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Should California limit household access to water if the drought gets bad enough?




This picture taken on March 20, 2015 shows a tourist walking at Shihman dam in northern Taoyuan.  Taiwan launched water rationing in some major cities as the island battled its worst drought in over a decade, following the lowest rainfall in nearly 70 years.
This picture taken on March 20, 2015 shows a tourist walking at Shihman dam in northern Taoyuan. Taiwan launched water rationing in some major cities as the island battled its worst drought in over a decade, following the lowest rainfall in nearly 70 years.
SAM YEH/AFP/Getty Images

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We're now in our fourth extremely dry year here in California. Scientists say according to tree ring evidence this may be the worst drought in the last 1200 years in this state, but we're not the only place grappling with extreme dryness.

Much of the Western US has been experiencing some form of drought for over a decade and elsewhere in the world conditions have been even more severe.

First off, let's look at Taiwan. It might not be the first place you think of when it comes to dry conditions, as the island averages almost a hundred inches of rain per year. Compared to the 15 inches a year here in Los Angeles and it seems like no contest. But the past year has been so dry officials had to shut off the public's access to water two days a week. 

It's just one of the ways that they're dealing with their water problem.

Cindy Sui is the BBC's reporter in Taipei and she used to live in California, she joins A Martinez for a discussion on the topic.

Check out the audio embedded above for that conversation, in addition to another one about Australia, the driest continent on Earth.

From 1997 to 2010, it had its longest dry period on record, the so-called Millenium Drought. The upside is the country now has among the best water conservation programs in the world.

Andy Lipkis from the environmental organization Tree People joins the program.

Could programs, like Australia's save California? Is California's future as bleak as Taiwan's?

Check out the attached audio to find out.



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