California: Before And After The Drought, And Why It's Only Going To Get Worse

Tyler Durden's picture

While the Northeast is blanketed by another winter storm, California has its own, quite inverse, climatic problems in the form of a historic drought which as Bloomberg reports, is forcing farmers in the fertile central valley region to fallow thousands of acres of fields and has left 17 rural towns so low on drinking water that the state may need to start trucking in supplies. It is so bad that water reservoirs are at about 60 percent of average, according to state water data, and falling as rainfall remains at record low levels.

Unfortunately for our California readers, it is going to get worse before it gets better because mountain snowpack is about 12 percent of normal for this time of year. The following picture of California from January and a year ago shows just this dramatic difference, which confirms that there is little hope for the parched state.

Here is the WaPo's Reid Wilson explaining the above visual comparison:

The three-year long drought plaguing the western United States is only likely to get worse over the next year, forecasters and climate scientists say, given a dismal snowpack that has officials in many states worried. Despite a snowstorm earlier this week, the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains stands at just 12 percent of the average level, the lowest measurement in the half-century records have been kept.


The low snowpack has serious consequences for the summer. Less snow means less summer runoff. Already, California has banned fishing in some drought-prone rivers. Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has asked residents to turn off the water while brushing their teeth. Earlier this week, President Obama called Brown to discuss the drought.


Earlier this month, Brown declared a state of emergency, urging residents to conserve water as much as possible. Several state agencies have said they plan to ration water throughout the summer. And already this year, several wildfires have broken out in areas of the state like Humboldt County, which is typically wet enough in the winter to mute any fire activity.

This of course is great news for America's already reeling economy, not to mention its stock markets and earnings growth-less corporations: it means one more excuse can be added to the arsenal of scapegoating, because while the latest snowstorm will come and go, even if it should provide "economists" and "analysts" with another reason to ignore "weaker than expected" February data, the aftereffects of Calfornia's drought will linger. And as everyone knows, Californians don't buy houses, cars, iPads, burgers, clothing, and generically, stuff, when there is a drought raging.

So bring on the bad data, and let it all be explained away by California's lack of snow, not to be confused with the overabundance of snow everywhere else.

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LawsofPhysics's picture

Meh,  California is a big state with lots of resources and all that wealth.  They will be fine...

maybe they can trade Colorado some real football players for some water.

HobbyFarmer's picture

Plenty of bottled water for everybody....right?

macholatte's picture



Chem trails anyone?


It's not nice to fool mother nature.

-- God

SilverIsKing's picture

Even water hates that libtarded state.

Rainman's picture

+1 bullet train to nowhere.

Soul Glow's picture

They should be buying Oregon water and saving that shit until the dollar collapses.  Because water at least is real.

J S Bach's picture

Let's trade with the Mexicans - agua for illegal aliens.

Four chan's picture

California is was and will always be an arid state also known as a desert,

this is just the clash of mans unreality clashing with natures reality.

guess whose reality is the winning one.

Flakmeister's picture

I don't think those, ahem, are real....

TruthInSunshine's picture

Need to pump some Brawndo out there STAT.

GetZeeGold's picture from the toilet?

SamAdams's picture

Jesus is punishing them for their sins.  He told me telepathically that he and his father, plan to add some fire this Summer, perhaps an earthquake.  He also said he is feeling a little bi-polar, and may go from God of peace and forgiveness, back to God of wrath and vengeance on all his imperfect creations.  He says it's a side-effect of being a zombie.  That Jesus, what a cut-up!

Soul Glow's picture

CA made its  name during the gold rush.  After that it was inginuity.  Acting, beauty, production, whatnot.  Now it is IT, who doesn'r have the brains to think mathmatically.....

TBT or not TBT's picture

CA is tending third world in the illegals infested hinterland and in swaths of its cities.   There are multiple Californias.    IT business mostly voted and contributed to this with their schizoid total support of statist fuckheads in Sacramento.    This is no longer Reagan's California.

