Cape Town, South Africa- TEOTWAWKI, by Greg

It was a sunny Friday afternoon with a still wind when the end of the world as we know it happened. No, there was no nuclear explosion overhead, no EMP, no invasion from Russia, and no alien landing.

A Disaster in the Making

Mother nature provided the scene for this disaster. Cape Town South Africa is a place of beauty and home to one of the seven natural wonders of the world– the cape floral kingdom. It’s known as a peaceful holiday town and popular venue for film stars and the rich and famous alike. Who would have suspected that there was a disaster in the making?

A Unique Climate Zone

The Western Cape of South Africa is in a unique climatic zone. we receive winter rainfall similar to the Mediterranean countries. Rainfall is abundant in the winter, and lakes and dams are full by spring. Water supply is always plentiful, and summers are spent enjoying various water sports and barbecues over the weekend.

Disaster Strikes

During the winter of 2016, El Niño built in the southern oceans, rainfall was a little less than normal, and dam levels dropped to uncomfortable levels. Nobody paid attention to this, and the political situation in South Africa continued its steady decline into a banana republic. At that time, Cape Town, with its provincial government being the only honest well-run local government, was doing a good job of maintaining services, keeping business going, and stimulating job creation.

All the things Cape Town was doing were good in a normal working economy. Unfortunately, South Africa is not a normal economy. The rampant corruption, with the State capture and looting of the fiscus, had led to most provinces being bankrupt and services falling apart.

Hordes of People

Hordes of unemployed people streamed into the province from other areas settling in informal housing and creating shanty towns. These desperados were hoping that the striving local economy might offer them work and a way out of their poverty stricken existence. The local government tried to keep pace with the influx of humanity and demands on water and housing at unprecedented rates.

Water Restrictions for People Who Pay For It

By the winter of 2017, El Niño had built for the second year in a row, rainfall was again below normal, and dam levels dropped to critical levels. According to the constitution, basic services have to be supplied to the people, so government laid on more water supplies to the informal settlements where there was no metering or payment for the water. Taps ran 24/7 with nobody caring for the resource, as is typical if you don’t pay for it. Water had no value to them. Then, government instituted water restrictions to the people who actually paid for their water. Restrictions were 200 liters per person per day!

People Pulled Together

The people pulled together. They had the idea, we can do this. We’ll cut back on our leisurely baths, stop watering the lawn, only flush the loo when it’s a number two. No problem.

By the End of 2017

The rain stayed away. By the end of 2017, restrictions were up to only 50 liters per person per day. You couldn’t wash clothes or flush toilets. We were storing drinking water in 25- liter drums. Every second day you’d take an “Army shower”, which is a 10 second use of water, close the faucet, soap up, 20 seconds of water to rinse, all while standing over a bucket to catch the waste water. You then use the waste water to flush the toilet. Still, the taps in the informal settlements ran 24/7 and people streamed in from the economically bankrupt other provinces.

The government instituted water shedding. What this meant was that they shut the water off to an area for half the day every day. It sounds good in theory, but the aging, unmaintained reticulation system cannot handle the repeated water hammering when the water is switched back on. So, the pipes began to burst all over town. The sewerage system was blocking up as it was designed to float the waste away but with the reduced water flow stoppages were happening all over.

Summer of 2018

Summer of 2018 set in, and it was a scorcher of a summer. Temperatures soared into the 100-degree region. Swimming pools suffered. Evaporation dropped the levels. Once below the filter level, we had no option but to shut them down and allow nature to turn the once beautiful blue water into back-country swamps.

Summer wore on, and more and more restrictions were applied. The taps in the informal settlements still ran 24/7, and more people poured into the province. Astronomical fees were levied on water usage, and those who exceeded the meager allowances were fined and had limiting devices fitted to their water supply.

Lack of Sanitary Conditions, Disease

Hospitals could not maintain sanitary conditions, and diseases started to pop up. Mosquitoes loved the stagnant swimming pools and only the southern location of the Cape stopped a malarial outbreak.

Water Levels Critical, Fighting Over Water

Water levels were critical at this point. The dams were so empty that the water left in them could not be used, as it was basically mud. The government instituted an emergency plan where we would have to queue up (line up) to get 25 liter of water a day. The logistics were a nightmare, as the water had to be trucked in from other areas. Costs were huge, and people began fighting over water.

