To mitigate the drought, California should 1) raise the price of water for everyone on a sliding scale that increases the cost as more is used 2) Buy water from Central and Imperial Valley farms. Oh, they may squawk a bit yet will probably end up doing quite well financially for no work at all. 3) If they refuse to sell the water, seize it.
Agriculture in California uses 80% of the water, cities use 20%. However, in a serious battle between the two, the cities will win, and everyone knows this. And it may come down to that. However Governor Moonbeam isn’t helping much.
Aguanomics slams Gov. Jerry Brown saying “put down the bong and listen“
Sadly, his orders appear to mix up agricultural (80%) with urban (20%) use, i.e., he talks about lawns and urban prices (two worthy targets!) while “missing” the role of agriculture.
Let me help: farmers use 80 percent of “developed” water… and more if you consider groundwater. Therefore, I suggest that Brown shut down irrigation and pay off farmers [for surface water], so there’s more water for cities people.
Given that almond crops produce a profit of $1,500/acre with the consumption of 4 acre feet of water,* it seems reasonable to pay $375/af of water, but let’s be generous and say $1,000/af. I’m pretty sure that that offer would probably get so many volunteers that the Gov wouldn’t even need to condemn the water.