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California's Worst Case Scenario is Here: Drought

Updated on May 8, 2015

Now in its fourth year, California's epic 1200 year drought continues to dry out the state like a blow dryer gone amok. No more rain will occur for another 6-8 months in most of the state. The rain the state did receive in the winter months was well below normal in most parts. The snowpack in the Sierra mountains, so critical for water, is well below what it should be. Added to the lack the rain is that the state had its warmest weather ever in 2014. While Northern California has fared better than in the southland, they also are below normal levels. Much of the LA Basin relies on the water from the Northern California regions moving it via canals that span the state. Some of the water is also received from the overused Colorado River and piped into the region.

The state government has been trying to decide how to deal with this coming nightmare. It is a complex problem because of the state's billion dollar agriculture industry in the central valley, where it is hot and dry. Those businesses are already think they deserve more water and less restrictions than urban cities and towns. The problem is about what is fair and because of the many micro-climates in the state, some places, like along the coast, are much cooler and require less water than hot and dry areas where evaporation is rapid.

There 411 water districts in the state and the government has decided that water cutback and rationing will be the severest in areas where water is used heavily per-capita. Across the board, districts will be forced to impose drastic water cutback by 25-35%. This may mean watering landscape is forbidden or curtailed to only twice a week. Overall, the government is going to demand that water be saved by 50%. The food industry is also screaming that they want special treatment, meaning, water restriction exemptions for food processing. Residents will be finding a much higher water bill for much less use. Some penalties will be has high as $10,000 for violators. Cities and towns will employ water cops and neighbors in reporting excessive or illegal use of water. The first ticket will be a warning, the second violation a fine of several hundred dollars and so on.

California is going brown rapidly, not green, from lack of water. Studies reveal the state only has enough water for another year.


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