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Water Crisis - Unlimited Growth or Sustainable Future?


Last updated 8/18/2015 at 10:58am

David Carle, a California State Parks Ranger for 27 years and his wife, Janet, are the authors of “Traveling the 38th Parallel: A Water Line Around the World.” Last Spring the two presented a talk about their book at the Steele/Burnand Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center. According to David, recycling wastewater is one of the most promising ways to conserve water and reduce pressure for imported water, and in some cities and water districts in Southern California, imports are now close to zero because of recycling efforts. David also points out that water treatment costs are now lower than purchasing imported water in San Diego. Recycling also takes pressure off rivers and estuaries, which need to retain their life-giving waters. The last four years have produced the most severe Drought of the past 1,200 years in California and Carle points out that importing water to overcome local resource limits is the only way today’s enormous urban centers can actually exist. Carle recently wrote an article for the July issue of American Legion Magazine, titled, “A Level of concern: California’s water crisis demands a choice between unlimited growth and a sustainable future.” Even in the event that desalination of seawater becomes feasible, Carle asks, “Does overcrowded California really want the unlimited growth that could be accommodated with unlimited water?” Carle recommends we accept the reality of water limitation and “stop California’s history of frenzied growth and seek a sustainable future.” To read Carle’s article online, check at

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