How Will California’s Agriculture and Urban Centers Survive Ever-Worsening 500-Year Drought?

Mark C. Anderson/Monterey County Weekly

Mark C. Anderson/Monterey County Weekly

Governor Brown’s approach to ignore moral hazards of an oil-based economy socializing its losses has hit the fan. Corporate-controlled government has landed us in the grips of a 500-year drought.

This crisis was completely avoidable and should have never been allowed to happen. The only way that we can make it through is to pull together and refuse to accept answers from the corporate-politico interests who, by their profiteering, led us to this brink.

This is what we can expect. The contentious political partisans, corrupt agencies, public utilities and government agencies that battle to control water are not going to tell us the truth.

Society is kept from achieving its potential by government favoring corporatism’s lack of transparency. California’s Governor is a case in point by holding clandestine hearings and not disclosing current public comment on the problematic Twin Tunnels boondoggle. Massive water redistribution may not be justified in a future of diminished upstream river flows. Farmers cannot be shortchanged in providing unsustainable green lawns in Los Angeles.

Water wars between Northern and Southern California exemplify the unacceptable premise of answering this crisis with long distance water conveyance.

For California’s agricultural, fishing, recreational industries, ecological resilience, and urban centers to continue, science-based public policy has to balance the water draw of all these sectors necessary for human habitation to continue.

We cannot leave our very survival in the hands of the corrupt corporate duopolist politicos that led us to being vanquished by this drought.

As drought conditions worsen, California is taking the unprecedented step of cutting off water to contractors that serve 25 million people and 750,000 acres of farmland…

The announcement comes after state health officials said 17 communities and water districts are in danger of running out of water within 100 days, including Cloverdale and Healdsburg.

The list is expected to grow.

The snowpack in the Sierra is 12 percent of normal for this time of year, the lowest since the state began keeping snowpack records in 1960. California wildlife officials banned fishing in several rivers to protect salmon and steelhead trout.

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/California-drought-State-s-water-deliveries-to-5194521.php

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/02/01/1274206/-California-Cuts-off-State-Water-to-25-Million-People

The Governor’s remembrance of his earlier era perhaps led him to ask for voluntary water cutbacks. Today’s runaway Climate warming leaves us only one option: agricultural and urban mandatory water restrictions and a complete transformation of how we grow food and how urban stakeholders use water.

We cannot take anything at face value being reported to us by any public official or agency. We have to dig deeper.

We are kept from understanding the consequences of the corporate grip over our lives externalizing its losses for the public to pay for, in lowered quality of life, illness, and shortened life spans. Governmental lack of transparency is complicitous.

For California to continue to be populated without causing millions of us to relocate, quite yet:

An immediate ban must be placed on all existing and potential fracking to save up to 200 billion gallons of potable water. Significant increases must be made of pervious paving coupled to oil-burning vehicles being phased out, to replenish large increases of groundwater recharge areas, accelerated light rail development connecting all urban centers, high traffic arterials and freeways. Work to home commutes must be diminished with incentivizing live-work communities of mixed use adaptive reuse development.

Get yourself off the grid by all means possible.

Xeriscape your lawn with the Public Utility’s buy-your-lawn program, don’t wash anything unnecessarily including cars and recyclables. Turn off the water tap when you are not using it. Collect grey water from the kitchen sink to water plantings. Put a bucket in the shower to collect water while you’re waiting for it to warm up. Cultivate fruit and vegetable gardens in resident and community yards and on roof tops. Install underground cisterns for rainwater capture. Install composting toilets. Install solar panels to generate on-site electricity. Insulate buildings to cut heating and cooling energy consumption by 90%.

Until your local watershed is able to distribute potable water, every water user must filter and treat their own water. Since there is no sewer (black) water with composting toilets, only gray water has to be 100% purified with small, home installations.

Public/private assistance must be made available and provided. Federal assistance has been promised. Will the aid be in the form of FEMA loans? Emergency provisioning, food and water?

Addressing the drought in an all-out effort will help us meet California’s AB 32 2020 Climate Mandate to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels and achieve at least a one-third renewable energy economy.

We are really on our own, there is nothing current lawmakers can do to repair the damage they created.

Expect that a sizable part of the population will need or want to relocate. Departments of Water and Power do not want us to get off the grid. It’s a threat to their present operation, but the process of getting off the grid is one way that Federal assistance can help with providing stakeholders with purchasing assistance and drought refugees with relocation funds.

Centralized water and power utilities long distance distribution infrastructure must transform to decentralized local watershed remediation and replenishment operations distributing water and power over local distances.

Big water and power utilities must empower rural and urban stakeholders to get off the grid to generate their own electricity, recycle their own waste, and capture every drop of water for later use.

Smart, neighborhood community utility grids must receive and compensate excess solar generation from residents.

Our present and past government only looks after itself, representing corrupt, corporate entities. So, we are all fending for ourselves and this is what we must do.

We can expect worsening conditions if we don’t return to the annual average of 15″ of rain. It’s most likely we will not return to normal anytime soon since this is a 500-year drought.

We can expect Big Agribusiness to collapse from being a monoculture. It’s over and many jobs will be lost. Farm workers, truckers and their entire support industries will vanish. 5 billion dollars of economic loss.

