The California Drought Crisis Is Everyone’s Fault

It’s Easy to Place the Blame on L.A. and Agriculture, But the State’s Water Deficit Goes Back to the 1950s

The California Drought Crisis Is Everyone’s Fault

My grandfather used to tell the story of traveling from Bakersfield to San Francisco by boat as a boy in about 1910. First up the Tulare Lake, then up the San Joaquin River, and through the Delta. In those days, water in California’s San Joaquin Valley must have seemed inexhaustible.

Then, the lakes were drained and the rivers dammed; the valley floor was plowed and cities grew. Water was used at an ever-increasing rate. More and more wells were drilled and reservoirs built. There would be dry years and wet …

More In: Ideas