Water Wars Coming To California? Is The Drought Really Over?

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Capt. William E. Simpson II - USMM Ret.,

In California, the poor growth and development policies that have resulted from a lack of vision have led-to and are continuing to lead Californians down a path of unsustainable growth and a widening gap between the demand and availability of critical resources, especially water.

This gargantuan problem is augmented by a growing financial crises in California as evidenced by an out of control and growing debt problem. All the while, many elected officials in the State along with Governor Jerry Brown are thumbing their noses at the Fed and losing Federal funding for cities that obstinately insist on violating long-established immigration laws. Of course this too is not helpful to the growing State debt, which elected officials will certainly cast-off onto the weakening shoulders of taxpayers using a combination of direct tax increases and other legislative and regulatory ploys that also amount to taxes and less money in the pockets of the People.

The term ‘drought’ has been used in reference to the severe water shortages that California is experiencing. But what is the real culprit or causation of the growing water shortage? Is drought caused by a lack of precipitation as most people believe? Or is the shortfall of water availability due to some other principal factor, such as water-use outstripping supply?

The recent record precipitation in California during the winter of 2016-2017 has certainly soaked the landscape, replenishing many of California’s reservoirs and in the process giving Californians the impression that the drought is over. But that is a misconception according to sources provided herein.

That misconception by the general public may let policymakers temporarily off the hook for their failed land and water use and urban planning policies, and allow them to continue to defer any much-needed remedial actions (constructing new dams and repairing older ones) to deal with what is in reality, a growing water shortage, regardless of recent above average precipitation.

The primary cause of the so-called drought, as defined by a shortfall in total water resources, is that the demands for water use by people, agriculture, industry and the environment, exceed the total combined water resources on average. As it stands today, allowing this primary culprit for the ‘drought’ to continue in full force and effect will accelerate the rate of ground water depletion with a continuing net loss of stored water in California’s major aquifers.

When the carrying capacity of any resource is exceeded by the demand on the resource, the end result is usually the depletion of the resource. Water resources are not exempt from this principal. In California even under ideal weather conditions, there is a net drawdown (loss) of ground water on an annualized basis.

According to Wiki:

California's interconnected water system serves over 30 million people and irrigates over 5,680,000 acres of farmland. As the world's largest, most productive, and most controversial water system, and it manages over 40,000,000 acre feet (49 km3) of water per year.[2] Water and water rights are among the state's divisive political issues. Due to the lack of reliable dry season rainfall, water is limited in the most populous U.S. state. An ongoing debate is whether the state should increase the redistribution of water to its large agricultural and urban sectors, or increase conservation and preserve the natural ecosystems of the water sources.”

I believe the foregoing ‘debate’ as it is outlined is completely wrongheaded.

The water debate in California should be about the policy of allowing unbridled growth combined with the lack of prudent land-use and water planning, which means strictly limiting further growth combined with immediately adding more surface water storage. If either side of the ‘debate’ as defined by Wiki wins, the problems stemming from unbridled development and population growth coupled with poor resource management will nonetheless continue to deplete total water resources and the remaining underground water stores in California.

And given the lack of respect by State policymakers for the laws of the United States and care for maintaining a sustainable population within the State, California policymakers foolishly discount the effect that 3-million ‘illegal’ immigrants now living in California have on California’s water shortage problems.

Californians on average use about 100-gallons of water per day, per person.

The math shows that these 3-million ‘illegal’ immigrants alone use 300-million gallons of water per day! So annually, ‘illegal’ immigrants use 109-billion gallons of California’s water supply. These ‘illegal’ immigrants are living in California illegally and are depleting water resources that should be allocated to our citizens first.

It seems that our State’s representatives don’t mind if ‘illegal’ immigrants allocate resources away from its own law-abiding citizens. And why would they care given their own actions where they arguably legislate the theft of private property rights from U.S. citizens?

Added to which, convoluted water planning and management policies such as we see in Santa Barbara California, seem like just one of many well-designed ploys to effectively take water from one group and send it to another group. Robbing Peter to pay Paul has always been a failing model. But of course we see the same with their fiscal management policies.

Poor planning and a lack of vision by State policy-makers have also led to other major debacles, which will certainly become more evident over time and further exacerbating CA water problems.

