Saturday, February 1, 2014

Water, water everywhere, but not many drops to drink

Kern River in Bakersfield                                                        NYT
For a good chuckle, check out the story in the San Jose Mercury News about how 17 cities in northern California could run out of water this spring.

As in most stories these days, the comments provide a clue to the thinking, or non-thinking, of the populace.

Some want to blame Gov. Jerry Brown, some blame the farmers, some blame the environmentalists, some blame illegal immigrants and some blame Nancy Pelosi and the Delta smelt.

It's all pretty laughable from here in the Great Northwest, even as we have far less water than average.

Some folks in California say that desalination of ocean water is the cure to everything, as if it can be accomplished by just flipping a switch. Isn't there an app for that?

Few folks there have any idea of the enormous costs of desalination. And they certainly do not want to pay the price of turning ocean water into something you can water golf courses with or fill pools with.

Californians have yet to realize that too many people there want what little water is left there.

Housing tracts upon housing tracts have been approved over the decades with little thought to the strain on the water system.

Farmers, who consume most of the water in California for crops, believe, like most true conservatives, that conservation is a communist plot perpetuated by Pelosi.

Well, the fact is, everyone shares the blame and they'll all have to suffer the consequences.

Check out the long-range forecast for the Sierra Nevada range on It doesn't look like the all-important snowpack will deepen that much through at least the first half of February.

This all coming after the driest year in California history.

Of course, California could get hit by huge storms in late February and March, but, as winter wanes, the chance for a deepening snowpack diminishes day by day.

And, it's too late to close the borders or stop population growth.

No, Californians will have to face the fact that letting the water flow until the cows come home is no longer an option.

Yes, water is about to get a tad more scarce and expensive in the Golden State.

In fact, it could be worth more than gold or an iPhone 6, heaven forbid.

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