Many of us are aware of California’s current state of drought emergency. Over the course of the past four years, California has experienced drought conditions so dire that residents are being urged to reduce residential water use to a trickle and restaurants are even being discouraged from serving customers water unless they request it. In an attempt to make up for the lack of participation, California officials have had no choice but to tap into precious underground stores of freshwater and make use of any reserves possible.

As this footage shows, the result of dipping into these water stores is starting to show … and it ain’t pretty. It is estimated that California needs a total of 11 trillion gallons of water to officially climb its way out of the clutches of drought, an amount that can hardly be made up by rain alone.

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All hope is not lost, however. A majority of California’s water stores are being redirected to feed agricultural lands in order to meet the demands for feed needed for livestock. As one of the largest dairy producers in the U.S., California is pouring a huge amount of water into milk and cheese. We can all play our part to help California save water by limiting the amount of dairy we consume. Did you know that by skipping one gallon of milk you can save the same amount of water as you would by not showering for a month?

One Green Planet believes that our global food system dominated by industrial animal agriculture is at the heart of our global environmental crisis and is a driving force in the drought that is currently being witnessed in California.

When you look at industrial animal agriculture from a global scale, water use is hardly the only area of concern. This destructive industry currently occupies over half of the world’s arable land resources, uses the majority of our freshwater stores, and drives greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, this system causes rampant air and water pollution, land degradation, deforestation and is pushing countless species to the brink of extinction. And yet, one in eight people still suffer from food scarcity.

As the leading organization at the forefront of the conscious consumerism movement, it is One Green Planet’s view that our food choices have the power to heal our broken food system, give species a fighting chance for survival, and pave the way for a truly sustainable future.

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By choosing to eat more plant-based foods you can save up to 162, 486 gallons of water. With the wealth of available plant-based options available, it has never been easier to eat with the planet in mind. Join One Green Planet’s #EatForThePlanet campaign to learn more about how you can use your food choices to save water and benefit the planet.

If California needs 11 trillion gallons of water to get out of a state of drought emergency, we can all make a contribution to this goal just by leaving meat and dairy off the menu. Whether it’s once a day or every meal, every day, every bit is a drop in the bucket!

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