Best laid plans of mice and California water planners:

Assumptions made when designing California’s two main aqueducts are now proven incorrect. One key assumption was that enhanced surface water transfer systems would stop land subsidence caused by depleting the major aquifers.

According to the February 2017 article in Western FarmPress titled, ‘How land subsidence could reduce surface water deliveries in California’,

“As California's State Water Project was developed in part to address land subsidence from over-pumping, even the state's large canal is being negatively impacted by the phenomenon.


Two major California canals – the California Aqueduct and the Delta-Mendota Canal – have been significantly impacted by subsidence which the state says is caused by groundwater pumping in the Central Valley.”

A 2016 report by Jet Propulsion Laboratory confirms the subsidence of large areas of land over the tops of California’s major aquifers. In several key location the ground has already sunk as much 22-inches and in one basin the ground has subsided nearly 28-inches!

Now we learn that the State is eying the northern reaches of California and the water resources there as a solution to its own mismanagement debacle in the south and central parts of the State, potentially forcing other uninvolved stakeholders to pay for their grievous mistakes. And in what may be seen as a nefarious scheme, they have begun a program titled; ‘California Statewide Groundwater Elevation Monitoring (CASGEM) program’.

Overview of CASGEM

“On November 4, 2009 the State Legislature amended the Water Code with SBx7-6, which mandates a statewide groundwater elevation monitoring program to track seasonal and long-term trends in groundwater elevations in California's groundwater basins. To achieve that goal, the amendment requires collaboration between local monitoring entities and Department of Water Resources (DWR) to collect groundwater elevation data. Collection and evaluation of such data on a statewide scale is an important fundamental step toward improving management of California's groundwater resources.


In accordance with this amendment to the Water Code, DWR developed the California Statewide Groundwater Elevation Monitoring (CASGEM) program. The intent of the CASGEM program is to establish a permanent, locally-managed program of regular and systematic monitoring in all of California's alluvial groundwater basins. The CASGEM program will rely and build on the many, established local long-term groundwater monitoring and management programs. DWR's role is to coordinate the CASGEM program, to work cooperatively with local entities, and to maintain the collected elevation data in a readily and widely available public database. DWR will also continue its current network of groundwater monitoring as funding allows.


The law anticipates that the monitoring of groundwater elevations required by the enacted legislation will be done by local entities. The law requires local entities to notify DWR in writing by January 1, 2011 if the local agency or party seeks to assume groundwater monitoring functions in accordance with the law.”

A cursory review of the CASGEM Map (page 6 of this PDF) shows that CASGEM has the most immediate impact on ground water areas that have been prioritized at or near the top of their list as 'high', which are color-coded in brown and orange.

According to another policy paper authored by some folks at Stanford University titled, 'Water in the West', the drought is not over due to demands exceeding rate of recharge:

“Prior to the passage of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 (SGMA), California lacked statewide regulation of groundwater pumping or standards for groundwater management. Unconstrained use of this resource has led to widespread lowering of water tables, land subsidence, and impacts to surface waters, groundwater-dependent ecosystems and water rights holders.


Groundwater extractions are estimated to exceed natural recharge at a rate of approximately two million acre feet per year (DWR Water Plan 2013), resulting in declining groundwater levels in many groundwater basins throughout the state.


The persistent declines in groundwater levels have led to many serious economic, social, and environmental impacts, and inevitably, disputes over how to allocate the increasingly limited resource. Given the new mandate for groundwater planning under SGMA, there is a major need to develop policy recommendations and dispute resolution tools that can help to achieve groundwater allocation decisions that are negotiated, equitable, sustainable, and supported by water users as well as other stakeholders.


While SGMA attempts to address many of these challenges by developing a statewide framework for sustainable groundwater management, many questions remain about how the law will be implemented, the effect that it will have on resolving current and future groundwater conflicts, and whether the groundwater sustainability plans (GSPs) it mandates will be challenged through court adjudications.”

One interpretation of the foregoing summary of the report is that, the State failed to monitor and manage the central and southern California water use and the rates of aquifer decline until 2014, and have now labeled usage as ‘unconstrained’. And now we may have some of the same people looking to the northern reach of the State and the water resources there as a bandage for their self-inflicted injury. Any attempt to now control water resources on privately owned property in northern California is nothing more than theft of private property rights, and as such is intolerable and illegal. Generally, unless otherwise stipulated by language in the chain of title to private property, mineral rights, including ground water rights, are owned by the land owner.