TheGoldMyth's picture

Four Chan: Sounds like you have a historical understanding of the climate in that region. In Australia, it is the same. The climate is so changeable and often harsh, that our oldest settlers even wrote poems about it. Often. Like the poem about Clancy of The Overflow'

The "overflow" is Brisbane valley in Australia that is a historical high risk flood area. And when it had not flooded for ages and finally flooded again destroying many houses, Carbon Dioxide climate scientists said it was from climate change.

All the 'non-scientist' people with a CO2 chemical imbalance argue with great emotion, and sometimes rage, with those that show signs of being sceptical about CO2 climate change science, or the climate change tax system. CO2 takes over their environmental mind, displaces all other environmental knowledge when seriously affected by CO2 climate science.

 From Wikipedia: The most famous poem Isobel Marion Dorothea Mackellar (better known as Dorothea Mackellar), OBE (1 July 1885 – 14 January 1968) was an Australian poet and fiction writer.[1] Her poem My Country is perhaps the best known Australian poem, especially its second stanza, which begins: "I love a sunburnt country/A land of sweeping plains,/Of ragged mountain ranges,/Of droughts and flooding rains." ...

Major Malfunction's picture

What? We give them illegal aliens ('cause we got lots) .. and they give us water in return? Sounds cool.

TeamDepends's picture

Wow, check out the whites fleeing Cali!

chumbawamba's picture

Good, the place is over-crowded, so any population reduction is welcome.  There's plenty of water in the mountains and a lot less corporate government goons.

I am Chumbawamba.

NoDebt's picture

Let me tell you a little story about the great Mid-Atlantic drought of the late 90s, early 2000s, from the Philly area perspective.  It lasted 10+ years and by the end of it (last 2 years), every damned reservoir in the area was so low you could see the bottom as you drove past.  There were bans on washing your car, restaurants no longer brought you a glass of water unless you asked for it, etc, etc..

My own well that supplies water to my house was a 100' deep dry hole in the ground the last summer of that drought.  No showers, no washing clothes for TWO MONTHS.  We got help where we could from neighbors and such.  We considered a dip in the pool to be the equivalent of a "bath" for all intents and purposes.

Of course, it was ALL blamed on global warming.

And then one day, later that same year, it started to rain.  And it rained and rained and rained.... and it hasn't stopped fucking raining for the last 12 years.  Philly is now "Seattle East" with rainfall.  And now THAT is being blamed on global warming.  

Take from that what you will, but don't speak to me about droughts.  You'll get little sympathy.

New_Meat's picture

"And then one day, later that same year, it started to rain."

Mark Twain had a story about a congregation that prayed to God, "please stop the drought!!!" and He woke up and granted their appeal.

- Ned

Meat Hammer's picture

We took the kids to Folsom Lake last weekend to see it for ourselves.  What was once the boat-launch is now a 300-yard long asphalt ramp that leads to a 400-yard long walk on dry lake bed that finally gets you to the water.  

Utterly unbelievable and sad.  

On the return trip home we stopped by Costco for many flats of bottled water.  

DeadFred's picture

Have hope (I hope). It looks like next week we may get the 'Pineapple Express', the meteorological phenomenon, not the movie. Long periods of time with air flow straight from Hawaii can bring large amounts of rain. No snow because it's too warm but at least Folsom will fill a bit. Of course the hills are completely brown so heavy rains would cause floods and landslides off the bare hillsides.

If you are so inclined many of those sections of the Folsom lakebed have excellent gold deposits. The early miners couldn't find and work them well because of vegetation but now they are open (and legal) for panning. 

SilverDOG's picture

"Don't forget to bring towel!" - Towlie, South Park

Why you might ask?

Cuz you will need your sweat to pan gold, if there ain't no water.

aphlaque_duck's picture

With all the boating accidents people have reported here, this might be a good time to go walk those lake beds with a metal detector.

mt paul's picture

turn loose

the gold sniffing badgers..

