Drought, Climate and Agriculture. Like it or not, Change is coming.

Water is an increasingly precious commodity across the country, and lack of water has become an extremely serious issue in Southern California where a years long drought continues. I ran across this item over at Ag Professional’s website and while brief and far from in depth, it does talk a bit about the problems that are going on and the changes that are starting to take place.  California Drought is a U.S. Problem | Ag Professional

The ongoing drought in California is driving a lot of farmers over there into bankruptcy and causing others serious problems as they scramble to fight with cities and other users over an increasingly scarce resource. During his campaign Donald Trump claimed that there is no real drought in California and the other south western states, and he could bring the water shortage to an end if he was elected. But no, Trump is not going to end the drought by simply claiming it doesn’t exist. Even if the new administration changes or repeals existing water regulations, it doesn’t do you much good when there isn’t any water to begin with, which is the situation southern California and Nevada are facing.

With ground water being pumped out of aquifers at rates so high it’s causing the ground to sink, that wells are drying up wells all over that part of the state, and with surface water already being rationed, simply declaring there is no drought and blaming it on regulations is ridiculous. Sooner or later those aquifers are going to be completely depleted or drawn down so far that it is no longer possible to drill deep enough and build pumping systems powerful enough to deal with it.

Are there things that could be done to improve access to water? Sure. But it would take tens, even hundreds of billions of dollars in new infrastructure, new dams, new aqueducts, new pumping systems, etc. And even then they’d have to steal water from other parts of the country, suck rivers dry and pretty much ruin every river system they tap into in order to do it. From an engineering standpoint it could be done, but economically and politically? No state is going to stand by idly and allow it’s water be siphoned off to irrigate crops, water lawns and golf courses and fill swimming pools in states like California and Nevada.

Could the situation out there be solved some other way? Sure. But it would require change. And people don’t like change. The agricultural industry would have to fundamentally change how it works. Not just changing how they farm, but what they farm. Water intensive crops that require irrigation would have to go. Some types of agriculture, like dairy, would probably have to move elsewhere entirely. Consumers would have to get used to the idea of not having “fresh” produce of certain types available every month of the year. It would require a lot of changes that a lot of people don’t want.

And it isn’t just in California and the other states in the south west. How we use water, how we manage our water resources, is going to have to change. The changes are coming whether people like it or not.

5 thoughts on “Drought, Climate and Agriculture. Like it or not, Change is coming.

    • Listening to Trump’s comments is similar to flipping a coin. Heads one time, tails the next. One day he admits climate change is real and it’s being caused by humans, the next day he claims it’s some kind of conspiracy dreamt up by China… Every time he opens his mouth he contradicts what he said the day before. It’s infuriating, really.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I visited Hoover Dam last summer and was startled at how low Lake Mead was. The water line where the lake used to be is very clear. It’s not propaganda or “fake news”. You can go there and see it for yourself. No one is making it up. We can fairly argue over what causes drought: natural climate change, man made climate change, whatever. But it is happening.

    Part of the issue is the fact that Las Vegas, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and pretty much the entire southwest was a DESERT long before we carbon-pukers came along. When you have millions of people living in a place that gets only a few inches of rain per year and water has to be piped in from hundreds of miles away, you’re asking for trouble.

    The problem isn’t that there’s no water. The problem is they probably should not have tried to turn desert into farmland and major cities in the first place.

    Like

  2. I visited Hoover Dam last summer and was startled at how low Lake Mead was. The water line where the lake used to be is very clear. It’s not propaganda or “fake news”. You can go there and see it for yourself. No one is making it up. We can fairly argue over what causes drought: natural climate change, man made climate change, whatever. But it is happening.

    Part of the issue is the fact that Las Vegas, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and pretty much the entire southwest was a DESERT long before we carbon-pukers came along. When you have millions of people living in a place that gets only a few inches of rain per year and water has to be piped in from hundreds of miles away, you’re asking for trouble.

    The problem isn’t that there’s no water. The problem is they probably should not have tried to turn desert into farmland and major cities in the first place.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s