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Californians can now be fined for long showers!

Californians can now be fined for long showers!

California’s crops are also being blamed for our water woes.

I reported that California Governor Jerry Brown unveiled the state’s first water restrictions in response to the “mega-drought”.

As I foresaw, the rules have turned out to be more about revenue generation than resource protection.

What I did not predict is that my teen son and his lengthy showers would make him the latest environmental villain.

Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” Gov. Jerry Brown (D-CA) said Californians will face heavy fines for taking long showers.

Brown said, “This executive order is done under emergency power. It has the force of law. Very unusual. It’s requiring action and changes in behavior from the Oregon border all the way to the Mexican border. It affects lawns. It affects people’s — how long they stay in the shower. How businesses use water.”

Brown said to enforce his order, “Each water district that actually delivers waters — water to homes and businesses, they carry it out. We have a state water board that overseas the relationships with the districts. Hundreds of them. If they don’t comply, people can be fined $500 a day. Districts can go to court to get a cease and desist order. The enforcement mechanism is powerful. In a drought of this magnitude, you have to change that behavior and you have to change it substantially.”

It looks like I am going to have to work harder to pay for my son than I originally thought.

The good news is that reporters are now talking to scientists about the realities of the California climate instead of automatically blaming “global warming”.

The bad news is that the real California climate is fairly harsh.

..We continue to run California as if the longest drought we are ever going to encounter is about seven years,” said Scott Stine, a professor of geography and environmental studies at Cal State East Bay. “We’re living in a dream world.”

California in 2013 received less rain than in any year since it became a state in 1850. And at least one Bay Area scientist says that based on tree ring data, the current rainfall season is on pace to be the driest since 1580 — more than 150 years before George Washington was born. The question is: How much longer will it last?

A megadrought today would have catastrophic effects.

California, the nation’s most populous state with 38 million residents, has built a massive economy, Silicon Valley, Hollywood and millions of acres of farmland, all in a semiarid area. The state’s dams, canals and reservoirs have never been tested by the kind of prolonged drought that experts say will almost certainly occur again.

Stine, who has spent decades studying tree stumps in Mono Lake, Tenaya Lake, the Walker River and other parts of the Sierra Nevada, said that the past century has been among the wettest of the last 7,000 years.

But my son isn’t the only environmental villain. For years, California has had the reputation of being a major source of fruit and nuts for the nation…and I’m not talking about our politicians.

Now, our food production is coming under scrutiny.

From Business Insider

Those arrows point to “forages” and alfalfa — crops raised almost exclusively for feeding farm animals. In California, the largest milk-producing state in the US, the vast majority of these animals are cows. “Forages” include the fields that get watered for cows to graze on and the corn and other irrigated crops that later get churned into cow feed.

Interestingly, a good portion of that animal feed gets shipped back to China — returned in the cargo containers used to haul the materials we buy from that country.

I would be interested to learn how Governor Brown intends to deal with China’s needs for our evil crops.


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great unknown | April 14, 2015 at 7:57 am

The chart left off the water used for growing marijuana.

Of course, the wealthy are now draining their swimming pools. Right???

    namvet1969 in reply to great unknown. | April 14, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    California would rather allow it’s rivers to run directly into the ocean. The environmental zealot’s retain zero intelligence to the fact that dams and reservoirs provide drinking water, irrigation water, clean electricity and a regulated flow for fish. Our Klamath River running past our home has three dams, which they want to tear out, and it is flowing at a normal rate.

California doesn’t have any problems that importing a few million more poor illegal alien Third Worlders won’t solve, right Jerry?

My sister went to a low-water landscape at her home maybe ten years ago. Are the restrictions per-person living in the home? If it’s a flat 25% reduction, she and others who went to less water-intensive landscaping are going to be penalized for doing it.

    Sammy Finkelman in reply to tarheelkate. | April 14, 2015 at 8:58 am

    If it’s a flat 25% reduction, she and others who went to less water-intensive landscaping are going to be penalized for doing it.