HellFish's picture

Hey Cali,

You send us Pelosi and Feinstein?  I hope it never rains there again.

snr-moment's picture

Thanks you watermellons. Almost time to sell the tillable acreage in the upper midwest.     Almost.

Prime Rib's picture

Who've you got that is so great? Cali is wildly diverse, both geographically and in the population, and we feed the world. At this point what the hell difference does it make who is in congress? 

hunglow's picture

Purchase some Coleman 6 gal water jugs and fill off of tap then filter.  Better yet, buy two.

snr-moment's picture

Screw the colemans. cheap junk.  Stay away from reliance too.  Use Specter Gas/Diesel/Kerosene  cans.  (whatever color floats your boat) (make sure they've never been used) Label em "WATER" ad 6 drops regular chlorox per gallon.

Make sure Specter (out of Canada). they use #7 HDPE plastic which is food grade per our USDA, and the color won't leech

Or you can have your water leak out while you're not looking.

RafterManFMJ's picture

Naw, what they really need are a few thousand droids that understand the binary language of moisture vaporators.

TBT or not TBT's picture

Or we could wring out some wetbacks.   Got plenty of those.

Debeachesand Jerseyshores's picture

What really kick-started the 12 yr rainy season was when Hurricane Flyod hit the Mid-Atlantic states in 1999. Nine inches of rain fell in New Castle County Delaware and less down state which caused then Governor Carper now Senator Carper to cancel all emergency drought restrictions.



dark pools of soros's picture

That place next to Marshalton was all flooded out..   think everyone had to ditch their homes for good after that

zhandax's picture

Funny thing about the weather cycle.   It's cyclical.  If you can't understand why the weather-taxers don't seem to grasp this, bend over.

GetZeeGold's picture



It cost 600 million for a website that doesn't work.....can't imagine what it would cost to make a rain shower....with real water and stuff.

balanced's picture

NoDebt, this isn't about cutting back on showers, or watering your lawn on designated days. It's about thousands of acres of farmland being turned into infertile desert; American farmers losing their businesses and their land. It's about food shortages.

Ident 7777 economy's picture

What about the delta smelt? Wasn't CA flushing water down the rivers just to save 1 species of FISH a few years back?


No effing planning for the future ... and God's gonna get you for it ...


Professorlocknload's picture

Gotta understand, that Delta water also flushes all that sewer dumped in San Francisco Bay by the politically blue, out of their front yard and into the Sea.

Add to that, the Farm/Bible belt is all Red.

Water= Red Blue politics.

A Civil Engineer once told me "There's plenty of water. It's just all in the wrong place."

new game's picture

water is fine where it is, it's the fucking idiot people in the wrong(or maybe right) place.

torabora's picture

yep...just THIS Spring....after a low water winter, water was being dumped out of the spillway at Oroville Dam for a month. I think they knew this would happen and want the 'crises; to build new waterworks....but that's just me.

juangrande's picture

I remember a few years back reading in a National Geo. about the water history of the West. By looking at petrified tree rings, which gave them info going back around 5000 yrs, they determined that the time period between 1750ish to 1950ish was, by far, the wettest 200 yr period there. It is actually normal, in recent geological time, to be very dry. It just happened our westward migration corresponded perfectly with this wet period. But reality often conflicts with our " manifest destiny". I mean, it was wet when we got here, shouldn't it always be that way! 

OceanX's picture

Yes, another really good read is: "Beyond The 100th Meridian."  It is a career biography of John Wesley Powell. 


-- Whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting!

scrappy's picture

Agreed, food shortages.

Garden, gather rain, drip irrigation.

Then the is the GMO widespread failure black swan.

Depend on yourself.

NoDebt's picture

"this isn't about cutting back on showers, or watering your lawn on designated days. It's about thousands of acres of farmland being turned into infertile desert"

Balanced- they grow crops all around these parts, just like they do in California.  PA, NJ, DE... all were affected.  Now they're affected for another reason many years- too MUCH rain.