The trial runs of the emergency water supply system were a total failure, and government fast tracks drilling into the sub terrarium supply. This kept the taps flowing at reduced levels for the time being.

Entrepreneurs Selling Water

Entrepreneurs began driving into the mountains and filling 1000-litre tanks on their SUV’s, then driving back and selling the water. The government banned this practice and drove the illegal water trade underground. People were paying up to a quarter of their monthly wages to get a tank of water. Those with boreholes began selling their water from their houses, until they also dried up.

Wildlife Died Off

The water table had dropped to alarmingly low levels and surface dams were drying up. The wildlife that depended on the surface water died off, but human survival is more important, so this was ignored.

Tourism Took a Beating

Tourism took a beating. Nobody wants to come to a place where you can’t shower or swim in a decent pool, especially since the temperatures stay in the 100’s.

Protests Began Turning Violent

Crime started to soar. The influx of people from other areas had created a massive unemployment problem, and the service delivery from the government continued to be unable to keep up. At that point, protests began turning violent and hospitals clinics and schools were being burned down on a weekly basis.

National Government Denied Local Government’s Request for Military Intervention

The state called on the military to intervene. However, the national government, who are more interested in maintaining a majority vote, denied the local government’s request.

Day Zero

The emergency salt water reverse osmosis plants had not yet been built and a new term was coined– “Day Zero”. This is the day when the last drop of water is exhausted from the system and the local government can do nothing about it.

30 Days Until Day Zero

At 30 days until day zero, shops were no longer providing public toilets. Companies had shut down their water lines and provided employees with had sanitizer instead of water for hygiene purposes.

At 20 days until day zero, bottled water was being shipped in from other parts of the country and was being sold at exorbitant prices. Mini riots broke out at shops that got stock in, and people were injured in the fighting.

Informal Settlements Still Ran Water Day and Night

The taps in the informal settlements still ran day and night. The local government was too scared of the mass protests that would follow if they shut this supply down, so only the paying, law-abiding citizens had their water rations cut even more.

Anarchy Started to Break Out

Anarchy started to break out. People were taking off from work to go queue up for water. Some were breaking into the supply lines with pick axes to fill up a few containers and then ran off before the police could arrive. The broken pipes drained more of the precious water away.

At 15 days until day zero, the strong Southeast wind that had blown throughout summer and deep into autumn suddenly stopped. For two days, there was a still wind, and then ever so gently the wind started to turn and came in from the north west. Old folk knew what this meant, and they all held their breath as the weather forecast showed rain.

A Storm Came Blowing Off of the Sea!

Mother nature let loose. A storm not seen for three years came blowing off of the sea! Within three days, the level of the dams started to rise. After another week, levels reached the 20% mark. Cape Town took a deep breath and prayed for more of the same.

Winter 2018

The rains came regularly and hard during the winter of 2018. Dam levels rose. Within the short rainy season, dam levels were up to 75% full. Restrictions were eased off a bit, but they were still tight. However, the taps in the informal settlements still flowed 24/7, and more people continued to pour into the area.

The World Ended– Make Plans

The world as we know it definitely ended. God’s grace saved us from becoming total savages, but just remember that we did nothing to prevent the disaster. It was only by luck and grace that we survived. Make plans, good plans, and do it now. Do not let “luck” be the deciding factor in your survival!

America Faces Similar Influx of Unemployed People

This is a true reflection of the situation in Cape Town over the past few years. It may not be “politically correct”, as we are supposed to welcome all of the previously disadvantaged people into our areas and provide them with services and housing, even when they do not pay for them and do not buy into the saving plans that are put into place. America faces a similar influx of unemployed people. Your humanity will force you to share your resources with them to the detriment of your own people. May God keep the rains falling and keep you all safe.

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  1. This is a interesting article. I do question the framing a bit, however. To start, notice how the “golden horde” is coming from the country to the city? This is completely different for the America version of leaving the city for the county.

    Second, from what I have seen about Cape Town, the largest problem is government and industry’s ability to deal with the rate of change. Meaning, failing to expand and further development infrastructure at a rate that is compatible with the influx of population growth to the urban center.