This potential for the theft of water rights from private land owners is particularly ominous, and is particularly egregious while Gov. Jerry Brown remains obtusely resistant to the logic of removing as many illegal immigrants as possible from the State, while concurrently building and maintaining more water storage dams in California, as opposed to making deals to remove perfectly good dams.

So now that the south and central parts of California have gotten themselves into a real pickle, their solution seems to be ginning-up some policies and regulations designed to confiscate water from the counties up in the farthest northern reaches of California, and demanding that the property owners in the areas shaded brown on their CASGEM map give the State special rights which not belong to the State. How is it fair in any sense for one group or area of people (county) to deplete their resources and then feel it’s OK to take resources from other people or areas (counties) who have been careful and have conserved their resources?

This needs to be stopped! Or whose water (or land) will they steal next? Maybe yours?

It's not right to steal from your neighbors just because you live in the same State. Private property rights are just that, private, not public.

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Jim Sampson's picture

Can they please leave before they figure out how fucked they are? 

Takeaction2's picture
Takeaction2 (not verified) Jim Sampson Mar 13, 2017 4:14 PM

Well...Oregon  RECORD rainfall...you can have our rain...Sucks. Some records over 100 Years old...BROKEN...this year.


vato poco's picture

the drought status; and all the myriad (and lucrative for the state) restrictions will stay in place just *exactly* as long as it takes to transition all the drought agencies and drought bureaucrats to flood agencies & personnel. 

and then they'll raise taxes.

Lumberjack's picture

He with the water rights rules. Enron tried it in Maine. Keep an eye on Brookfield.

Mikeyy's picture

i've been saying that for years.  Please leave!  I even suggested raising money through a bond issue and paying people to get out.  Even more if you have kids and promise never to come back.

And it seems to be working as we learned last week right here on ZH. The poor and uneducated are leaving - and going to Texas!  And we didn't even have to pay 'em!

chubbar's picture

Does anyone think that arguing constitutional rights to this gang of socialists is going to bear fruit? These assholes couldn't care less about laws, hence their stand on illegals. Anyone living in this hellhole (as beautiful as it is) is going to get it good and hard from these idiots.

troutback's picture

I left CA 30 years ago. Let the libs continue to bury themselves in debt. Good riddance

enfield0916's picture

Just close the border after all the blonde eyed beach beauties leave and come to Texas. Oh wait! That's already happening. But please keep the Feminazi fatties with weird looking hair and more metal embedded in theior skin than a metal scrap yard!

Logan 5's picture
Logan 5 (not verified) Mar 13, 2017 4:19 PM

Well, it's not like any jews have anything to do with controlling water in California, so, at least you can be assured that it'll turn out fairly for all...



Laddie's picture

Well the immigration invasion, both "legal" and illegal is by the Tribe.

"Overpopulation in the United States will become THE single greatest issue facing Americans in the 21st century. We either solve it proactively or nature will solve it brutally for us via water shortages, energy crisis, air pollution, gridlock, species extinction and worse.

U.S. population will double from 300 million to 600 million on its way to 1 billion in the lifetime of a child born today if we fail to change course."

Frosty Wooldridge 2000

No Campus (Or Country) for White Men

In any case, I am pleased that Timothy Rohrer’s review of No Campus for White Men directed our attention to this issue. On one level, we can roll our eyes upon hearing of the latest nonsense going on at some university or other, but on too many other levels, this process of White dispossession is deadly serious. Universities provide instruction that leads to important jobs and prepares the next generation for leadership of the culture and the country. The campus War on White Men, I am convinced, is but a prelude to the real war — the coming attempt at the extermination of the White race — a “hot” war, as opposed to the current “cool” gradual swamping of Whites via immigration, destruction of White families, etc.

This is deadly serious stuff, as I said, so we had best face the problem directly. Oddly, I’ve had this impression since Trump’s election that Alt Right sites that normally emphasize the Jewish Question have pulled back from discussing it, possibly in an attempt to gain “respectability” for the new administration and its Alt Right supporters. Now that the thrill of the Trump victory turns into the grueling reality of politics as usual, however, let’s hope that these sites return to writing about The Jewish Problem bluntly and honestly. Without a grim determination to face the issue, successful responses are not likely to appear on their own.