    Exactly right. If she would have had foresight, she would have conserved waste , not water.

    People are shortsighted too often. This was foreseeable.

      JimMtnViewCaUSA in reply to Sammy Finkelman. | April 14, 2015 at 11:26 am

      Sammy is being snarky, of course. But over the years, I have seen articles about a couple of other regions which had water shortages. The sequence has ALWAYS been the same:
      1) water shortage
      2) exhort people to reduce usage
      3) people do reduce their usage, typically by a lot
      4) government realizes that providing water has a lot of fixed costs: treatment facilities, transport canals or wells, an office building, salaries, retirement and health benefits, billing, etc, etc
      5) result: Although the amount of water being consumed has been reduced, the cost of providing the water has not really changed much. Therefore, prices are raised (a lot).

Sammy Finkelman | April 14, 2015 at 9:05 am

Of course, part of the problem is that California is not adding reservoir capacity, because of environmental considerations, letting water go to waste to save fish that don’t need to be saved, and even not building desalinization plants because environmentalist are not so keen on that either, now.

Meanwhile, first priority, goes to wild fish; second priority goes to income producing farms; third priority goes to income producing businesses; and the reductions are inflicted on ordinary people who did not have the foresight and wisdom to maintain a safety margin of extra water usage which they could cut back on when water restrictions were imposed.

    sequester in reply to Sammy Finkelman. | April 14, 2015 at 9:42 am

    Stop whining and buy bottled water (if you can stand the leakage and purported environmental damage). If the environmental concerns of the bottled water are too much for you shower once a month and don’t flush the toilet.

    Californians are getting exactly what they voted for and richly deserve every bit of it.

    The amount of water on the planet is nearly constant. It is a matter of having sufficient capacity to create and store potable water.

      Valerie in reply to sequester. | April 14, 2015 at 9:55 am

      Actually, they aren’t. California voters approved funds for expanded reservoir capacity, none of which was used for reservoirs.

        objection in reply to Valerie. | April 14, 2015 at 12:17 pm

        Wait until the rolling blackouts hit each summer because of lack of electrical capacity.

          Deodorant in reply to objection. | April 17, 2015 at 7:42 pm

          The last time California experienced rolling blackouts it was because of Enron. You do remember Enron – a perfect exemplar of deregulation.

    JimMtnViewCaUSA in reply to Sammy Finkelman. | April 14, 2015 at 11:44 am

    There is an app which some CA cities are rolling out to purportedly help build communities (NextDoor). In the end, it may turn out to be a way for pro-gov’t forces to organize their supporters and maintain high levels of salaries and benefits for public employees. I’m suspicious of the level of city spending, the number of fulltime employees assigned, the appointment of “block leaders” and so on.

    In my NextDoor news feed there is currently a battle being waged about the water situation. If anyone can provide good links to info that shows any of the following, it will be helpful:
    1) lack of spending for new reservoirs
    2) legal action by activists causing reservoir construction to be slowed or abandoned
    3) closing down of existing reservoirs (I read in a comments section of a blog that 900 dams were shut down but there was no link and now I can’t find the claim so that I can reply and ask the commenter for details)

    Basically, the liberals on NextDoor are arguing that there is no further water capacity available, so that further expansion of dams and reservoirs would not help, and even that water shortages are the fault (somehow) of Repubs.

    By the time the Brown Regime is over, California will be indistinguishable from a Third World Country. Hey rich Californians — no more washing machines or dishwashers. Help Jerry.

funny how the solution to any problem here in #Failifornia is always moar government…

actually, it’s not funny at all, just predictable. we’re seriously stuck on stupid here.

nearDefiance | April 14, 2015 at 9:57 am

“It’s requiring action and changes in behavior from the Oregon border all the way to the Mexican border.”

So, from Sausalito on south, no action or changes in behavior are required?