    This same style of rhetoric happens along the Ogallala in which every time there is a drought, stories begin to come out about climate change, drought, potential famine, violence and unrest. However, what is failed to be mentioned is that state law makers are ignoring the amount of sediment that filled up reservoirs from the time they were constructed to today. Also, the rate of use is completely different with increase demands of supply. This means that there is no political will to allow funds to dredge reservoirs to their original capacities, much less expand the volume.

    Africa has been, and is still currently being used as a story for what is called an “anticipatory regime”. Meaning that dystopian stories come out of Africa and are used in the west to say “see what happens to people who are not developed like us? Violence everywhere!” And it is through such stories that the political and military strategic positions are completely disregarded and hidden from the discussion.

    Together, I am sure Cape Town’s situation is complex, but what is happening there is not really any indication of what is happening in America. Nor should Cape Town’s failed infrastructure development be used to describe potential speculation of what happens in the US.

    I take this perspective because I am survivalist. And, that means it is my responsibility to see through the stories and falsehoods so that I can reduce panic and focus on my ability to survive. Cape Town, from my perspective, is nothing more than government and industry failing to plan ahead and in doing so, there are all sorts of political moves that will pit people against each other so that people become distracted from political corruption.

    1. Unfortunately, your focus is too small. The author correctly identifies the US as the city and the third world as the country.

      The rate of change cannot be accounted for if the population growth does not include a proportional growth of economic output. What you purport is that not only the productive part of the population must pay dearly for the water for their own consumption but for the profligate consumption of those that do not produce as well. They then must also be taxed to provide new dams, aqueducts and sewers for the growing unproductive masses as well. In reality, this is the economic version of the parasites killing the host. Here in the NE, we are seeing moose die from tick infestations so huge that the moose are literally sucked dry.

      This has nothing to do with the governments failing to plan ahead, but everything to do with failing to protect it’s citizens from invaders due to an agenda that those citizens are forced to endure. Perhaps a border wall or fence might have prevented this disaster.

      This is the perfect metaphor for socialism. The only reason that the US is not a third world country (yet) is that because we host the world’s reserve currency and borrow to spend what we do not have to pay for the largess consumed by the parasites. The day that the borrowing stops, the parasites will have killed the host once again.

      To quote Margaret Thatcher: “The problem with Socialism is that eventually, you run out of other people’s money” Truer words were never spoken.

      1. @ Doc, “The author correctly identifies the US as the city and the third world as the country. ” What?

        We may differ in understanding of geography. The US is not a city and operates very differently from the city of Cape Town, South Africa.

        I did not purport that the productive part of society pays for anything.

        However, your focus here did make me wonder if you think that the Homestead act was socialism, or the new deal and infrastructure development was socialism? Was the US influence in other nations during the Cold War through dam development socialism? What do you think the governments job is? Is government subsidies of agriculture socialism?

        1. “if you think that the Homestead act was socialism,” NO.

          “or the new deal and infrastructure development was socialism?” YES, of course.

          “Was the US influence in other nations during the Cold War through dam development socialism?” YES, of course.

          “What do you think the governments job is?”
          Provide for a common defense. Provide for a common currency of known and stable value. Provide for dispute settlement among the states. Promote free trade among the states. There is more, but to provide for a free lunch, to provide for other nations governmental failures, that would, by definition, be Socialism.

          Is government subsidies of agriculture socialism? YES, of course. If we actually had a free market, the subsidies would not be necessary. Look who actually benefits from those farm subsidies, note, it’s not the small family farm. The primary beneficiaries are the large corporate farmers. If the free market actually reigned, there would be more family farms and fewer corporate mega farms.

          1. Great reply!

            So, to be clear, the Homestead act, in which government gave land to people so they (the gov) could grow an agrarian society (empire building 101) is not socialism, but other types of infrastructure development that is built to support markets IS socialism. Correct?

            Also, you say the role of government is to provide common defense. What does that look like? Meaning, what are they defending and who are they defending in for?

            I do agree with you on subsidies. Corporate welfare, basically.

          2. Yes, Muddy, the Homestead Act at its root was socialism. But so what? Building hospitals and interstates was too. They provided access to markets, and expanded economic reach and opportunity. Hospitals provided a means for the masses to reach general medical care.

            The author provided a pretty good recap of the water crisis in SA. Selective enforcement of laws puts the republic in jeopardy. Resources were squandered on a national scale, and doom was in sight, but mercy saved their corrupt, broken society. It’s not kind to say, but massive overpopulation and rampant corruption make me wonder if it wouldn’t have been better if the rains never came. There is not much left of SA worth saving.

