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California’s Water Crisis – Get Out While You Can

California’s Water Crisis – Get Out While You Can thumbnail

Groundwater records should not be kept confidential in drought-stricken California

Imagine having two bank accounts with money for your everyday needs, only one of them – the one you draw from when the primary account runs low – is a virtual black box. You really have no idea what the balance is, and there is no record of deposits and withdrawals.

This is how water is managed in California, with 38mn people and the world’s eighth largest economy. In years of “normal” precipitation, the semi-arid state gets most of its water supply from winter rain and spring snowmelt. However, when this “primary account” of surface water supply dwindles during droughts, farms and communities rely heavily on a mystery account called groundwater, which truly is out of sight and, unfortunately, out of mind.

Few people have information about the underground stores that provide up to 60% of the state’s water supply during droughts, including water to about 600,000 relatively shallow domestic wells, located mostly in rural areas.

State records that provide information needed to characterize groundwater aquifers are kept confidential under a 64-year-old law that considers them proprietary to well drillers. Known as well logs, the records contain data that is public in every other western state – details such as where wells are located, their depth, potential pumping rates, diameter and descriptions of the groundwater-bearing sediments and rocks they are bored through…”

Get out of California while you still can! It will be America’s first “failed State” very, very soon. I am talking to all my CollapseNet friends, family and subscribers here, and I mean every word. Thirty-nine million people surrounded by hundreds of miles of mostly uninhabitable desert…think on that for a while, but not too long. Get your plans in place and put them in action, because this is very real and it is happening right now, albeit in what appears to be slow-motion. That will change faster every week that goes past.

If you live in California, especially in SoCal, you need to pack your shit and move while there are still enough idiots left to buy your property!

I love California, but its fate cannot be more clear. The entire continent and world economy WILL be impacted hard by California’s drawdown (or die-off, if you prefer), but if you live there right now, this is a matter of imminent survival within the coming months.

California will be the world’s most massive demonstration of climate refugees, occurring in the wealthiest and most industrialized nation, but one that STILL HAS NO MEANS to absorb even a significant fraction of the people who are and will be displaced by Liebig’s Law of the Minimum (here, water) from California in the immediate future.

Mother Nature always bats last, hits hardest, and wins.

Anybody have a better plan than to GTFO? Your government doesn’t have one, that’s for certain… – Wes

See also:

California has about one year of water stored. Will you ration now?

The amount of water it takes to grow almonds in California is BANANAS 

Water use in California is a hot topic of debate as the state continues its fourth year of drought.

And there’s some question as to whether California is misallocating the water that it does have.

Here’s a tidbit, from Mother Jones via Marginal Revolution’s Alex Tabarrok:

…agriculture uses 80% of the water in California but accounts for less than 2% of the economy. So how much water does almond production alone use? More water is used in almond production than is used by all the residents and businesses of San Francisco and Los Angeles combined.

It’s important to note that California produces a huge chunk of the produce consumed in the United States. Presumably having food on the table is vastly more important to society than it would seem if you just look at it from a percentage-of-the-economy perspective.

But what about the almonds in particular? It takes a disproportionate amount of water to grow them versus other crops…”

Fuck. Just as we are getting ready to say “goodbye” to the fish, here goes another staple for us folks with food allergies.

Not to mention the gigantic freaking canary that is dead on our living room floor, staring at us with rotting eyes… –

-Wes, CollapseNet

157 Comments on "California’s Water Crisis – Get Out While You Can"

  1. barbara hubbard on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 12:59 pm 

    Stop building homes. The price of your home will sky rocket! Then if you can sell it you could buy new in a better state. The first European explorers did not find any of the first people living on the coast of CA. It was all desert. That should have been red flag to all of us stupid whites that built there. At least with out water some of the illegals will go back to Mexico where some areas might have water. I can flush my commode with 2 QUARTS OF WATER. Get a pitcher hold it shoulder height and pour it full speed into the commode. Why do golf courses have to be green? On the tee it could be artificial turf Nothing wrong with play in on brown.

