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Water Shortage in the West

Written by Gary North on May 28, 2013

Lake Mead and Lake Powell, the two sources of Colorado River water for Los Angeles, Denver, Las Vegas, and Phoenix, will be down to 45% of capacity by year’s end. This is the lowest since 1968. At least 40 million people will be threatened. This will mandate water conservation.

When you see the word “shortage,” think this: “At what price?” When you see the word “conservation, think this: “By whom?”

How will this conservation be enforced? Let’s see. The government could raise prices. But that is politically risky. Voters will complain.

How about voluntary conservation? This means that those who cooperate will see non-cooperating neighbors using all the water they choose to use. Will this work? It never has in the past.

The government has a solution. It will set up three committees to study the issue. Not just one. Three.

A report issued by the federal government last December blamed climate change and a growing population for the shortage. What can the government do about either of these? Not a thing.

Then there is this thing called evaporation. It works like this. The U.S. government builds a dam. The dam creates two huge lakes. Water then sits quietly in the desert heat. It evaporates. Then the evaporated water forms clouds. The clouds blow away to rain on other regions.

In 2008, a report was issued by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Here is a press release.

There is a 50 percent chance Lake Mead, a key source of water for millions of people in the southwestern United States, will be dry by 2021 if climate changes as expected and future water usage is not curtailed, according to a pair of researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego.

Without Lake Mead and neighboring Lake Powell, the Colorado River system has no buffer to sustain the population of the Southwest through an unusually dry year, or worse, a sustained drought. In such an event, water deliveries would become highly unstable and variable, said research marine physicist Tim Barnett and climate scientist David Pierce.

Barnett and Pierce concluded that human demand, natural forces like evaporation, and human-induced climate change are creating a net deficit of nearly 1 million acre-feet of water per year from the Colorado River system that includes Lake Mead and Lake Powell. This amount of water can supply roughly 8 million people. Their analysis of Federal Bureau of Reclamation records of past water demand and calculations of scheduled water allocations and climate conditions indicate that the system could run dry even if mitigation measures now being proposed are implemented.

That was in 2008. Fortunately, the three committees will study this. No doubt this will reduce evaporation.

Continue Reading on www.latimes.com

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15 thoughts on “Water Shortage in the West

  1. What does one expect from the same government that announced a decade ago with absolute certainty that snow would be a "thing of the past" in 10 years? Or from a politician who said in a 2009 speech that the temperature at the center of the earth is "millions of degrees" (when it's actually about 5000 degrees Centigrade)?

  2. Bullshit, if there is a water shortage, why are we making ethanol ? If there is a water shortage then why is the almighty government not doing something about it.

  3. Fed Up Grandma says:

    Hmmm! Wonder if HAARP has anything to do with this???

  4. trailblazer1 says:

    Out of water by 2021?” Let’s see, that give us 8 years to build desalinization plants up and down the west coast. Twice as much time as it took us to win WWII.
    Oh, I forgot! Now days we can get through the permit process and build a house in 8 years.

  5. The government (just about any government) would rather eat dog doo-doo than allow market forces to operate. This is the economic history of governments.

  6. Denver doesn't get any water from Mead and Powell.

  7. those that believe in MAN made global warming are the same people that believe in ghost, mermaids,and unicorns

  8. Los Angeles and Denver do not get water from either Lake Mead or Lake Powell. Los Angeles area gets water from Parker Dam. Denver gets no water at all from the Colorado River. Denver is on the eastern slope and the Green and Colorado Rivers on the western slope. there is a bit of a continental divide separating Denver from the water… Much of the decline is due to a long term drought, not just from increasing demand

  9. Just another scare to advance the hysteria of human-caused Global Warming, with the resultant redistribution of income from Western countries to less developed countries. Not to mention the incredible wealth that will flow to those who own and/or run the credit exchanges.

  10. We are days away from the start of summer, and Vermont and upstate New York have 30 inches of snow. In May. The ski resorts are reopening. In May.

    "Human caused global warming" is a man-made scam designed to extort a carbon tax from humanity and make a few greedy elites even more insanely rich. Governments don't care either because they just want to see the coffers filled with more tax revenues, like a heroin addict needs his next fix.

  11. madmemere says:

    Denver and surrounding areas draw water from the South Platte, Arkansas, Cold Stream and various other waterways, all currently running full. Farmers and ranchers, north of Denver in Weld County, have been forbidden, by the State Supreme Court, to use their own irrigation wells, because city folk, in Boulder and Denver "demand" their "senior water rights"! Those same "city folk" demand their water, so they can water their lawns, pretty flowers, wash their BMWs and fill their swimming pools! In other words, they don't do anything "beneficial" with the water they "waste", while farmers and ranchers, to the north, have to cut back on their plantings and slaughter livestock, because they cannot grow feed for them! At the same time, the water table in Weld County, is so high, it's flooding basements and ruining homes!! This, thanks to the stupidity of government and the courts! Now, I wonder how those same "city folk" will feel, when they start paying 3, or 4, times the normal prices, for their (imported) fruits and veggies??

  12. NWBuckeye says:

    This Could be Fixed if Obummer would let the Govt. Arrest and Deport the Approximate number of 30 MILLION Illegal ALIENS residing in our Country ILLEGALLY Sucking up our Resources, Our Social Security, Destroying our People with Drugs and Crime all the while Voting Illegally for DEMOCRATS!
    Signed: Patriotic Citizen Fed Up with the Fed.

  13. Barbara says:

    The local county environmental group told my folks that a certain field was to remain in its natural condition as a wet land, this in the middle of the desert. It was to be flooded for the migrating birds. The only problem with their ass/essment the field has 20 % slope. The law of gravity dictates that water will flow down hill, something the the smart environmentalists can not change.
    The only reason this field is green is because of man made damns so the farmer can irrigate and turn barren desert land into growing crops. This field in its natural state would grow sage brush.

  14. Controlling water is another way to control the masses of people. Water and utilities in general are just another way of taxing people. In this case the "rich" land owners with landscaping. Carlsbad, CA has a water treatment plant for making recycled water for irrigation. 90% of the Carlsbad plant is dumped into the ocean because few want to pay for the pipes to pump it inland. I found out why when I asked prices at the Olivenhain Water District annual meeting. I was told the "used" water, get this, is 85% of the new water. No wonder 90% is dumped in the ocean. Therefore, the government is more interested in getting more money than solving the problem. I rest my case.

  15. HEY !! Watch out. I believe in ghosts, mermaids, and ET's. But I KNOW "man-made global warming" is BULLS**T !!