California, the one-time Golden State, is suffering from any number of critical issues but none is more important than the ongoing shortage of adequate water supplies for 40 million Californians. Getting a reliable water supply to California isn’t just about drinking water. It’s also necessary to continue to increase output from the nation’s most productive agricultural region.
California is this country’s breadbasket: fruits, nuts, row crops, cotton, cattle, and rice contribute to revenues exceeding 50 billion dollars a year. A predictable, stable, water supply is essential if America is to maintain or even exceed production at this level.
When it comes to weather, California is blessed, and at the same time cursed, with a Mediterranean climate, marked with periods of plentiful rain, flowing rivers, and 20-foot deep snowpacks in the mighty Sierras. These good years, however, are interspersed with long dry periods.
California’s 100-year weather cycles mean it’s a certainty that it will experience lengthy droughts . At times, extreme droughts in California can last five or six years. The 1912 to 1916 drought was catastrophic. 2021 is shaping up to be a repeat. Lake Mead, on the Colorado River, is facing a historic low. To date, California has had to declare 41 one of 58 counties disaster zones .
For just one example of the effects of these predictable weather cycles, Joe Del Bosque, a Firebaugh farmer, is leaving 1/3 of his 2000-acre farm unseeded this year, due to extreme drought . Without sufficient water many California ranchers and farmers must curtail […]
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