  2. Spec9 on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 1:02 pm 

    Lol. More doomer porn that doomers fall for. This is easily solved by going to a market system where the highest payers get the water. The big cities win and farmers lose. Ironically, farmers from the central valley who supposedly conservatives and thus should like that solution. But they only like their principles when those principles benefit them.

  3. Jack Worthington on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 1:05 pm 

    The people elected the politicians who then squandered the taxes on social welfare and social justice and all sorts of wasteful actions while lining their pockets. So, the folly of central government and the folly of believing in central planning have come home to roost. Kalifornia deserves to collapse. In the meantime review the following:

    No Treason No. 6, The Constitution of No Authority (
    The NoStateProject blog by Marc Stevens ( or
    Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt
    The Inflation Crisis, and How to Resolve It by Hazlitt (
    The Law by Frederic Bastiat
    Or )
    That Which is Seen and That Which is not Seen (
    Stephen’s Guide to the Logical Fallacies (
    For A New Liberty by Murray Rothbard (

    Oh, and for those who deny libertarianism or claim it has never been tried or never worked, check out Murray Rothbard’s For a New Liberty where on p. 79 he mentions that it worked in Ireland for a thousand years.

  4. Waterspring on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 1:18 pm 

    No worry California has a river running across the state. All we have to do is build the largest manmade lake in the middle of nowhere and divert Sacramento Rivers to fill it up. Problem solved.

  5. Heres an idea on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 1:21 pm 

    Here’s an idea, put people to work by building a pipe line from the flood plains in the Mississippi region to the west coast. You stop the flooding in flood zones and get water to the west. You would also create hundreds of thousands of jobs .
    Or use Jerry Browns idea “build a train”

  6. Jeff Morse on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 1:25 pm 

    “The sky is falling!” No, its just the climate of the Western US doing what its always done for thousands of years. It’ll rain again when its ready to.

  7. dave on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 1:35 pm 

    Why would the East and the Midwest even consider feeding the desert dwellers the greatest natural resource of all time? It’s the region’s trump card of the future and the future may be much closer than people imagined only a decade ago. There are ways for the West to figure it out, some simple and some complex and painful. Let’s see just how resourceful our fellow Americans out West really are.

  8. Joe G on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 1:43 pm 

    Two fixes- desalination plants and piping in water from areas which have plenty. The desalinization process needs to be addressed as there is plenty of water just off the coast of California. Los Angeles, New York and Boston all get their water piped in from many miles away so all we have to do is extend that concept to cover the USA.

  9. Apneaman on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 1:49 pm 

    What area is that leonard?

    Climate Change Puts California Economy at Risk of Collapse

  10. Lisa on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 1:54 pm 

    In the last year I have seen orchard after orchard of almond trees planted in the Stanislaus and surrounding counties. This should not have been allowed at this point in time, water shortage; trees that need excessive amounts of water, doesn’t make a lot of sense. I have also witnessed wasted water being released down river for what reason?

  11. tom polling on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 2:02 pm 

    what gets us old folks, IS that the gold state is run by a bunch of one thought mostly democrat always elected each term, and they DO love their PERKS, yet way we look at all this coming water problem IS to invest in a few other 2 bed 1 bath small homes and rent them out to those that WILL need a place to stay as they will not be able to afford their Big homes anymore yet still have to stay in Ca for a few years longer. hey kind of nice, more space, WAY LESS people around, county state bums will also split and well the local law enforcement will be sparse and it could get to the old west rules once again water will be the problem and the solution at the same time, instead of the old wagon trains bringing in water it will be trucks to pipelines. hi ho silver AWAY !!!!!! hey we can DREAM right ??????

