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The Worst Drought In The History Of California Is Happening Right Now

California DroughtDid you know that 2013 was the driest year ever recorded in the state of California?  And did you know that so far this is the driest January that the state of California has ever experienced?  The worst drought in the history of California is happening right now.  Just check out the current conditions on the U.S. Drought Monitor.  About two-thirds of the state is experiencing “extreme drought” at the moment, and Governor Jerry Brown says that it is “not likely to rain for several weeks“.  Unfortunately for California, the truth is that the weather in the western half of the country is simply returning to historical norms.  Scientists tell us that the 20th century was the wettest century in the western half of the United States in 1000 years, and that extremely dry conditions are normally what we should expect for most areas from the Pacific Ocean to the Mississippi River.  If long-term conditions truly are “returning to normal”, then the state of California could be heading for a water crisis of unprecedented magnitude.

But it is not just the state of California that should be concerned.  The reality of the matter is that the produce grown in California feeds the rest of the nation.  Just check out these statistics…

The state produces 99 percent of the artichokes grown in the US, 44 percent of asparagus, a fifth of cabbage, two-thirds of carrots, half of bell peppers, 89 percent of cauliflower, 94 percent of broccoli, and 95 percent of celery. Leafy greens? California’s got the market cornered: 90 percent of the leaf lettuce we consume, along with and 83 percent of Romaine lettuce and 83 percent of fresh spinach, come from the big state on the left side of the map. Cali also cranks a third of total fresh tomatoes consumed in the U.S.—and 95 percent of ones destined for cans and other processing purposes.

As for fruit, I get that 86 percent of lemons and a quarter of oranges come from there; its sunny climate makes it perfect for citrus, and lemons store relatively well. Ninety percent of avocados? Fine. But 84 percent of peaches, 88 percent of fresh strawberries, and 97 percent of fresh plums?

Come on. Surely the other 49 states can do better.

In other words, the rest of us are extremely dependent on the fruits and vegetables that the state of California grows for us.

So don’t take too much joy in what California is going through.  It is going to affect you too.

Things have gotten so bad that Governor Brown has declared a water emergency

‘I’ve declared this emergency and I’m calling all Californians to conserve water in every way possible,’ he said, in a move that will allow him to call for conservation measures and provide flexibility in deciding state water priorities.

All over the state, reservoirs are approaching dangerously low levels.  In fact, at one reservoir near Sacramento water levels have dropped so low that old buildings from a Gold Rush ghost town have appeared

In a sign of the severity of the drought, some of the state’s reservoirs are at their lowest levels in years. The Folsom Reservoir near Sacramento is so low that the remains of a Gold Rush-era ghost town – flooded to create the lake in the 1950s – are visible for the first time in years.

The state’s mountain ranges, where runoff from melting snow provides much of the water for California’s thirsty cities and farms, have just 20 percent of the snow they normally have at this time of year, officials noted.

In a previous article, I quoted a recent Fresno Bee article which described what is happening to the Pine Flat Reservoir…

Pine Flat Reservoir is a ghost of a lake in the Fresno County foothills — a puddle in a 326 billion-gallon gorge.

Holding only 16% of its capacity, Pine Flat is the best example of why there is high anxiety over the approaching wet season.

Gone is the healthy water storage that floated California through two dry years. Major reservoirs around the state need gully-washing storms this winter.

Unfortunately, there is not much hope on the horizon, and most of the state has been experiencing these drought conditions since last May

The U.S. Drought Monitor reported that 94.25% of the state is enduring some level of drought conditions and that most of the prime agriculture area of the Central Valley is in extreme drought, the second-worst category.

At least 90% of the state has been in a drought since early May.

During the 20th century, we were extremely blessed.  An abnormally high level of rainfall in most parts of the western half of the country allowed us to build teeming cities in the middle of the desert.  But that may turn out to have been a tragic mistake.  A recent National Geographic article contained the following chilling statement…

 

The wet 20th century, the wettest of the past millennium, the century when Americans built an incredible civilization in the desert, is over.

So what are we going to do with these massive cities out west when there is no longer enough water to support them?

It has been estimated that the state of California only has a 20 year supply of fresh water left.  And that projection was made before this current drought began.  The truth is that if current conditions persist, California might run out long before that.

