This video from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LAWPD) shows the kinds of choices that will be made if California's drought gets any worse.
When you're out of water, things get real. Fast.
In the video, a group of thirsty people are waiting for water.
A guy finally arrives, dragging a hose behind him. Sweet relief! The water is here!
But then ... wait, what?
He runs right past them. It turns out he brought the water for something else: some guy's plants.
And while the video is funny, it's not "ha-ha funny." It's more "sad funny." It's about a very real choice that's been happening across the state for going on four years now.
California's in year four of a brutal drought.
A year after first declaring a state of emergency and begging citizens and businesses to voluntarily cut water use, the time has come.
Speaking from a patch of dry grass in the Sierras that should be under five feet of snow right now, California's governor, Jerry Brown, recently ordered the State Water Resources Control Board to cut water use by 25%. Period.
Drinking water is becoming too precious.
The state is struggling to meet its basic H2O needs, and now everyone has to think about about how they're using the little water that is available.
Rain barrels, water cisterns, and curb cuts are methods that families and neighborhoods are using for their lawns and gardens, since just an inch of rain can supply thousands of gallons of water for non-drinking uses.
And pro-tip for the guy with the hose in the video who chose to water plants instead of sharing it with the people: You can get water for plants from the sky. Save the safe drinking water for the human beings, OK?
The plan is simple. Everyone needs to do their part to conserve water.
The only way through this is if everyone can trust everyone else to do their part. Here's some guidance from California for how to conserve your precious H2O. And if you're not in California, there are still ways you can help.