There’s more bad news for California: Water deliveries from state and federal reservoirs to the Central Valley—where much of the nation’s food is grown—have been cut to zero. The reservoirs are going dry and there’s no water to deliver.
Had any fresh fruits and vegetables lately? How about some almonds or walnuts? California produces a huge amount of this stuff, but after years of drought there’s no more water to go around. Farmers had already been struggling on just 5 percent of the water they receive in good years. Now they’ll get nothing at all.
Meanwhile, 17 communities in the state are completely running out of water. Soon there will be nothing for farms or houses.
Agriculture uses most of the state’s fresh water supply, around 85 percent—the remainder is split between homes and business. Farmers pumped out the groundwater long ago, and massive state and federal water projects keep agriculture going in a place that has otherwise turned to arid and chemical-soaked fields of death.
Amazingly, the state hasn’t stopped fracking, which uses outrageous amounts of fresh water to push oil out of the ground and contaminate the land and aquifers forever. Fracking! That is what is allowed in California, by Governor Jerry Brown, while the agriculture industry collapses and regular people are supposed to cut back their water usage by 20%.
[Photograph of Stevens Creek Reservoir in Cupertino via Getty Images.]