And many Americans living in the eastern half of the country do not realize this, but Dust Bowl conditions are literally returning to many parts of the western half of the country.  In fact, dust storms producing “near-apocalyptic” conditions have been reported in parts of Nevada.

Today, about 38 million people live in the state of California.

There isn’t going to be enough water for all of them in the years ahead.

And there certainly isn’t going to be enough water in the years ahead to produce the massive amount of food that California is currently producing.

So how will life change as a result?

Please feel free to tell us what you think by posting a comment below…

California Drought

The Beginning Of The End - The New Novel About The Future Of America By Michael T. Snyder
  • A Dodgy Bloke

    Anybody paying attention to water issues in the Western US this should not come as a surprise. California is dependent on the Colorado River for most of it’s water, and there is simply no way the Colorado River and other sources can support the present level of population in the current environment. This is not just California Nevada is facing serious water issues and I think will be the next crisis. Had California not have the population it has the water issue would be much more manageable. Now it will lead to rationing, use of recycled waste water (something that should have been done years ago) decrease in farming. These will simply out off the unavoidable train wreck.

    • rkb100100

      Start by getting rid of the illegals.

    • Diana

      Jesse Ventura did a feature on this. The US is allowing Nestle to drain all our major lakes and rivers, bottle it and send it to China. It’s been going on for years.

  • K

    At least as a coastal state, they could fall back on desalination. The price would be a little high, but you a least there would have a choice. Question I have, would the current method of desalination, remove radiation?

    • K

      Sorry second sentence should read The price would be a little high, but at least they would have a choice. Think this record breaking cold is getting to my fingers.

      • 2¢Wurth

        Desalinization is very expensive. A reverse osmosis system will remove about 90-95% of heavy metal and associated radiation (this is always a guess, depends on the isotope, half-life and so forth, but in general). It does not get rid of gaseous radiation, so a resin filter must be placed in-line, but that gives the water a “fishy” taste, so then you have to put a de-mineralization filter on top of that. To produce around 25 gallons per hour (in a small application, like a sailboat or home) would run around $5,000. for the equipment and an additional $2,500. for the filters – and they need to be changed around every 35,000 gallons. That’s not impossible for drinking and food preparation, but outrageously expensive for irrigation and industrial use.

        • K

          Thank-you for the answer. I thought it would be expensive, did not realise it would be that expensive.

    • dalebo63

      think about all the radiation coming from Japan, really think this is a good idea?

  • rkb100100

    Governor Moonbeam is at the helm, what could go wrong?

  • Rodster

    I remember the last drought they had and they used to run a PSA for the brain dead society they created. “If it’s brown flush it down. If it’s yellow let it mellow”.

  • white531

    Nature is not consistent, as much as we would like her to be. The weather patterns that the Earth experiences, are cyclical in nature. When we build civilizations around weather cycles, as we did in California, there is bound to be some disruption in what we thought was a perfect plan.

    There is always that other thing too. What water there is, is mostly spent supporting a population of millions of people living in what is basically a desert. The water doesn’t exist in Southern California. The water comes from Northern California.

    Here is the real truth, if you are willing to listen to it. Everything about California, especially Southern California, is artificial. Just like Hollywood, it could not exist, without the intervention of man.

    • BuckJohnson

      People will move out of those areas and large empty cities will be left.

  • Deana

    I live in San Diego County and we are on a well. I don’t know how much drought conditions will affect us, but we practice water conservation as best we can. We are renting or we would be doing a lot more. Cities could start by thinking about providing some sort of incentives to those that use composting toilets (toilets use up to 1/3 of house hold water from what I have read). What about finding ways to reuse more grey water safely. All newly built homes should have a grey water system to use for watering yards and composting toilets installed (the fancy ones). Maybe I am being idealistic, but this sounds logical. When we buy again we are planning on recycling water as much as possible and using composting toilets. I don’t want to be part of the problem. Take care everyone.

    • Diana

      It’s a good idea, Deana. I keep a bucket under my sink and use the water from dishwashing, etc. for my plants in the yard. I know it’s not much, but it’s a start. Good thinking. We all need to become more aware.
      The Israelis have a really great way to conserve water. You might check into it.

      • rosemerry

        Yes, it is stealing water from the Palestinians to use on lawns and swimming pools.

        • Walt Lonsdale

          Why don’t the Palestinians get water from their home country of Jordan or Syria?

