I’m thinking that California will lead the nation into the New Life. We are that avant garde. Our population is some 40 million, and we are the world’s 7th largest economy considered as a country but we are running out of water. Sierra snowpack is at 8% of average for this time of year- and the rainy season is over. Our aquifers are going dry- not just in the Central Valley, but all over the State. This means wells are going deeper and deeper for less and less water of poorer and poorer quality. But it is business as usual. No one can really imagine running out of water. Everything will work out just fine, until it doesn’t work at all. That day may not be that far away.
The fact is that California as we know it is not sustainable. We cannot continue without lots and lots of water. The aquifers are getting pumped dry, the reservoirs are puddles and it’s not snowing. So what to do?
Agriculture uses 80% of our water. Almost all of that water is now coming from aquifers because it’s not raining and snowing. This means that if agriculture does not voluntarily limit water usage, the aquifers will become so depleted that the Central Valley- which produces half of the nation’s nuts, fruits and vegetables, will become a desert where no one lives. But what are the farmers of the Central Valley doing? They either drill deeper wells or go out of business. And so of course they drill deeper wells. Even with abundant rain and snowfall, it takes decades to recharge these wells.
Climate scientists say we are very likely headed into a prolonged drought cycle that may last decades. We are toast if it lasts just two or three more years.