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California’s Man-Made Water Crisis

Posted on Friday, April 7, 2023
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by AMAC Newsline
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AMAC Exclusive – By Andrew Abbott

Water

Last month, California closed out one of its wettest winters in history. From October through March, more than 77 trillion gallons of water fell on the Golden State – over 150% of the annual average. But despite the record rainfall, bureaucratic incompetence and failed Democrat policies may still leave America’s most populous state at risk of running dry.

The blizzards and rainstorms that peppered California this winter were undoubtedly welcome relief for a state perpetually plagued by water shortages in recent years, even if they did lead to dangerous conditions for many residents. Just 9 percent of the state is now experiencing “severe drought” conditions compared to 33 percent as recently as February. Many of the state’s reservoirs are overflowing.

Yet California Governor Gavin Newsom has still declined to formally declare an end to the drought.

To be sure, California is one of the thirstiest states in the country, owing to its massive agricultural sector and large population, and one exceptionally wet year won’t erase years of dry conditions. In total, California farms account for more than 13% of the country’s agricultural production value each year, and nine of the top ten most productive agricultural counties in the country are located in the state. California’s 13.1 million households also each use an average of 100,000 gallons of water every year.

According to rough estimates from the U.S. Geologic Survey, California needs about 38 billion gallons of water per day, or 1.4 trillion gallons per year. That’s a lot – but it’s only a small fraction of the total precipitation the state receives each year, even drier ones.

So where does all the water go?

Much of it flows through California’s rivers and back into the oceans. Huge amounts are also used by plant and animal life.

But the state government has utterly failed to collect the rest of the water. Although exact data for how much water was collected this past winter is not yet available, the best estimate is that less than one trillion gallons of the total 77 trillion that fell were collected.

The ramifications of this failure will likely be stark and severe. Weather forecasters are already predicting an unusually hot summer across much of the state that will likely cause even more water shortages.

The New York Times notes that Los Angeles once had “one of the most sophisticated urban flood control systems in the world.” California’s groundwater aquifers can hold ten times as much water as every other state’s aquifers combined.

Yet groundwater supplies have declined precipitously over the past two decades. In 2014, Governor Newsom approved billions of dollars for seven new water collection projects, including some to replenish aquifers, but few have been implemented.

The most obvious reason for the state’s water collection failures is an excessively slow and laborious bureaucracy beholden to environmental activists. Water rights in California are so aggressively controlled that residents must have an approved permit from the state water board to store even water from a creek or river on their property. Even if a California river is overflowing due to excessive rainwater, storing it without a permit is illegal.

From application to approval, this process takes, on average, 180 days. In one case noted by the Times, a permit to capture water was finally approved “more than a week after the swollen Cosumnes had crashed through nearby levees and killed at least two people.” By then, the Times reports, “so much water was roaring down the river that it damaged the pumps that were supposed to send it away.”

In total last year, 228 billion gallons of rainwater collected in California were also dumped into the ocean due to bureaucratic “miscalculations” by the California Department of Water Resources. Lawmakers demanded the system be audited and reformed, but nothing came of their investigation. 

Environmental activists and the state’s Democrat-dominated legislature have also been a major roadblock to any new dam projects or other initiatives to store more water. A $300 million per year water capture program proposed by Los Angeles County that would appease environmental groups has been criticized by experts as too expensive and likely to deliver far less water than promised.

Meanwhile, the mainstream media and even many in the scientific establishment have continued to embrace the leftist rhetoric claiming that California is the poster child for the “imminent threat” of climate change. Yet all evidence suggests that California lawmakers, not the environment, are to blame for the state running dry.

Andrew Abbott is the pen name of a writer and public affairs consultant with over a decade of experience in DC at the intersection of politics and culture.