  • 2¢Wurth

    I live in Oregon and we are experiencing the same weather. Federal and State regulations require us to use our grey water and what they call “purple” water (treated water from sewerage treatment plants) in lagoons and can not be discharged into any local river, but it also can’t be sold or given to local farmers who would gladly pay for a 4-8″ line from the treatment plant to their crops. Treated “purple” water is reputed to be cleaner than water in the rivers. Our local sewerage plant is surrounded by 14,000+ acres of cropland, and getting a gallon of water takes so much red tape there is no demand – so now decisions are being made, just as they are in California, to raise the minimum water consuming crops to get by – so say goodbye to sweet corn, legumes and lettuce. I hear one can grow accustomed to various cactus succulents… I also hear we are in an organic vegetable shortage right now.

  • Nys Parkie

    Just keep you hands off our Great Lakes water…Those still living here…are very happy to have it.

  • marc

    I live on a vegetable farm and cattle ranch in San Luis Obispo, CA. Because the rains were so low this year, the cattle have eaten every nub of grass on the hillsides and now must be fed hay. This will ultimately lead to higher premiums on premium beef. There are two creek-fed reservoirs here, which are dry. Our well is fine for now. The veggies get watered. But when the water table gets too low. . . ?
    In nearby Cambria any watering of lawns or gardens is prohibited unless the water is brought in from outside the area. The landscapers have poly tanks in the backs of their trucks, which they fill and charge $ for a few sprinkles of non-potable water to keep your garden alive.
    I say (gasp) close the golf courses, or learn to play on dirt, you whiney brats. The entitlements end when the food supply is at stake.

  • DJohn1

    What is needed is new engineering. Thinking outside the box. But that means altering existing laws meant well to prevent polution as well as laws and regulations of laws that no one ever voted on. Or if they did, they didn’t bother to read the law they were passing.
    Traditional filters will not work. There is simply too much to do to make it work.
    Nature’s answer is rainfall. How does water become clouds and then rain? Where does that rain go when it becomes rain? Obvious questions but not so obvious answers are needed.
    My answer is solar furnaces but the current technology makes that a little too expensive to work right. If you are dealing with a condition, then we have to get the engineers busy on a solution. I suggest the engineers know the solution but are reluctant to do it.
    Steam rises. The real question here is how do we make it work in a way that is financially feasible? Steam rising also means high pressure pipes to get the water to go where you need it to go.
    We need to distinguish between drinking quality water and toilet quality water. Do we need toilet quality water in the toilets and drinking quality water in the kitchen? Again, it is a very complicated issue.
    Otherwise everything west of Colorado will be a desert one day.
    Volcanoes are a source of heat. Can we tap the geothermal energy to create water that is drinkable? Only the water treatment engineers know the answers to the questions I bring up.
    Radioactive water from the Pacific Ocean is a real problem that might need to be addressed very soon because that is the source of most of the water that California needs. It is a matter of designing the equipment and putting it together to make things work. I say we pay for results, not research. Then it might get done. Otherwise you are just guaranteeing that someone will get a life time job pursuing rather than solving the problems.

  • sherlock32555

    You got to love this when our government is selling water to China and the people here need the water. Who do you think our government represents us or China!

  • Chris

    After approximately 1150, North America experienced significant climatic change in the form of a 300-year drought called the Great Drought. This also led to the collapse of the Tiwanaku civilization around Lake Titicaca in present-day Bolivia.[22] The contemporary Mississippian culture also collapsed during this period. Confirming evidence is found in excavations of the western regions of the Mississippi Valley between 1150 and 1350, which show long-lasting patterns of warmer, wetter winters and cooler, drier summers.

  • Kim

    I have an aunt that lives in Calaveras County, CA and one one San Bernardino County and they have both said they can no longer use water for outdoor watering and it has rained in months. On top of that, it’s been hot. Not just warm, but hot.

    Here in rainy Portland, it hasn’t rained since early December. We got one day of mist that made the street look wet, but apparently it was fog settling on the ground.

    Mt hood has almost no snow and only a few ski resorts (the ones with snow making machines) are open.

    Up in Washington, on the central east side near Ellensburg/Yakima/Richland they haven’t had any snow at all and no rain in weeks.

