California Water Wars: Another Form of Asset Stripping?

In California’s epic drought, wars over water rights continue, while innovative alternatives for increasing the available water supply go untapped.

Wars over California’s limited water supply have been going on for at least a century. Water wars have been the subject of some vintage movies, including the 1958 hit The Big Country starring Gregory Peck, Clint Eastwood’s 1985 Pale Rider, 1995’s Waterworld with Kevin Costner, and the 2005 film Batman Begins. Most acclaimed was the 1975 Academy Award winner Chinatown with Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway, involving a plot between a corrupt Los Angeles politician and land speculators to fabricate the 1937 drought in order to force farmers to sell their land at low prices. The plot was rooted in historical fact, reflecting battles between Owens Valley farmers and Los Angeles urbanites over water rights.

Today the water wars continue on a larger scale with new players. It’s no longer just the farmers against the ranchers or the urbanites. It’s the people against the new “water barons”  – Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Monsanto, the Bush family, and their ilk – who are buying up water all over the world at an unprecedented pace.

A Drought of Epic Proportions

At a news conference on March 19, 2015, California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon warned, “There is no greater crisis facing our state today than our lack of water.”

Jay Famiglietti, a scientist with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge, California, wrote in the Los Angeles Times on March 12th:

Right now the state has only about one year of water supply left in its reservoirs, and our strategic backup supply, groundwater, is rapidly disappearing. California has no contingency plan for a persistent drought like this one (let alone a 20-plus-year mega-drought), except, apparently, staying in emergency mode and praying for rain.

Maps indicate that the areas of California hardest hit by the mega-drought are those that grow a large percentage of America’s food. California supplies 50% of the nation’s food and more organic food than any other state. Western Growers estimates that last year 500,000 acres of farmland were left unplanted, an amount that could increase by 40% this year. The trade group pegs farm job losses at 17,000 last year and more in 2015.

Farmers with contracts from the Central Valley Project, a large federal irrigation system, will receive no water for the second consecutive year, according to preliminary forecasts. Cities and industries will get 25 percent of their full contract allocation, to ensure sufficient water for human health and safety. Besides shortages, there is the problem of toxic waste dumped into water supplies by oil company fracking. Economists estimate the cost of the drought in 2014 at $2.2 billion.

No Contingency Plan

The massive Delta water tunnel project, designed to fix Southern California’s water supply problems by siphoning water from the north, was delayed last August due to complaints from Delta residents and landowners. The project remains stalled, as the California Department of Water Resources reviews some 30,000 comments. When or if the project is finally implemented, it will take years to complete, at an estimated cost of about $60 billion including financing costs.

Meanwhile, alternatives for increasing the water supply rather than fighting over limited groundwater resources are not being pursued. Why not? Skeptical observers note that water is being called the next commodity boom. Christina Sarich, writing on NationOfChange.org, asserts:

Numerous companies are poised to take advantage of the water crisis. Instead of protecting existing water supplies, implementing stricter regulations, and coming up with novel ways to capture rainwater, or desalinizing seawater, the corporate agenda is ready, like a snake coiled, to make trillions off your thirst.

These coiled snakes include Monsanto and other biotech companies, which are developing drought-resistant and aluminum-resistant seeds set to take over when the organic farmers throw in the towel. Organic dairy farmers and ranchers have been the hardest hit by the drought, since the certified organic pasture on which their cows must be fed is dwindling fast.

Some critics suggest that, as in Chinatown, the drought itself is man-made, triggered not only by unprecedented carbon emissions but by “geo-engineering” – spraying the skies with aluminum and other particulates, ostensibly to shield the earth from global warming (though there may be other motives). On February 15, 2015, noted climate scientist Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institute for Science at Stanford asserted that geo-engineering was the only way to rapidly cool the earth. He said:

A small fleet of airplanes could do what large volcanos do — create a layer of small particles high in the atmosphere that scatters incoming sunlight back to space. Cooling the Earth this way, could be fast, cheap and easy.

That technique also suppresses rainfall. According to U.S. patent #6315213, filed by the US military on November 13, 2002:

The polymer is dispersed into the cloud and the wind of the storm agitates the mixture causing the polymer to absorb the rain. This reaction forms a gelatinous substance which precipitate to the surface below. Thus, diminishing the cloud’s ability to rain.

Suspicious observers ask whether this is all part of a larger plan. Christina Sarich notes that while the state thirsts for water, alternatives for increasing the water supply go untapped:

Chemical Engineers at MIT have indeed figured out how to desalinate water – electrodialysis having the potential to make seawater potable quickly and cheaply without removing other contaminants such as dirt and bacteria, and there are inexpensive nanotech filters that can clean hazardous microbes and chemicals from drinking water. Designer Arturo Vittori believes the solution to the water catastrophe lies not in high technology but in a giant basket that collects clean drinking water from condensation in the air.

