Endless Drought

MADERA, CALIFORNIA – MAY 25: In an aerial view, a tractor kicks up dust as it plows a dry field on May 25, 2021 in Madera, California. As California enters an extreme drought emergency, water is starting to become scarce in California’s Central Valley, one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world. Farmers are facing a shortage of water to use on their crops as wells and reservoirs dry up. Some are pulling out water dependent crops, like almonds, or opting to leave acres fallow. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

In Southern California, we have not seen so much as an inch of rain since last February or March. Oh, we get the occasional “dirty drizzle,” which succeeds only in leaving a layer of dust on our windshields as it dries. Today’s headline in the Los Angeles Times reads “Winter Tale: A ‘No Snow’ State.”

You might not associate California with snow, but the snowpack on the Sierra Nevada Range is the main source of irrigation for California agriculture. If that dries up, large parts of the San Joaquin Valley will no longer be able to reach the 12.8% of U.S. agricultural production that it hitherto enjoyed.

We usually think of water as used primarily for drinking and washing, yet 70% of global fresh water resources is used for irrigation. And also for keeping useless front lawns green.

Something is clearly happening that will make California a less desirable place to live. Late night comics are having a field day talking about our year-round wildfires.

I don’t have any idea what is going to happen. It could be that the rains and snows of yesteryear will return. Or, they may not.