Is “Emergency” the Right Framing for Southern California’s Water Shortage?

When climate change shows water availability in Southern CA is only getting worse, is calling it an “emergency” giving false hope of an end?

Source: Sreyasvalsan


Do you feel there are ways, personally, you could be more water efficient?

In an unprecedented move, Southern California officials declared a water shortage emergency last week and ordered outdoor water usage be restricted to just one day a week for about 6 million people in parts of Los Angeles, Ventura and San Bernardino counties. From a policy perspective, the move may make sense. But when climate change clearly shows water availability in Southern California is only going to get worse, is framing the problem as an “emergency” giving false hope of a future day where the water shortage is over? Ethan reflects on why it may be less overwhelming to acknowledge the tough reality and put more emphasis on strategic, collaborative, money-saving water conservation solutions in this week’s “Tip of the Iceberg.”

The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at

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Writer: Ethan Brown, Shannon Damiano, Maddy Schmidt

Fact Checker: Megan Crimmins

Editor: Frank Hernandez

Producers: Olivia Amitay, Ethan Brown, Megan Crimmins, Shannon Damiano, Frank Hernandez, Dain Kim, Caroline Koehl

Ad Voiceover: Frank Hernandez

Music: Brett Sawka

The opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the host and guests. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Peril and Promise or The WNET Group.

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The Sweaty Penguin
The Sweaty Penguin is a digital news source and podcast aiming to make environmental issues less overwhelming and politicized and more accessible and fun.


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