California’s Water Shortage Was Created by a Lack of Leadership, Not Mother Nature

Our state’s system of reservoirs and canals was at one time designed to provide a reliable water supply for California homes, businesses, and farms for three or more dry years. Just two years ago, following a slightly above average wet winter, that system was at full capacity. Now, almost every single reservoir is currently below 50% capacity*, with several in the 10%-26% percent level, and even the experts are alarmed.

The sad truth is that California has allowed trillions of gallons of precipitation to run into the Pacific Ocean during these last two years. Now, water districts and cities throughout our state are beginning to implement mandatory water rationing measures.

So what happened?

California has failed to adequately prepare and provide the state with a functioning water supply system that can grow with our population. If it were managed properly, California receives enough rain and snow to serve its 40 million residents and 4 million acres of farmland for several years. The problem is inadequate infrastructure and a regulatory system that requires a huge amount of water to run straight to the ocean, so we aren’t able to capture what we need to make it through the dry times.