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Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
1 year ago

Have water now once snow melts BUT LA will NOT save water & gallons head to the Ocean
NO saving water during summer from winter rains
Day 1
& Nothing is done : city, county level either

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
1 year ago

See LA River videos during past storms & post storm dates FULL & flowing
LA CA

FedUp
FedUp
1 year ago

California is bordered by the largest water mass in the world; the Pacific Ocean. Technology exists to desalinize salt water and in fact entire countries in the mid-east get the majority of their water in this manner. But will the idiots in California invest in this route? Absolutely not! It’s much easier to build massive pipelines and steal the water from inland states, and in the process, deplete their resources. I have no pity for California for any drought conditions since the idiots in charge have taken NO steps to address and implement a solution to their natural climate.

Michael J
Michael J
1 year ago

California is the most wasteful government in the nation. Bureaucracies abound with three state taxing agencies, franchise tax board, board of equalization, and the dmv. The central valley is littered with acres of dead orchards from water mismanagement. Beware of even considering Newsom to be a presidential contender, he’s anti-American as they come and the poster child for democrat hypocrisy and incompetence.

JDBTWO
JDBTWO
1 year ago

They keep voting the clowns in, so who’s fault is it?

anna hubert
anna hubert
1 year ago

Every crisis is man made to serve those who make it

Ed J
Ed J
1 year ago

I reside here on the Left Coast in the State of ☭alifornia and have been forced to watch (and be subjected to) the “inmates who are running the asylum” (i.e., the Demsheviks) with almost every dysfunctional policy they put in place.

I am convinced that their guiding motto and most holy mantra is: “We will snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory!”  Yup!  And they do it almost every time.

Also, as I have stated before, these Demsheviks are all Charter Members of the “180º Club” (i.e., whatever position they espouse or embrace, the exact opposite is usually true or an eminently more optimal, reasonable, efficacious and productive solution).

If President Trump were running our state, this mess would be cleaned up within a couple years. California would then again become the Golden State it was many decades ago.

PaulE
PaulE
1 year ago

Yet another article on an issue that is solely the fault of the voters, who continually elect and re-elect Democrats to positions of power within the state. If Californians want to solve the myriad of issues they have in the state, then the majority need to STOP ELECTING Democrats. It is literally that simple and yet it is that hard to get the majority to do anything but keep repeating a pattern that has consistently proven to be a disaster for the state.

California’s man-made water issue is literally something that could be solved permanently within a 2-to-3-year period with the right leadership in place. All you have to do is expand the network of water reservoirs in certain locations to meet population needs and supplement them with a string of water desalination plants along the Pacific coast. An aggressive construction program to build both could be completed within that timeframe, if you can shut down the ridiculous excessive 5-to-15-year EPA reviews and lawsuits that always pop-up when virtually any sort of construction, for anything, is proposed. That is why nothing gets built in the United States anymore and if, by some miracle, something eventually gets built it costs 10 times as much as it should.

David Millikan
David Millikan
1 year ago

All caused by environmental losers living in FANTASY WORLD.

Robert Brant Hartsock
Robert Brant Hartsock
1 year ago

Article is excellent with one glaring error. Newsom was elected Governor in 2018. He was Lt. Governor in 2014. He is absolutely a lousy leader in every way imaginable.

Leonard R. Schmidt
Leonard R. Schmidt
1 year ago

integrity n. 1. moral uprightness; honesty; sincerity. 2. state, quality, or condition of being complete; wholeness. Syn. 1 see honesty.

politician n. 1. a self-serving individual.

Any questions?

GTPatriot
GTPatriot
1 year ago

Please Californicators, stay in your decrepid state, and do not move to mine. Resident of states that shut down move to good states and bring their communism with them. Don’t want it here so I do not want to tell you where I am. Better yet, can we give Cali to Mexico ?

Nick
Nick
1 year ago

Hey, who says they can’t do both?

