Fellow Talks

A Tale of Four California Droughts

Monday, April 20, 2015
Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson, the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at Hoover, presents a brief history and geography of California before launching into his talk about California droughts. Hanson notes that people in California live in places where there is very little precipitation and that droughts are not unusual. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, California droughts are both age-old and common. What is new is that the state has never had 40 million residents during a drought—well over 10 million more than during the last dry spell in the early 1990s. Much of the growth is due to massive and recent immigration. If California is going to allow the population to increase, then it needs to increase the spending on infrastructure, especially for water management. The irony is the coastal corridor is lecturing the interior about supposed unwise water use, but it is the interior that has the infrastructure to withstand droughts.