            Anyhow, the idea of wholesale importation of useless mouths, selective enforcement of laws such as the ridiculous attacks on law abiding citizens rights, and NO plan for removing criminals access to the same leaves many citizens wondering when the law no longer constrains human desires.

            Forget the authors personal thoughts on the subject and read an article about a once thriving society that has fallen in the past 30 years into a morass of despair that hovers permanently within two years of complete collapse and couldn’t apparently care less how close to the brink they really are.

            I think it sounds sadly familiar.

          3. No the Homestead Act was not socialism. The requirement to attain full ownership of the land was improvement at the prospective owner’s expense. The fedgov did not give the land away. The homesteader had to build, from raw land, a functioning homestead, house, barns, clear the land, plant crops, raise livestock, etc. The land may have been a grant, but the success or failure was purely depended on the homesteader. It depended on the homesteaders labor, his drive, his ambition and his abilities. And there was a time limit to get the job done. As many failed as succeeded. Many died in the process. So, no, this was not socialism

          4. “other types of infrastructure development that is built to support markets IS socialism. Correct?” Correct. Infrastructure should be developed by private enterprise, based on the needs of the market place. Build on need rather than build an hope the need will fill in after the fact. The Founders assumed that if there was a need for a canal, or a road, an individual would fill in the void, the market would decide, period.

            “Also, you say the role of government is to provide common defense. What does that look like? Meaning, what are they defending and who are they defending in for?”

            The Founders, based on the actual language of the Constitution, clearly spelled out what “providing for the common defense” would look like. What they were defending was the States, who they were defending for was the States and We the People, the citizens of the States. Of course, that’s not what is happening today. Today it’s for the defense of everybody but us. That would start with the Military/Industrial/Congressional Complex.

            I give as an example of FedGov failure, the defense of Israel and Saudi Arabia. Like most on this site I stand with Israel. Israel has every right and every moral obligation to defend the citizens of Israel. The same applies to Saudi Arabia. However, not on OUR dime, not on money taken from us by shear force. We are so busy defending other nations, we don’t defend ourselves.

            There shouldn’t be 5000 troops on our border with Mexico, there should be 50,000. If Trump actually wants to close the border with Mexico, and I believe he should, it will take at least 50,000 if not 150,000, with all the military hardware to back that up. He can’t do that because there are 30,000 in South Korea and another 50 or 60 thousand in Europe. After almost 18 years we still have troops in Afghanistan, and after 16 years we still have troops in Iraq, we have troops in Yemen, Somalia, the Sudans, Libya, Syria, and the list goes on and on and on. There are something like 800 US military facilities in something like 130 countries around the world. Is that even sane?

            The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were never about 911. They were about containing Iran. The current war in Iraq and Syria are not about containing ISIS, it’s about containing Iran and protecting Israel and Saudi Arabia. If Iran is ever actually contained, who is going to keep Israel and Saudi Arabia from going to war on each other? We will. Our young men and women will be dying, again, not for us, but for them.

            We haven’t won a war since World War II. Why is that? First and foremost, they were unjust wars. We were never threatened by any of the countries we have made war against in the last 73 years. We are not threatened by any of the countries we are making war against today.

            John Adams said, “we do not go abroad seeking dragons to slay” (or something to that effect). And yet, now, we do. Thomas Jefferson said, “Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.” And yet, now, we have entangling alliances with most of the world. Are you willing to go to war, or to send your children to war, with Russia or China, because of an entangling alliance with Montenegro? Really?

    2. The comments about the horde coming in from the countryside ring true. That is the way it works during a depression or major resource crisis. Modern history is full of proof that jobs drying up DO NOT mean that people will flee from the city to the countryside. If things are bad in the city, it will be even worse in rural locations unless there is heavy farming in the area and much of that is now automated. People tend to migrate to population centers to look for work. Based on what I’ve seen in historical records about mass migration during the later half of the 1800’s and 1900’s I’m of the opinion that only in a total or near-total financial collapse or famine would people begin to flee cities. Given that international aid efforts are concentrated in urban areas it’s even more incentive for people to remain in population centers.

