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A very long article on the water woes in the SW

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by Joe, May 25, 2015.

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  1. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Christmas
  2. UTE

    UTE Plastics

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    With water levels low, Lake Mead is no longer the largest reservoir in the USA. That honor now rests with Lake Powell, Mead's "sister" reservoir.

    Bill
     
  3. Royal Flusher

    Royal Flusher Savvy Gambler

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    Thanks for posting. I read the whole thing, it was pretty interesting (and alarming).
     
  4. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

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    Sure wish we could give away some of the Texas water that's been drenching the state for the past week...donate it all to Lake Mead!
     
    Seems like forever from now, but the flights are booked, so it counts!
  5. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    Kind of makes you wonder about the future water situation for the west. With cali showing drought, crops not getting as much water and lake mead water levels I am afraid for their future. I visited hoover dam a couple of years ago and I was shocked how low the water was. I could see it on the drive down, there is a white line of the former water levels and it looks at least 60 feet or more above the current water level. I remember visiting the dam in the 80's and could only see the tops of those 2 intake stacks, now I can see a lot of the stack showing.

    I wondered if they could build a pipeline and pump water from the flood prone areas, I remember the Mississippi overflowing from the winter thaw and lots of flooding, now texas and it is just sad that some areas have more water than they need and others barely have enough to sustain themselves.
     
  6. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    We've never experienced a true drought in historic times. I think in the grand scheme of things we're actually still in a bit of a wet cycle. Now if we're trending into one of those true dry spells, we're talking perhaps hundreds of years. You also can have extended periods of "dry" within a wet cycle. This shit is really rather irrelevant in terms of a decade or two, and tangential observations are interesting but really don't matter.

    The West and California are going to be fine. We certainly need to admit to some hubris, some bad math, rethink some of the plumbing. We're not the Anasazi.
     
  7. zignerlv

    zignerlv Low-Roller

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    Yep, there's no drought, just bad math! :evillaugh Thatt reminds me of one the comments to an LVRJ article that said there was no water shortage in the Colorado River, it's just that others keep using the water!

    "Whatever definition is used for drought, based on meteorological, hydrological, agricultural or socioeconomic references, all the indicators are showing an extreme situation due to particularly warm and dry conditions. Last year had the lowest calendar-year precipitation on record, leading to acute water shortages, groundwater overdraft to replace the missing rain, critically low stream flow and high wildfire risk."


    Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-05-climate-california-epic-droughtworse.html#jCp

    I guess it should be rewritten as "Whatever definition is used for drought, with the exception of Ken's".....
     
  8. lithium78

    lithium78 High-Roller

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    I certainly hope the water situation solves itself in the coming decades, because my wife and I are planning to retire out that way and we'll need to be able to fill our swimming pool.
     
  9. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    We are dry, as is most of the West. Is that a drought? We are having a succession of dry years that if extrapolated over time could be a truly dire drought cycle. It could just turn out to be a succession of dry years in a larger cycle of wet. Drought isn't a 10-year thing. Not even a 100-year thing. Now a few decades of this would be a real nuisance, an economic calamity of some order. That might not be a "drought" of the type that prostrated this region many times and when there were but a handful of folks eking out an existence here.

    Remember, the science had us going in to an El Nino cycle out here this year. Oops. Nope, it's dry. Yet in recent memory we've had two unusually wet cycles. So which is it?

    That why most of this is moot at this level of discussion. We've never had an extended true drought in our modern times, not when there were tens and tens of millions of people west of the 100th with an outmoded hydrologic system built on bad math, bad engineering and a lot of human ego.
     
  10. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    And El Nino is predicted, again: http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-el-nino-returns-20150528-story.html

    Of course, as pointed out, we could get a historic El Nino ... and still be in the throes of a true drought, or perhaps not.

    Unless forced by a very angry Mother Nature, the arid West will not voluntarily be depopulated, at least not on the margins: Front Range, Pacific shore. We probably will have to admit that America's breadbasket is a desert unsuitable for the type and intensity of industrial agriculture long practiced, and particularly in the San Joaquin portion of the Central Valley. That's not good for Tulare or the small farmer.

    Icebergs won't be dragged in, tunnels won't be built sending the Columbia to the upper Sacramento, the Colorado Watershed will always be as it ever was -- undersized for the task demanded of it. Ag will have to change -- way more $$$ for consumers -- we'll have to get cool with drinking treated effluent, some more fish species might have to disappear and some more dams need to go up, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act might need to be raped, and de-sal will be needed.

    Then again, Glen Canyon Dam almost overtopped and failed in 1983 ...
     
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