California is suffering from one of the worst droughts ever recorded: three years of low rain and snowfall have left the state in crisis, with the Sierra Nevada snowpack being the lowest it’s been for 500 years. According to government data, 2014 was the third driest year in California over the last 119 years; it was also the warmest year on record.
That means California needs to find some innovative water conservation ideas, and fast. Authorities are trying to reduce evaporation and use seawater to tackle the drought, and the most recent proposal to be put forward uses one of nature’s oldest and most recognisable water hoarders: the humble cactus.
Called Grassroots Cactivism, the idea is the winner of an Archinect’s competition looking for solutions to California’s drought problem. It won in the speculative category, so don’t expect it to become a reality in the very near future, but it involves using the nopales cactus (also known as the prickly pear) as food for livestock and as a water cleaning agent. With 80 percent of the state’s water usage taken up by agricultural production, any savings that farmers make can have a significant impact on the overall […]