Millennials, Urban Living, and Water in Southern California

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Category: Blog

Young people are interested in a different kind of lifestyle than earlier generations, and Americans are experiencing an urban renaissance of unanticipated proportions. Better yet, it’s making us greener. Realizing that now is the time for experience, college graduates are moving to cities, where they may eschew owning car and take to bicycling and mass transit.  They live is smaller square footage with fluid common space and amenities nearby. Recently released census data shows that metropolitan areas across the country grew at a faster rate than the rest of the country. And, as virtually all green studies have proven, city living is greener than suburban living – that’s why Manhattan is one of the greenest cities in the country.

Yet, city living isn’t a foolproof method for healthy and sustainable living. The water supply tends to be a critical bottleneck. Water? Where did all water go? Last winter was one of the warmest winter on record in California. Paleo-climatologists believe it is exacerbating what could well be the region’s worst drought in 500 years…nearly all of the state’s 191 reservoirs are below normal levels. If things don’t improve, some small communities may run out of drinking water. Farmers may need to idle 500,000 acres of farmland, resulting in billions of dollars in economic damage. The last time the water supply was as low, in the 1960s, California’s population was just less than 20m. Today, the same amount of water must accommodate twice as many people.

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