UN Expert: We Might Have To Migrate People Out Of California If Drought Continues

Pamela Engel

Dry fields and bare trees at Panoche Road, looking west, on Wednesday February 5, 2014, near San Joaquin, CA. California drought has hit the Central Valley hard.

A United Nations climate change expert said that if California’s severe drought continues, eventually, the U.S. might have to migrate people out of California, CNBC reports.

UN Expert We Might Have To Migrate People Out Of California If Drought Continues

More than half of California is currently seeing “exceptional drought” conditions. Wildfires have been ravaging the state. And water is running low. The drought is “the greatest water loss ever seen” in the state, and had already cost the state $2.2 billion.

“Civilizations in the past have had to migrate out of areas of drought,” said Lynn Wilson, who serves on the U.N.’s climate change delegation, told CNBC. “We may have to migrate people out of California.”

Of course, this is a last-resort option and isn’t likely to happen anytime soon. But Wilson said migration “can’t be taken off the table.”

Some scientists, citing dry periods in California from the past millennium, say the drought could last up to 100 years, but it’s expected to last at least through 2015. There’s some hope that heavy rainfall brought by El niño could help the situation.

Farmers are relying on groundwater, rather than water from reservoirs and rivers, to keep producing their crops, but that will eventually run out, unless this water is replaced. Researchers at the UC Davis Center For Watershed Science say the groundwater depletion is a “slow-moving train wreck.”

2 Responses

  1. Gary says:

    1) CA might want to consider developing cooperation with Washington state, Oregon, and Canada to build an aqueduct to move Canadian waters to CA. Or 2) possibly Nevada casinos do this and then sell water to CA. Hmmm >> option 2 is probably more viable.

  2. If this drought in the western half of the U.S. last indefinitely water and food will be worth more than gold. You cannot go without drinking water for more than 3 or 4 days.and eating food, you cannot go more than a 30 days.

    The new gold will be water and the new silver will be food. You cannot drink or eat gold and silver.

    In the book of Isaiah it says they will be throwing their gold and silver into the streets.

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