Nature can create a drought, but only government can create a water shortage. ~ Anonymous
I’m sitting at the edge of Thousand Island lake; it’s the 28th of May, 2015 a few minutes after noon on a clear and sunny spring day. The lake is largely frozen over and just beyond its white and splintered surface towers Mt. Banner, its slopes lightly dusted with a powdered sugar coating of fine snow.
In most years, late May would find this spot buried under several feet of snow, but I’m sitting on bare earth. I listen to the three-note song of the mountain chickadee and the high pitched whistle of a fat brown marmot just recently aroused from hibernation and now doing his best to sneak a bag of Fritos from my pack.
It is an early spring and the Sierras have their lightest snowpack since the winter of ’76-’77.
I recall those years and think about state and federal government. I think about the lack of action, the lack of response.
The severe drought of the 70s must have made for a million dinner time conversations. Restaurants displayed little plastic signs on every table, “Due to the drought, water will be served upon request only.”