Tapping Underground Seas

Another untapped resource is California’s own “primary” water — water newly produced by chemical processes within the earth that has never been part of the surface hydrological cycle. Created when conditions are right to allow oxygen to combine with hydrogen, this water is continually being pushed up under great pressure from deep within the earth and finds its way toward the surface where there are fissures or faults. This water can be located everywhere on the planet. It is the water flowing in wells in oases in the desert, where there is neither rainfall nor mountain run-off to feed them.

A study reported in Scientific American in March 2014 documented the presence of vast quantities of water locked far beneath the earth’s surface, generated not by surface rainfall but from pressures deep within. The study confirmed “that there is a very, very large amount of water that’s trapped in a really distinct layer in the deep Earth… approaching the sort of mass of water that’s present in all the world’s oceans.”

In December 2014, BBC News reported the results of a study presented at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union, in which researchers estimate there is more water locked deep in the earth’s crust than in all its rivers, swamps and lakes together. Japanese researchers reported in Science in March 2002 that the earth’s lower mantle may store about five times more water than its surface oceans.

Dramatic evidence that earthquakes can release water from deep within the earth was demonstrated last August, when Napa was hit with a 6.0 quake. Solano County suddenly enjoyed a massive new flow of water in local creeks, including a reported 200,000 gallons per day just from Wild Horse Creek. These increased flows are still ongoing, puzzling researchers who have visited the area.

Where did this enormous waterflow come from? If it were being released from a shallow aquifer, something would have to replace that volume of withdrawal, which was occurring at the rate of over 1,000 gallons per minute – over 10 times the pre-quake flow. Massive sinkholes or subsidence would be expected, but there were no such reports. Evidently these new waters were coming from much deeper sources, released through crevices created by the quake.

So states Pal Pauer of the Primary Water Institute, one of the world’s leading experts in tapping primary water. After decades of  primary water studies and successful drilling projects, Pauer has demonstrated that this abundant water source can be accessed to supplement our current water supply. Primary water may be tapped directly, or it may be found commingled with secondary water (e.g. aquifers) fed from atmospheric sources. New sophisticated techniques using airborne geophysical and satellite data allow groundwater and primary water to be located in rock through a process called “fracture trace mapping,” in which large fractures are identified by thorough analysis of the airborne and satellite data for exploratory drilling.

Pauer maintains that a well sufficient to service an entire community could be dug and generating great volumes of water in a mere two or three days, at a cost of about $100,000. The entire state of California could be serviced for about $800 million – less than 2% of the cost of the very controversial Delta water tunnels – and this feat could be accomplished without robbing the North to feed the South.

The Water Wars Continue

California officials have been unresponsive to such proposals. Instead, the state has undertaken to regulate underground water. In September, a trio of bills were signed establishing a framework for statewide regulation of California’s underground water sources, marking the first time in the state’s history that groundwater will be managed on a large scale. Water has until now been considered a property right. The Los Angeles Times reported:

[M]any agriculture interests remain staunchly opposed to the bill. Paul Wenger, president of the California Farm Bureau Federation, said the bills “may come to be seen as ‘historic’ for all the wrong reasons” by drastically harming food production.

. . . “There’s really going to be a wrestling match over who’s going to get the water,” [Fresno Assemblyman] Patterson said, predicting the regulation plans will bring a rash of lawsuits.

And so the saga of the water wars continues. The World Bank recently adopted a policy of water privatization and full-cost water pricing. One of its former directors, Ismail Serageldin, stated, “The wars of the 21st century will be fought over water.”

In the movie Chinatown, the corrupt oligarchs won. The message seemed to be that right is no match against might. But armed with that powerful 21st century tool the Internet, which can generate mass awareness and coordinated action, right may yet prevail.

________________

Ellen Brown is an attorney, founder of the Public Banking Institute, and author of twelve books including the best-selling Web of Debt. Her latest book, The Public Bank Solution, explores successful public banking models historically and globally. Her 300+ blog articles are at EllenBrown.com.

60 Responses

  1. Water wars are a’ comin’ IF, big If, the people of CA wake up in time to stop the state from controlling all private water rights.

    California’s Big Water Plans; End of Private Water Rights?
    http://tabublog.com/2015/03/12/californias-big-water-plans-the-end-of-private-water-rights/

    • Wake up buddy -what is the primary source of water and what is it’s primary function..life…people ! The ancient financial wizards want to control people by “owning” the source of life!

