The Central Valley in California is drying up and drilling for water has become more important than drilling for oil as water resources are being drained at an alarming rate. But some private landowners that still have leftover water reserves are cashing in. Two water districts in California are auctioning off their private supplies of water for millions. One of them, the Buena Vista Water Storage District, has already taken in about $13.5 million from the auction of 12,000 acre-feet of water this year. And now about 40 other landowners whose legal water rights often date back a century, have begun to sell their surplus of water.
The price of water in California has spiked tenfold to an all time high. An acre-foot of water can fetch $2,200. It is only a matter of time until those who cannot pay high prices for water will be left without, or at the mercy of those who control it. Water has become the new gold. Often the water is stored in underground caves or aquifers. Some of it is being sold from rivers by those who have the right to use the water.
Some cities, like Santa Barbara, also need water badly and are willing to pay for it. Almond farmers also desperately need a lot of water. Estimated average prices for water are in the range of $775 to $980 per acre-foot of water over the next year in some districts, more in others.
The implications are that food prices will soar. The Central Valley in California provides enormous amounts of food to much of the U.S. and exports account for a lot as well. As drought deepens, food could become scarce and famine follows.
“And there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places…” Matthew 24:7