This Alex Breitler story reminds how running out of water is almost invariably as much a problem of governance as much as it is of drought:
MOUNTAIN HOUSE — Years before the first shovelful of earth was turned on this master-plan community near Tracy, developers and county officials knew that its sole source of water could someday be interrupted.
It wasn’t severe drought that they feared, necessarily, but the high level of state and federal scrutiny that surrounds any diversion of water from the delicate Delta.
Whatever the cause for their worry, it wasn’t enough to stop county officials from approving the developer’s plan for what eventually would be a community of 44,000 people. The approval came even after an earlier requirement to write a water shortage contingency plan was scrapped.
And in the following two decades, even after construction began, nothing was done to secure a second source of water.
So it is, some say, that Mountain House’s mad scramble to acquire emergency water last week shouldn’t have been such a surprise after all.
Jared Diamond, in his book “Collapse”, predicted situations just like this.