Roscoe Moss Company

California’s Water Future, November 29, 2023

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By Charles Carner

At WellJet® (US Patent No. 8,312,930B1), we use our proprietary high-pressure hydro jetting technology to increase flow, improve efficiency, shrink the carbon footprint, lower the operating costs, and extend the working lifespan of groundwater wells. WellJet® is one small part of the vast mosaic of California water. We work with municipalities, farms, mines, hydrogeologists, water purveyors, engineers, and private well owners. All of our clients are concerned about California’s water future.

The good news is, California has plenty of water. So those who think we’re in a “Mega-Drought!” and “Running Out of Water!!” can cool their carbon-neutral jets. But then, if California has plenty of water, why is everyone ripping out their lawns and replacing them with some kind of fake grass that is made from fossil fuels and causes cancer? Why are towns dying of thirst, and groves and orchards being plowed under? Why are multi-generational farmers going bust on the richest and most productive agricultural land on Planet Earth?Lidco Inc.

California doesn’t have a water supply problem.

California has a water allocation problem.

More than half of the hundreds of millions of acre-feet of water that Mother Nature blesses the Golden State with every year in the form of rain and snow is designated for “environmental purposes.” What are “environmental purposes?” Ask ten regulators, lobbyists, activists, policy makers, office holders, professors, and operators – and you will get ten different answers. The rest is divvied up among the non-environmental water users – you know, the farmers that grow our food, our cities and homes, mines, and industries.

California’s antiquated water storage systems were already inadequate forty years ago, when the state’s human population was 24 million. Now, there are 39 million human Californians – an increase of more than 60%. And although approximately 400,000 people move out of state annually, those who remain would still like to drink water, and at least occasionally bathe in it.Technoflo

Recognizing the problem, in 2014 California voters passed Proposition 1, which allocated billions for increased water storage capacity. Since then, how many storage projects have been completed? None. Well, these things take time. So how many have at least broken ground? Um, also none. As in, Not One. To put this gargantuan failure in historical perspective, the Transcontinental Railroad – 1,800 miles of track across the fruited plain – was completed in six years. And that was back in 1869, more than 150 years ago.

None of this is a secret. The question is, what to do about it?

The solution is simple: change California water priorities:

  • Put the needs of human beings first. A nation that cannot feed itself cannot defend itself. So make sure that California farmers get the water they need to grow the food that sustains human life.
  • Increase storage capacity. Raise a few dams. Build some new reservoirs. Expand groundwater recharge.
  • Continue to encourage conservation. Waste not, want not. We don’t need to go back to watering our driveways and sidewalks. Try a broom.
  • Expand reuse. How? Ask, for example, the Orange County Water District and Irvine Ranch Water District. They’ve been on the crest of that particular wave (get it?!) for years.
  • Increase the water supply. Desalination should be adopted by every coastal community. Sacramento can help said communities. Yes, desalination is energy intensive. But modern nuclear plants, large and small, will take care of that.

Last, but certainly not least, improve efficiency. Since about 85% of Californians depend on groundwater for at least a portion of their water supply, making its extraction as productive, affordable, and energy efficient as possible is a vital part of the overall equation.

At WellJet®, we’re dedicated to helping make California’s water mosaic beautiful and sustainable, instead of the ugly Gordian knot of competing interests and misplaced priorities that it is today. WellJet®,,

Charles Carner works for, you guessed it, WellJet. You can reach him at:

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