Empress Trudy | April 14, 2015 at 9:58 am

Are they going to criminalize swimming pools? I doubt it.

This stupid video plays automatically, AND ALSO overrides my attempts to turn it off.

This is a bug.

Midwest Rhino | April 14, 2015 at 10:12 am

So a container comes from China with $5 million in Silicon Valley tech manufactured in China, and returns with $5 thousand in hay? Such a deal.

“A whopping 106 gallons of water goes into making just one ounce of beef”

This seems on the high end of the manufactured hysteria numbers, “facts” claimed by tree huggers. In the Midwest it takes zero gallons, since the rain falls with or without cows.

And are they really irrigating most pasture ground out there? Only in California I guess. Those farmers must have a lot of political clout to keep their cheap (illegal) labor, and maintain all those water rights.

The enviro nuts stop reservoir projects, so 70% of fresh water flows out to sea, as I read it. Cut that in half and California water problems are solved even in long droughts.

In the corn belt we have plenty of rain, and they still pay farmers to NOT grow things, because we produce too much. Ethanol provided another product that could be sold, reducing the “subsidy” “needed”, but we had to force people to use 10% ethanol. That still seems better than having that gas money go partly to Russia, or the Middle East torturers of women.

Making China a most favored nation provided America with a lot of cheap stuff, but has gutted out domestic production. Same with some of the other globalist policy like NAFTA. Trading for a little butter and beef hardly seems balanced.

At some point we will have to face the imbalances, and perhaps this drought will bring some issues to the forefront, and get some folks over their California dreamin’. Overruling the enviro-terrorists and their endangered slugs would be a good step. Then dealing with the global warming scam and its “commie” implications would be next. But if 20-50 million illegals get the vote, the commies win. Cheap things have a hidden cost.

We also have to decide if the unfair trade arrangements with our “enemies” is really serving us well, despite the cheap clothes and gadgets. Protectionism sounds bad, but providing for the common defense is necessary. It makes Hillary’s international money collection look very dangerous.

    onlyabill in reply to Midwest Rhino. | April 14, 2015 at 11:37 am

    In the corn belt we have plenty of rain, and they still pay farmers to NOT grow things, because we produce too much. Ethanol provided another product that could be sold, reducing the “subsidy” “needed”, but we had to force people to use 10% ethanol. That still seems better than having that gas money go partly to Russia, or the Middle East torturers of women.

    Ethanol is a waste of money and resources. It takes a gallon and a half of gas to make a gallon of Ethanol. If we really wanted to save gas, we would END Ethanol production and remove the additive mandate. OPAC is currently complaining that America is producing too much oil and spoiling the market so we are not sending much/any money to ME for that.

      Midwest Rhino in reply to onlyabill. | April 14, 2015 at 11:59 am

      ” It takes a gallon and a half of gas to make a gallon of Ethanol.’

      That’s a big lie that’s been pushed for thirty years. Plus ethanol keeps getting more efficient. It’s about 1.5 times as much out as put in. That may not sound great, but fossil fuels also require a lot of energy to mine, transport, process … some say even more than for ethanol. Nothing is free.

      Old reports also failed to note that the protein part of grain is still used, after ethanol is made from the starch. But you can read it yourself if you want, but the lies get spread around like the global warming crap does.

      America is producing too much oil and spoiling the market so we are not sending much/any money to ME for that.

      It’s a global market, so until we put them out of business, buying oil/gas means supporting enemies.

    I happened this week to read Steinbeck’s “Sweet Thursday,” published in 1954. On the first page California is described in part as “pumping water out of California’s earth faster than it can rain back in.”

Problem as I see it is that the lefty loonies in California, will start migrating OUT of California and into places like Texas bringing their looniness with them as they look for water. AT least in California they are contained.

