Even after the substantial rainfall recently, California is still looking at a drought. If droughts were biblical, like downpours, this would be a biblical drought. More importantly, the drought has become political. Even President Barack Obama visited the Central Valley to extend federal assistance.
Gov. Jerry Brown has been correctly noting for weeks that he can’t make it rain. But on Thursday, he went a little further than his usual protestations.
“You’ve got to have rain. Aside from the rain, you’ve got to use the water efficiently. You’ve got to have storage, and we have to balance the interests because we have no other choice.” Then came the bombshell:
“If anyone can get it done, I can get it done.” And, like his “Little Engine That Could,” I think he can, with the help of the new session of the Legislature. All he needs is:
Outlook: Popular with Southern California legislators. Faces massive lobbying effort from Perrier, San Pellegrino and Evian.
Outlook: Very good in Oregon, where everyone stays inside with the shades drawn. Excellent in marijuana-friendly Washington, where they simply don’t care or won’t notice.
Outlook: Last-resort measure opposed by virtually all Californians with pools and hot tubs.
Outlook: Strongly opposed by California wine industry.
Outlook: Great if you like licorice.
Brown also has possible remedies that don’t include the Legislature.
According to the latest Field Poll, California voter approval of water split 56/44. Beer was the most popular fluid with a 78/22 split, and “wine under $15 per bottle” was just behind at 72/28. Water was popular across all demographic lines, except for witches and cats.
A well-crafted ballot measure campaign would unquestionably win, but if Brown doesn’t chose a political route, he has several other options available through executive order:
California Air National Guard units are secretly training around the clock over Minnesota. C-130 transport planes are practicing touch-and-go water-sucking maneuvers on Minnesota lakes, which is really difficult right now because they’re frozen over, but commanders are “very confident” that this will work.
While Nevada isn’t exactly a water mecca itself right now, we should be getting some sort of compensation for past Nevada transgressions. If the Nevada Legislature sent us 100 bottles of water per extradited patient, this would provide enough water to Southern California until 2023.
Since some legislators don’t even live in their own districts, we can rejigger legislative lines to extend to monsoon-plagued nations. They may welcome our assistance, and we can send them California products in exchange, such as state Sen. Rod Wright, who could claim residency anywhere.
It’ll work, and you know they’ll figure out a way to bend the rules to give even more water.
Brown reminds us that we’re all in the same boat.
Like we have any water to put a boat in.