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The Colorado River and Water Reservoirs in the West

Old measures and old laws are not made for climate impacts.

The following is from this Washington Post article: “Changes needed to save second-largest U.S. reservoir, experts say.”

“Lake Powell, a man-made reservoir that sits along the Colorado River on the Arizona-Utah border, generates electricity for about 4.5 million people. It is also a key part of the Colorado River Basin system, which
supplies water to more than 40 million people. As of last week, its water levels fell to 3,522 feet above sea level, which is the lowest seen since the structure was filled in the 1960s. It’s now just 22 percent full, and unprecedented cuts in states’ water usage are necessary to avoid dire consequences.

“‘There’s too little supply and too much demand,’ said Brad Udall, a water and climate scientist at Colorado State University. ‘Ultimately, I think what we’re going to see here is some major rewriting of Western water law.’”

The current agreements on water usage that are trying to be worked out between the western states are too little and too late. I’m in agreement with the text that is in bold above.

Crisis actions don’t happen until there is a real crisis: When people turn on the taps and the water trickles out, when farmers see their crops dying in their fields, when golf courses turn brown and blow away. Those days are very likely ahead of people living in the West. It might not be this year, but I can tell you it won’t be five years from now — that is for sure.

The time for posturing and dilly dallying is in the past. Urgent actions are needed today or the future I predict above is not only possible, but probable and coming very soon!
Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.