  12. Ellis P Monk on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 2:11 pm 

    I live in Michigan, And here in michigan,like in California NESTLE a Swiss company IS SUCKING THE THE AQUIFERS DRY Taking it out of the Grate Lakes Basin,And selling ti all over the WORLD. Getting it FREE. In California they are in the National Forest,And the Indian Reversition. Taking Billons of Gallons WATER. THAT IS WHY CALIFORNIA AND MICHIGAN IS DRYING UP UP UP.

  13. Ron on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 2:24 pm 

    Parts of CA are desert, but most is NOT. The Sierra Nevada range (like Yosemite) and coastal parts are still nice and green. As is N. CA. Ground water is abundant and agriculture is flourishing. Desert portions of CA ARE suffering and will have to hunker down. CA envy is so apparent in these blogs. Just got back from a nice surf trip and am headed up to the Sierras for a backpacking trip. Today is 75 degrees, how’s your weather?

  14. Richard on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 2:29 pm 

    California is far from broke as the 5th largest economy in the world. Look at the California municipal funds and this state has much higher returns than most others. Big corporations that are making lots of money (like Apple) aren’t leaving.

  15. Apneaman on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 2:30 pm 

    Ellis, Nestle is here in British Columbia getting away with the exact same thing; they do it all over the world. It won’t matter who you vote for- they own them all. You could start a Nestle products boycott. I’m sure all the junk food junkies would go for that 😉

    Nestle Pays $2.25 to Bottle and Sell a Million Litres of BC Water

    List of Nestlé brands

  16. geoffrey hart on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 2:59 pm 

    Transnational pipeline: bring water from drenched eastern US. Copy the oil pipeline.

  17. Eugene on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 3:36 pm 

    Some good comments here as well as some not so good.

    Reduce lawn watering—great idea that needs to be implemented.
    Ag: Definitely some controls needs to be placed on water use by least efficient ag users. Almonds for one. Maybe the government could pay the almond growers not to water or buy them out. Something needs to be done.

    Then again, that would smack of socialism, and Lord knows we can’t have the government telling us what to do in the good ol’ USA.

    There’s irony in the comment that somewhere in Texas, land of the free, they have placed controls on the watering of lawns.

  18. foamhand on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 3:45 pm 

    California needs to embrace desalinization of seawater and pump it inland.

  19. foamhand on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 3:48 pm 

    California needs to stop relying on OUR water here in Colorado (Colorado river) and build desalinization plants PERIOD!

  20. highwasp on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 3:49 pm 

    Chem Trails… drought… water prices… life.

  21. crow on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 3:53 pm 

    I saw what was happening in Southern Ca a long time ago and sold my house at the peak, 2005, and got the heck out of Ca.
    I was born there and it was a wonderful place to grow up in, but that has changed drastically and I am thankful everyday that I moved to a state with lots of water and space. (What state? It is a secret.)

  22. Speculawyer on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 4:09 pm 

    “Why would the East and the Midwest even consider feeding the desert dwellers the greatest natural resource of all time?”

    LOL! 25% of the nation’s produce is from California. Who’s feeding who?

  23. Todd on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 4:12 pm 


  24. Speculawyer on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 4:13 pm 

    What a bunch of chicken-little doomsters thinking this is actually a huge disaster. Claiming that people better move out of California. A simple answer is in this very article itself:

    “More water is used in almond production than is used by all the residents and businesses of San Francisco and Los Angeles combined.”

    Hmm . . . so should we move all the people out of SF and LA? Or should we just stop eating Almonds from California and let them be grown elsewhere. Duh.

  25. pat addison on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 4:15 pm 

    drink more bottled water, do they realize that bottled water is literally draining them dry?? this is not monitored so the companies take way more than they should and bottle it and sell it off at a profit, water your lawns with that expensive bottled water instead. I used to live in San Diego, and was glad to leave…used to be a great place to live, not so anymore. I used to watch neighbors literally drown their lawns each day, every week of the year and for what??? a green lawn. I mean is a green lawn so important that you have to literally pour tons of water on it until it is running down the gutters and into the storm drains??? I am glad to be out of California, and I have no desire or need to go back there. I had heard that some “rich folks” in Santa Barbara county were hiring water trucks to steal water from Oregon lakes and rivers and bring it back down to them to water their lawns…. and during the those wildfires those trucks were stealing water needed for fighting fires, how low can you get???