  2. I have to disagree with Muddy Kid on some points. I live in rural Ca. and I have witnessed the water shortages that occur here for many years. Not quite as severe water rationing, but water rationing all the same. It has only been alleviated due to rain also. Yes the government has been quite remiss in new water storage, partly due to stupid spending on things such as the “Bullet Train” which will only travel less than 1/2 of it’s journey at elevated speeds and require huge public financial subsidies per passenger mile, They forgot to mention that little fact along with the cost overruns that are going up geometrically. The second big problem is the ecologist stopping or delaying water storage projects , they are actually trying to get the dams removed from the Hetch Hechy water storage project. But could this problem ever be resolved? I think not with the lack of desire to curtail population growth. There will never be enough water if a prolonged drought occurs, and absolutely no way to fix this problem. Inadequate rain fall, let a couple of billions of water run to the sea so 6 salmon can make their way upstream. Just wait until 29 million Southern Californians run out of drinking water, or even worse cannot wash their cars.

    1. Joe, excellent reply. You are clearly thinking about the situation in CA, and you are showing the complexity of the situation.

      In your reply, it is not clear how you are in disagreement with me. Governments seem to enjoy “legislating by crisis.” I understand this and which you seem to agree, that there is no political will in CA to plan ahead for potential drought by providing funding and waterworks programs now. Rather, they want to wait until there is a crisis.

      As far as Southern CA, I have read two different stories about that region I find interesting. One: Climate change is causing the water issues in that part of the world. Two: Southern CA is historically dry, but in the past 100 to 150 years, the region has seen huge amounts of rain fail. On a longer time scale, large amounts of rain fail is not normal in that region. Or is it? It always seems that there is some sort of debate.

      Great reply, Joe!

      1. California experiences a cyclical rain cycle that is 20 years of declining rain followed by 20 years of increasing rain and this has been going on for centuries. It isn’t new BUT you have to be around for 40 plus years to see the cycle and realize it isn’t new. As sure as we hear Californians moaning about the lack of rain in a few years we will hear them complaining about too much rain. THAT too is part of the cycle

      2. Muddykid: One comment: IMHO, to ascribe Climate Change as an absolute fact (with or without the inference on ‘man made’) sounds like “parroting” to those of us that know anything about climate history, geology, solar activity, etc. CLIMATE changes thru-out history! Always has, Always will! There are a myriad things that affect climate change (besides man made CO2 emissions, which have been higher before man existed, like during prehistoric periods), the sun, the moon, resource management, resource mismanagement, volcanic activity, etc; it’s all cyclical. See Anon, & others below. When I hear people use the term ‘climate change’ without attribution of history or science, it reminds me of ‘sheeple’ who were the targets of Edward Bernays, or others who sought to effect an agenda. IT’S WEATHER, IT CHANGES!

        1. Seymour Liberty, I did not ascribe to man-made climate change as an absolute fact. Your reference to Bernays is interesting, though. Keep in mind this is the comment section. My reply was already too long. I can not, within reason, cite every single concept of atmospheric science AND human history in the comment section.

          1. I appreciate the feedback about the Bernays reference.

            Re: your reply- “Seymour Liberty, I did not ascribe to man-made climate change as an absolute fact.”
            Your Previous reply – “One: Climate change is causing the water issues in that
            part of the world”. (California)

            I’m sorry if I misunderstood your meaning. I was just going by what you wrote…

  3. The story perspective is from one being there not stateside, true.
    The eerie similarity in a 24/7 “free to all” ~
    but those able to pay
    is social redistribution. And, whether in the name of charity or fear, is still “social” planning/ engineering by those outside the financial and physical discomfort.

  4. Many years ago I read a scientific article which hypothesized the US Southwest was historically a desert, and only perhaps in the last 300-500 years did it experience the rainfall that we think of in the 20th century. The article suggested the jetstream might shift and stay more to the North on the US West coast, resulting in reduced precipitation in Central and Southern California, and even East to Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah.

    The implication was a long-term aridification of the US Southwest back to desert-like conditions. If true, it has huge implications for the significant population centers such as greater Los Angeles, Phoenix, and more. Moreover, it has huge implications for food production coming from central California.

    1. What you are referring to is the natural cycles for the last 12,000 years known as the Milankovitch cycles. This alternates the earths weather in long but uneven cycles creating deserts and then returning the deserts to blooming with increased rain and cooler temperatures. There is no part of the earth that is stuck in some weather related mode forever BUT most of the earth stays in it’s “current” weather pattern for longer than a human life cycle so we don’t notice the change except by looking at evidence of it, such as the ice age etc.