In closing, I’ll share an impression I had upon hearing the title No Campus for White Men. Some years ago I wrote about Cormac McCarthy’s bleak novel No Country for Old Men, and wove it into an account of the decline of America in step with the decline of Whites. I concluded that our situation could just as easily read No Country for White Men. A fortiori, this is true of the new book No Campus for White Men.

Professor Kevin MacDonald’s ‘The Culture of Critique’ Reviewed emeritus professor of psychology at California State University - Long Beach

It is often said that when the old immigration policy was scrapped in 1965, scarcely anyone knew, and no one predicted, that the new law would change the racial makeup of the country. Prof. MacDonald disputes this, arguing that this had been the objective of Jewish groups from the beginning.

Jubal Early's picture

Aside from energy, wasn't Enron also attempting to gain control of the CA water market?

Lucky Leprachaun's picture

That's unfair. "In a U.S. News & World Report article Resnick explained that her book promotes a concept she labels Transparency: "Transparency, is very new...you have to be a good citizen of the planet. You have to give back."

I wonder will she give back the $500 million Kern Basin she was 'gifted' by Californian politicians?

Ben A Drill's picture

Here's a suggestion: DO NOT LET CORPORATIONS BOTTLE WATER. Fix the tap water so its drinkable. PERIOD!

chubbar's picture

Along that line, and I'm sorry I don't have a link, the fucking bottling companies (Nestle in particular) are adding FLOURIDE to the water they bottle. Now, why would they do that? I personally don't want flouride in my water and it certainly isn't something the public asked for. This has to be more gov't hanky panky, not sure if they are trying to poison us or not but I think it's bullshit they are adding it.

Ben A Drill's picture

That, and they are sucking the aquifer dry. It's not just Nestle, it's fucking Walmart, Arrowhead, Coke, Pepsi, Sparklets, Crystal Geyser and a whole host of other leaches feeding off the aquifer(well water). Not only that but the State imposes 5 cents a bottle recycling fee.

luckylogger's picture

Floride is a waste product form some kind of mining opperation or something, cannot remember what but think is linked to aluminum.

They are probably paid to take the toxic waste off of somebodies hands and then advertise how good it is for teeth to sell their water...

Fuking ingenious business plan. HA

Chris Dakota's picture
Chris Dakota (not verified) Mar 13, 2017 4:29 PM


SilverRoofer's picture

Fall off into the Ocean already

With Pelosi riding it like a surf board

DisorderlyConduct's picture

You lost me when you started putting illegal in quotes. Unlawful immigration is illegal, no quotes required.

SmittyinLA's picture

CA's water policy is Mexican invasion 


lynnybee's picture

or is this another "artificial scarcity" scams orchestrated by WALL ST. ?     water makes up about 71% of the Earth’s surface...... there should be no water problems.    i don't buy into any of this water problem stuff, get rid of those who want to control the water & there's plenty for all. 

El Vaquero's picture

Put seawater on your crops and see how that works out for you.  Then price desalinating several million acre feet of seawater per year.  If you're in the west and know anything about any water problems, you know that it is freshwater which is the issue.  This is simply farming in an arid environment and piss poor management of water resources.  The Colorado river rarely empties out to the sea anymore because so much water is used for things like agriculture.  

spicedune's picture
spicedune (not verified) Mar 13, 2017 5:11 PM

The truth isnt out there its in here and the government wont tell you www.inflation.co

Weirdly's picture

It really is an easy problem to solve, but there is no way 60, 70 and 80 year old farmers are going to change.  They have no risk or appetite for change at their age.  For the few young farmers out there changing, you can see what they do to manage the little water that does fall on their land.  They keyline design their land, sending water out to the dryer ridges to soak into the dryer parts of the farm.  They swale their land catching any overland runoff and sinking it into the soil.  They attempt to catch, sink and slow any water that falls on their land.  They don't till because they want soil with high organic matter content which turns it into a sponge.  They use no pesticides because every one of the trillions of microorganisms living in the soil is 70% water.  We know how to fix it, but investors prefer to invest in Snap instead of regenerative agriculture.  

