I was considering a Sierra Trip this year, and while beautiful and a place I have not been back to since February of 2011, the extreme snowpack and my lack of mosquito fondness had me decide against that before I started to think seriously about it. If nothing else, if much of the higher elevation areas will not open to August, that means it may be more crowded come that time. Besides, I want to see Great Basin NP, and Nevada, if I do go anywhere.
http://blog.ucsusa.org/juliet-christian ... l-it-stick
Though that article/ blog incorrectly calls the Owens Valley a town, the point of that piece is that snow will transition to rain, and there will likely be less. Even in the good to excellent years like this year, a large percentage of the precipitation will no longer be snow as it once was, but rain. The April 1 164% of average snowpack is impressive this year, but the total precipitation was higher, and that was why dam spillways were failing in January.
I found that article to be nothing new, as well. Interesting? Eh. I used to see that sort of argument about the delta smelt trotted out anytime a discussion on water came up on Summit Post's garbage forum. According to some, even in the record driest year on record (2015) there would have never been a drought at all, were it not for regulations about water and the smelt. Trouble is, salt water would creep back in to the delta and might ruin farmland, too, were it not for releases. You know, that historical delta farmland that is much more valuable as it is fed by gravity canals and was some of the states earliest irrigated lands.
The real issue when it comes to CA, as Scott alluded, is over use, over allocation, and an expectation that large corporate farms will receive subsidized water from tax payers. Surface water has been over allocated and over used for decades, so drought exacerbate the problem. In normal and good years, groundwater makes up the difference, and as that articles discusses, investing in groundwater recharge and storage projects makes far more sense than new reservoirs and projects built on the old model of snowpack. Even if global warming really were a Chinese conspiracy, historical photographs of the effects of groundwater overdraft and land subsidence are freely available on the internet and elsewhere (print). It would makes sense to mitigate this problem, as well, since changes in the ground can render those expensive, tax payer subsidized pork barrel water projects useless when they break up, slope the wrong direction, or otherwise are destroyed by elevation changes.
As far as Arizona goes, we never discuss any ideas about Saudi Farms sucking up ground water and growing wheat and hay for dairy production back in Saudi Arabia. It's grown here in Arizona, using Arizona ground and probably CAP or other surface water, and all perfectly legal. Still, many may think, "America First", except that really what is the difference between this and a local farmer doing all of that, but selling it to a middle man that ships to the mid-east? Besides, we've been mining their oil for 75 years.
Then again, how is the Saudis growing wheat and hay in the SWUSA for their domestic consumption, any different from what US and EU based companies do in Brazil with soy? Well, at least According to, "Stuffed and Starved", Slave labor isn't involved.
Nothing more enjoyable than a good hike out of town.