Buearacrats are notorious for being shortsighted. Their main concerns are the next election cycle,job security,and justifying their own existence. To accomplish these ends the create solutions that need problems and dream up inane regs for the various fields they serve(?).<quoted text>Were they 'watching' when it was pointed out to the government 140 years ago, that the land wouldn't support a population the size said government was poised to encourage? Were they watching, when it was decided that a desert would be a good place to raise cattle at all? Were they watching when Los Angeles decided Lake Havasu was capable of supporting the potable water needs of the population in 4 States?
They should have been. It's a bit late now.
Cattle have survives the desert west ever since the Spanish lost a few head and they bred like jackrabbits in west Texas. Our western "desert" isn't as barren as say the Gobi or the Sahara but it DOES take a lot of graze there to sustain a single cow but the lands are vast and around water sources the grass can be quite plentiful.
Southern California has practically confiscated the watershed of the Sierras and the Colorado river basin to keep L.A. and other large cities wet. A smarter move for the coastal cities would be to build desalination plants to supply a sizeable portion of their water.