  5. Note the comment about the usage of unmetered water. Now, recall that in oh-so-modern New York City, water for the residents was unmetered until the 1950s or 1960s; I disremember. As the population grew, the demand on the water supply became overly strained. Contributory was the age of pipelines.

    My point is that there are people who do not, cannot, will not take part in any program of self-rationing of a scarce resource. My personal opinion is that southern California has an increasing number of such people.

    1. Queens did not get water meters installed until the 1990’s. In 30 years, I never once exceeded the minimum charge. This was, in reality, theft since I was paying a much higher cost than if I was paying an HONEST per cubic foot rate every billing cycle. ‘Disenfranchised’ people did not have to pay the water bill or the sewer tax. Sounds just like Cape Town!

      Thankfully, I am now out of that cesspool and in a VERY rural area.

    2. Chicago still has a majority of unmetered water use. I know people that have moved because of high water bills(fairly high water useage rates but not extreme),when you observe their habits you note the wasteful actions(open tap and walk away and let it run,multiple flushes even when toilet is cleared etc),if you mention the cause of the high bills they mostly get defensive. Most need to go thirsty for a while.

  6. Interestingly, the county of Los Angeles promotes rain water collection, even so far as to give rain barrels away.

    Yes, Southern California is a desert, water is a problem. Will always will be. There are things being done, a reverse osmosis plant being built in Huntington Beach. Reclaimed water injected back in to the aquifer. It is not going to be enough.

  7. The elephant in the room here is the racial system in S Africa. Blacks form the government but whites still control the wealth producing an uneasy coalition. Up for debate now in government is seizing white farms with no compensation to redress colonial wrongs. This will cost many lives.
    In the US liberals push diversity, but diversity is racism against Caucasians.

  8. re:
    Dams and reservoirs

    Many dams and reservoirs in fUSA are in mountains or at the base of mountains. De-deforestation causes silt in rushing streams and rivers. Then that water is slowed by the dam, going from high-speed in high-angle mountains to low-speed horizontal in the reservoirs.

    The silt settles onto the floor of the reservoir. The ‘silting load’ fills the reservoir bottom, reducing the fluid capacity.

    Looking at a dam from downstream, you might presume the reservoir can hold enormous amounts of water. This was true during the dam’s early years; later years’ capacity was reduced by silting.

    Near Sacramento, the reservoir upstream of Folsom Dam was designed to protect mid-California from floods. Although created with good intentions, the original river-bed is so silted, the reservoir can be walked across during the dry season… at nearly the height of the concrete structure of the dam.

    Downstream of the dam == and before building the dam across the canyon in the 1950s == the canyon walls are near-vertical, a technical climb requiring specialized equipment and skills.

    Upstream, in 1998 and later dry years, you can casually stroll Folsom reservoir shore-to-shore. Can we extrapolate similar results from any dam and any reservoir?

    Relying on old dams to collect water and protect from floods? ‘Normalcy Bias’?

  9. Remember the CCC? civilian conservation corps. I’d like to see it come back. We have the rainfall and the areas to dig for water storage. We lament the lack of rian and the dams on the rivers yet we have plenty of water running into the sea.

    The dams on the rivers in California need to go. They are a cheap way of storing water primarily for agriculture at a cost to the fisheries. Those six salmon used to be six million.
    I know I’ll take flack on this but way to much of that water is being used to grow foo-foo foods.

    Almond groves are a multi billion dollar industry in California. The majority of which has been exported to China. I’m not sure what the tariffs are doing to that crop but if it is anything like soybeans the farmers are taking a big hit. Dig the reservoirs if we need this industry. Let the farmers who are profiting pay for it or re-establish the CCC and tax the growers for their water use. Like almond milk? 30 almonds to make a quart. 5 gallons to make a single almond.

    The article mentioned the summer rains in Cape Town, summer there is winter here. As I write this it is thankfully raining. So far this fall we’ve received 20% of our normal precipitation. Another El Nino year is looking to be in our immediate future. We really need to re-think water management, aquifers that took many thousands of years to fill are being pumped dry. they don’t need to be.

