http://www.wired.com/2015/10/devastating-chart-shows-why-el-nino-wont-fix-the-drought/ It isn't just the drought, and it isn't just California. Oregon has severe aquifer problems too. http://www.opb.org/news/article/study-aquifers-draining-quickly-less-in-pnw/ http://www.blueoregon.com/2007/03/oregons_approac/ And indeed, the rest of the country too: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/...er-california-drought-aquifers-hidden-crisis/ Clean water for drinking, cleaning, growing food and other uses is very important for survival. The basic problem boils down to this: there is a finite amount of clean potable water; 97.5% of the water on earth is salt water, that leaves 2.5% being fresh water, with over 1.5% being locked up in frozen water (mostly the polar ice caps), which leaves less than 1% being usable potable water. Every day the earth's population grows. The math is inescapable and should be plain for anybody to see; more people equals plus a fixed finite amount of potable water equals less water per person. Even if we solve the problems with pollution, even if we are lucky enough to live in an area where climate change won't have a local effect on our water supply (and given this summer, I have a real doubt about that supposition), more people will mean less water - and people are not inclined to stop reproducing. The bigger picture is that here in the USA, and worldwide actually, water is in short supply. This is causing problems. It will increasingly cause problems. California produces a lot of food. Oregon, it seems to me, is somewhat self-sufficient (or could be) right now when it comes to water, food and energy - but our population is still growing. Don't think for a second that won't continue. Indeed, as California gets worse, I expect to see a significant increase in migration from California to the PNW. Prepare for it. On an anecdotal level; my neighbors have their wells drilled to 250' to 450' deep. Mine is 120' and I have not problems with water supply. One at 250' just had to have his well pump lowered because his water level dropped 40' in the last decade. Here on the mountain we get 50% more rain than the valley, but most of it runs off down into the valley. This was a pretty dry year for us too - we had to be very careful about fire danger.