"It's Very Extreme" - Drought & Drug Cartels Drain California's Aquifers At Record Rate

Tyler Durden's picture

"If there's no water for people to live, and you don’t have the basic necessities of life, your population is going to leave," warns the emergency services manager of one California town, warning that as the drought continues (and is not set to ease anytime soon), "you could see the economy of this area just decimated." But as farmers face the catastrophe with "water levels dropping at an incredibly rapid rate in some places - like 100 ft a year - 10 times expected," there is another drain on the dry state's water sources. As The FT reports, "Marijuana cultivation is the biggest drought-related crime we’re facing right now," with up to 80 million gallons of water per day stolen by heavily armed marijuana cartels.



As The FT reports,

Lieutenant John Nores Jr estimates that each of the state’s 2,000-odd cartel pot farms contains an average of 5,000 plants, and that each one sucks up between eight and 11 gallons of water a day, depending on the time of year. That means at least 80m gallons of water – enough for more than 120 Olympic-size swimming pools – is probably being stolen daily in a state that in some parts is running dry as a three-year-old drought shrinks reservoirs, leaves fields fallow and dries wells to the point that some 1,300 people have had no tap water in their homes for months.




“Marijuana cultivation is the biggest drought-related crime we’re facing right now,” says Lt Nores as he pokes at a heap of plastic piping the growers used to divert water from a dried-up creek near the plantation.


The theft of 80m gallons of water a day by heavily armed marijuana cartels is undoubtedly a serious concern, not least when the entire state is affected by drought and 58 per cent is categorised as being in “exceptional drought”, as defined by the government-funded US Drought Monitor.

However, this is a tiny fraction of the water used legally every day...

and towns across California plunge into chaos...

The crisis is more severe because a decline in snowfall has compounded problems caused by the lack of rain. The state’s mountain snowpack was just 18 per cent of its average earlier this year, a situation scientists say could be repeated as the climate warms.


As a result eight major reservoirs were last week holding less than half their average storage for this time of year.


Reservoir levels sank worryingly when a bad drought hit California in 1976-77, but there were fewer than 22m people in the state then, compared with 38.3m now.




In a normal year, aquifers supply about a third of the state’s water. In a drought, that can rise to as much as 60 per cent. But one of the most alarming aspects of this drought is that groundwater levels are plummeting.


“Water levels are dropping at an incredibly rapid rate in some places, like 100ft a year,” says Michelle Sneed, a hydrologist with the US Geological Survey who monitors groundwater in the Central Valley. “It is very extreme. Ordinarily, talking with hydrologists, if you would talk about a well dropping 10ft a year that would really get somebody’s attention, like wow! Really? Ten feet? And now we’re 10 times that.”


The depletion of this vital resource is not just a concern because it is so difficult to refill some aquifers when drought eventually subsides. It is also creating extraordinary rates of subsidence because as the groundwater disappears the land above it can sink. In one part of the valley, land has been subsiding by almost a foot a year, which Ms Sneed says is among the fastest rates anywhere in the world.




The town of East Porterville has more pressing groundwater worries. At least 1,300 people in the town rely for drinking and bathing water on wells that have gone dry as the drought has deepened.


“We ran out of water in June,” says Donna Johnson, a 72-year-old retired counsellor who delivers water to dozens of dry households from the back of her pick-up truck.




But the severity of this drought finally led to a package of measures signed into law in September requiring local agencies to monitor and manage wells, or face state intervention. Some critics say it is too little too late: many local agencies will have five to seven years to come up with plans, and until 2040 to implement them. Still, it is a lot better than nothing, say others.




That is small comfort when the latest outlook from the US Climate Prediction Center suggests the drought “will likely persist or intensify in large parts of the state” this winter.


“If there’s no water for people to live, and you don’t have the basic necessities of life, your population is going to leave,” says Andrew Lockman, the emergency services manager responsible for East Porterville. “Our primary economic driver is agriculture. If there’s no water to water crops, we’re not going to have any agriculture business, so you could see the economy of this area just decimated.”

