California droughting is making a lot of news again.
For example, since 1914, the SWRCB has had the same maximum amount of water to be allocated per year: 370 million acre-feet. (For reference, approximately one acre-foot of water is consumed by two households annually.) But currently, the average annual surface water flow is only 70 million acre-feet, and it will be even less than that if droughts continue to plague the state.
And best of all, here:
THE first rule for staying alive in a desert is not to pour the contents of your water flask into the sand. Yet that, bizarrely, is what the government has encouraged farmers to do in the drought-afflicted south-west. Agriculture accounts for 80% of water consumption in California, for example, but only 2% of economic activity. Farmers flood the land to grow rice, alfalfa and other thirsty crops. By one account, over the years they have paid just 15% of the capital costs of the federal system that delivers much of their irrigation water. If water were priced properly, it is a safe bet that they would waste far less of it, and the effects of California’s drought—its worst in recorded history—would not be so severe.
This is yet another indicator that California, a blue state over the hill and lost in ideonostalgic navel-gazing, overrun by do-gooders and un-realists, will continue to decay. Whether you’re looking at (summary here) governance, political pandering, law enforcement, demographics, taxes and taxes, traffic, economics, ease of doing business, legal restrictions, infrastructure, cost of living, or virtually any other real metric, California’s a shitty place to live and work and better left for visiting.
And on top of it, state subsidies and cartels for water wreck the economy and lead to massive droughts and further water rationing by the idiots responsible for the shortage in the first place. This is what happens when the pointy-heads mess with price signals by enacting subsidies – you end up with market distortions, which is exactly what this drought is symptomatic of.
The problem (or one of them) is that people don’t perceive it as an economic problem or a governance problem – they perceive it as a water shortage problem. It’s another case of politicians being insulated from the effects and consequences of their ignorance and ill-conceived policies.
The only reason to live there is if you absolutely need the network effects or talent pool of population density in specific industries like industries in Tech or Oil or Transportation or Agriculture. It might be worth going to school there in a couple places, as well. If you’re self-sufficient or mobile, there’s no reason to kick yourself in the shins by moving to CA.