By LILY KUZMINSKI, age 10

While California officials have imposed fines as high as $500 for wasting water, many residents are already mindful of their water consumption and hopeful that the drought will soon lift. PHOTO: Kevin Cortopassi/Flickr
While California officials have imposed fines as high as $500 for wasting water, many residents are already mindful of their water consumption and hopeful that the drought will soon lift.
PHOTO: Kevin Cortopassi/Flickr

California has been suffering a major drought since 2012. The drought has had a big impact on California’s residents. Many have lost access to water and the area’s wildfire season has been more intense as a result.

Nearly 82 percent of California continues to suffer severe drought. Some residents have even had their taps run dry. “You don’t think of water as privilege until you don’t have it anymore,” said Yolanda Serrato, a Mexican immigrant living in Tulare county. Many families in Tulare County asked state officials for help when their water ran out, but discovered there was no agency that could help them. Yolanda and her family of five get a limited amount of water from a local charity.

Wildfires are also worsening due to the drought. According to Cal Fire, California’s Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, this year’s wildfire season was on track to be the most destructive on record. Droughts are not uncommon, but a team of scientists from Stanford University claims that climate change has tripled the probability of drought conditions.

While California officials have imposed fines as high as $500 for wasting water, many residents are already mindful of their water consumption are hopeful that the drought will soon lift. “I personally believe things can improve, little by little,” said 12-year-old California resident Isys Suasin. “Turning the water off while you brush your teeth . . . can still make a big difference.”