Terry from Canada sent in this question:
I’m just wondering with the ongoing drought in California, do you see the possibility that if the drought continues and California really does run out of water will there have to be a mass migration out of the state in the future?
We have seen and heard about the desalination plant being built in Carlsbad that will add 50 million gallons of drinkable water per day, which is 7% of what the San Diego region uses now.
The cost is projected to be 20% to 25% higher than the current rate of water purchased from the MWD, so even if the drought reverses itself in the near future, the cost of water is going up.
Will that alone cause an exodus? Probably not, but every little bit counts, and it could be the final straw for people on the edge.
The trend of our area being for affluent people will continue though. How will they cope?
It’s not like there isn’t any water – there just isn’t any water here.
Folks who are on propane know how it works – private companies will provide the water, and make it convenient. They will bring you the tank, hook it up for you, and then come back regularly to fill it for you.
The 12,500-gallon tanks like the one above cost about $10,000, and if a household can get by with 200 gallons per day they would only need to fill their tank every other month. If you live in on a smaller lot, you can opt for a pint-size tank and get more deliveries.
If you had one of these big tanks, it would only cost you about $100 today to fill it – that’s why you don’t see them…yet. But if the drought continues, having water delivered is a possibility.
How much would you pay for water? $500 per month? $1,000 per month? The county has already cut back usage by 30% in recent years, and more conservation is on the way.
But people will stay as long as they can bear it, so I doubt any mass exodus from the coastal regions will happen in the short term.
Drone view of the plant: