Earlier, we wrote about the NASA scientist who claims that California will exhaust its supply of surface fresh water within the next 12 months (he actually asserted that only 12 months’ supply of surface water is left, but we will ignore the subtle difference). The assumption embedded in that claim is that the heat and lack of rain that California experienced in 2014 will continue in 2015.
If the NASA scientist is correct, then by implication, California will only be left with underground water to meet its drinking needs (as well as agriculture, of course). Aside from the immense social and political shockwaves that a statewide potable water shortage would generate, the effect on California agriculture would reverberate across America, as absolute shortages in fruit and vegetables would push up prices to the extent that only the top 10% would be able to afford them. Such a sequence of events would serve as a sign that the third rider, the rider on a black horse has been loosened on the world.
The prediction that California will use up its surface fresh water within 12 months, means that the state’s dwindling underground water will become even more crucial in supplying potable water to the state’s 38 million residents. This makes two seemingly academic issues immediately pertinent — growing salinity of the deep underground water and saltwater intrusion.
There is growing anecdotal evidence that as the wells go ever deeper into the ground, that the salinity (amount of salt) of water is increasing. For agriculture, this represents longer term issues, but for using the water for human consumption, it presents immediate issues. Should the salt content rise too much, then the water cannot be consumed without going through the desalinization process.
For coastal communities dependent on underground water for drinking purposes, saltwater intrusion is a real threat given current conditions. Saltwater intrusion refers to the phenomena where reductions in the presence of freshwater on land results in ocean saltwater ‘leaking’ into previously freshwater locations. For example, should a river which flows into the ocean experience a significant reduction of water volume flowing into the ocean, the ocean saltwater will push its way further inland. This can result in an increased salt content in the river upstream and also ‘poison’ local adjacent aquifers, as the saltwater enters into the adjacent aquifer, increasing the salinity of the water to the extent that is becomes unfit for human consumption. This process can also occur even in areas where there are no rivers. For example, excessive pumping of groundwater in coastal areas not only removes the freshwater from the ground, but also removes the ‘pressure’ which keeps the ocean’s saltwater from moving inland (under the ground). As a result, saltwater begins to permeate into the coastal aquifers, increasing its salt content. There are a number of large coastal communities in California which depend on local aquifers for their drinking water.
This is relevant to this site, as events in California may serve as a harbinger for what is to come to a third of the world, where Revelation predicts the trees and green grass will ‘burn’. One NASA satellite shows that several crucial agricultural areas in different parts of the world are similarly experiencing massive draw downs in their groundwater — which for forebodes ill for those regions as well, and should these other key agricultural regions experience similar issues, then surely this will confirm the release of the third horseman upon the world.