In Tulare County, California, the effects of the California drought are so profound that some families are literally unable to turn on their faucet.

"I remember when we first ran out of water, it was kind of a scary experience," Manuel Ruedo, a resident of East Porterville, told Fusion. "You're wondering: how are we going to eat? How are we going to bathe?"

There's no issues, currently, in the communities with the money to dig deeper wells, but in poorer areas like Tulare County, residents need to occasionally resort to filling up small disposable cups and washing themselves off to conserve water. Ruedo said that he and his family even have to ration how much water they drink day-to-day.

Peter Gleick, the president and co-founder at the Pacific Institute, says that the idea that water is a public good is dying, and we're now headed toward an age of perceiving water, instead, as a commodity.

"Until we take problems like the drought more seriously, we're going to continue to have unresolved water challenges," Gleick says.

Advertisement

@fusion

Tim Pool is director of media innovation at Fusion, and a mobile and technology specialist covering conflict, crisis, and internet culture on the ground and online.