U.S. officials are expected in late February to announce they will allot only a fraction of the federally controlled water that farmers want, if any.

http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/Feds-announce-20M-for-California-farmers-5203948.php

We need to immediately develop a hemp-based economy saving several times the water used by cotton crops. We must transform Big agriculture’s unsustainable reliance on monoculture and gmo to permaculture for increasing soil and plant nutrients while reducing water demand. We will seize this opportunity presented by the demise of cattle farming to develop a sustaining vegen diet, light on ourselves and easy on the planet.

We have millions of gallons of water in our watersheds, especially here in the San Fernando Groundwater Basin and the Tujunga Pacoima watershed which is in my district. To the maximum extent possible we need to require LADWP, Counties and State clean up and detoxify groundwater via primary and tertiary treatments. With Aquifer remediation and infusion (treated water replenishment) on a massive scale, the City of Los Angeles would be provided with 10% of its overall water supply. There is not enough groundwater to provide for the 18 million folks in Southern California, let alone Los Angeles County.

Desalination in San Diego County took 4 years from inception, construction to delivery. Desalination is appropriate for regions like San Diego where no natural groundwater basins exist. Los Angeles County needs to see its network of groundwater basins fully revitalized for potable water consumption. Desalination is costlier than groundwater cleanup and its salt byproduct threatens marine life while profiteering at ratepayer expense.

Conservation through greater appliance efficiency, fixing leaky pipes, composting toilets, must significantly reduce water demand.

This drought disaster, contrived from generational legacies of Mulhollands stolen water web of corruption, deceit, exorbitant unjust enrichment, to this day’s out-of-control boss rule, was avoidable had there been forward planning on watershed remediation and conservation.

To answer the Drought calamity, immediate Federal aid and local/county/state matching funds are required to de-toxify almost 200 Superfund and Brownfield cleanup projects in California, with an end goal of potable use of watersheds within 3 years. Ecosystems, farmers and urban consumers are helped.

Initially people will try to stay, but eventually, under worsening Drought and political posturing, they will leave. Restrictions such as no vegetables or fruits, rationed water, no beer or wine, toilet flushing once a day are too much to take.

California supplies 2/3 of the country’s produce. With significant crop planting cutbacks announced, this has now become a national emergency. FEMA’s mission is not to provide the transformation society requires to survive. FEMA provides only short term provisioning. So organizing to elect representation in this crisis and organizing our personal lives to get off the grid holds the utmost priority.

AtlanticCities.com is reporting that the situation is grave for farming, ranching and wildfires:

5 percent. [now 12%]

That’s the percentage of requested water the California State Water Project (SWP), the largest man-made distribution system in the U.S., expects to deliver in 2014. The SWP supplies water to two-thirds of the state’s 38 million residents and 750,000 acres of farmland.

Ending one of its driest years in recorded history for the second year in a row, California, an agricultural and technological powerhouse, faces extreme drought conditions in 2014 unless winter storms materialize between now and April, according to the U.S. National Weather Service.

That means farmers will receive a fraction of the water they need for spring planting, likely triggering spikes in food price as agricultural land goes fallow. “The San Joaquin Valley is facing the prospect of a record low water allocation, an historic low point in water supply reliability, and yet another year of severe economic hardship,” the Westlands Water District, which supplies water to 600,000 acres in California’s bread basket, said in a statement. The potential cost to the regional economy? More than $1 billion.

With the state already a tinderbox, a dry 2014 raises the likelihood of more catastrophic wildfires like August’s Rim Fire, which devastated parts of Yosemite National Park and ranked as one of the largest in California history.

Had candidates holding Green Values been elected over the past generations, our behavior as a society would have avoided being so profoundly susceptible to Extreme Weather. We may have even stopped climate change from going runaway, out-of-control. Instead, the electeds belong to a political class, removed from the interests of the public. Many in office have been exploiting the population for their own purposes and unjust enrichment.

This crisis is only beginning. This is what we as a people need to know now.

Left to the corrupt corporate makeup of California’s Legislature, most, if not all of this adaptation and revitalization response to the present and worsening extreme climate drought will not occur. Federal FEMA authorities are well provisioned to intern entire urban centers.

Once elected to the State Senate, Our staff and my presence in Sacramento will ensure a humanitarian response of Green values to take place, rather than the standard Diocletian, corporate profiteering version creating the problem, providing their reaction, enforcing their ‘solution.’

We must stand for ourselves, the 99% and elect me as your voice of humanity amongst a sea of vipers. We will put in science-based, moral-based, not reactive evidence-based, public policy in the Public Interest for the Common Good, restoring the Commons. You will be my back and your supportive, small donations are critical to overwhelmingly win this last opportunity to free the prisoners and free ourselves.

I’m Jack Lindblad, your candidate running for California’s 18th Senate District seat here in the San Fernando Valley.

Jack Lindblad

Republished from Talking Points Memo with the author’s permission.

Published by the LA Progressive on February 7, 2014
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About Jack Lindblad

Jack Lindblad is an Architect/Urban Planner/Community Organizer/Party County Councilmember/Arleta and Panorama City Neighborhood Council Boardmember. He has a masters degree in Architecture, Texas A & M University with an Outpatient Healthcare Facility thesis. He is a member of the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley Livable Communities Council. Coro Neighborhood Leadership Development Program Graduate 2003.