WHO’S TO BLAME FOR CALIFORNIA’S DROUGHT?

As noted above, the Governor is trying to move beyond blame and focus on solutions.  However, understanding some of the political context of some of the positioning you will hear is helpful. 

Any local water agency will tell you that the thicket of environmental laws/regulations/mitigations as well as historical water rights and population growth are all combining to exacerbate this current drought. And the fact that no new storage facilities have been built in 30 years, is part of the complexity.

Through conservation measures, per capita water usage is roughly half of what it was a few decades ago so that is why we have been able to have an increase in population in the state without a corresponding increase in storage supply.

Statewide, average water use is roughly 50% environmental, 40% agricultural, and 10% urban (residential/commercial/industrial). However, recently those numbers have been messaged to focus on human usage which drops the environmental water usage from the equation and doubles the other numbers.

The PPIC has a great report on water usage that goes into depth on these numbers. Click here for report.

Click here for a great article that soberly surveys the facts and political landscape of who uses what amount of water.

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