Governor Edmund Brown issued a historic mandate last week that the California State Water Resources Control Board pass measures to reduce the amount of water used across the state by 25 percent.
Despite its potentially catastrophic consequences, we often forget that we are in a drought. Our situation is analogous to sitting in the garage with the car engine on. Because we are busy in our day-to-day lives, we do not realize that the danger we are in. We are lulled into a false sense of security. We believe that our rivers won’t dry, our lakes won’t empty, and our rains will eventually come back. But, the threat we face is real and it is affecting every single part of California.
Placing restrictions on the major consumers of California’s precious fresh water will not cripple the state’s economy. And the gradual implementation proposed by the new legislation (the real teeth of the laws don’t kick in until 2025) buys farmers more time than is probably environmentally feasible to adjust to the new regulations.
A new joint study by Stanford and Princeton researchers shows that California’s increases in taxes on the wealthy have not led to a migration of high net worth individuals from the state.