California set a record for greenhouse gas reductions in 2020, but it means nothing if the state’s economy remains in crisis after an unprecedented decline.
California is now entering the last year of a historic drought. The dry season arrived in January, beginning with the first severe California drought in 17 years. By the time we left the state in October, the water crisis was no more severe than the one that ravaged our state in 2017’s historic 2017 drought.
This year, though, is almost on track to be the worst California has ever experienced. And, as we enter the crucial endgame of the drought, the state faces an uncertain future.
How bad is the drought? According to the state Department of Water Resources, which oversees all things drought-related, between 80,000 and 145,000 Californians are in danger of losing their water. This is a 4,000 to 10,000 fold increase in the water deficit since the state’s most severe drought in 1981.
If a small group of people don’t take action by next July, the state will be in the worst situation for California in a century: a shortage of one trillion gallons of water.
The state’s water management system is so broken, Governor Gavin Newsom said on Monday, that California won’t have the “capacity or the ability to implement any long-term, big-picture climate policies.”
California’s water crisis, and the state’s recent economic collapse, came as a surprise to many but a clear indication of how much things have gone wrong. California’s current crisis is the direct result of decades of disastrous water management decisions on the part of the state’s elected officials. It is also a warning on how hard it is going to be to get California’s politicians to work together to solve the problem.
The state’s water crisis reflects the disastrous combination of policies and poor management that the state has been following for the past 45 years.
In 1965, California voters chose to allow the state to go