    1. Yes Sir (or mam as the case may be), I remember the CCC. A federal make work program made necessary by federal interventions that made the Great Depression 10 times worse than what it should have been. Had they taken note of the Depression of 1920-21 they could have learned something useful. The interventions of 1929 to 1947 only made matters far worse than what they would have been had they done nothing at all. That was the lesson of 20-21. Ignorance is a common trait among bureaucrats.

      So no, I’m not in favor of re-instituting the CCC. Let the free market create solutions for California’s problems. Then the government of California needs to get out of the way. They have created most of these problems by their interventions in the first place.

    2. The salmon issue is not that simple. Much of the salmon Is eaten by seals which are protected. A lot of the salmon from American rivers are harvested by China, Korea and Russia. The environmentalist have shut down numerous salmon hatcheries which adequately compensated for the dams. The reason to shut down the hatcheries was to make the dams untenable.

      Water may indeed be too cheap for the farmers in California. There is much that they could do to improve their irrigation methods and conserve water. But it should be done in a way that is fair and allows them time to adjust. No one wants to put the farmers out of business.

      1. You have just made my case. Government interventions turning relatively small problems into giant catastrophes. These “naturally” require further government intervention, causing further catastrophes, causing the need for further government intervention.

        The farmers, usually large corporate farmers, do have responsibility to use their resources wisely. Since they don’t the government has to intervene again, causing the need for further interventions……. And it goes on, forever and ever, Amen.

        The “environmentalists” bribe the government to intervene and on and on it goes, forever and ever, Amen. These are not government problems requirement interventions. The government interventions ARE THE PROBLEM.

  10. It’s stunning the cost of water depending where you live.
    My sister has a well that has functioned well for 5 decades.
    My brother has all the landscaping water he needs during the summer at a cost of $60 bucks. His drinking water is on a different system but still cheap.

    But my friend in California had a water bill of 2 months at $280 bucks. That did not include landscaping.

    Our water bill is between $40-$75 depending on season. But that is all water/ home and landscaping/ garden.
    It’s high is $2.50 per day for all the water we use.

    We live in a blessed nation.

    1. Australia has it’s own water shortages, it’s also exascerbated by the vast cotton growing farms in the Murray / Darling river system, these inland rivers are the lifeblood on the vast dry interior, yet cotton is draining millions of mega litres from these rivers yearly, who owns the cotton farms ? why, that billionare Kerry Packer and others, where does the cotton go ? to China to be made into clothing that is sold to the plebs, sustainable water use it is not, combine that with the change in weather patterns and you have a waiting disaster of epic proportions, departmental stupidity abounds down here.

  11. Thank goodness the golf courses get all the water they need, because THAT is important. Coming to the West from Texas originally I saw drought in most summers, resulting in water restrictions on landscape watering and car washing for homeowners – but corporate complexes and golf courses were using water copiously overnight when they thought no one would notice. It’s still a common practice in the D/FW area. Millions of people surrounded by reservoirs that can’t hope to keep pace with population growth yet the golfers have a green oasis. Don’t even get me started on the unsustainability of cities like Las Vegas that have no source of water to support their populations.

  12. High quality comments here. I have always been amazed that we haven’t utilized the “silting up” of the dam’s all over the world to increase the fertility of the nearby farms that use the water from these watersheds. The Nile river has (until the Aswan Dams) flooded since time immemorial and deposited small but critical amounts of silt over the farm lands. This allowed Egypt to maintain a stable (sort of) population for thousands of years. In the book “Farmers of 40 centuries” they describe farmers in China “mining” the canals for settled silt and muck that contains almost all the nutrients that the local farms need. If we made a “turbulator” that would move about on the floor of the reservoir like a pool sweep and vacuum up diluted sediment we could pipe it to area fields where it could do a lot of good and eventually deepen the reservoir again. With crowd sourcing of the engineering I’m sure we could come up with designs that would work.

  13. Most interesting article and one we should pay attention to. With the hoards heading for our boarders, one only needs to remove water and add a blank! Who is going to feed, house, educate, support, hire, etc., the millions who want to come here from their failed countries.

    If they were worth having, they would stay and try to improve their own countries! Can’t wait until the urban left experiences the full impact of millions of young men with no future, who do not share our values toward women etc. When they do, our narcissistic left will take a hard right and make Uncle Adolf look like a nice guy. Already happening in parts of the EU.

    The time to flee the cities was yesterday!

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