Robert Chase
Robert Chase
1 year ago

Environmental activists will not be satisfied until humanity has departed – except for them of course. Man and resources are on earth for a reason. That does not register with the ungodly activists. No reasonable person opposes conservation but there must be a balance.

jdubya
jdubya
1 year ago

I know for a fact my household does not use 100k gallons of water a year. Secondly with the claim of 77 trillion gallons of water that fell how much of that is still sitting frozen as snow and ice in the mountains. It is a little hard to collec that now isn’t it. The whole water shortage thing is cooked up by people with an agenda. Sure we have been in a drought for years, of course as the article states the Governor has not said the Drought is over. In his eyes it never will be because there is nothing in it for him if he does. Yes the state has to few resevoirs, but I do remember a time when those resevoirs were enough, and a time when the state had a lot more crops growing. The problem is more tightly tied to Over Development of areas that do not have a sufficient water supply to start out with. That sits squarely on the shoulders of County and CIty Officials that approve development in these areas. Blame it on overpopulation brought on by oh lets just say, illegal imigration. With all the people now leaving the Communist State of Commifornia, there should be some relief on the states resevoir system. One of the big issues as well is people forget that the majority of the southern part of the state was once one big desert. And all the water there is piped in or routed theire from other sources outside the area. How much water is coming from the Colorado river you know water from other states. How much water from the Northern part of the state gets routed from the Sacramento River Delta to Southern California, not all the water in rivers goes into the OCEAN. Every year lakes that fill from the winter rain and snowpack are drained to keep water in rivers to help keep fish alive. Everyone is fine with that but consider this if that water was allowed to stay in the reseviors longer more people would have the water they need. I know this isn’t fair to the fish, but it is an option. To say that all the water runs into the ocean is a falacy. A lot of it gets used along the way diversion channels and aqueducts are kept full to move water to the southern end of the state. I live in the North State, we have huge reseviors/lakes that we see almost empty every year because of feeding the south state. Sure some of it goes to producing Electricity at the Hydro plants, so think about that Newsom while your charging your electric car, and running all of your electric appliances, lawn mowers.

Pepe
Pepe
1 year ago

… never worked a day in his life, white-boy Gavin, laughing it up all the way to the bank, living the high life off the fat of the land –

Tom
Tom
1 year ago

They are trying to stall the trial with Trump as long as possible so he can’t run for office because of conviction and appeal will be delayed even more. The plan is a good one Spence the dems will win again.It is time to show we have a pair a nd take over the govt legally. I’m old and a veteran that will fight for America again. But notice we blame Biden and he is front man. Who is behind Biden???Not all dems are stupid and don’t want 54% income tax, $8.00 a gallon gas and an ev shoved where the sun doesn’t shine. With all the super smart republicans. Out there are you telling me that we just sit here and smile while the hot poker is warming up and do nothing.Some folks in Alabama told me”we like law and order real well seems when some politician comes up with a bad idea things seem to happen and the sheriff doesn’t look real hard” I don’t condone lawlessness but our country is an open door to China held open by Biden and we just sit here and complain.Trump is getting pounded by traitors so where are the patriots we need so bad. Death before communism.Let’s put on our big boy pants and go to work. Time to sue New York and get court order to do something to protect our president. Is Bragg on the take? Let’s go Brandon!!

PapaGrouch
PapaGrouch
1 year ago

The article could be titled, “California IS a Man-Made Crisis.” That state is so incredibly blessed, with so very many natural assets, and every year, with enormous amounts of water in the form of snow. Example: I know first hand having attempted to cross Donner Pass in February, where the highways are regularly closed for days due to snow avalanches, in which a percentage of it could be collected to cisterns and used for irrigation, firefighting, etc. and control the runoff for normal groundwater levels. Call it “The Good Stewards’ Initiative.” Instead they allow it to go to waste “in the name of…” If they’d use their “tech” for something actually useful instead of trying to Woke the World and pay off teachers’ unions destroy children and families via “gender affirmation” and the rest of their Marxist BS. But, no. When you’re corrupt, evil, bought and paid for, then destroying everything in your path is “progressive.” What dillusioned, useful idiots.

Chas
Chas
1 year ago

“The Biden Kakistocracy”,the entire administration is incompetent to the core!

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