The West and Water - The ultimate resource we are running out of

jasonw
By jasonw on Tue, Aug 20, 2013 - 4:14pm

For all those folks in the Western part of the US that are reading this, we need to have an adult-sized conversation about our water resources, usage, and strategies for dealing with droughts, climate change, and how best to support the millons of folks who rely on the Colorado River for water. 

A part of the following article that struck me as dire is:

Dwindling Colorado River Forces First-Ever Cuts in Lake Powell Water Releases

For Las Vegas, which draws most of its water from Lake Mead and grew by more than 6,000 people a month in the 2000s, the extremely dry conditions of the past decade already have prompted a raft of water restrictions and conservation measures -- including banning grass front lawns in new home developments.

But the city isn't counting on conservation alone. If the conditions of the past several years continue indefinitely, by 2015 water levels at Lake Mead could drop below one of Las Vegas's two intakes there, imperiling the city's water supply. Today, its water authority is scrambling to build a third intake to allow it to draw water at levels below 1,000 feet -- an insurance policy if the lake's levels drop low enough to put its first intake out of service.

Time to get one more straw inserted at the bottom of water bottle to suck it dry.   What are the effects downstream to this sort of "insurance policy" implementation?

I know water rights are a very touchy and complex subject, but we really need to start addressing these issues.

Note: If you're reading this and are not yet a member of Peak Prosperity's ResourceWatch Group, please consider joining it now. It's a collection point for news and data on the growing scarcity of key natural resources. Simply go here and click the "Join Today" button.

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1 Comment

gpoulsen's picture
gpoulsen
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 27 2009
Posts: 20
Shrinking Water Supply

Yes indeed, here in Utah we have been having town meetings on water.  This is good to see.  I was not able to attend but did speak with someone who did.  He said that many things were discussed, conservation being one of those.  A comment he made which I would like to here comments from others here at PP was, "There was a discussion on whether it was wise to conserve at this point, because if we conserve now and then get to the point of no additional supplies of water there will be no conservation measures available to make the water go further."

My thinking is that it is better to conserve now and put measures in to limit growth so that you don't get to that point of having no additional supplies to meet your needs.  I have taken out my front lawn (about 6 years ago) and have water wise plants and rocks in place of the lawn.  Many people have commented on how they like it but I have not seen many others doing the same.

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