Additionally, “The problem also threatens the state’s enormous and important agricultural industry, which is where most of the state’s water goes:”
Droughts are nothing new in California, especially in the desert south, but the increasing inability to deal with them is.
California wastes enormous sums of money on a bullet train to nowhere and other excessive spending priorities, but it has neglected to strengthen its water management infrastructure, leaving it susceptible to shortages and rationing.
As Joel Kotkin, fellow in urban studies at Chapman University, explained in a 2015 interview with Reason, the problem goes beyond water.
“The water situation in California is pretty bad,” he said. “You have to understand that we haven’t built any new infrastructure for the last 20 years. This, by the way, is not unique to water. It’s roads, it’s schools, it’s an unwillingness to invest in the future because we spend all our money in government paying the pensions of employees.”
And through this crisis, California has spent enormous resources to protect the delta smelt, a 3-inch fish that appears to be going extinct despite enormously wasteful environmental projects.
“To protect smelt from water pumps, government regulators have flushed 1.4 trillion gallons of water into the San Francisco Bay since 2008,” according to a 2015 report in The Wall Street Journal. “That would have been enough to sustain 6.4 million Californians for six years. Yet a survey of young adult smelt in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta last fall yielded just eight fish, the lowest level since 1967.”
P.J. O’Rourke once wrote that “You can’t get good Chinese takeout in China and Cuban cigars are rationed in Cuba. That’s all you need to know about communism.” And in socialist California, you can’t get sufficient water in a state that butts up against an entire ocean of the stuff.