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stant's picture

Don't come here we need ours for moonshine

CASTBOUND's picture

my roomate's ex-wife makes $83 an hour on the internet . She has been unemployed for 7 months but last month her check was $20054 just working on the internet for a few hours. visit the site... yelptrade.com

nope-1004's picture

Can she suck-start a Harley, or what?


X.inf.capt's picture


not a real safe time to be a billionare...is it...

TeamDepends's picture

Water, it's a helluva drug.

BigJim's picture

Those evil weed growers, huh?

I'm surprised they haven't found a way to blame Putin.

CrazyCooter's picture

Maybe we should send them some UHauls, some luggage ...




Bangalore Equity Trader's picture

Listen Coots.

This whole California USSA drought thing is bullshit. California is looking for Federal "FUNDS" to save them from collapse.

knukles's picture

In my little rural dry part of the People's Republic of Other People's Stuff, for the last 3 to 5 or so days, the spraying has resumed, big time.  Over the same time, the forecast has become for rain over the weekend.
Another fucking coincidence thingamajigiebob
My ass.

dontgoforit's picture

8-11 gallons/day/plant?  Puullleeeaaassee!  MJ grows well on way less than 1/2 gal/day/plant - I call BS on this one...

newdoobie's picture

Have to change the water on the plants (Hydroponics), Outdoor plants don't need as much.

max2205's picture

Weed water. Weed water......hard choice.......

Weed beer. Weed beer.....

zhandax's picture

So all the pot growers don't use enough water in a day to fill Atherton's swimming pools?  Are there more than 365 towns with more pools than that in CA?  Those folks don't have a water shortage.  They have a self-induced chlorine pollution problem.

espirit's picture

That's Mister Bangladesh Bob to you Sir.

Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

Edgar Cayce, in one of his trances, predicted the inland sea of san Joaquin. Sucking the aquifer dry prior to a good San Andreas shaker ought to do the trick. Shake, rattle and roll and the tide comes in through the Golden Gate..., for about three weeks straight. SHARKS IN MODESTO! (Feeding on... unsuccessful swimmers.)

SWRichmond's picture

How many motherfucking $Trillions have been stolen by the MIC (also heavily armed) and the banks (backed by increasingly heavily armed police, even the goddamned Fed has police)?

The fucking drug cartels are pikers by comparison.

401K of Dooom's picture

Ok, wait until they come by your house and "ask" for a contribution for one thing or another.  Will you refuse them or become a hood ornament for their vehicle?  Just asking.

laomei's picture

If you refuse the same when the goverenment comes knocking, they'll murder you too... or at the very least steal your home and kick you to the curb.  gotta keep that pension fund alive you know.

Cobra's picture

It's bullshit. $20,054 divided by $83 is like 242 hours worth of work for a month. I have worked that much in a month, but even after you get paid - you feel like a used whore (metaphorically speaking, of course.)

pilager's picture

On backpage or Everytime that fucking prudential ad pops up.

Looney's picture

Nailgun Alert!

Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s business partner has committed suicide, in Tel Aviv of all places.


P.S. Here's the link, paron my French ;-)


NoDebt's picture

Yeah, they called me in on that job a few days ago.  Have nail gun, will travel.

nmewn's picture

Wow, bad week to be an elite French banker. One does a header into a Russian snow plow and another into the Tel Aviv pavement.

Hollande must be devastated ;-)

espirit's picture

Wonder how many nails that guy had to use to off himself?


Long coil nails.

dontgoforit's picture

Roughly translated:


The French-Israeli businessman Thierry Leyne, associate of former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, committed suicide Thursday in Tel Aviv, do we learned from his relatives.

Main partner of DSK in an investment fund established in October 2013 and called LSK (Leyne Strauss-Kahn), Thierry Leyne, private banker, had a residence in Tel Aviv.

Engineering graduate from the Technion in Haifa (northern Israel), Mr. Leyne, 48, has spent his entire career in the financial world, including France, Israel and Luxembourg.

