Marcus takes the roommates to his boisterous family reunion out in the far suburbs. They discover how the California water crisis hits home in surprising ways.
“The thirst is real.” -- Nina
California is still suffering the effects of its worst drought in 1,200 years. In 2016, some towns in the Central Valley literally ran out of water. While this past winter’s heavy rains eased the most immediate impacts of the drought, we continue to face a water crisis that will only get worse over the coming decades.
The state of California gets most of its water from the Sierra Nevada mountains snowpack, which is melting as global warming intensifies. Groundwater reserves are being rapidly depleted. One of the major culprits is our corporate agriculture system that misuses and wastes water on a massive scale. Meanwhile, companies like Chevron are fracking on California farmland, polluting massive amounts of drinkable water. Add this to the ecological fact that much of California and the West is a desert. We know that as climate change increases, the demands for water will only go up -- and the next drought will be even worse.
Working-class communities in the Central Valley and Bay Area outer suburbs feel the effects of the drought the hardest. Displaced Oakland natives priced out of the city are increasingly living in places like Antioch, Stockton, and Fresno. Conversations around gentrification usually focus on Oakland, Brooklyn, and New Orleans. But what about the people who have already been pushed out?
We need to build progressive movements in the suburbs! Yes, the suburbs! We need an intersectional, translocal movement that unites working-class and middle-class people in cities, suburbs, and rural areas to fight against the corporate onslaught that is driving both the housing crisis and environmental injustice.