Look, the basic problem for California right now is that it hasn’t rained enough for the last few years. It’d still wouldn’t have rained enough if the state had been run on free-market libertarian principles for that time, either. But let’s not pretend that government can’t ever make things worse:
Property owners have long sought to divert more water from streams and build new wells, but efforts have been slow. Concern about promoting development or taking water from wildlife often got in the way, along with the sheer expense of new construction.
“People will throw a foot valve into a stream rather than fix a well,” said Steve Simms, a lifetime San Mateo County resident who runs a Pescadero plumbing business and consults on water. “It becomes this whole layer of bureaucracy and costs that they have to deal with.”
The state of California does not exist to give wildlife a home, and onerous paperwork is almost as much of a dubious luxury as the delta smelt is. I half dread the next Census report: the good news is, we might actually see California lose a seat. The bad news is, it’ll be because all of those people have moved, and I’m not convinced that enough of them have learned their lesson…