April 4th, 2015
In a previous post I highlighted the worsening California drought. Just since that post, the dimensions of the California drought have rapidly gotten far worse. California is facing an apocalyptic drought if the rains do not return soon. The consequences for the residents of the state of California and the entire USA due to this drought are now becoming starkly apparent. These links document the extreme effects that this drought could/will have on California and the entire nation.
To begin with, Governor Brown has instituted emergency measures throughout the state to preserve water (first link and second link). He calls for golf courses and cemeteries to “reduce water consumption,” the halting of watering grass on boulevards, and other measures. Most ominously, it includes “temporary relocation assistance to families who need to move from homes where domestic wells have run dry (emphasis added)…” The first link doesn’t mention whether this includes only private wells or if public water wells for towns and communities are also included.
The third link includes a piece of information which graphically shows how desperate the water situation in California is becoming. It reports that the California snowpack is “just 6 percent of the long-term average,” with the previous worst levels being 25% of normal (which happened in 2014). This means California faces a year with less than 1/16th of the usual snowpack after a year which had only 25% of normal snowpack. I’ve seen video clips of Governor Brown on the national news programs standing on dry land that should be covered with five feet of snow at this time of year and looking back at mountain ridges which are all but barren of snow that, reportedly, should be so full of snow that they could be at risk of avalanches at this time of year. No wonder California’s reservoirs are running dry. It reports that many water-users are existing only on water that they can pump out of the ground. However, this could lead to a truly desperate situation in California’s future. The fourth link offers a plethora of informational links confirming that, due to overuse, California’s water table is dropping precipitously and wells are running dry. It is so bad the ground is actually sinking over wide regions.
The fifth link states where the worsening drought is inevitably headed. It warns that when the water runs dry for towns, cities and businesses all over the state of California, there will be a “mass migration away from California,” and that “the value of California homes will plummet to nearly nothing…because the value of a home that has no running water and likelihood of ever receiving running water is very close to zero.” Think of the financial disasters that will cascade all over California and the entire USA when/if this happens. Think of the effects on the stock and commodities markets! California has an immense supply of millions of what we Midwesterners regard as obscenely-overpriced homes and real estate parcels. If these homes and real estate tracts become unsellable due to the lack of or uncertainty about water supplies, their value will plummet and the property tax bases of California cities, school districts and counties will plummet as well. They need to start cutting costs now in order to soften the blow of what looks likely to occur in the foreseeable future. If millions of Californians have to migrate out of the state, where will they go? Will they not be poverty-stricken if the equities in their homes and real estate possessions wither up due to water shortages? The financial consequences for the entire USA will be startling when/if this happens. If the out-migration becomes substantial, California will lose a lot of congressional seats in the US Congress after the 2020 census.