Once upon a time we built things and solved problems.
But the problem with solving problems is that it doesn’t do much for the vast government bureaucracy that has been created to police people. The only reward for solving a problem is getting more problems to solve. From the social welfare to the social justice era, the new ethos became failing to solve problems and then blaming them on the public. People were told to suffer and make do with less because it was their fault.
California’s droughts fit that same familiar pattern in which the system takes money to solve the problem, never does, and blames the public for using too much water, rather than the system which refuses to build resources to meet cyclical natural events.
In 2014, in the middle of a severe drought that would test California’s complex water storage system like never before, voters told the state to borrow $7.5 billion and use part of it to build projects to stockpile more water.
Seven years later, that drought has come and gone, replaced by an even hotter and drier one that is draining the state’s reservoirs at an alarming rate. But none of the more than half-dozen water storage projects scheduled to receive that money have been built.
Since the current priority is fighting global warming, actually building water storage projects is dismissed. And then excuses follow.
The largest of California’s reservoirs are operated by the state and federal governments, although neither has built a new one since the 1979 New Melones Lake near Sonora, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northwest of Yosemite National Park.
And no matter how many billions are allocated, nothing will get built. Unless it’s planned to fail.