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California Drought Continues, Despite March Deluge

No doubt — it’s been a great month for California.

A more favorable, wet El Niño pattern has finally kicked in after a pathetically dry February. Across the northern half of the state, major cities including San Francisco and Sacramento have already seen more rain in the first 10 days of March than they normally do in the entire month.

OPINION: Practical, Plus High-Tech Solutions Can Ease California’s Water Crisis

The impact of California’s water policies is far-reaching. More than just a question of the length of showers, they directly contribute to high unemployment and poverty. The solution to our water crisis can boost employment and reduce poverty – and it’s high time we get practical about it.

In the last 15 years, I have traveled to 54 of California’s 58 counties. It is heartbreaking to see the effects of our policies in places such as East Porterville, where residents go without water, or the divisions that these policies cause over property rights, reservoirs and dams.

OPINION: Tunnels Don’t Add Up, Now We Know Why

For years now, Gov. Jerry Brown has been telling us that he will save the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta – the greatest freshwater estuary on this side of the continent – by taking water out of it.

Environmental scientists have hustled out to make his case. Wildlife experts have joined the “Oyez” chorus. And state water managers insist it is our only option. Among the biggest and most enthusiastic backers is the largest irrigation district in the world, Westlands Water District, and the largest urban water supplier in the world, Metropolitan Water District.