  • Karen

    This is what happens when you disrespect the earth, years of flat cutting trees sucking out the oil and leaving open pockets under the earth. Polluting the oceans with radiation and oil destroying the earth for greed. Polluting the skies with chemtrails, acid smog from factories destroying the forest and animals for profit. Killing the animals for ivory and other stupid reasons. Polluted rivers and streams, so now the karma is coming back to haunt us. And it is going to get MUCH worse!!!!!!

    • cherylmeril

      No, get the facts. California is historically dry, wasn’t designed to support that many people. The 20th Century was highly abnormally wet for the state.

      • Diana

        Give it up. It really does appear that California is in its last days. The state government is totally given over to killing babies in the womb and fornication which includes sodomy. As the state goes deeper into rebellion against the God’s word this relentless drought is worsening. It’s judgment.
        There will be little drinking water and none for farming. The drought and coming heat will generate massive fires that will burn out of control. The fire will consume parts of cities with people becoming like refugees. I think that God’s people in this state should seek the Lord and consider getting out as Lot had to flee Sodom.

        • cherylmeril

          I’m a Christian but I don’t jump to conclusions of God’s judgment over drought issues.

          • Diana

            The Lion and the Lamb.

        • rosemerry

          Poor diana. Can you really believe this gobbledegook?

          • Diana

            Every word.
            Ezekiel 33:6 But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.
            I fulfilled my duty in Christ. The rest is up to you, Missy.

          • Gay Veteran

            keep on parroting those bible verses, easier than thinking

          • Walt Lonsdale

            Take of the blinders of hate.

          • Gay Veteran

            you should take your own advise

          • cherylmeril

            Diana shouldn’t be alleging the drought is God’s judgment unless He told her directly. If she’d like to speak as one of His prophets, that’s a very careful step she should take because the Scriptures prohibit speaking on God’s behalf unless he truly has granted such permission. So unless Diana’s a Prophet of God on the level of Moses, she has no authority to be claiming California’s problem is God’s judgment.

        • Gay Veteran

          hey Diana, you sexually repressed theocrat, how many unwanted babies have YOU adopted?

          • Walt Lonsdale

            Don’t you mean how many have you not killed? OR backed those that do?

          • Gay Veteran

            hey Walt, who owns your body? You? or the Government?

  • Houtex77

    It will be much worse when global war breaks out.

  • Diana

    Psalm 107:33,34 He turneth rivers into a wilderness, and the watersprings into dry ground; A fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein.
    Somebody needs to tell them to stop trying to divide Jerusalem.

    • Constellation

      You are correct. There is a direct correlation between what we do against Israel and God’s reply through the droughts/fires/floods/polar vortexes/etc over here.

      • cherylmeril

        California is naturally a dry state, the wetness was abnormal the past century.

        • Diana

          Some of the weather-related events are normal, Cheryl, but not all. It used to snow here in Houston once every 11 years. Probably five years in a row I didn’t even put on a sweater. Tonight is going to be 28. Dallas used to be consistently dry. Now people are dropping like flies in the summer from the heat when they are out running. It’s all changing, everywhere.

      • rosemerry

        Any evidence for this? Israel receives $3Bn a year from the USA to repress those who really own the land of Palestine.

      • Gay Veteran

        bilge

    • Guest

      I think chem trails are involved.

    • cherylmeril

      Keep in mind the 20th Century was abnormally wet for California, that it’s a natural dry state.

    • rosemerry

      Do you mean the thieves get to keep it all?

    • Gay Veteran

      sounds like somebody needs to move to Israel and become an Israeli citizen

      • Walt Lonsdale

        You mean where most innovation is birthed?

        • Gay Veteran

          riiiiiiiiiiight, guess Israel leads the world in patents
          /sarc/

    • Jan de Vries

      Sorry Diana, looks like you are dragging Jerusalem in by the head and shoulders. The city is not even mentioned in Psalm 107. Riding your hobby?

  • Joe Shmo

    Crank up those windmills and solar panels and start Desalinization plants! Too bad they shut off those darn nuclear reactors. Might need that extra power. I suppose they won’t mind paying 8 dollars a gallon or so for water. It’s green-ish!

  • Tatiana Covington

    Develop fusion power and molecular sieves. That will end the water problems once and for all.

