But what about America? What if a great drought enveloped western USA?
It's happening right now. Gone are the days when Californians could throw water around. I remember visiting my son-in-laws several times in the 90s and sprinklers would spurt water at night all over public areas and median strips between traffic planted with tall palm trees. The abundance of water in the desert amazed me. One Los Angeles resident confidently told me the water comes from the great Colorado River, which would never run dry.
Close by, nestled under the Santa Ynez mountains and cooled by the Pacific Ocean breeze, the billionaires' bolt hole of Montecito, California, seems at first glance like a palm tree-strewn idyll.
About 80 per cent of Montecito's water currently comes from Lake Cachuma, a once mighty reservoir 30 minutes drive away. Like many California reservoirs, it is surrounded by a giant white bath tub ring, revealing it to be more than two thirds empty.
Water restrictions have cut use by 90% and expensive lawns are scorched and gone to seed. After trucking in water for months, dozens of wealthy Montecito residents have applied to drill wells at enormous cost. There are concerns that the subterranean aquifers beneath their feet could run dry.
Some people send laundry out of town to avoid water fines, some eat off paper plates, and others have painted their lawns green, resulting in one resident's poodle turning green after rolling in the paint.
Long before Europeans settled the region in the 1800s, megadroughts have parched the West, including present-day California.
The dryness in California is only part of a longer-term, 15-year drought across most of the Western USA. Persistent drought has threatened over the past 15 years, more than in any other 15-year period since the 1150s and 1160s (850 years ago).
Defined more by their duration than their severity, megadroughts can last for a decade or longer, according to a research meteorologist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He said the megadrought could be even worse than anything experienced by any humans who have lived in that part of the world for the last few thousand years.
If the desert runs out of water, it will return to its original form.
I'm sad for the residents, who risk losing their homes and way of life on a prayer for rain.
At the same time, I can't help mulling over a new plot for another dystopian novel. Maybe a Californian group could get together and invade England where water is in plenteous supply in the future. By the way, my novels focus on humanity surviving the best they know how without technology. You'll grow to love the wonderful characters in the first adventure story, Wind Over Troubled Waters. The novels are on the sidebar, one click away from an Amazon near you where you can read the first chapter to see if you like my style.
In the meantime, we should always remember what a tenuous grip we hold over our surroundings. Any number of catastrophes could wipe them away in a flash. Appreciate every day as it unfolds.
Live every day as if it were your last, because one of these days, it will be.