  26. Speculawyer on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 4:16 pm 

    “Almonds for one. Maybe the government could pay the almond growers not to water or buy them out. Something needs to be done.
    Then again, that would smack of socialism, and Lord knows we can’t have the government telling us what to do in the good ol’ USA.”

    LOL! No, what they have NOW is socialism. The farmers get cheap water because socialism. If we make the farmers pay the same price for water that we make residences pay for water then the farms will close down and the water problem is solved. But those conservative Republican farmers feel they are entitled to cheap water. How ironic.

  27. GregT on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 4:19 pm 

    Judging from many of the comments here, California has far larger problems than water insecurity.

  28. Rojo da Gringo on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 4:36 pm 

    It’s all is going to be fine. Wes the doom and gloom guy fails to see that the Drought won’t last forever and in no time our $750,000 homes will be worth 1.5 mil. and we will all be happy in the Socialist state because all those folks to the East of us will be trying to find a place to live here in beautiful SoCal.

  29. gary on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 4:39 pm 

    thank GOD for the drought for the sin &
    evil of the people. what u sew is what u reap. GOD is not mocked

  30. SOAP on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 4:39 pm 

    Californians exiting California, don’t come to Hawaii. Hell if we want you here to waste our precious resource: water.

  31. Dave on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 4:49 pm 

    I recently fled California for many reasons, water being a main one. I saw some very harmful behavior leading up to my move from the area. Crime was horrible in my area (Redding, far north) mostly after the legalization of medical marijuana. I witnessed growers draining ponds for their crops last summer, I even tried reporting the problem many times to many different county, city, and state agencys. Nothing was ever done.

  32. Delta on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 5:07 pm 

    Anyone see the movie, “Soylent Green”? It was supposed to be a fantasy…

  33. sheryl Olb on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 5:16 pm 

    One quick fix would be to stop letting companies such as Nestle and others sell their water. Look at where that plastic bottle of water comes from. Most of it comes from CA. We consumers could boycott bottled water, especially that from CA. Tap water has to meet certain standards; bottled water does not.

  34. Ernest Martinson on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 5:29 pm 

    Groundwater information should not be considered proprietary to well drillers. It is essential that this information be public for the purpose of levying a volumetric tax on the depletion of a public resource.

  35. larry on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 6:29 pm 

    90% of population growth in California and 70% of population growth in the nation during the 1990’s was from immigration and their offspring.

  36. Nony on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 6:29 pm 

    I remember the late 80s-early 90s drought. We had a big rainy winter in 1992-93 and it was all better. Just wait for the rains.

  37. GregT on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 6:40 pm 

    So not only are you making poor choices when it comes to the markets Nony, you have also made a poor choice in where you call home.

    Good luck to you.

  38. Jose Rene Vinton on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 6:52 pm 

    Ok I lived in California all my life seen this land before almonds came here even before I-5 and the Big California Canal was built the land was covered with farmland that grew with no irrigation only the rain that fell upon it we all got alog then but how much of our food goes out of the country to feed others not us here in US we buy from other countries to feed us. What about that? Many company are here only to profit from us stealing our water oh yea they put in waste water plants but will we have to drink their crap soon?The more simple can we start their and Oil industry drink their waste their because The Big Oil Company has no place to put their waste? all along the Salinas River they are doing just that! Why can,t we start at home by ending our waste the biggest waste of all Swimming pools we can live with out them Most countrie do By having a Public Pool for everyone to use. But poor Johnny has to show off and poor Betty needs to show her self and it is to hot for them they can,t live with it, ?????????? I love it here in California we will make it but People Wake up let,s start by feeding ourselves from our farmland first Our Farmers are our LivelyHood pay for what is the Best Food Grown here in the World And Poor Johnny and Betty can wet their butts in the Oceans close down the Pools everywhere except our public ones and build more if needed slow down the Almond tree growing or stop it Most Farmer are rich enough all ready and the Oil Company,s can stop poisoning us with their waste waterMake them pay for those New Pools for the people Make them Pay for all their waste water problems I am just one in a Billon but I hope I am heard. I sure miss those open fields of Desert we once had with wild life We can,t stop building roads or cities or industry but we can build industry to work with us not against us.

