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100 years ago, the population of the state of California was 3 million, and during the 20th century we built lots of beautiful new cities in an area that was previously a desert. Scientists tell us that the 20th century was the wettest century in 1000 years for that area of the country, but now weather patterns are reverting back to normal. Today, the state of California is turning back into a desert but it now has a population of 38 million people. This is not sustainable in the long-term. So when the water runs out, where are they going to go?
I have written quite a few articles about the horrific drought in California, but conditions just continue to get even worse. According to NPR, snowpack levels in the Sierra Nevada mountains are “just 6 percent of the long-term average”…
The water outlook in drought-racked California just got a lot worse: Snowpack levels across the entire Sierra Nevada are now the lowest in recorded history — just 6 percent of the long-term average. That shatters the previous low record on this date of 25 percent, set in 1977 and again last year.
California farmers rely on that water. Last year, farmers had to let hundreds of thousands of acres lie fallow because of the scarcity of water, and it is being projected that this year will be even worse…
More than 400,000 acres of farmland were fallowed last year because of scarce water. Credible sources have estimated that figure could double this year.
Fortunately, many farmers have been able to rely on groundwater in recent years, but now wells are running dry all over the state. Here is more from NPR…
Last year was already a tough year at La Jolla Farming in Delano, Calif. Or as farm manager Jerry Schlitz puts it, “Last year was damn near a disaster.”
La Jolla is a vineyard, a thousand-or-so acres of neat lines of grapevines in the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley. It depends on water from two sources: the federal Central Valley Project and wells.
Until last year, Schlitz says, wells were used to supplement the federal water.
“Now, we have nothing but wells. Nothing. There’s no water other than what’s coming out of the ground,” he says.
Last year, one of those wells at La Jolla dried up. The farm lost 160 acres — about a million dollars’ worth of produce, plus the wasted labor and other resources.
Are you starting to understand the scope of the problem?
Despite all of the wonderful technology that we have developed, we are still at the mercy of the weather.
And if this drought continues to drag on, it is absolutely going to cripple a state that contains more than 10 percent of the total U.S. population.
In an attempt to fight the water shortage, Governor Jerry Brown has instituted statewide water restrictions for the first time ever…
California announced sweeping statewide water restrictions for the first time in history Wednesday in order to combat the region’s devastating drought, the worst since records began.
Governor Jerry Brown issued the declaration at a press conference in a parched, brown slope of the Sierra Nevada mountains that would normally be covered by deep snow.
“Today, we are standing on dry grass where there should be five feet (1.5 meters) of snow,” Brown said. “This historic drought demands unprecedented action.”
So what will these restrictions include?
The following is a summary from Natural News…
A ban on non-drip irrigation systems for all new homes.
A requirement for golf courses and cemeteries to “reduce water consumption.” (And yet, the very idea of green golf courses in the middle of a California desert is insane to begin with…)
Force farmers to report more details on their water usage so that the state government can figure out where all the water is going (and where to restrict it even further).
Outlawing the watering of grass on public street medians.
Discussions are also under way to throw “water wasters” in jail for up to 30 days, according to another LA Times article. The most likely source of intel for incarcerating water wasters will be neighborhood snitches who monitor water usage of nearby homes and call the authorities if they see too much water being used.
If the drought does not go on for much longer, these restrictions may be enough.
But what if it continues to intensify?
The following graphic shows the U.S. Drought Monitor map for the state of California for each of the last five years in late March…
originally posted by: BestinShow
a reply to: arjunanda
Everyone that pushed for the High Speed rail rather than finishing the desalination plants in Santa Barbara should be shot...
After that we can identify who should have to leave.
Modern reverse-osmosis desalination plants, such as those planned or proposed on the California coast, take in large volumes of seawater – generally two gallons are withdrawn for every gallon of freshwater produced – and pass it through fine-pored membranes to separate freshwater from salt. The highly concentrated brine is then typically disposed of back into the ocean
With the majority of desalination plants extracting water directly through open water intakes in the ocean, there is a direct impact on marine life. Fish and other marine organisms are killed on the intake screens (impingement); organisms small enough to pass through, such as plankton, fish eggs, and larvae, are killed during processing of the salt water (entrainment). The impacts on the marine environment, even for a single desalination plant, may be subject to daily, seasonal, annual, and even decadal variation, and are likely to be species- and site-specific.
a reply to: jude11
Texta reply to: arjunanda
So now we will have fellow Americans as the immigrants pouring over State lines to find a better life?
So when the States they run to start to see a drain on their economy, resources etc, will we see people in the streets calling for the deportation of fellow legal Americans?
Fight amongst each other while TPTB get stronger. Meanwhile, ask Nestle if they give a crap.
originally posted by: BlueJacket
a reply to: caladonea
I lived in Oregon a long time. Im afraid there is no industry to support 30+ million, even in the best of times Oregon has horrible employment. Most of the new employment is built around Restaurants, beer etc... Only certain areas of Oregon are water rich, they have tremendous forest fires every year due to a lack of water...I dont believe Washington and Oregon will suffice the needs of the many people this will effect. I do believe people will do as you say, but it wont be a viable answer.