Drought Update: For anyone who doubts the gravity of this circumstance, check out this news report from CNN, published 10/11/14.
California drought victims drink in grandmother’s kindness
by Kenneth Rudich
Fans of the CBS hit television show Big Brother have witnessed it at least three times over this past summer.
I’m referring to the three different live houseguest challenges watched by millions of viewers that took place in the yard of the Big Brother house located on Gunsmoke Avenue in Los Angeles, amid a simulated rainstorm — not just a light mist, mind you, but a torrential downpour worthy of the wet season in some tropical locale. At least, that’s how it appeared on tv – especially when they intensified the flow of water for greater dramatic effect, as Hollywood is prone to do.
Equally noteworthy is that these challenges, along with the deluge of rain, went on and on for an extended period of time.
Though the simulated rainstorm no doubt added entertainment value and perhaps increased the difficulty of the task for the house guests, I couldn’t help but wonder: where was all that water coming from?
This normally would be a strange question, even a stupid one, where it not for the bone-dry reality of California being in the midst of what has been characterized as “one of the most severe droughts on record,” by California Governor Jerry Brown — July 16, 2014.
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, as of July 15, 2014, the Big Brother house sits right in the heart of the drought-stricken region, where the plight is at its worst.
This behemoth public menace has received endless attention, and prompted all sorts of efforts to promote water conservation. “Take shorter showers, turn off water while brushing teeth, and ‘don’t flush more than you have to,’” urged Governor Brown.
The State Water Board is on top of the situation as well, which includes the issuance of possible fines for overusing water.
Comedians Conan O’Brien and Andy Richter have gotten involved with a series of videos intended to persuade the public to cut back personal water use by 20%.
President Obama toured a farm – a woefully arid farm – unluckily situated in the midst of this disaster.
Water wells in central California have begun to run dry, reported the LA Times. “Extreme drought conditions have become so harsh for the Central Valley Community of East Porterville [that] many of its residents dependent on their own wells have run out of water.”
Tulare County has confirmed their wells have run out of water, and now hundreds of homes have no running water.
According to the LA Times, rumors are also spreading that Child Protective Services officials will begin taking children away from families who have no running water, although the county claims the rumor is false.
Folsom Lake, a reservoir in Northern California created by a dam, has gone from being swollen with a glorious amount of H2O (as shown left)… to downright parched (shown below it).
It would appear everyone in this region of the country is in dire distress due to this circumstance, except CBS. Has the sky immediately above the Big Brother house been specially anointed to become darkened by clouds brimming with water whenever a director asks for it (if so, that’s quite a demonstration of corporate clout with a higher power)?
Google seems to confirm this astounding good fortune for CBS. After submitting the query, “Where does CBS Big Brother get water for rain?” the organic results appeared as shown above.
The first ranking item was an update about the Big Brother 16 current challenge in progress for the remaining three houseguests, which states “Raining [sic] is pouring and lots of tilting, but all look strong.”
The second result – this is the actual result that popped up – was Governor Jerry Brown’s admonition to conserve water.
I can only assume one of two things is going on: either CBS and the producers of the Big Brother show are withholding valuable information about an irrepressible source of water (in which case, hooray for them on this phenomenal discovery), or they are displaying a cheerful indifference (and being socially irresponsible in the process) to this sizable and wholly stubborn public crisis.
When all is said and done, it begs the question: where was all that water coming from?
And does CBS really care, as it claims in its ongoing public service campaign titled “CBS Cares”…or is that just simple, good old PR propaganda?