  39. Stephen on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 7:26 pm 

    I live in San Diego. Yes the water crisis is a serious problem that will get worse as climate change progresses. I think we will have to desalinate but at the same time have to reduce our consumption of water. One option may be to move the farming areas to a climate in which it isn’t so hot. For example, Fresno area is becoming way too hot in the summer, needing more water. If some of the farms were relocated in areas with higher rainfall, this might be an option. The beach cities should be considering some local agriculture instead of more condos, and should desalinate for sure. Perhaps a few vertical farms that use reclaimed water should be built.

  40. Whitty on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 8:14 pm 

    I have news for you all. I lived in California for the last 32 Years and the problem is California has resources in place for 20 millions and have approx. 18 millions illegals from Mexico working, buying homes, running Businesses, organizing Gangs, smuggling in all kind of Drugs and making millions, growing pot in our local Nationals parks, running tire shops, landscaping businesses, installing carpet, roofing, opening food stands, running taco shops, selling everything from panties to pecans without a license and getting almost any job they want. New flash, they have more Manager jobs than Whites, basically taken over California and the entire Country, neighborhoods are full of illegals Mexicans and most are living way better than the average White American and mean while we Whites are still kicking the poor Blacks to the curb and treating them so bad as if we haven’t treated them back enough already and we should be treating them very good because they actually build the darn country for free, was never pay a dime for the work for years and now we still treat them like crap after all these years, from 1615 to 1865 (250 years) they worked for free and build the entire country and from 1865 to 2015 (150 years) we’ve under paid them on every job, over worked them on every job, if we gave them a job at all and made them pay more for car loans, home loans, every loan, car insurance, home insurance and everything in between and now we are wondering why the water is all gone. People wake up, do the math. Has any one done a demographics check on the cities in California, you will be shocked. The Mexicans have basically tricked us Whites out of everything and now they are the largest population in the Country. This is not just California. An illegal Mexican working in Oklahoma(a dishwasher mind you) was caught trying to smuggling $67,000 into Mexico to give to his parents. If a dishwasher was able to somehow get $67,000 imagine how much of our other resources are leaving this Country as we speak. The water problem is just a drop in the bucket. They are also using up a ton a minute of food and all other resources. California has too many (18 million to many) using the resources and that’s why it’s running out of water. We are missing the boat and trying to resolve the water shortage. We have to deport some of the people who are taking a drink right now as we speak, nothing against Mexicans it just the truth of the matter. I saw this coming back in 1982 as more and more arrived. If they are legal then let them stay, don’t try to accommodate the illegal situation. I have my whites friends my Blacks friends and my Mexicans friends but if you are illegals then you just have to get legal. Get in line and do what’s right. We are going to run out of more than water if we don’t go to the root of the problem. You can’t supply 38 million with a system build for 18 million, it will not work. It’s going to get worse before it gets better. We could have fix this years ago.

  41. pablo on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 8:32 pm 

    Why not ship the 3-4 million illegals back to Mexico, that should save lots of water.

  42. JamesJ on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 8:38 pm 

    Whitty does have a point, if it is designed for 20 million people and we have 38 million, we are heading for disaster for sure and fast. I just checked the demographics on LA, San Jose, Sacramento, San Diego and San Francisco and what a SHOCK!!! He’s right, We have basically giving California away!! and not sure if it can ever be fixed. We are clearly out numbers in all but Sacramento and it’s not far behind. We’ve been looking in the wrong direction for way too long!! Southeast San Diego is only 1 miles from Mexico!

