The great American drought in the Western states continues to worsen, and California is implementing tough water rationing quotas in three counties in the heavily-populated Los Angeles basin. The first link refers to the current drought situation as “historic,” and the “worse in 1200 years.” It adds that 95% of California is in the “severe to extreme drought” category, and that their winter snowpack–from which much of California’s water originates–is barely one-third of usual levels. Previous posts have discussed this threat to water resources in the American West, but clearly, the situation continues to worsen. Obviously, the less water there is, the less food gets grown.

The second link reports that some California governments are calling for an “immediate” reduction of 20-30% in water usage. That is a rather draconian amount of water reduction to implement in a rapid manner. Watering lawns only once a week is reported, but that may be very hard to accomplish without major fines for users deemed to have used too much of the declining water resources in California. More water restrictions will be imposed if users don’t cut their water usage dramatically.

The third link also notes that the January-March, 2022 period has been the driest such period in history. While California can draw some water from the multi-state water compact that distributes Colorado River water, that source also has dwindling water supplies so it is likely that major political/legal battles will erupt as users fight over the ever-smaller water supplies in the region. Indeed, the fourth link examines the problems faced by water users in the Colorado River basin, and warns that water is already being taken from other reservoirs to keep water high enough in Lake Powell to prevent its hydro-electric generators from shutting down. If that happened, Southwestern states would be hard-pressed to find reserve electricity in the rest of the nation to keep the lights on in those states. Indeed, the fifth link has much useful information about the water shortages, and warns that diverting water from Lake Mead to Lake Powell to keep electricity production up means there will be less water to drink for people living in Arizona, California and Nevada. More such trade-offs are inevitable.

It is my impression from the cited links that Water Boards are having a hard time convincing water-users that there is a real crisis. I’ll offer some personal observations at this point. When I was flying around the USA to many locations to respond to invitations to speak about my books, I flew into southern California airports a number of times. I recall one trip when I was landing at the airport in Palm Springs, CA. I saw endless deserts surrounding numerous golf courses with lush, green fairway and greens. Obviously, this was possible only via the use of vast amounts of imported water as it didn’t happen via natural rainfall. The above-cited links didn’t mention whether golf courses are limited to watering their green spaces only once a week, nor did they discuss whether the wealthy will have to stop filling their private swimming pools throughout the Los Angeles area and the greater American Southwest region. If the masses see that the golf courses and private swimming pool owners don’t have to dramatically cut back their water usage as well, then the masses will conclude that there is no real water shortage. Restricting water use to allow no lawn-watering may be in the offing for Southern California, and it is something I’ve lived though. In the drought year of 1988, the municipality I lived in in the Twin Cities metro area didn’t allow any lawn-watering for some time. I do think that the general public will not be inclined to believe any water shortage exists until they see golf courses going brown and the private swimming pools getting drained and not refilled. If we are in a mega-drought that will take years to run its course, indoor water restrictions could also become severe. Think what that will do to real estate values in dry states.

Previous posts have discussed the drought’s effects on food production due to the unavailability of water. Until food stocks start running low on supermarket shelves, it will be hard to motivate the general public to take seriously reports of threats to food supplies. This is not just a problem facing the American population; it is a worsening global problem and several factors make this a “perfect storm” for a global food shortage to develop suddenly later this year.  Previous posts have mentioned some of the factors on this topic, but here is some new information.

A severe heat wave/drought is hitting Pakistan and India (sixth link), which risks damaging those populous nations’ food crops before the monsoon rains arrive. UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has warned that “up to 1.7 billion people” are already at risk of “poverty, destitution and hunger on a scale not seen in decades.” A major factor he cites are the widespread effects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on global food supplies and distribution systems (seventh link). Due to supply-chain and worker shortages, approximately 20% of the world’s container ships are essentially “stalled” outside of global port facilities (eighth link). Lock-downs at production plants and dockyards triggered by Covid outbreaks are causing some of these container ship back-ups. Shanghai, China has become a particular trouble spot for container ship log jams. Also, Indonesia–the world’s top exporter of palm oil–has just imposed a ban on exporting palm oil supplies to other nations to make sure Indonesians have enough palm oil first. Indonesia has even used its navy to detain merchant ships sending exports of palm oil to India and the UAE (ninth link). The article calls this “food protectionism.” This may be one of the first shots in a what could become a global food war.

The Christian Bible warned that in a period of time called “the latter days” of this age, food shortages would get worse and food rationing would occur. Matthew 24:3-7 warns that famines will characterize the end of our age, and Revelation 6:5-6 adds that food shortages will occur and food categories will be rationed by price. It does appear that these prophecies are coming to pass in our current world. If you would like to see the extensive evidence that the Bible’s prophecies about the latter days are being fulfilled in our modern time, please read my article, Are We Living in the Biblical Latter Days?