Fire, earthquakes and one of the worst droughts in recent history – these days California is not looking like the best place to settle down. In fact, things have gotten so bad that the state could run out of water in just two years. If things continue down this road, some experts think that the only solution will be to abandon the place.

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One week ago, 36% of California was in a state of exceptional drought. Just seven days later, that number has jumped to 58%. Lynn Wilson, academic chair at Kaplan University, warns that the situation is reaching a point where we may have to put migration out of California on the table. He says that it wouldn’t be the first time in history that people have left an area because of drought, and if current water-saving measures don’t work, it may be the best option to help alleviate water shortages.

Related: The Latest Drilling Boom in California is All About Water

The drought has cost the state billions of dollars and at least 17,000 jobs and with some scientists expecting the drought to last 100 years, it could be just the tip of the melting iceberg. Obviously other options like importing water and desalinization should be exhausted before moving some people out of the area, but as surface water quickly vanishes from the state, sometimes the best option is to just admit that some places aren’t meant to hold a lot of people.


Lead photo from Shutterstock, image via Michael Righi