Water Use in California

Agriculture takes up 80% of Water use in the state, the remaining 20% is urban use.

Urban Water Use

Issues in California

80% of California's water goes to agriculture, where it is sequestered in crops and then exported.  Rainfall cannot support this, and the aquifer is being pushed to its limits.  Meanwhile, state water rights require the use of the total water budget, encouraging waste rather than conservation.  

As water shortages in California reach critical proportions, many cities have started using penalties and fines for overuse, changing the economics to favor alternative solutions.  Municipal water districts continue to raise their rates and levy fines, and while some people can afford the exorbitant prices to keep their lawns green and their swimming pools full, for some municipalities the possibility of running out of water completely is very real.  Communities are at risk of being left with no water at all.

Infrastructure costs

In Southern California, water is transported an average of 1,400 miles to reach Los Angeles.   This requires massive infrastructure, which requires steady maintenance. 

The estimated cost to replace the aging and failing water pipes in the US is $1,000,000,000,000 (one Trillion dollars) over the next two decades.  Annual investment of  $23 Billion per year is required order to prevent unacceptable water system degradation by 2020.  $325 Billion is required to upgrade water distribution systems and replace losses by corrosion over the next two decades for US water utilities.