  2. […] Chemical Engineers at MIT have indeed figured out how to desalinate water – electrodialysis having the potential to make seawater potable quickly and cheaply without removing other contaminants such as dirt and bacteria, and there are inexpensive nanotech filters that can clean hazardous microbes and chemicals from drinking water. Designer Arturo Vittori believes the solution to the water catastrophe lies not in high technology but in a giant basket that collects clean drinking water from condensation in the air.  (Source) […]

  3. obama[s administration created it and they own it. this will lead to less food for the entire country at prices we can’t afford to pay. this is also why michelle is forcing us to eat garbage and eat less, now. this also falls in line with obama’s marxist nwo agenda. If we don’t rise up as a people, neither will our food. note too, that we sold a lot of water resources to china. this is not a conspiracy – it’s a reality. RISE, ORGANIZE, MARCH, DEMONSTRATE, PROTEST – or die. and killing off 90% of our population is also on their agenda. IMPEACH OBAMA NOW. ARREST all corrupt members of congress -now.

  4. Pal Pauer’s solution of drilling into the earth’s primary water supply is the correct solution. If Californians employed an extensive deep well drilling project, not only will they discover water but also abiotic oil.

    The earth’s mantle contains a vast amount of metallic hydrogen, which is constantly being squeezed up to the surface at a steady rate. As hydrogen passes up through the crust, pressure is relieved, converting hydrogen to a hot volatile and losing its metallic properties. The hydrogen volatiles chemically react with the oxygen-rich carbon-rich crust to create water and hydrocarbons.

    This is how all oceans and pools of coal, oil and natural gas were formed at or near the surface. Once we deplete all the accumulated pools, our consumption rate must synchronize with the rate at which hydrogen percolates from the mantle, through the crust to the surface or at least to within drilling depth.

    When that time comes, our economies must revert to steady state, giving up the exponential growth paradigm and usury (which is a bet on future energy growth above the mean).

  5. […] Ellen Brown Web of Debt […]

  6. California’s water crisis was completely foreseeable and preventable. First off 70% of the Earth’s surface is water, most of the world’s fatalities are the result of flooding, not drought; there is no shortage of water, only a reductionist perspective and as we infer from this article, ‘market forces’.

    California is the 8th largest economy in the world, a water crisis should not exist and should not continue; it is and must be perceived as a national security crisis, the political system, infiltrated by the private sector and its infantry, adherents of the green movement, has failed. No matter, water cannot be controlled by the Private Sector, Californians cannot forget when a bunch of Money Men around Eron decided to destabilize Governor Gray Davis’ executive, looting California’s government. Private Sector control of the Money Power, under Fed supervision, conducts a bankruptcy offensive against every state, city, town and school district they are supposedly serving. When ‘leaders’ start talking about the privatization of the water supply, you have an offensive conducted through sophistry, subverting the political system, to confront.

    California was always a desert and required great feats of engineering to make the environment suitable for human habitation, and farm and food production. California was the bread basket of the world, and now the Globalists are preaching that this farm production should be off-shored. Insanity. National food sufficiency is a national priority. William Mulholland and Gov. Pat Brown were able to organize and construct great, far reaching water projects. Informed and acting on this history and knowledge, the states of Oregon and Washington and next door Canada have too-much-water problems that can be exploited. The Kennedy era North American Water and Power Alliance plan,(NAWAPA), must be taken out and reviewed for reference. The whole West Coast offers several sites for desalinization projects. This crisis creates a great opportunity, for the state economy, starting with modernizing water management and distribution systems. The whole nation is in need of war-time-urgency economy formation measures, that start with water distribution infrastructure. Speak the vision, Create the plan, Fire up the workforce, the redevelopment of California will launch the redevelopment of the North American economy.

    The Public Bank allows for the economy to be developed along interior lines, out of International control. A new network of state and city owned Public Banks is possible. This crisis demands thinking and creating funding, out of the box, out of the ordinary policy guidelines. A great challenge awaits humanity.

    • Thanks Clarc and Jerry, great information.

    • Advancingthe whole idea – who “owns” the water – well the earth owns it! We simply borrow it for a while. As wisely noted, Water is the staff of life, so those who wish to control life, claim the privledge of owning the rights to water. Water should be, in each civilized nation, a freebie for their citizens, borrowed for a while until it evaporates or returns to the ocean to rise up again to fall as rain on some other part of the globe. Gotta remember ; all of us live in a society dependent upon industrial production. With the exception of a few ignorant people who atempt to grow and make every thing for themselves (while talking on their cell phone), everyone of the earths peoples live and die inside a paradigm based on what our science and industrial society produced ( or fails to set in place the necessities to protect human lives).

      Free enterprise can be extreamly costly for humans especially when the top critters enforce their control of the necessities of life at the point of a gun (or thermonuclear warhead). Free enterprise is fine if conducted under a system of/that human development trumps profits ( profits usually at the expense of human life).

      So how is this done? Our Revoluationary Forfathers set up the guidelines for this when they broke away from the British/oligarthical system of looting. It was based on Hamilton’s National Bank that issued credit to the industries, the agriculture and the infrastructure that used that source of credit to produce wealth (items necessry for societies developemen/advancement, and then issued money based upon that wealth produced so people could carry out a convient means of exchange. Most of infrastructure should be a freebie for people – the items that are core for social development of people. Water. Education. Basic food. Transportation. Health care. Primary shelter. Music – classical music.

      NAWAPA is classical music. Meg-lev is classical music. Fusion energy is classical music. Classical music is harmony as the scientist Kepler brought into existance in his ” Harmony of the Worlds”

      I believe Ellen is onto something!

    • If this is not a Homeland Security Issue, I do not know what is! Any state could be next…

  7. […] Ellen Brown, author of Web of Debt and advocate of banking reform, put together a lengthy article full of some pretty disturbing facts […]

  8. […] Ellen Brown, author of Web of Debt and advocate of banking reform, put together a lengthy article full of some pretty disturbing facts […]

  9. […] Ellen Brown, author of Web of Debt and advocate of banking reform, put together a lengthy article full of some pretty disturbing facts […]

  10. […] Ellen Brown, author of Web of Debt and advocate of banking reform, put together a lengthy article full of some pretty disturbing facts […]

  11. […] Ellen Brown, author of Web of Debt and advocate of banking reform, put together a lengthy article full of some pretty disturbing facts […]

  12. […] Ellen Brown, author of Web of Debt and advocate of banking reform, put together a lengthy article full of some pretty disturbing facts […]

  13. […] Ellen Brown, author of Web of Debt and advocate of banking reform, put together a lengthy article full of some pretty disturbing facts […]

  14. […] Ellen Brown, author of Web of Debt and advocate of banking reform, put together a lengthy article full of some pretty disturbing facts […]

  15. […] Ellen Brown, author of Web of Debt and advocate of banking Click to see the original […]

  16. I don’t get it. For decades, California has actively driven off its industrial jobs, imported well over ten million peasants it is incapable of educating, seen its population explode by maybe 25 million people, is now fighting to spend $30+ billion on super high speed railroad tracks, and at the same time has managed to drink and water itself into a drought for which it has no solution or even workable plan.

    Do the California Anglos have a cultural, social, and industrial death wish? Or are they deliberately planning to become a sleepy, dusty, bankrupt Mejico Norte?

    • There is a workable plan – it’s called NAWAPA XXI (look up on search engine)….Put in place by National Bank funding…

  17. California exemplifies Aesop’s Fable of ‘The Ant and the Grasshopper’.

    IN SHORT: California should have focussed on desalination instead of rapid transit to another desert city as well as social policies.

    • With a National Bank, both could happen simultaneously, an throw in fusion power plants to electrify the whole thing!

  18. […] Ellen Brown, author of Web of Debt and advocate of banking reform, put together a lengthy article full of some pretty disturbing facts […]

  19. […] Attorney Ellen Brown, author of Web of Debt and advocate of banking reform, put together a lengthy article full of some pretty disturbing facts that prove water will become a disruptive commodity bigger enough to strip wealth, assets and rights in California and beyond. It seems that everyone will be fighting for the last drop: […]

  20. After twelve years of planning and over six years in the state’s permitting process, the Carlsbad Desalination Project has received final approvals from every required regulatory and permitting agency in the state, including the California Coastal Commission, State Lands Commission and Regional Water Quality Control Board. A 30-year Water Purchase Agreement is in place between the San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) and Poseidon for the entire output of the plant. Construction on the plant and pipeline is under way and the Project will be delivering water to the businesses and residents in San Diego County late 2015.

    Poseidon specializes in developing and financing water infrastructure projects, primarily seawater desalination and water treatment plants. Poseidon’s projects are implemented through innovative public-private partnerships that link private financing with the construction and operation of water supply and treatment projects.

  21. […] ⇧   California Water Wars: Another Form of Asset Stripping? | WEB OF DEBT BLOG […]

  22. California SHOULD be taking a forward-thinking approach to critical problems – such as fresh water supply. This state is one of the leading locations for science and technology in the world. California has the budgets and the technical capability to SOLVE these problems.

    What we don’t have … is LEADERS.
    There are none!

    What we have got instead is a bunch of politicians who are “crisis manipulators”. These people feed off crises in order to advance their own political careers. We will keep having man-made crises, until we get genuine problem-solvers into power in California.

    Pete, Redondo Beach, CA

  23. How long before the Oligarchs slice and dice the atmosphere and charge you for the air you breath.

  24. […] California Water Wars – Another Form of Asset Stripping? […]

  25. […] Оригинал публикации,  перевод статьи […]

  26. The solution was developed decades ago – NAWAPA – the North American Water and Power Alliance. Of course, much too big to be ‘private’, therefore it has been shunned ever since. Time to take back the country!

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