It is frustrating when you recognize a problem and know the solution, but those around you want to go in the wrong direction. A situation such as this is exasperated by those people having power over what is done. This is the situation that is occurring in California. For years, this arid environment has been left unimproved. Now in the midst of a three-year long drought, the state is struggling to preserve what water is available. And some are saying that all this could have been avoided.
The blistering drought that has Californians timing their showers, driving dirty cars and staring at brown lawns and empty swimming pools is a “man-made disaster,” according to critics, who say the Golden State’s misguided environmental policies allow much-needed freshwater to flow straight into the Pacific.
That’s right. This entire situation was avoidable. How could it have been avoided? California could have lessened the effects of the drought by preserving or storing the water. So why did they not do this?
“This is a man-made disaster,” said Bonner Cohen, senior fellow with the National Center for Public Policy Research. “Southern California is an arid part of the world where droughts — even severe droughts — are commonplace, and knowing this, you’d think the government of California would have included this mathematical certainty in its disaster preparedness planning, but the government has done nothing, not even store rain, as the population has continued to grow.”
Here is the situation in a nutshell. The population of California has continued to grow while the water delivery systems and dams have remained the same. With over twice the usage and no more storage, plus a drought, the state is running dry. And it is not a question of rainfall really.
In an average year, California gets enough snow and rain to put 200 million acres under a foot of water, but environmental opposition to dams over the last several decades has allowed the majority of the freshwater to flow into the ocean, even as the state’s population exploded to nearly 40 million people. The current drought has left farms parched and residents under strict water consumption orders, but some say it didn’t have to be that way.
So then the question is why is it this way? Well, there is no infrastructure in place to divert the water to the storage facilities. There are dams needed to produce water reserve lakes. There has not been any progress in these areas in nearly forty years. Why?
Fox tells us
But the vast majority of the state’s 1,400 dams and reservoirs, in the two massive systems and smaller ones that supply southern California, were built well before the 1980s. Environmentalists have since stopped the construction of water storage and delivery systems through legal and political actions. They have also fought to ensure that captured water is released into streams and the ocean — rather than the water delivery system — in order to boost fish populations and dilute the salinity of the delta.
Once again, at least in California, fish come before people. The cost to farmers is going to be astronomical. And what we have to understand is that this kind of foolishness trickles down to the rest of us, through food cost. Many fruits and vegetables are exclusively grown in California. As crops are lost, we will pay higher prices on common items or not get them at all.
Once again, the progressive left have us going in reverse, costing money and jobs. If this is progress, then I say we stay where we are.