Thousands of fish died suddenly when Mountain Meadows, a Northern California reservoir, "ran dry overnight."
"Residents say people were fishing on the lake last Saturday, but it drained like a bathtub overnight," reported CBS Sacramento.
Yes, some specific act--- possibly someone opening the dam--- drained the impoundment managed by Pacific Gas & Electric Company. But in truth, Mountain Meadows and many other California fisheries have been on the inevitable path to drying up for decades because of the state's unsustainable demand for water. And it's only going to get worse.
The same thing is going to happen in Florida, where unchecked development and growth soon will outweigh that state's finite supply of freshwater. Yes, that state is surrounded by water on three sides, but it's salt water. The lower half of the state is arid, as is the case for California, and far too many people require far too much water. They waste much of it too. For example, millions of gallons go to water grass, which never would there naturally.
In Florida, the Clermont Chain provides a prime example of what is to come for the rest of the state. Right now, this central Florida waterway is back to near normal water levels. But until this 15-lake system started to refill in the fall of 2014, the water level sank lower and lower for years. Local officials tried to blame drought, but residents, many of whom had lost their "waterfront" property, weren't buying that. They blamed too many diversions, both legal and illegal.
“Clermont Bait & Tackle that was here for generations is gone now,” said Dave Burkhardt, who has lived on Lake Crescent for 27 years and is owner of Trik Fish line company.
“Guides are gone and so are marinas and boat businesses. Hundreds of people who are paying taxes for waterfront property don’t have water anymore.
“And yet this is supposed to be a highly protected system (officially designated an Outstanding Florida Water).”
Adding to the insanity in the Sunshine State, Florida Defenders of the Environment and other environmental groups continue to press for destruction of Rodman Reservoir, one of the state's top bass fisheries and most diverse ecosystems, because they hate the idea that it was manmade. It also happens to be one of the few impoundments in the state that could be used for water storage.
With a year of abundant rain and some of those diversions reportedly shut off, the Clermont Lake is back to near normal. But for how long? In Florida, developers still can basically do what they want when they want, meaning they can keep building more and more houses in areas where the water supply simply cannot sustain unlimited growth.
And which reservoir in California will be the next to run dry overnight, with thousands more fish dying, because of too many people, too many cities, too many farms and too little water?