California Water Crisis

Sacramento Delta
(The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. It is the largest estuary in the Western Hemisphere and a major source of water for much of California.)

Some instructive quotes from just-launched California Water Crisis, who plan to educate the public about the seriousness of the current water situation in California.

“I have just one statistic, one only, and that is 25 million people depend on Delta water for the drinking water of the state. And the probability of a big earthquake over 6.7 is 75% in the next 30 years. And if that were to happen, there are all indications that the Delta would collapse, the water would be gone, there would be no water for drinking, there would be no water for agriculture, there would be no water for fish, marsh, ecosystems,” said U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein.

The levees in the Sacramento Delta are old, badly in need of repair, and have compared to those in New Orleans. Yes, they are that feeble.

“Today’s federal court ruling to drastically cut Delta water exports is further proof that our water system is broken, unreliable and in crisis. Judge Oliver Wanger’s decision is a devastating blow to our water supply system and economy,” said Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Notice that Schwarzenegger did not attack the decision of the judge, as it is now apparent to virtually everyone all that California faces serious long-term water problems. The judge, in effect, said the system was collapsing and needs fixing now. No one disagrees. The California legislature will be meeting in special session to devise a plan.


  1. Far more than 25 million people depend on that water… since 90% of the broccoli consumed in the U.S. is grown in CA, as is much of the other produce we consume.

    Dependence on cheap oil has made trucking produce 3,300 miles economical, and that may change soon. But in the mean time, the whole country depends on the Sacramento Delta water for their veggies.

  2. I think C-Win, California Water Impact Network
    is the only non-profit, broad based coalition of community groups working on water issues in CA.

    It was launched a few yrs ago by Dorothy Green, founder of Heal the Bay, and a well respected community activist.

  3. The most important thing is to convince people of two incontestable facts: (1) that this is really a crisis demanding new solutions and (2) that the politicians crafting this solution have only their own futures on their mind, not the good of all Californian’s. In the Assembly, Fabian Nunez has made sure that the “working group” which will address water issues during the upcoming special session is loaded with members who are beholden to the Metropolitan Water District. It is designed to deliver the the solution that Nunez and Schwarzenegger want, not what we need. I would urge all to visit Aquafornia, a great So Cal Water Blog. Read the posts from today’s editorials, especially the one from the Riverside Press Enterprise. The link is Then, if you are still interested, follow the link to my blog, (click my name) as I have more to say that I can post here.

    There are two organizations who are dealing factually with this issue. One is Cal-WIN and the other is Restore the Delta. Both could make real use of some additional financing. If you are truly convinced that there is a problem, help these folks protect us all. Visit their web sites and give a little money so that we can continue to drink clean water.

  4. The Army Corps of engineers has many studies on how to resolve the water problems of California and the West. All that is needed is the political Will to evaluate the various plans to meet the various needs for developement of infrastructure. Also the Federal Government needs to be in the mix as they have the resources.

  5. Agriculture uses 80% of California’s water, much of it in very wasteful ways. California uses too much of our precious water to grow low value crops like rice, alfalfa and cotton.

    • Is it sensible to make an artificial swampland to grow irrigated rice in California? All rice production should be shifted into the natural rain-fed swamplands like Louisiana.

    • Does it make sense to continue irrigating the toxic soils of the western San Joaquin valley when there is no acceptable plan to deal with the selenium, arsenic and boron toxic wastes that are produced?

    When we put a stop to some of these foolish agricultural water wasters, then suddenly we will have enough water for everybody else in California.

    Water Supply Policy in California – BRT Insights.

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