ELI5 What is Californias worse case scenario concerning the drought?

the country has to step in and save them

Can you explain why somebody has to, especially when most other areas have their own problems?

The folks at /r/relationships generally offer absolute solid advice. If the issues with California are re-framed as relationship problems between a family called the Cals, and water represented by money, I think you'll see what's likely to happen over the next three years. (Note: No gender is implied.)

Think of it this way:

  • So-Cal is a spouse that loves to lay by the pool, eating water greedy almonds, and washes their car so they look good for their friends.

  • No-Cal is the SO that brings in water, but doesn't get to keep it

  • Texas is a wealthy in-law that lives far away. It has oil, which is necessary to get water from Point A to Point B.

  • Michigan is a poor in-law that is struggling to survive

  • The agricultural southern states are that in-law that ran out of water a few years back, and remembers what dry times are like

Now, imagine The Cal's write a letter to their family saying "We forsee problems putting food on the table because we're running out of money."

What would /r/relationships advise? "No-Cal, you have to send So-Cal packing."

But No-Cal can't seem to break things off.

So-Cal asks grandfather (the Government) to step in. There will be lots of fighting, some money gets sent, but not enough. The extended family stops talking to each other.

So-Cal becomes cousin Dupree.

They show up to Michigan, then crash on Michigan's couch. They bitch about how boring things are, and refuse to get a job because the pay is low. They get kicked out.

They stop by the South. Again, So-Cal is unimpressed - the South has peanuts, but those aren't as good as almonds. So-Cal eventually realizes that while life is somewhat sustainable there, the South is just as crazy as they are, but has more religious fanatics with guns.

Last stop: rich family member Texas. Texas agrees to help So-Cal in exchange for whatever equity So-Cal can get out of the house. They empathize with No-Cal, but sorry: You should have been a stronger spouse.

/r/explainlikeimfive Thread Parent