Insufficiently Sensitive | April 14, 2015 at 11:25 am

Victor Davis Hanson points out that Governor Brown and his progressive enviro-cronies, back in the 70s, put a stop to some federal and state plans to develop more water storage and transmission facilities needed for its growing population. Well, the population done grew, and the rain is acting like normal California history (it has had some 40-year droughts in the past few thousand years).

Perhaps a re-thinking of the reactionary environmental opposition to desalination would be a good idea. The water IS there, twinkling all the way to Japan. It’s unlikely that the state’s population will tip its hat and move back home to New York and Mexico. It’s even more unlikely that the millions of eaters in the US and abroad, who dine happily on California farm production, will go on extreme diets. So let’s see Governor Brown exercise some creativity at increasing, not choking off, the state’s water supplies.

Henry Hawkins | April 14, 2015 at 12:00 pm


    Use “Ghostery” to block “NDN Player Suite”, that works. It also blocks 15 other widgets and trackers on this site.

    Until web sites learn to be a little more streamlined & elegant and a little less intrusive, there’s going to be a place for tools like Ghostery and AdBlock Plus, even on sites whose content I enjoy.

Reason Mag has been going on about a market-related solution (rationing via pricing rather than via government edict) to water shortages for a while now, on the principle that “if you seem to be running out of anything, check your prices.”

I know next to nothing about how California’s water is currently priced, or how the current “market” even works, so I’m in no position to judge whether anything they’re proposing actually makes sense in reality, but as with so many free-market ideas, they at least sound like they might be a better solution than government rationing. Someone with more knowledge in those areas might want to have a read:

Gov. Jerry Brown Mandates Water-Use Rationing. Up Next: The Kids Will Meditate in School
Keep an eye out for the suede-denim police if you live in California!

Water in California: Too Scarce, or Just Underpriced?
When it comes to rationing, give markets a chance.

How to Slake California’s Thirst

Following Australia’s lead on water rights and water markets would solve the state’s water shortage.

buckeyeminuteman | April 14, 2015 at 12:58 pm

So building some of the largest metropolises in the world in the middle of a gigantic desert has consequences? Whodathunkit?

High speed bullet train to nowhere… Thumbs up! Reservoirs built for the storage of water to prevent a shortage of water… Thumbs down! Yep, we in Suckramento have got your backs Commiefornia!

We keep having these posts – and the ANSWER is never going to be accepted in California.

They need 2 things in abundance: Electricity and water.

They have access to one (the Pacific ocean) and can easily build the others.

Desalinization and power plants (and yes, infrastructure for the water) are not sexy, but they are needed.

The Enviro-lovers won’t allow it, and hold too much power.

When will we see the “Save Water – Shower With a Friend” bumper stickers that were popular in the sixties?

David R. Graham | April 14, 2015 at 11:46 pm

The Janet Leigh/Psycho picture here is genius. Enviro-Nazis have no interest in fish, water or clean air. They contemplate 80% human die-off and themselves rent-seeking power junkies into the bargain. It’s about having only enough peasants around to do the laundry and clean the mansion and vacation homes. Not any more complicated than that.

While they’re busy forcing you not to take showers California is looking to mandate a 50% reduction in gasoline and diesel fuel use.

DINORightMarie | April 17, 2015 at 8:15 am

There is no way they can be sure that any water usage is due to “showering too long” vs. any other cause – and there is virtually NO RECOURSE to being fined for alleged “overuse.” Like the Spanish Inquisition (and ObamaCare) there is NO DEFENSE – to prove you are innocent (or to opt out) is impossible!!

Sounds like an intentional, mandatory penalty to fine people for using water.

California, you voted overwhelmingly for this. If it wasn’t so deeply affecting the nation’s food supply, I’d say, “You get what you deserve.”

Only if the long showers involve a man and a woman. It will be alright for Adam and Steve or Jill and Jane to take long warm showers together. They belong to a protected class.

If I remember Rick Perry’s solution to persistent drought in west Texas was to pray. How’s that working out? Perry never mentioned shorter showers. Maybe they don’t bath in west Texas.