California’s “Dust Bowl Drought” That Really Never Happened - Is Officially Over!

Posted on 04 April 2011

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionSend by emailSend by email

By Patrick Porgans
Planetary Solutionaries

No; it wasn’t an April Fool’s Joke.

Governor Jerry Brown’s recent announcement that California’s “drought” is officially over, which critics claimed was grossly exaggerated; government records indicate it may not have happened. Gov. Brown’s Proclamation officially rescinds former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Executive Order S-06-08, issued on June 4, 2008 and ends the States of Emergency called on June 12, 2008, and on February 27, 2009.

It took as much as 50 feet of snowpack, which blanketed the roughed Sierra Nevada Mountains, all of the state’s major reservoirs full or overflowing, many of which are making floodwater releases to provide room for spring runoff, and the Golden State at “ground saturation, before the Governor’s water advisors to confirm the “drought emergency” was over.

Ironically, doubts were raised at the time former Gov. Schwarzenegger issued the “drought proclamation”, which he issued at the very onset of a below-average water year; slightly less than the “average” amount of precipitation and water runoff received statewide.

Last, year, for example, California received more than 110 percent of “average” precipitation, and statewide reservoir capacity reach 95 percent. At the end of that year, the “fourth” year of the “drought” federal and state water “experts” were at odds as to whether the drought was over; state officials took the position it wasn’t.

A series of in-depth reports, based entirely on government documents, revealed that the so-called “drought” was not only significantly overstated but, revealed serious doubts as to whether it actually happened.  For example, for the four year period (water-years 2007 through 2011), at which time the “drought proclamation” was in effect, California received 85 percent of “average” precipitation, and the “average” water storage, based on “averages”, in its major reservoirs, for that period was in the 90 percentile range.

Weather conditions in the Golden State vary from year to year, the “average” precipitation and water runoff varies; it is not unusual to experience wet and dry cycles. In fact, prior to 2007, the state had experienced a series of very wet water years.

When it rains it pours, and if it someone “claims” it doesn’t rain in Sunny California, it pours a torrent of free-flowing “drought-relief” grant funding. Funds that primarily go to benefit government water agencies, their customers, and wealthy landowners and water speculators. This funding mechanism is made possible by using the public’s credit to borrow vast sums of money, which is repaid back by the public-at-large, from the $26 billion deficit-ridden General Fund.  One of the how to get “drought” relief give-away money sessions was held at the Irvine Ranch Water District’s duck club, which was announced on California Department of Water Resources’ letterhead.  The district is a well-healed and politically connected supporter of water development.

Critics contend that the motive behind the drought was essentially a major financial bailout for Gov. Schwarzenegger’s campaign supporters that rely heavily on publicly subsidized water, provided by government water projects, exporting water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to central and southern California.  They claim that by issuing the drought proclamation at the onset of the below average conditions, and not declaring the drought as being over in 2010, allowed the flow of cash to continue.

Obviously, the drought proclamation opened up the floodgate to release hundreds of millions of dollars of public moneys used to fund so-called drought relief programs to a host of local water agencies and agricultural recipients.

California recently sold $733 million in bonds to fund drought, flood control and water management projects, and the state is preparing for another bond sale of $400 million for water and drought response, according to a press release issued by the Governor on the 15 April 2009.

Lastly, and yet equally important, is when a state-of-emergency is proclaimed, it essentially sets aside many regulatory and environmental safeguards.

Next in the series: Harvesting Windfall Profits from the so-called Drought – While Funds for Public Safety-Net Programs and Jobs Dry Up. Other drought-related stories, published by the author, can be obtained at the following websites:; or Google “Doubts About the Drought”.


Patrick Porgans and author Lloyd G. Carter are involved in publishing a series of articles, entitled: “Doubts About the Drought."

While echoing cries of Crisis and Peril, Central Valley Farms were able to rack up record profit, close to 10 Billion, in Almond, Walnut and Pistachio sales during each year of the drought. This is a magnificent feat considering their water deliveries were cut by 60% and hundreds of farm workers laid off (According to the “Latino Farm Workers Coalition”). Not to mention thousands of acres being fallowed along the I-5 corridor just to emphasize the crisis.

The good news is now Californians believe the rhetoric, the poor suffering farmers, agribusiness developers who live in Beverly Hills, need more water for food - food that is exported to world markets. Less than 10% of California farm commodities are consumed by Californians. Meanwhile agribusiness profits augment campaign coffers of representatives who promoted record water deliveries for their constituency during the last decade.

For the record, I am not an environmentalist tree hugger. The Sacramento – San Joaquin produced as many as 5 million adult Salmon annually. A rich renewable food source Salmon contains essential fatty acids the human diet requires – not found almonds, rice or hamburger. While I have enjoyed this magnificent California Fishery Resource in my lifetime, normally fishing for salmon 9 months out of the year in the Pacific Ocean and Sacramento River. Watching this resource become reduced to a mere brood stock is a crime. It is time for the State Legislature and California water managers to protect this public trust, the Delta estuary and its water – A resource that should benefit all Californians.