California Central Valley race to the bottom to drain aquifers


The plight of Central Valley farmers fallowing land and frantically pumping water from wells not knowing when they will go dry is their own damn, greedy fault, says a California water blogger.

I have absolutely no sympathy for this predicament. It could not be more directly or more blatantly self-inflicted. This is the direct result of their own choices, and has been clearly evident to every observer for years. You know, even records and monitoring started in 2009 would be useful now. Fuck ’em. Let them wonder how much water they have left in their aquifers. They have only themselves to blame for not knowing.

In the 1930’s, the San Gabriel Valley in California faced a similar problem, which they solved by coming together for the good of all, and imposing contraints on themselves. Their system is still working all these decades.

Which way do you want to go, Central Valley? Everyone grabs as much water as they can with no thought for consequences or create a plan that allows everyone to survive and prosper.

So, to summarize: If communities get together and take responsibility for the finite nature of their aquifers, their water can be reliably managed to last. If they don’t they water as long as it lasts and then, I guess, they’re done. Either way. Their choice.

It’s not just Central Valley farmers who made bad choices and paid little attention to the future. Most of California is ill-prepared for the drought. A Israeli company that specializes in water reclamation and delivery says they’ve been in conferences with many states in the US recently. They were astonished at the general US attitude of “we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it” when it comes to water. Cities in Israel are required to have plans and backup sources for water.