Worst Colorado River drought in century prompts feds to cut releases from Lake Powell

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  • OlderGreg USA, CA
    Aug. 17, 2013 8:07 p.m.

    And just how is sucking more out of the already over-drafted Nevada aquifer going to help?

  • jrgl CEDAR CITY, UT
    Aug. 17, 2013 3:18 p.m.

    I wonder how this shapes the debate concerning a proposed 139 mile water pipeline to St. George from Lake Powell?
    Cedar City opted out of the Lake Powell pipeline, which may limit how much our town will be developed in the future with our water supply, which may not necessarily be a bad thing considering the high price tag & decreasing Colorado river water.

  • GeoMan SALEM, OR
    Aug. 17, 2013 1:58 p.m.

    My2Cents, Your writing something doesn't make it true, no matter how much you wish it did.

    Moabmom, 50 live trees and 100 dead trees suck up the same amount of water as 50 live trees. Which is it, we have too many trees (presumably because they haven't been cut) or we have too few trees because the beetles have done them in (presumably because they haven't been cut).
    Or is it actually possible that we have too many trees of the wrong size and health because of two factors? Namely: 1) Well intended, but harmful, excessive fire suppression efforts in the name of maximizing timber harvest. 2) Changing climate that weakens the trees and makes them more vulnerable to disease and pests. (the answer to the question is "yes" by the way).
    Regardless of what role humans are playing in the current climate changes, the record is very clear that climate change over the millennia has resulted in a succession of vegetation, at any given location, as the environment adjusts to the changes in climate.

  • RDLV Costa Rica, 00
    Aug. 17, 2013 10:30 a.m.

    RE: My2Cents, Baron Scarpia, and Moabmom.
    The three of you make very good points about water management, use, and availability. This is the kind of dialogue that we need, and will need in the coming years, if we are to deal with this critical problem.

  • Moabmom Moab, UT
    Aug. 17, 2013 9:03 a.m.

    The decrease in the Colorado is not due to either AGW or cooling. It is due to poor management of our forests by Fed and State agencies working in tandem with "environmental" NGO's to shut down the timber industry and "save habitat" for wildlife and misuse of the "endangered" species act. This hands off management has left our forest areas an over grown, dry, tinder box. When you have 150 trees in an area where their used to be 50 sucking up the ground water of course you have less run off. Duh! The bark beetle infestation across the west was the result of overgrown forests. The low river levels are a direct result of wrong headed environmental policies. We never had a problem with water when we actually 'managed' the forests. A well tended garden is always a more productive garden all the way around.

  • Baron Scarpia Logan, UT
    Aug. 17, 2013 7:38 a.m.

    Because we take most of the water from the Colorado, by the time it reaches Mexico, there isn't enough for a Mexican agriculture industry to thrive, resulting in poverty and Mexican nationals seeking economic opportunities to the north.

    It's unfortunate that conservatives love to talk about the jobs that can be created by building a government-funded wall between the two nations to keep immigrants out, but they refrain from talking about how the cultivation of markets and Mexican job opportunities by allowing water to flow into Mexico. This could be a significant long-term solution in developing Mexico's ag industry and allowing Mexicans to earn a living in their homeland. Food production is the basis of any free market society and creating jobs.

    True conservatives should support the creation of free markets and enterprise in Northern Mexico with Colorado water. Instead, our conservatives want to keep the water evaporating in the desert sun and use tax-payer dollars to build a wall that will do little to stem the tide of illegal immigration.

  • My2Cents Taylorsville, UT
    Aug. 17, 2013 3:30 a.m.

    Global warming and man's carbon footprint being held hostage has finally been acknowledged as insignificant and irrelevant. In other words the CO2 level has nothing to do with global warming, scientist are now saying they were mistaken and don't know why the climate temperatures increased. Science is subjective, inaccurate, not absolute but speculation.

    However we are accountable for drought, scorched environment impacts by attrition of global water resources with less and less fresh water resources. Removed from the environment, billions of barrels of water in nuclear power plants, oil shale fracking, population growth, and federal government expansion that is making fresh water to toxic to recycle and release back into the environment. Billions of barrels of toxic water are buried in containers every year never to be used again and this has finally scorched the environment raising global temperatures with dry air.

    We have expanded industry and population beyond the environments ability to replenish and supply fresh water, ground water has been sucked from aquifers and not replenished, water tables are at record lows inhibiting natural rain that replenish aquifers. The environment has been stripped of its water by western state expansion with unsustainable growth.

  • Mainly Me Werribee, 00
    Aug. 17, 2013 3:17 a.m.

    The signs of the times. The whole world in commotion.

  • RDLV Costa Rica, 00
    Aug. 16, 2013 5:41 p.m.

    Since 1850, global temperatures have indeed risen about 0.8°C, sea level has risen about 20cm and CO2 levels have increased from about 280 to 380 ppm. That being said, we should not confuse low precipitation levels with warmer temperatures as a general rule of thumb. If we examine the paleoclimatic record, warmer periods generally equate to higher precipitation rates and colder temperatures generally mean there is less precipitation. There of course can be localized and even regional exceptions to the rule, but general the rule holds up. Basically, when it’s warmer, there is more evaporation in the ocean basins worldwide, more storms, and more precipitation. We need to be careful making inferences when there is a drought. We may think that it’s intuitively obvious, if it's warmer it must be because of global climate change (warming). It may or may not be true.

  • Old ball coach Sandy, UT
    Aug. 16, 2013 4:27 p.m.

    Shhhhh! Don't say the C word!!!!

  • Warrior Parent Belle Glade, FL
    Aug. 16, 2013 2:57 p.m.

    the most wasteful part of the allocation is the above ground river from Utah south through Nevada and into California. California needs to find an alternate source so the upriver users can use the water before its wasted by evaporation in the desert

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 16, 2013 2:02 p.m.

    Glad there is no climate change caused by massive carbon release or this could get real bad.