A drought of common sense

orovilleGov. Jerry Brown’s recent proclamation that Californians must cut water usage by 25 percent certainly caught the attention of Californians and pundits nationwide. Featuring threats of fines of up to $500 per day, and even restrictions on personal shower habits, Mr. Brown wasted little time getting right to class warfare over our green lawns. Unfortunately, he and the ruling Democratic Party once again took a pass and resorted to draconian rationing measures and heavy-handed fees, while offering no leadership and no real solutions to California’s current water crisis.

While it is true that we are in a drought, the little-known fact outside Sacramento is that our water problems could be substantially eased if the governor and his party chose to demonstrate real leadership on the issue. The current water crisis has presented an opportunity for actual problem-solving, but if the past is prologue, what should we expect? Solutions and leadership, or rhetoric and rationing? History does not paint a hopeful picture.

Since 1970, Democrats have enjoyed virtually uninterrupted control of the State Legislature. At any time, they could have taken action to address our water infrastructure shortcomings and the inevitable droughts that cycle through California. Our State Water Project, passed by Jerry Brown’s father Gov. Pat Brown, was designed to serve a state population of less than half of today’s population. Nearly every year since 1970, Republicans have put forth plans at the state and federal level to create more water storage, better conveyance systems, sound environmental protections, fewer over-burdensome regulations, and the streamlining of frivolous environmental lawsuit delays. Each time, the Democrats in Sacramento have squashed efforts to take substantive action to move toward construction of additional and more reliable water supplies.

In reality, California has less of a water supply problem and more of a water mismanagement problem. This is illustrated by the fact that we allow more than 40 percent of our state’s water to drain out into the Pacific Ocean. The numbers are easy: Our average annual water runoff is at 71 million acre-feet, while our average water use is 42 million acre-feet. The “excess” drains into the Pacific. The California State Water Project is the largest multipurpose, state-built water project in the United States. The system was designed and contracted to deliver 4,200,000 acre-feet, but in an average year, it delivers only 2,300,000 acre-feet because many of the originally planned features were never built.

In addition, simple ideas like increasing our total water storage by building three new dams have been mired in unnecessary environmental legal challenges for years. California voters recently passed the Proposition 1 water bond, which despite promises, will likely never result in actual construction of additional water storage — just more money for pet projects and empty rhetoric from the Democrats in Sacramento.

Innovative technology solutions, like desalination, also represent viable solutions to increase net water supply and reduce dependence on Northern California water sources. Many coastal cities are trying to move forward, but are being faced with the active opposition of Sacramento bureaucrats and unnecessary regulatory burdens. Unfortunately, viable options such as these have no place in the discussion, because they offend the orthodoxy of environmental special interests and the sensibilities of the liberal elites whose campaigns they fund.

Not only are we looking at a drought decades in the making due to political games and favoritism to special interests, the Democrats are now using this crisis to leverage more radical government expansion and overreach through nanny-state declarations, arbitrary fees and rationing. Rather than applauding Jerry Brown for forcing Californians to reduce their shower times, lawn watering and car washing, perhaps we should instead be demanding that the governor turn up the heat on Sacramento Democrats, show some vision for the future generations, consider viable opportunities, and actually utilize the already-available water supply in California.


Comments (3)

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    On one of my back country backpacking trips, I spent several days hiking in the Tuolumne Meadows area of Yosemite. There was a group of eight of us on the trip, including a professor from UC Berkeley, who was a far left and annoying POS. Most of us were in our thirties, four men and four women, all single. The POS was about sixty, and just never stopped blathering about nothing.

    Our first camp was at the base of a magnificent peak, with a crystal clear pond that was the only source of clean water for campers. There was a brown park sign at the edge of the pond that clearly stated in bold white letters, that it was forbidden to enter the water, as it was pumped directly to a spigot for potable water.

    The POS UC Berkeley PhD promptly stripped buck naked and waded into the pond for a swim, hanging his clothes on the very sign that forbade his misconduct. I quickly filled my water bottles before the pipeline could be contaminated with his arse sweat, and then we all watched as he wandered around the campsite with his grey haired jewels hanging halfway down to his knees.

    Complete scumbag know-nothing perverted old hypocrite. If I had known everyone else better, I would have decked him for being such an offensive and selfish jerk. But I was the guest on this trip, and simply made sure I stayed at least half a mile away from that POS for the rest of the trip.

    The majority of Californians are empty headed hypocrites who just want to tell others how to live.

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      I live in a community with a local University and I often find myself in the company of these same people during certain leisure-time pursuits. Since I rarely voice my political opinions in non-political venues most of these guys assume I’m one of them. It’s really enlightening and amazing to witness the level of arrogance and hypocrisy that define their daily lives.

      I’ve concluded that much of this is a result of tenured privilege and isolation from the consequences of their own decrees. Only professors can avoid the real world in this way… unfortunately while indoctrinating young minds at the same time.

      I noticed last year that one professor at our local ski club had the usual array of liberal bumper stickers on his Subaru. One sticker showed the popular Darwin mocking of the Christian fish symbol while another spelled out the words “tolerance” made of world religious symbols, including the crucifix. Another sticker says “diversity” but he has advocated the denial of conservative speakers venues on campus as “incompatible with collective values”.

      He seems to have no idea the contradictions…

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        My truck has my NRA member sticker, and the Gadsden Flag. I never get hassled.

        I wish I could find one of these…


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