We can drought-proof California.

The critical water shortage from which Californians got a welcome respite thanks to a succession of “atmospheric rivers” dousing the state in the winter of ’22-23 (and, to a lesser extent, the winter of 23-24) is reflective of a recurring pattern for the state—a multi-year severe drought with occasional years of ample—even abundant—precipitation. It would be naïve to think this recent relief ends California’s water problems.1 The unlikely possibility that such a drought will not happen again soon won’t come close to solving the state’s water future, for the population of California is expected to reach 60 million by mid-century, about double its 1990 population. Desperate for the water the state water project was unable to provide in most years, farmers continue to drill ever-deeper wells (as deep as 3,500 feet!2), draining aquifers around the state even more dramatically than they have in the past. Even prior to the severe conditions of the past few years, pumping had caused the ground to subside almost thirty feet in some areas of the state. As the ground sinks, the subsurface areas that were once saturated with water become compressed, making recharge of such aquifers nearly impossible, even in good years with plenty of water.

1 https://archive.ph/mbXzg

2 https://archive.ph/20Tv

Click here to read the entire article by Tom Blees

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