Eventually global warming will make this temperate, Mediterranean paradise dry to the bone as it heats up...think North Africa. We had a record dry winter with only 65% of normal rainfall. The aquifers long holding back the seawater creep are dwindling to the point of being invaded.
Some how this situation has gotten entangled with a long-standing resentment of a vocal minority towards the University of California. They have this no-growth now that I've got mine attitude towards new business, increased tourism, and perhaps population growth in general. They challenge anyone's "right to be here at all" except for themselves.
Putting aside the accuracy of Malthus's prediction that we would over populate ourselves out of existence, the addition of another 3000 students is a drop in the bucket (excuse the pun) so to speak in terms of water usage. Increased tourist use of water is more than offset by sales tax revenues. There are no jobs here. Unemployment is over 11% now. But all that is totally completely and absolutely irrelevant. Tying no growth issues to climate change is a specious argument at best.
Futher, advocating water conservation as an alternative rather than complimentary solution is simply ludicrous. Even if all citizens conserved water by 80% ...there still won't be enough. This county is 50% agribusiness based. We grow food to earn a living. That takes water and creates jobs. But even that is irrelevant to this argument. It is not about no growth, tax revenues, food and job creation.
We are running out of water. It will stop raining more and more. The rainfall will eventually be completely insufficient to sustain even a smaller population, with no tourism, farms, or students. There won't be enough. That people can't see the long-view, shows a very self-centered lack of vision, imagination and compassion. The real 800 pound gorilla in the living room is that proactive action to build one desalination plant now will simply forestall the inevitable and make the cost of quenching our collective thirst more affordable.
The operative goal here is desalination plants..as in the plural. Wrap your self-referenced minds around that one as the redwoods wither and dry up, the seasonal rivers run dry, and we even recycle our urine.