  43. Bruce Krasting on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 8:47 pm 

    There are always two sides to a story. This article is one side. I think it is wrong.

    California’s drought is caused by the lack of an El Nino. That has changed in a very dramatic and surprising way in just the past few weeks. The following article provides information from the Australian government and NOAA about what has occurred.

    California will have above normal rainfall in the next 12 months! Don’t move!

  44. Milton on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 8:51 pm 

    Are you kidding!! 3-4 million won’t make a dent on this problem. There are 3-5 million Mexicans in Atlanta Georgia now. I visited there last month. They are all the way cross Country taking over, while we were busy putting our foot up the Blacks people Butt who has help this Country to succeed in every way even if it was against their will and basically contributed to it’s success more than anyone. We have traded it away to the Gangster and thieves who don’t even speak our language. People we have to get smarter and quick!! We are looking the wrong way!!

  45. JamesJ on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 9:02 pm 

    Man! are you kidding! information from the Australian government and NOAA will do nothing for a state that has water to serve 18 million and has 38 million. The gap is too wide. It has to rain for 40 days and 40 nights non stop to make up that wide range of demand. You can’t solve a problem with details and speculation from another Country. California has to pray for rain and eliminate some of it’s consumptions by a bunch ASAP and even them that may not be enough.

  46. M. Robles on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 9:08 pm 

    Whitty, Please don’t blame the “illegal” Mexicans on the water shortage it isn’t their fault. And it isn’t the illegal chinese, or the illegal Vietnamese, or any other race that is here in California or the United states illegally. It is a combination of everyone here in the great state of California’s fault. I live in a very affluent county and you should see the waste of water here on a daily basis it’s horrible! you should see all the Illegals that live in million dollar homes in gated communities that come home after a hard days work from working in the fields or in restaurants waiting on people like you or washing cars and just water their lawns so that the water runs down the street to the ocean. Oops what am I writing? I don’t know any illegal aliens that live in those communities and believe me I know a whole lot of illegal people some are my family and believe it or not the coming water shortage is on their minds all the time. Are they going to have to go back to Mexico? If so then who will plant seed, water, thin the produce pick and package the very vegetables and fruit that you and me and every single person in this great nation eat. Will you or any of your family members go work the fields in 100 degree heat, work in a restaurant and be verbally abused by high nosed customer because the they are missing a fork? I don’t think so. You are way off base the water problem that California has is not the problem of illegal Mexicans and I don’t think that you or anyone else should blame them I won’t allow it, but if you really believe what you said please gather up some of your friends and family and take the jobs that these people have so that everyone else can blame YOU for the water shortage.

  47. Chris on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 9:12 pm 

    Start stocking up on truckload size cases of water, the current $3.99/case price is going to skyrocket……along with fruits and veggies too….might as well buy iodine tablets, rations and ammo…..get ready to bug out up north to Montana, Canada or Alaska……its all headed toward a bad, zombie apocalypse-type scenario….!

  48. CHris on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 9:22 pm 

    I hate to remind the huge worriers here, but if we can build pipelines to move oil from Alaska we can build pipelines to move water from the northeast where we have too much most years to places that have to little like California. But like everything else we wont do this until a disaster actually happens and claims a few hundred thousand lives.

  49. R1verat on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 9:41 pm 

    Reading all the various comments is an interesting study in human nature. One sample of how when the SHTF, how most will be pointing fingers, blaming this or that group. But the bottom line is the same old, same old….too many people competing for fewer resources.

  50. Nony on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 9:42 pm 

    James, the gap was supposed to be too wide back in the early 90s also after 7 straight years of drought. We got one hard winter of rain and the reservoirs were filled to overflowing. Problem over. El Nino will solve your problems…

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