In what is fast becoming one the greatest ecological disasters in decades, California is continuing to run out of water and the situation is getting ever more drastic. The first link reports that Mountain Home, California, a city of 15,000 people, is now within days of losing all of its water supplies and is desperately looking for a new source of water for its residents. This is just the beginning of what could be a dreadful and accelerating crisis as more California cities run out of water altogether. What happens when more cities in California run out of water? At what point do we reach the condition where cities and towns need to be abandoned and become modern “ghost towns,” a possibility raised by the first link.
The second link reports that something completely unanticipated is now happening to some California water users. Even farmers and others who possess “senior water rights” (which gave them water supplies during previous droughts over the last century) are losing access to their expected water allotments, as there simply is no water for them. In the complex world of legalities affecting water usage in the American Southwest, those with “senior” water rights get water even if those with “junior” or “subordinate” water rights lose their water. However, this megadrought hitting California is so severe that even those who thought they couldn’t lose their water supplies are losing them. Farmers with senior or junior water rights who lose their water supplies obviously will not be producing any more vegetables and fruits for the nation to eat. California is reverting to a desert. The link reports many farmers accepted a 25% reduction in water supplies due to the drought, but further water usage cuts can be expected as this drought worsens.
The third link warns that the megadrought means that California cannot possibly sustain its current population of 38,000,000 people. California is destined to experience a major out-migration of its population if this drought intensifies. This will have major effects on California and the entire nation. If entire cities and towns need to be abandoned because there is no water for them, it means that the residents of those cities will be leaving for other states with dependable water supplies. Many could be leaving as paupers as those expensive California homes with lovely scenic views will have property values of zero if no water can be supplied to them. Out-migration also means that the state of California’s revenue base will shrink as people leave (fewer state income tax, property tax, sales tax, liquor tax, tobacco tax revenues, etc.). Businesses that depend on large amounts of water may have to leave California, taking with them large numbers of jobs. Where will all the migrants leaving California go? The fourth link adds that many Latinos in California have jobs dependent on lawn-maintenance, agricultural production, etc. These jobs are disappearing. How many of them are illegal immigrants? If California cannot support them any longer, will many of them go back to Mexico or other Latin American nations that at least have dependable water supplies? Are we going to see a reversal of the “Okie” migrations” from the Dust Bowl days which led millions of people to relocate to California from Oklahoma and other prairie states that were without water in the Dust Bowl years? If this megadrought continues, millions of people will have no choice but to flee California. This will put intolerable strains on the infrastructures of other states and lead to severe demographic problems within the USA.
However, the rich people of California have not yet been required to make any sacrifices to preserve water. The last link shows views of the mansions, estates and swimming pools of movie stars and celebrities who have lush, green lawns, massive swimming pools, etc. Governor Jerry Brown hasn’t even begun to force them to make any serious water cuts. What about all those California golf courses for the affluent? Have their water resources been cut off yet? If cities and towns in California are beginning to run out of water, why aren’t golf courses shutting down and the filling of all private swimming pools banned? California is facing a very serious statewide survival crisis, but the rich and affluent “don’t get it” yet. California needs some leadership that takes this crisis seriously and starts building massive water desalinization plants all along the California seacoast. I’ve seen cable-TV programs about Appalachian moonshiners. I’m sure that they could teach Californians how to build many tens of thousands of small-scale “desalinization plants” by boiling seawater and evaporating it into drinkable water. California is still not taking the severity of this crisis seriously enough. I’m wondering when a new crisis may hit California due to the megadrought. Many farmers have pumped so much water out of the groundwater supplies that the water table has sunk hundreds of feet in some areas. How much water can be pumped out of the ground before sinkholes begin to form unexpectedly?
I don’t live in California, but if I did, I’d be moving out of the state as soon as possible. I’d sell my house while I still could and go buy a home in some other state. Even if someone lives in a region of California that has dependable water supplies, do you think you are safe? What happens when tens of thousands of thirsty fellow Californians show up in your community and backyard demanding that you to supply them with water? It could get ugly.
I thought of a biblical parallel. At a time when the ancient biblical kingdom of Israel was ruled by King Ahab and Queen Jezebel who were particularly evil national leaders, God (via his prophet Elijah) sent a megadrought on their entire kingdom (I Kings 16:31-18:46 and James 5:17-18). The rivers dried up, grass was scarce, livestock and people died, etc. (I Kings 17:8-12, 18:3-6). As that drought began, the ancient Israelites surely thought that the drought was only a “natural phenomenon” or “bad luck.” No doubt, they didn’t take it seriously in its beginning stages. Before it was over, the kingdom of Israel had to depopulate and export its people elsewhere. Whereas the Israelites once fielded an army of 800,000 men in a war against the Jews of Judah (II Chronicles 13:3), in evil King Ahab’s time, the drought-stricken Israelites could barely muster 7,000 soldiers by the time the drought ended (I Kings 20:15). Where did the displaced Israelites go? My books, Israel’s Lost Empires, and The “Lost” Ten Tribes of Israel…Found!, document that many Israelites migrated to Judah, where there was plenty of rain as that kingdom was relatively righteous and still feared God. Other Israelites migrated throughout the Phoenician/Israelite Empire and took up temporary residency at many other locations. Some migrated to a new location on the African coastline and founded the colony of Kirjath-Hadeshath, which the Romans later called Carthage. The ancient Israelites affected by their megadrought didn’t quickly realize it was a direct punishment from God upon them for their willfully-sinful lifestyles.
Climatologists can confirm that California has had dry and wet cycles in its geological history. The third link reports that in the 20th century, California experienced its wettest period in the last 1000 years. What that means is that California is not just experiencing a temporary drought. It is reverting to its normal intensely-dry desert conditions. Is it only a coincidence that California is reverting to its desert condition at this time in the biblical latter days and at this time in America’s history? Like the ancient Israelites of Ahab’s time, modern America is adopting willfully-sinful lifestyles and is provoking the Creator God to anger even as King Ahab did with his sins (I Kings 16:33). The more that California’s drought deepens, the more likely it is that the same Creator God who sent a megadrought to ancient Israel is causing California’s megadrought as well. The Bible teaches us that God is patient, but when he finally gets angry enough at a people for their persistent and increasing sins, the punishments also intensify. Deuteronomy 28 warns that Covenant people like the ancient Israelites and the modern Israelites (which includes America–see my article, The USA in Bible Prophecy) who enjoy God’s blessings but give themselves over to behaviors that God labels as sinful can expect some serious calamities to hit their nations. Deuteronomy 28:23 warns that one punishment will be megadroughts so bad that “the heaven that is over your head shall be as brass, and the earth that is under you shall be iron.” If you have ever been in a severe drought zone (I have), the ground under one’s feet can become so hard that it feels like one is walking on iron. California is now experiencing the conditions warned about in Deuteronomy 28:23. California has been the point of origin for many of the sins that are now rampant in modern America. It is looking like California’s drought is not a coincidence, but is a punishment from God. If so, God is punishing the entire nation of the USA, not just California. America’s food supplies will shrink as California’s drought worsens, and the entire nation will experience traumas if millions of Californians have to flee to other states…and those states don’t want them to come.
If the megadrought is from God, then national repentance is the only route to the return of the rains and snowfalls which replenish California’s water reservoirs. I think the drought will have to get worse and its effects more nationalized before such repentance is likely. This situation may become America’s greatest national crisis if it continues to worsen.