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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

SAME SIMPLE SOLUTIONS FOR CALIFORNIA'S WORST DROUGHT IN 1200 YEARS

While Hawaii averages 64 inches of rain/year and Nevada is at 10 inches/year, California, for the past 135 years, has averaged 15 inches/year.  Colombia, the country, gets 128 inches/year, while Egypt only receives 2 inches.  Water is relatively cheap, and costs considerably vary:




Nationwide, California water prices to consumers are less than many major cities (you might need to click on the above visual to read it).  The problem is that farmers (and utilities) pay one-tenth that of residences. If agriculture/utility use can be reduced by 10%, that would double the domestic supply.

Earlier this month I posted:

     A SIMPLE SOLUTION TO CALIFORNIA'S WATER PROBLEM

While I did remark that farmers get too good a deal on water pricing, and the combination of environmentalists, industrial lobbyists and politics has royally screwed up water policy, there is no drinking water problem in California, where the main consumer gripe has to do with lawns and landscaping.  Yet, this is not to say that there is no drought problem in the state today.

You would have thought this drought has been ongoing for a decade and longer.  Not so.  California annually uses 400 million acre feet of water, including a little more than 10% from the Colorado River, but this supply has been in a steady 14-year decline.  I can't seem to get exactly comparable data, but regarding rainfall in California:


           YEAR         RAINFALL (INCHES)  ABOVE OR BELOW
                                       PER YEAR            135 YEAR AVERAGE
                                                                           (INCHES)
     20009-2010                    16.36                         +1.38
     2010-2011                      20.20                         +5.22
     2011-2012                        8.69                         -6.29

         2013           Driest Year on Record
         2014           Close to Driest on Record

A recent headline article reported that, studying tree rings, this could well be California's worst drought period in 1200 years?  Then, again, maybe not for 2014, as some rain came towards the end of the year.


If you look closely at the above article, in consideration of the gross contradictions, you kind of get the impression that there is almost a conspiracy here.  The government, in cahoots with the media, seems to be orchestrating a plan to allow their State Legislature to finally change their laws.  About time and good idea, actually.

It certainly helps to float a few remarkable before and after photos.  First, Lake Oroville in 2011 and 2014:


Hoover Dam, from 1983 to 2007 to 2014:


Who wouldn't be frightened by this kind of despair.

So what is the California solution to their worst drought in 1200 years?  Again, simple:  resolve the politics / water policy / environmentslism matters...charge farmers (they use 80% and pay a fraction  that of consumers per gallon--go to my previous posting for details) and golf courses a tad more for water...expect vegetables, fruits, wine and green fees to become more expensive...and convert lawns into solar photovoltaic fields or something drought resistant.  It might take a decade and more, but wise future planning can overcome the whims of Mother Nature.

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