Can someone explain to me how this sentence even makes sense? It seems to imply that the sate is somehow losing water forever by shipping it abroad. But when the water is consumed, whether in China or California, it will eventually make its way back out into the Pacific Ocean, which is the ultimate source for all of California's water. So once the water is used to grow a crop, for the purpose of California's future wetness, it doesn't really matter one iota where the crop ultimately gets consumed.
Even with all the rain that's fallen on California lately, we are still years of rain like this away from aquifer replenishment. This coupled with next year's El Nino may set back the complete inviability of the inland empire several years, but it's still coming because of our water use strategies. In short, water rights have become "use it or lose it" so people not using their water allotment are having their water rights taken away, down to their current usage. Fail to use the water for just one year, see what happens. So they're using the water to grow crap crops, or just pumping it and then selling it [illlegally] and the water goes someplace else to grow grapes or pot.
We are running out of useful water.
There are a number of approaches we might use to solve this problem. The one I favor is cutting off SoCal and letting them fuck off. Sadly, Los Angeles receives enough yearly rainfall to cover 100% of its needs in many years, but something like 99% of it runs straight into the ocean because that whole area is just one big sandbox.