There was a time when we could withstand a few years of dry weather without the panic of drought.
Feb 14, 2018
According to the Sacramento Bee "The drought is back. Here’s how California needs to start saving water now" or this from the Orange County Register "California’s drought restrictions on wasteful water habits could be coming back — this time they’ll be permanent." These headlines are coming less than a year after one of California's wettest years on record. There was a time when we could withstand a few years of dry weather without the panic of drought after a big rain year, but now just one dry year and we're in a drought. What's changed?
California has always had mostly dry years between the wet years. Typically we get a good wet year every six or seven or eight years. Nothing has changed in that pattern no matter what they say about climate change. Certainly, having one dry year after a wet year is one of least remarkable things about California weather. So, why is it that after decades of being able to navigate our way through mostly dry years are we having trouble getting through just one?
California's evolution of 'environmental' water policy has changed everything. Over the past 25 or so years California has dedicated more and more water to the environment without asking for any accountability in return. Environmentalists say 'give us more water' and things will get better, but if they don't get better they just keep asking for more water.
Environmentalists blame farmers, but the Department of Water Resources has announced "a statewide increase in water allocations to 20 percent of requests for most contractors."
After one of the wettest years on record we already are at only a 20% allocation in just one year. While farmers will only get their 20%, over 50-million acre feet of water flowed through and out of the Delta to the sea. People and farms don't want all of it, just some of it. Two or three million acre feet would make a lot of difference.
State water policy makers are not planning how to best make it through the dry years with new storage. They don't even seem to think we need new storage, certainly not for people or farms. Until we get some accountability from the environmentalists running state water policy we foresee brown lawns and fallow farmland forever.
The drought is back. Here’s how California needs to start saving water now
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