Lake Mead Plunges To Lowest Level Ever - 2016

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
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#1
Hopes of an El Nino-driven refill from last summer's plunging levels of the nation's largest reservoir have been dashed as AP reports Lake Mead water levels drop to new record lows (since it was filled in the 1930s) leaving Las Vegas facing existential threats unless something is done. Las Vegas and its 2 million residents and 40 million tourists a year get almost all their drinking water from the lake; and at levels below 1075ft, the Interior Department will be forced to declare a "shortage," which will lead to significant cutbacks for Arizona and Nevada. As one water research scientist warned, "this problem is not going away and it is likely to get worse, perhaps far worse, as climate change unfolds."
 

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Jen Kirley

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#2
I was born and raised in Phoenix AZ and then spent several years in San Diego CA. My dad, many years ago was fond of pointing out that entire region is arid, and not designed by nature to do all the things we've been expecting of it. Too much fresh water drawn over the decades for lifestyle and crops that depend on the old-style irrigation systems. Now things are changing and people will need to respond. Dad always closed his responses with "Science made this problem, science can fix it."
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
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#3
Yeah - I know some folks who live there. Decimated during the 2007-2009 bust home price wise and haven't recovered. "Under water" financially...

I've been watching the Lake Mead thing for a number of years now. I have no predictions, but... It was a good idea at the time. Trouble is they didn't really look to the future. Hind sight, and all that.

One aspect few people think about is the dam provided a lot of electrical power. Now - Practically nada, so it's a two punch loss. Water and electricity aspects.
 

Jen Kirley

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#4
I read that the water rights in Arizona, where an ongoing feud over Colorado River usage is still active, were granted decades ago based on flawed math that underestimated volume projections. Too late now - the contracts are in place and the law does a poor job of keeping up with scientific reality. While on ship way back in 1989 I had a coworker whose husband was a water rights lawyer. I thought that sounded odd at the time but I definitely get it now...

Having moved to SC on a property where I planted a lot of flower beds, I am constantly scheming about building a rain collection barrel drip watering system, in part for conservation's sake and in part to avoid my husband having to stand there with a hose every day or two while I am traveling.
 
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Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
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#5
I think it's CA vs. Arizona vs. Nevada

Politics Rule - Not science.

Water rights? Ever see China Town circa 1974. An excellent film.

Water rights go back many years, back into the "old west" in the US. Sheep? Cattle? I've seen one heck of a lot of old "spaghetti" westerns that had water rights as their movie focus.
 
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Ronen E

Problem Solver
Staff member
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#6
I wonder what more needs to happen before big players start responding seriously to climate change, and take action.
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
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#7
I keep hearing the world climate is getting colder... :popcorn: :deadhorse: Internet mouths triumphs science. And don't leave out anti-vaxers. :notme:
 

Sunday

Involved In Discussions
#9
Last time I flew into Las Vegas, I was impressed by a massive development project on the east side of LV. I was greatly impressed with the first feature built: the huge man made lake.

Water conservation is, clearly, not a priority.
 

Scott Catron

True Artisan
Super Moderator
#10
Related long read:

Drought be Dammed

"The water crisis in the West has renewed debate about the effectiveness of major dams, with some pushing for the enormous Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River to be decommissioned."
 

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