The Sunshine State is the driest it’s been in 500 years, and a state of emergency has been declared. Find out which company is coming to the rescue…
“Did you know that America needs more than $635 billion in wastewater and drinking water infrastructure improvements over the next 20 years?”
That message was posted on Twitter by the US Environmental Protection Agency just a few months ago.
While many of us don’t immediately shudder at the thought of our country needing a major overhaul of our water system (it really does), the people of California certainly ought to.
California’s drought is now in its third year, and things aren’t looking any better.
Governor Jerry Brown issued a dire warning to Californians in late January that they must limit their water consumption by 20%. Good luck with that.
The Golden State is far and away the thirstiest state in America.
According to a 2005 USGS report, the estimated use of water in California is approximately 45.7 billion gallons per day.
Out of that massive number, 53% of it is used in irrigation and 28% is for thermoelectric power generation. The remainder is public consumption and other uses.
That’s over 70% more than second place Texas (26,700 Mgal/d).
The US Drought Monitor has categorized nearly 10% of California as under exceptional drought (D4). D4 is normally reserved for rare and severe dry spells.
In a media release published at the end of January, California’s Department of Public Health (CPDH) identified 17 rural counties that were in danger of running out of water in 60 to 100 days.
That means that a number of these water systems could be out of commission by the time you read this article.
The water shortage situation in California has been mounting for a number of years now, so it really shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone.
However, other than environmental advocates and experts, no one has really bothered to take the warning signs seriously. But now that their water taps could very well slow to a trickle within weeks, people are finally beginning to pay attention.
But as is always the case, politics gets in the way of progress.
A few weeks ago, House Republicans sponsored and passed a bill that would permit authorities to pump more water out of the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta.
Federal laws currently prohibit pumping from the Delta during times of drought. Unless there is significant rainfall, no pumping is expected this year either.
But Reuters reports that farmers who need to cut back on irrigation water could leave some 500,000 acres of cropland untilled.
The bill isn’t likely to get passed the Democratic-controlled Senate. The bill’s opponents have declared it a water grab that would circumvent state law, pit water users against each other, and roll back environmental protections.
President Obama has threatened to veto the bill, stating further that it “…would not alleviate the effects of California’s drought but instead disrupt decades of work done to address water challenges in the most populous U.S. state.
In response, California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer say they will bring forward a bill of their own to try and resolve this crisis.
While politicians continue their shouting match, water levels in California continue to fall, which means that if no new water is coming in through the government…there needs to be a Plan B — and fast.
Top Water Stock To Buy Today:
La Jolla, California-based PICO Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:PICO) is a company that has allocated water rights for the purpose of selling or leasing water resources to customers in southwestern US.
PICO’s other business segments include real estate development and agriculture.
Under their subsidiary Vidler Water Company, the Company provides water needs primarily to utilities, municipalities, developers, or industrial users in areas where there are insufficient supplies of water or when federal/state-controlled water isn’t readily available.
In addition, they also construct water storage facilities to help with future water usage and as a means to better manage water supplies over time.
Between 2012 and 2013, PICO has seen their water division revenues soar from $2.9 million to over $25.5 million, mainly as a result of an improving housing market in Nevada and Arizona.
With California’s current water woes, consumers and businesses there are sure to be calling PICO for help as well.
If lawmakers can’t find a sensible solution in the coming months, even more California towns will be in dire straits.
And the only people with happy, smiling faces during this predicament will be PICO investors.
Already, since reaching a low of $20 last June, PICO’s stock has slowly crept back up, hitting a new 52-week high of $26.
A breakout for PICO is ready to happen at anytime.