The great California drought is a subject that I’ve been following in my blog, as longtime readers know. As California entered this recent winter season, it desperately needed a good snowfall to build a snow pack in its mountain ranges that could refill its reservoirs and begin the process of recharging its aquifers. When the winter began, it looked like California would receive a lot of much-desired snow. However, the last part of the winter produced little snow (see first link and second link).
The result? Northern California received a normal snow pack and its reservoirs are nearing normal status. However, Central and especially Southern California received little snowfall and their reservoirs remain dangerously low. The first link has a graphic which shows the difference between what happened in Northern California and the rest of the state. Even in Northern California where a nearly average amount of snow was received, it wasn’t nearly enough to start recharging the groundwater aquifers. That would take very heavy snowfall for several years to begin that process, as previous posts have documented.
Based on the graphic in the first link, it would appear that the agricultural industry in the northern part of California should receive water allocations for growing fruits, vegetables and tree nuts. However, in much of the middle and southern regions of California, farmers will likely receive little or no water allocation for their farms. Since California produces so much of the USA’s food supply, the drought in California has a huge impact on America’s food supply. The ongoing and severe drought in much of California will steadily have a greater impact on America’s food supply as more farms have to shut down their production due to a lack of water.
The great California drought, albeit with some relief for the northern part of the state, continues. As California enters the warmer months, many farmers will continue to pump as much water as they can out of California’s rapidly diminishing supply of water in the state’s deep aquifers in order for them to stay in business. That means California’s aquifers will continue to be depleted, and it hastens the time when California will face a day of reckoning in terms of its water supply crisis.
I continue to marvel that with the gigantic Pacific Ocean bordering the entire western border of California that so few water desalinization plants have been built. The time may be coming when they will very much wish they had built a large number of such plants. At some point, if the great drought continues as climate experts have warned, those aquifers will be unable to supply any more water. Then California’s drought crisis will turn into a food supply crisis for the entire USA.