A few days with no water and we humans get our priorities straight. We're about to witness what happens when one of the largest farm economies in the world runs out of water. California looks to be headed to its worst drought since agri-business became big business in the Golden State. Unlike global warming this little move by Mother Nature is taking place over weeks, not years or decades. There is some hope for respite. The California rain and snow season usually runs into April. Time for the rain dance because our rain-making tech runs far behind our irrigation tech.
The California Water Resources Department blames global climate change for worsening the state's water situation. The wamer winters mean less snowpack in the Sierra, the state's normal source for much of its fresh water. Rationing is happening, but there is precious little applied tech for recycling or conservation. Hey, greentechies, we can always walk if we run out of gasoline. What are we going to do without water? There is no substitute.
As I've noted before anything nature can do, she will eventually bring forth. It's just a matter of time. Like Londoners with their snow storm, we Americans aren't always so good at planning for the unusual but inevitable. New Orleans. Kentucky's ice storm, etc. etc. The western author Wallace Stegner wisely advised us that the history of the American West is a story of aridity. So we go ahead and put close to fifty million people into Arizona, California and Nevada. Drought? Bring it on, we said. Nature obliges any dare we dare make.
Right now the California snowpack is less than two-thirds of normal anbd that follows a dry 2008 that left all resevoirs lower than usual. A California scientist is now the Secretary of Energy in the U.S. and he's warning that California farming may become impossible due to climate change. I may have to go cold turkey on pistachios.
You may not care a fig about losing Bengladesh as oceans rise, or seeing Greenland become an iceless potato patch. But you're gonna rue the day we lose all those zinfandel vines 'cause they don't seem to thrive anywhere else.
We already know that only a tiny fraction of the earth's water is potable, or even fit for irrigating plants. Yet energy gets our energy and water is sadly taken for granted. Khosla Ventures as a leading VC in greentech, has exactly ONE water recycling firm listed on its website. Kleiner Perkins can trump that, they have exactly ZERO water companies in their greentech portfolio.