El Vaquero's picture

Bingo!  I would add to that:  If you're doing cash crop annuals, ALWAYS have something growing on the soil.  Once your cash crop comes in, leave as much residue on the soil as you can, and even if not a cash crop, have a cover crop.  This keeps the soil organisms happy, prevents erosion, and captures nutrients that would otherwise leach out of the soil.  In the spring, you have mulch.  Shade/cover the soil and there will be less evaporation and the soil temps will stay cooler, meaning that the plants will use far less water.  


Anyway, there is more than one way to skin a cat here.  

robertocarlos's picture

LA stole the water in the first place. Thye stole it from some farmers in Northern California.

G-R-U-N-T's picture

The clowns in the Kalifornia Assembly want to make you believe there is still a drought, how else are they going to tax and fee to help pay for their 1.1 Trillion in unfunded pension liabilities!

aloha_snakbar's picture

Is drought caused by a lack of precipitation as most people believe?

No, it is because water hates California like eveyone does, and avoids it...

Montani Semper Liberi's picture

 A key component of California's water system is the mighty Oroville dam. It provides water to the California aqueduct and to San Joaquin Valley farms and 25 million residences. The only problem is is that the dam has been mortally wounded, while at the same time the resevoirs and impoundments above the lake are brimming full and there is a record snow pack in the Sierra watershed.

 This will not end well.

Montani Semper Liberi's picture

 Just my educated opinion, but yes, I believe it is beyond repair. The lake stands at 861 feet today and the DWR plans to open the crippled auxilliary spillway again when it reaches 865 feet. This will undo all the work they have done clearing the channel below for the power plant and shut off once again the outflows it provided. Erosion on steroids is what will happen to this earthen structure when this happens, and if they use the emergency spillway (at 900 feet) again they know it is game over.

Small Government Is Better's picture

Gov. Jerry Brown is the root cause of evil in California.  He caused citizens like myself to campaign for Proposition 13 when he was raising property taxes fast and furious in the 1970s.  We voted Brown out of office, but he came back by fooling younger voters into believing he had their best interests in mind.  Silly, gullible, young people!  They voted Brown the kleptocrat back into office.  He still shows his well practiced theft skills.  

If Californians are this dumb, they deserve the mess Gov. Brown is creating for them.  After 44 years in California, I am selling and leaving.  

What really set me off was Gov. Brown wanting to control emissions from cows!  There are millions of people in California who eat beans and make even more emissions than the cows!  Will Gov. Brown require emissions controls on those who eat beans?  I doubt it.

The right solution would be to organize a visit to Sacramento by thousands of Californians to eat beans there.  The Great Fart Festival of 2017 could fill the air in Sacramento with aromas which match the rotten government.

Sledge-hammer's picture

You are right.  Cali has millions of beaners.  Who is going to control their gas emissions?

mathew913's picture

Pity. Lol.But the liberal voters brought this slow demise on themselves. Pain is the outcome.

SanJoseMutza's picture

Jerry Brown's Twin Tunnels will solve California's water problems once and for all. Senator Feinstein has made sure that no inconvenient endangered species get in the way. 

Sledge-hammer's picture
Sledge-hammer (not verified) Mar 13, 2017 7:47 PM

Wait a minute.  What happened to the trillions of gallons of rainfall that drenched California.  Did not Cali have plenty of reservoirs and basins to capture the water for future use?  And, what about the trillions of gallons more water frozen in their mountain snowpacks?  I know that Cali has grand plans to capture that water and send it to the Central Valley and Coachella Valley for the farmers?  Just asking.

Dougs Decks's picture

Some kinda valley girl smelt or something,,, kinda like flyover tuna,,,

mathew913's picture

Secretly the majority of people in the United States look forward to the collapse of California's economy

ICValue's picture

It is an interesting and historically unsustainable environment when rule makers govern how people get along.

Dougs Decks's picture

If I can't pump it out of my well,,, I need to use less or drill deeper,,, hmmmm

Megaton Jim's picture

Get the wetbacks back on their side of the border would be a great start!

south40_dreams's picture

I no longer give a flying gawddam what happens with California

FlKeysFisherman's picture

I grew up in Nevada, spent a lot of time in California on vacations and weekends. The only place I've ever been to where straight men talk about what other men are wearing.

Strange place.