooley, Heather. Water Use in California. 21 January. 2015. Photograph. Web. 29 November. 2015.