FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What about the NASA predictions that California has only a year of water left?
Professor Jay Famiglietti of UCI and NASA predicted that without additional precipitation, California has one year of surface water left, leaving us to rely on ground water, of which he estimated there is enough to last for decades. He leaves out the inescapable presence of the largest body of water in the world, the Pacific Ocean, and the growing technology for finding, saving and reusing water.
Famous and established individuals and groups have been predicting the doom of civilization since civilization began. Some of the most famous ones include Malthus (1798), Jevons (1865), the Club of Rome (1972 ), and assorted government agencies throughout history. They have been proven wrong by the innovators, scientists and inventors who figure out how to solve problems, and the entrepreneurs who figure out how to make the solutions available to all of us.
Don't we live in a desert?
The Climate of San Diego, California is categorized as a Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csa). It enjoys mild, sunny weather throughout the year. http://koeppen-geiger.vu-wien.ac.at/pics/kottek_et_al_2006.gif
Average annual rainfall in San Diego:10.4 inches along the coast, in excess of 40 inches per year in the inland mountains. http://www.sdcwa.org/rainfall#sthash.uT1V1vhV.dpuf
The scientific definition of a desert is a place that has very little vegetation and receives less than 10 inches of rain each year.
Isn't desalinized water expensive?
"Water purchased from the Carlsbad Desalination Project will increase the water bill for the average residential customer by approximately $5/month."
Bob Yamada, San Diego County Water Authority
"When the Carlsbad Plant comes on line it will be more expensive than imported water, but imported water rates continue to rise each year and the water from the Carlsbad plant is a fixed price for 30 years. Very soon desalinated water will be less expensive than imported supplies."
Jessica Jones, Community Outreach Manager, Poseidon Water.
What about the environment?
No "Footprint," No Life
By Keith Lockitch, Ayn Rand Institute
". . .Everything we do to sustain our lives has an impact on nature. Every value we create to advance our well-being — every ounce of food we grow, every structure we build, every iPhone we manufacture — is produced by extracting raw materials and reshaping them to serve our needs. Every good thing in our lives comes from altering nature for our own benefit.
"From the perspective of human life and happiness, a big "environmental footprint" is an enormous positive. This is why people in India and China are striving to increase theirs: to build better roads, more cars and computers, new factories and power plants and hospitals. . . ."
From the same article: "As environmentalism continues to grow in prominence, more and more of us are trying to live a 'greener' lifestyle. But the more 'eco-friendly' you try to become, likely the more you find yourself confused and frustrated by the green message."
A case in point, from Jeannette Warnert of the University of California, 7/13/15:
"While a golden brown lawn is seen as a badge of honor to some residents of drought-stricken California, in fact, they are doing more harm to the environment than good, says UC Agriculture and Natural Resources turf expert Jim Baird."
What about our "historic" drought?
Forbes 7/10/14: California's Low On Water? Time to Fine the Water Resources Board Not Its Citizens
"California is in the midst of one of its many droughts. To combat the current drought, the otherwise do-nothings of the California Water Resources Board are proposing to fine citizens they call 'water hogs' $500 per day. Instead of fining helpless consumers, California’s government should do its job for once and seriously increase water supplies. . . .
"California’s current drought was at its worst in 2013, and continues to this day. It is apparently less well known to the public, the media, and government that California has been subject to considerable droughts over the centuries, lasting up to 20 years in a row. In fact, contrary to the notion that California is suffering more droughts than usual, according to Scott Stine, a professor of geography and environmental studies at Cal State East Bay, as reported in the San Jose Mercury News, 'the past century has been among the wettest of the last 7,000 years.' "
Nature, June 16 1994
Extreme and persistent drought in California and Patagonia during mediaeval time
"Studies from sites around the world have provided evidence for anomalous climate conditions persisting for several hundred years before about AD 1300. Early workers emphasized the temperature increase that marked this period in the British Isles, coining the terms 'Mediaeval Warm Epoch' and 'Little Climatic Optimum', but many sites seem to have experienced equally important hydrological changes. Here I present a study of relict tree stumps rooted in present-day lakes, marshes and streams, which suggests that California's Sierra Nevada experienced extremely severe drought conditions for more than two centuries before ad ~ 1112 and for more than 140 years before ad ~ 1350. During these periods, runoff from the Sierra was significantly lower than during any of the persistent droughts that have occurred in the region over the past 140 years. . . . I suggest that the droughts may have been caused by reorientation of the mid-latitude storm tracks, owing to a general contraction of the circumpolar vortices and/or a change in the position of the vortex waves."
Scott Stine, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, California State University, Hayward, California 94542, USA