  • Diana

    There is absolutely nothing in the lamestream media about this, but fact is, on June 12, 2010, the Gulf Stream stopped.Second, the Gulf Stream affects the atmosphere up to seven miles above the Gulf Stream. At that altitude, you are in the Jet Stream. The Jet Steam is the 200 miles per hour wind that has tremendous impact on weather in the Northern Hemisphere.
    The Gulf Stream stopping is probably the second most significant event in human history. We’re just beginning to see the damage by all the extreme weather patterns. If you want to read about it further, print out the report on ‘The Liberty Man’ with John Moore. You’ll find it off the Home Page.

  • cherylmeril

    Buy an Ecoloblue water generator for drinking water, I’ve had mine since 2009. It’s a good idea to get one.

  • cherylmeril

    California has 20 years worth of water left? I really don’t think panic’s in order.

  • Ed Forbes

    Should have built the Auburn Dam!

  • Christine

    How about tapping into subterranean rivers? There’s the Mohave River in California, and about 28 other across the U.S.

  • Cronos17

    Again… As a resident of California, I know that the California government declares a water crisis every other year. Meanwhile environmentalists in Sacromento block any attempts to expand our water reserves. California is mismanaging itself into an early grave.

  • Rancher

    Big deal..after the human die of in Ca. there will be plenty of water to grow stuff. Until then you should have had like 5-8 years worth of foods stored away anyway. Look in the mirror to see who is to blame if you did not.

    Enough said there…..

  • Cali son bound for Idaho

    Jerry Brown the poor little rich kid Trustifarian who’s entire life has consisted of being a public office holding leech of the hardworking citizens of my native state. SCREW your high speed Choo Choo train, think high speed desalination plants you sad pathetic loser!

  • Water worker

    I work for the water industry in California and the biggest problem we have are the environmental nutjobs.

    You see the problem of how we don’t have enough water as it is and what are they doing? trying to cut off even more water from being available for the people in the state. this group, http://www.hetchhetchy.org/ , wants to blow up the dam that holds the Hetch Hetchy reservoir, which provides 80% of the water supply for almost 3 million people (plus 300+ megawatts of clean energy from the hydro-electric plants). Plus who can forget the battle to save the Delta Smelt… The enviro-nuts got the courts to cut the water going to the Aqueducts that supply water for Southern California and most of the agriculture in the central valley. Problem is that the smelt are being eaten by invasive Bass species that were introduced to the Delta, not by our water use.
    To my fellow Californians, you get the Government that you deserve! How about we start electing some people that will put our needs 1st for a change??? there are solutions out there. build more storage, not less. invest in toilet-to-tap systems that will allow us to get the most out of every drop of water we have.

  • Nihilist

    better spend money on desalinization, instead of a high speed rail that no ones wants…

  • Krusty_From_Oz

    Australia is a very dry continent. About 90% of us live on
    or near the coast. We are nearly always in some form of drought somewhere or other, some droughts last for many years. The Australian Federal, State and Local
    Governments have been working on a water recycling project which pipes treated waste water into new housing developments in purple pipes. Each new home gets two water meters, one normal one for domestic consumption, the other a purple one (at reduced cost) which supplies a good quality treated waste water for gardens, lawns and toilets etc. In some places it has reduced the demand for catchment water by 80%. The purple pipes also supply water for public parks, gardens and pools. It is quite safe to come into contact with but is not recommended for human consumption because of the “icky factor”. The last big drought we had got the greenies all in lather and convinced the State Governments of Victoria and South Australia to construct desalination plants in Melbourne and Adelaide at the cost of $4Bn and $3.8Bn AUD respectively. Guess what, before their completion we had near record floods. Both plants have been mothballed, just producing enough water preventing the equipment from drying up and becoming damaged. Check out the attached link provided. Good luck to all.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/archive/news/purple-pipe-part-of-the-green-solution/story-e6frg6yx-1111117846279

  • Les

    thank you Michael for this very interesting article…I wasn’t sure that Cal was actually in a drought, or if this could be just another ‘dry year’…but your article brings up solid info.

    My best hope is for the farmers, that their water supply be protected, not reduced….I drove thru the central valley last spring and saw the amazing food production there, it is remarkable! To me it was America’s west coast heartland… thank you central valley farmers! for all you do, in your continuing efforts to feed us, in spite of the ignorant leftist politicians!
    We have all the respect in the world for you folks…..thank you again….