While droughts are common in California, the current drought is recorded as one of the driest and worse yet in the history of the state. Farmers struggling to support their agriculture, dramatic drops in water levels on California landscapes, and various towns running out of well water are all evidence of the current drought. Governor Brown and other state agencies have issued state of emergencies and are currently putting new mitigation measures in place to further address this issue.
UC Davis is in a unique position to address the drought. Agriculture is ingrained into the UC Davis culture; Founded as a farming campus for UC Berkeley, UC Davis has grown into one of the top public universities in the nation. Recently, UC Davis has been recognized for its advancements in environmental science, including being ranked first in the Sierra Club’s Cool School 2012 competition.
As an agricultural school, UC Davis recognizes that there must be a balance between our agriculture and water usage. As a whole, UC Davis has been working to reduce our groundwater usage and slowly beginning to utilize other water usage methods. This is where the EPA Campus RainWorks competition comes into play. By increasing our focus on green infrastructure, we can develop ways to conserve water around campus increasing our groundwater retention and our conservation methods. While the EPA Campus RainWork’s competition primarily focuses on stormwater capture, UC Davis must focus on conservation as well to be effective.