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Amid Historic Drought, a New Water War in the West.

Discussion in 'United States Regional Forum' started by OldWiseGuy, Jun 2, 2021.

  1. OldWiseGuy

    OldWiseGuy Wake me when it's soup. Supporter

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    Amid Historic Drought, a New Water War in the West - The New York Times (nytimes.com)

    "While drought consumed much of the West last year, setting the stage for an extensive wildfire season, the conditions this spring are far worse than a year ago. More than half of the West faces “extreme” drought conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, including wide areas of California and Oregon. Scientists have said the region may be going through the worst drought period in centuries."
     
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  2. Crwth

    Crwth He must increase but I must decrease

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    Climate is cyclical. But a key problem NOT created by climate is how water has been unwisely allocated - in the case of Lake Powell and Lake Mead, both built during periods of relative abundance of water/snowpacks AND a much smaller southwestern population needing water, the assumption was both reservoirs could provide unlimited water needs - and hence allocations were thus based. Unfortunately, that assumption was incorrect.
     
  3. Crwth

    Crwth He must increase but I must decrease

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    I live in the west - and water rights here are a HUGE issue. Huge. And they always have been since being first settled in the 1800's
     
  4. Akita Suggagaki

    Akita Suggagaki Well-Known Member

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    More reason to go plant based diet. Pound for pound, meat has a much higher water footprint than vegetables, grains or beans
     
  5. Crwth

    Crwth He must increase but I must decrease

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    I don't think avoiding meat is going to solve the water problem in the southwest.
     
  6. Pavel Mosko

    Pavel Mosko Arch-Dude of the Apostolic Supporter

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    Not surprised. This is one of the many reasons, I as an ex-Californian (born and raised there for the 1st 45 years of my life) was so upset over wastefully spending in California especially the Bullet train albatross project, which serves very few people real needs. Not only is it costly, but it is something like 70+ miles from the nearest major population center. So spending Billions of dollars for something that doesn't even link LA and Frisco (it requires people to commute out to the train centers does not make sense).


    Ever since I was kid in the late 1970s there has been talk of draughts, water rationing etc. and of course news of the LA basin doing shenanigan's to secure more water for the beast. When I went to school, we sometimes had dust storms coming from the Sierra mountains a dry lake area, that once was a real lake before LA vacuumed up all the water in the 1940s-1950s.


    I remember all the silly water rationing measures. Like making us have low flush toilets, that don't always work as far as flushing your poop. But meanwhile, when you watch LA TV you can't help but notice all the water fountains, golf courses, swimming pools that are fed by piped in water.

    And that is why any conservative, libertarian hates that bullet train. Their was so many areas as far as water supply that the money could have been spent on. More reservoirs for catching snow pack run off in good years, improving the canal system of the Central Valley putting in concrete so less water absorbed by the ground, covering it so less water wasted by evaporation. And even building some desalinization plants for the coastal major cities. But instead of doing that practical stuff that would help everybody for a fraction of the bullet train, we need to swing for the fences so we can brag about having the first bullet train in the US....
     
  7. OldWiseGuy

    OldWiseGuy Wake me when it's soup. Supporter

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    Of course, the west is largely arid.
     
  8. OldWiseGuy

    OldWiseGuy Wake me when it's soup. Supporter

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    It's been said that farming is really "manure management". Farming with animals is potentially the most productive agricultural method on earth, but proper management is necessary.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2021
  9. OldWiseGuy

    OldWiseGuy Wake me when it's soup. Supporter

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    Desalinization plants should have been built decades ago on the west coast. Oh well.
     
  10. Akita Suggagaki

    Akita Suggagaki Well-Known Member

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    By whom?
     
  11. Crwth

    Crwth He must increase but I must decrease

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    Well, yeah. I live in Colorado, the headwaters of major rivers running west and east - in particular, the Colorado. The restrictions put on water use, who has rights to what and how much water, etc. is immense. Water law affects a lot of things. You might have a river or stream running across property you own that you can't touch. Can't dam it; can't tap it; can't touch it. Your land might sit atop a water table - around here, they're just underground rivers. Same thing. Similar goes for things like catching rainwater off your roof - you can't just assume that because falling rain landed on your roof that it belongs to you. Most likely it belongs to some golf course in Phoenix. ;)
     
  12. Crwth

    Crwth He must increase but I must decrease

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    My uncle. :) Farmer in NE
     
  13. Crwth

    Crwth He must increase but I must decrease

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    Truth be told - much of the southwest should never have been populated - at least nearly as much as it has. It's a resource issue. And the dams they built, and the assumptions they made re annual rainfall, snow pack etc. that led to water allocations were... flat out WRONG.

    ...which means the population assumptions were equally wrong as well.

    Did you know the Colorado River used to dump into the Gulf of California?
    Did you know it doesn't even make it that far anymore? Too many people tapping into it.
     
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  14. Akita Suggagaki

    Akita Suggagaki Well-Known Member

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    I am sure he has a point.

    And beyond farming, waste mismanagement is costing us the world.
     
  15. Crwth

    Crwth He must increase but I must decrease

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    Well, it's certainly putting a strain on things.
     
  16. OldWiseGuy

    OldWiseGuy Wake me when it's soup. Supporter

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    Last edited: Jun 3, 2021
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