California still mismanaging water resources

Steven Greenhut:
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But as this series will show, California’s drought is largely a man-made crisis. It is caused by a series of policies—some from the past, many ongoing—which has prioritized environmental demands above the basic provision of water resources to the public. More than half of the state’s water resources simply flow out the San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean.

Even now, in the Sierra foothills, state officials empty reservoirs to protect “unimpeded” river flows to benefit small numbers of non-endangered hatchery fish. The California Coastal Commission, the powerful agency with control of development along the shoreline, is holding up a privately planned desalination plant over concerns about its impact on plankton. The environment-friendly commission want to force the developers to build a pumping system that destroys the economics of the plant.

Meanwhile, slow-growth activists see opportunity in the drought. Their goal is to stop new developments despite California’s growing population, so a lack of water is a useful tool in their arsenal. A state law forces developers to prove sufficient water resources for decades into the future—before being able to get a permit to build developments. This slow-growth lobby sees no reason to come up with water-storage solutions.

Even the federal government is in on the action. In the far northern part of the state, along the Klamath River, federal environment officials want to remove four dams that provide water storage near the Oregon border. Their goal is to help preserve the habitat of non-native salmon. The “destroy the dams” movement had gained so much steam in recent years that San Franciscanswere asked in a 2012 advisory vote to destroy the O’Shaughnessy dam in Yosemite National Park and drain the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir—the main source of water for the state’s third-largest city. Even that city’s notoriously lefty voters said “no” to shutting their main water spigot.
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There is much more.

Carly Fiorina has been taking heat from Big Green for pointing out the mismanagement of resources as the primary cause of the water shortage.   But, she is right about the mess caused by the environmentalist.  Another aspect of the slow growth model imposed on Californians is the high cost of housing.  By restricting the supply they have caused rental rates to the point where they are unaffordable for the poor and even the middle class.  Apartment rentals are around $3,500 a month in the San Francisco Bay area and some places are literally renting out bunk beds in units for as much as $1,800 a month.

No wonder so many Californians are moving to Texas.

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