His family said he would be defenestrated by jumping off one of the tallest buildings in Tel Aviv. The reasons for this move were not disclosed.

In April, Mr. Leyne told AFP stated at the time of the creation of an investment fund Global Investment DSK created with Strauss-Kahn that it was "a very ambitious project," with the goal of reaching a size of $ 2 billion.

Mr. Leyne pointed out that "many people (were) applicants for the economic analysis of DSK," which he described as "capable of long-term strategy by identifying key trends but also to be able to react quickly to events that may arise. "

Thierry Leyne was head of financial firm Assya Capital, established especially in Tel Aviv, Monaco, Luxembourg and Romania, and founded in 1994.

In 2010, he merged this thriving group with Global Equities Capital Markets, which offers its customers, including Eastern Europe, the full range of financial services, private banking investment advice through the wealth management. By partnering with Dominique Strauss-Kahn in October 2013, it was renamed the LSK and Partners Group.

mib-fka / dlm / ct

tonyw's picture

did he jump or was he pushed?

X.inf.capt's picture

i logged back on just to junk you..

TYLER...please hit your 'ATOMIC JUNK BUTTON' on our keyboard for this fool...

not the 'donkey punch' one..

the 'CZAR BOMB!' one...yeah, that should teach him....

CrazyCooter's picture

A drunk russian on a snow plow works too.

Just sayin' ... gotta keep the powder dry for the real trolls ...



nuclearsquid's picture

Good thing you upvoted yourself.

muleskinner's picture

Let us know when the check is for one billion dollars per month and the check clears.

Mr. Magoo's picture

Thats about right for a high priced Escort

stant's picture

My cousins x husbands Xcon brother makes 85 hr making moonshine and you can too !! Revenooersuck.gov

Wait What's picture

you seem to be hip to what goes on in the backwoods of Tennessee. you think it's a coincidence that Jasper's distillery is located in a dry country, yet is the best selling whiskey in Amer'ka?

Jasper knew what he was doing.

WhackoWarner's picture

She must be an indoor grower.

Mac Avelli's picture

does it bother your roommate that his ex-wife is a whore?

dontgoforit's picture

Not really.  He can still get some for $5 and a pint of 'shine.

Payne's picture

We are still required to have green lawns in CA or suffer Financial penalties, no jail time, yet.

Greenskeeper_Carl's picture

I love how on one hand they are blaming global warming for there being less of a snow pack each winter, yet the same publications will blame the extremely cold winter for the shitty economic numbers. It can't be both at the same time. This Orwellian doublespeak is getting tiring.

Decolat's picture

True, but then any argument saying 'they' are both or/partially right or/wrong or 'you' are right/partially right or wrong/partially wrong makes any real facts on this situation psycologically clusterfucked... no wonder everyone is at each others throats concerning the state of the biosphere!

Something's rotten in the state of Denmark, let's find a way to agree on what that might be before we drive each other more insane than we already are.

Wait What's picture

I got a message from the munis last week saying that my trash cans were violating code by being visible from the street, behind a gated fence and surrounded by bouganvilleas, all of which happen to be behind a gated fence down the road... and that i'd better fix that shit pronto. i struggled to keep the expensive IPA i had in my mouth from bursting forth when i read the letter. welcome to CA.

Implied Violins's picture

Just leave your empties out on the road. If you drink as much as I do, the swarm of bums picking them up will mask the trash cans and you get a bonus in that they won't bang around raiding your 'can at midnight.

WhackoWarner's picture



In between self-worship and endless pools and multi-millions contracts for idiots like Tommy Cruz? 

Maybe Karma will finally flow to origins?  Hey Tommy?

Redneck Hippy's picture

Meanwhile, San Diego County has more than 100 craft brewers even though virtually all water has to be imported.  Hmmm.

Implied Violins's picture

Beer's recyclable cuz you always piss it all back. So it better stay exempt.

OldPhart's picture

This story is such bullshit.  My uncle's 'farm' was contained in dozens of kiddie pools and the water never left the plastic.