Think the South is stealing enough of our water now? Just wait

The Clamor for more dams and diversions of Northern California water is only going to get worse in light of this news……………

 

NASA: California Has One Year of Water Left

 

Plagued by prolonged drought, California now has only enough water to get it through the next year, according to NASA.

In an op-ed published Thursday by the Los Angeles Times, Jay Famiglietti, a senior water scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, painted a dire picture of the state’s water crisis. California, he writes, has lost around 12 million acre-feet of stored water every year since 2011. In the Sacramento and San Joaquin river basins, the combined water sources of snow, rivers, reservoirs, soil water and groundwater amounted to a volume that was 34 million acre-feet below normal levels in 2014. And there is no relief in sight.

“As our ‘wet’ season draws to a close, it is clear that the paltry rain and snowfall have done almost nothing to alleviate epic drought conditions. January was the driest in California since record-keeping began in 1895. Groundwater and snowpack levels are at all-time lows” Famiglietti writes. “We’re not just up a creek without a paddle in California, we’re losing the creek too.”

On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that one-third of the monitoring stations in California’s Cascades and Sierra Nevada mountains have recorded the lowest snowpack ever measured.

“Right now the state has only about one year of water supply left in its reservoirs, and our strategic backup supply, groundwater, is rapidly disappearing,” Famiglietti writes.

Californian officials have been criticized for their lack of long-term planning for how to cope with this drought, and future droughts, beyond “staying in emergency mode and praying for rain.”

no water

March 2016?

For their part, agricultural interests have argued that they shouldn’t be subject to rationing because they’re too important to the state. After all, they say, how would we eat without the state’s bountiful farms?

But environmentalists rightly note that no one is calling for a cutback on water use for the state’s essential food supplies. The problem is the water wasted on non-essential crops. Right now, California is producing far more almonds than state residents can consume. So much so that 80 percent of the state’s almond crop is now exported — much of it to China. In other words, we’re essentially exporting our water to China.

That’s absurd. And if Governor Brown and California water officials are ever going to get serious about conserving water, then they need to abandon crazy business practices — like growing water-intensive crops in the desert and spending $25 billion on water tunnels to make it happen so we can sell more nuts to China. That’s especially true now that we’ve only got one year of water left.

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9 thoughts on “Think the South is stealing enough of our water now? Just wait

  1. Besides the massive nut crop plantings by the Resnicks that takes a huge amount of the 80% of the state’s water that goes to agriculture, then there is the Resnicks’ support for politicians who advocate for war with Iran because iran is a main nut crop competitor.

    That’s not just nuts, it’s evil.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I have a terrible confession to make: Sometimes I think the State of Jefferson might be a good idea.

    Yeah, I know… I feel the shame.

    The reason is given in the above article… as a separate state we would have more leverage to prevent the rest of California from draining us dry. Because the rest of California will never get its water act together until there is no more to siphon from “elsewhere” (we being the “elsewhere,” of course).

    I sometimes debate with myself (I try not to because it usually ends in a fistfight) that keeping the Klamath and Eel Rivers from becoming dead summer trickles might be worth the otherwise disaster that would be the State of Jefferson.

    The Los Angeles River is the poster child of California’s future.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Greywater tanks and efficient greywater use would help……

    Like

  4. Recently there was a state water agency meeting where they advocated for more restrictions of residential customers and urban and suburban uses, such as golf courses. The story and sound bites were on local public radio stations…

    The finger waving and nannying was not directed at the 80% ag customers, only the urban and suburban users that use the remaining 20%. The tone the woman used who was interviewed from the agency was spectacularly nasty, as if residential users had been caught stealing from the church kitchen.

    Until we see dead almond trees we will know the state’s water agencies are run by and for the agricultural interests…yet that water agency harpy was complaining that residential agencies and users were not doing enough conservation…probably true, but not one mention was made of any agricultural water conservation practices and reforms. It’s getting desperate for farmers and they have been scrambling and good luck to them.

    Liked by 2 people

    • While they’re an easy target, golf courses use less than 1% of the state’s fresh water. For comparison, studies indicate that as much as 18% of the fresh water produced and pumped from the plants leaks out and never makes it to an end user.

      Like

  5. I think this is something where we have to look to ourselves as part of the problem. I’m sure a great deal of the produce produced in the Central Valley comes to Humboldt. Maybe it goes to Winco not the Coop, but the water in the end is serving all of us.

    I would always vote against a measure that would direct any Humboldt water to fields and people south of Willie’s “Mendocino County Line” (The North one). But I acknowledge that’s me being selfish – selfish for myself, my neighbors, our Salmon, our Tribes.

    Constructive criticism TE as as much as you probably think I’m here to antagonize you, I am a fan and 9 times out of 10 we want the same thing…Please source your work and do what you can – and more – to distinguish words you’ve written from those others have written.

    I struggle with the same problem and do everything possible to make clear where my ideas stop and another person’s begin.

    MOLA – I would never wish this on anyone really, but thank you for feeling the shame? I think Jefferson is ultimately about not wanting to share with the rest of the world. Keeping what the powerful in that county have and they’ll sell the politics to those without by saying it’s those liberals in Sacramento and those urban elites (or a different verbiage) taking what is rightfully there’s. When, as Eric Kirk pointed out, nothing could be further from the truth, red states are the moocher states.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Everyone know that we can survive and flourish with much less water than we now use. No one knows how much less but its clearly a lot less.

    The argument is about how the available water, however much there is, should be distributed and who should pay the costs of making it available. Just like climate change, its seems people must first experience suffering and pain before they will willingly accept new limits on behavior they consider “normal”. The new normal will just mean using much less water. Its possible and affordable. And it will happen when people decide to do it.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. “yet that water agency harpy was complaining that residential agencies and users were not doing enough conservation…probably true, but not one mention was made of any agricultural water conservation practices and reforms.” (Marmaduke)

    Rural Humboldt turned out in force to elect our current board of supervisor majority that wants no part of regulating abuses of fresh water. One of Bohn’s first actions was to dump long-serving planning commissioner Denver Nelson, Humboldt County’s only lettered commissioner that had called for routine water carrying capacity studies for decades.

    What a sad irony to watch those who rightfully shouted “nature bats last” at the timber miners, protesters that are failing today to even once demand low-impact regulations at planning commission meetings…a lifestyle many claim to practice.

    It has proven problematic to address Marijuana farm abuses while trying to leave historic “legal” abuses untouched.

    Our local vineyards, livestock, commercial gardens, man-made ponds, swimming pools, orchards, small pot grows, roads, countless unrecorded developments, etc, have negative cumulative impacts that have been devastating fresh water sources in Ca. since the beginning.

    NAN is correct, our “intelligent” species awaits the force of nature to change behaviors we know are destructive…despite a wealth of alternatives.

    Liked by 1 person

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