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Thread: The Next Shortage- Critical

  1. #1 The Next Shortage- Critical 
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    I have maintained for quite some time that IMO, the issue of availability of oil will take second place to that of fresh water. We see evidence of this with our own eyes here in the Desert Southwest. The Colorado River System, begun initially with the construction of Hoover Dam 75 years ago, has provided the ability of both agriculture and human population to take advantage of easy year-round productivity, given the lack of a cold season. The Fort Mohave Indian Tribe, for example, raises alfalfa and cotton on immense areas of Mohave County (AZ). The area attracts great numbers of "snowbirds" from the north, many from Canada, during their cold months, and has proven to be "the" retirement area for many.

    We see Lake Mead, formed by Hoover Dam, with it's 550 mile shoreline (!) at near historic low water levels today. It took that lake 10 years to fill after completion of the dam, it's water source being primarily snow-melt from the Rockies. My wife and I happened to be vacationing in the dam area in about 1979 or so, and witnessed the only rarely-presented spectacle of the overflow spillways, two yawning 50-foot diameter concrete-lined holes, sucking away unimaginable quantities of excess water, to prevent "over-topping" of the dam. At the time, the water level on the back side (upstream) of the dam almost looked like one could reach down and touch it, that water being 500 feet deep! Today it is perhaps one-half that.

    We hear that Lake Mead is likely to never be "full" again, ever. The official prediction here in Mohave County is that supply of Colorado River water will become critical, no net increase in water availability ever again, within the next two years. Thus, I excerpted the following highlights to illustrate my point:

    "The Ogallala Aquifer, part of the High Plains Aquifer System, is a vast yet shallow underground water table aquifer located beneath the Great Plains in the United States. One of the world's largest aquifers, it covers an area of approximately 174,000 mi² (450,000 km²) in portions of the eight states of South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Texas.

    About 27 percent of the irrigated land in the United States overlies this aquifer system, which yields about 30 percent of all ground water used for irrigation in the United States. The aquifer system supplies drinking water to 82 percent of the 2.3 million people (1990 census) who live within the boundaries of the High Plains study area.

    The depth of the water below the surface of the land ranges from almost 400 feet (120 m) in parts of the north to between 100 and 200 feet (30 and 60 m) throughout much of the south. Present-day recharge of the aquifer with fresh water occurs at an exceedingly slow rate, suggesting that much of the water in its pore spaces is paleowater, dating back to the most recent ice age and probably earlier.

    Some estimates indicate a remaining volume sufficient for as little as 25 years. Many farmers in the Texas High Plains, which rely particularly on the underground source, are now turning away from irrigated agriculture as they become aware of the hazards of overpumping."

    The natural "re-charge" of the Ogallala varies between 0.02" in Texas to 6" in Kansas. This is precious little in comparison to what is being removed. "Paleowater". A new term for me to include in my "imponderables list" jocular


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  3. #2  
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    There are huge water efficiencies of water that haven't been implemented for agriculture and in the urban areas; many of them are proven in other places such as Israel.

    But the problem will only get worse. Here's a good summary of projected drying in the Southwest.
    Transition to a more arid Southwest


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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    But the problem will only get worse.
    =============
    Dwindling Colorado River Forces First-Ever Cuts in Lake Powell Water Releases
    By: Terrell Johnson
    Published: August 20, 2013


    More than a dozen years of drought have begun to extract a heavy toll from water supplies in the West, where a report released last week forecast dramatic cuts next year in releases between the two main reservoirs on the Colorado River, the primary source of water for tens of millions of people across seven western states. After studying the problems facing the river for the past two years, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation – the agency charged with managing water in the West – announced Friday that it would cut the amount of water released next year by Lake Powell in Arizona by 750,000 acre-feet, enough to supply about 1.5 million homes. It marks the first reduction in water flows since the mid 1960s, when the lake was created by the construction of Glen Canyon Dam. "This is the worst 14-year drought period in the last hundred years," said Larry Wolkoviak, director of the bureau's Upper Colorado Region. The move could trigger an "unprecedented water crisis within the next few years," the business coalition group Protect the Flows told USA Today, as reductions could have major ramifications for farmers and businesses downstream that depend on those flows, as well as on hydroelectric power generation.
    "The river is already severely endangered due to way too many dams and diversions," Gary Wockner of SavetheColorado.org told National Geographic, noting the impact the reduced flows also would have on fish and wildlife throughout the Grand Canyon. "The impact on the health of the Colorado River is unsustainable."

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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by billvon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    But the problem will only get worse.
    =============
    Dwindling Colorado River Forces First-Ever Cuts in Lake Powell Water Releases

    By: Terrell Johnson
    Published: August 20, 2013


    More than a dozen years of drought have begun to extract a heavy toll from water supplies in the West, where a report released last week forecast dramatic cuts next year in releases between the two main reservoirs on the Colorado River, the primary source of water for tens of millions of people across seven western states. After studying the problems facing the river for the past two years, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation – the agency charged with managing water in the West – announced Friday that it would cut the amount of water released next year by Lake Powell in Arizona by 750,000 acre-feet, enough to supply about 1.5 million homes. It marks the first reduction in water flows since the mid 1960s, when the lake was created by the construction of Glen Canyon Dam. "This is the worst 14-year drought period in the last hundred years," said Larry Wolkoviak, director of the bureau's Upper Colorado Region. The move could trigger an "unprecedented water crisis within the next few years," the business coalition group Protect the Flows told USA Today, as reductions could have major ramifications for farmers and businesses downstream that depend on those flows, as well as on hydroelectric power generation.
    "The river is already severely endangered due to way too many dams and diversions," Gary Wockner of SavetheColorado.org told National Geographic, noting the impact the reduced flows also would have on fish and wildlife throughout the Grand Canyon. "The impact on the health of the Colorado River is unsustainable."

    ===========
    This sentence is ill-stated. If the "impact" is unsustainable, then the impact is expected to LESSEN, which means conditions IMPROVE. But, thanks for the input. It seems to uphold the news we've been hearing locally, as residents of the Colorado River area. jocular
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    I agree with all of you.

    Water will become the next GOLD!
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