Author Topic: Drought in the Southwest: watch how Lake Mead has shrunk in recent decades  (Read 20045 times)

rcjordan

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Drastic

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A few years back I had the great pleasure of water skiing in the desert on this lake, with Mr MF Mackin at the helm.

Seeing the water lines stories above our head, back then, was really eye opening. When a couple of us were dropped off to have more power to ski, once the boat turned the corner, we were all alone. It was surreal, like being on the moon with an oxygen atmosphere.

Super clear water. You could ski near the bank and see straight down the water was so clear, easily 30 feet.

Great memories from that day

It's crazy how much water is gone from there. 

Brad

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Things look bad for the SW US if this trend just continues.  Watch for internal migration.

rcjordan

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>Watch for

I'm already seeing squabbles and lawsuits about large scale water rights issues trending up in my feeds.

ergophobe

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>>internal migration.

Lots of talk about this. One of my favorite podcasts had an episode on it (okay, it's a podcast "about the natural world and how we use it") but it is the focus of the current issue of Time as well, discussing Africa and the US.

Climate-driven migration is starting and is going to accelerate over the next decade.

rcjordan

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>water rights

Nestle told to stop spring water diversions in San Bernardino Forest

https://www.dailybreeze.com/2021/04/23/nestle-told-to-stop-spring-water-diversions-in-san-bernardino-forest/

rcjordan

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Drought-hit California orders Nestlé to stop pumping millions of gallons of water

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/apr/27/california-nestle-water-san-bernardino-forest-drought

<+>
This is going to cost us.

Corn soars to 8-year high as dry global weather hits crops - while soybeans and wheat are also booming

https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/corn-price-rise-dry-weather-crops-demand-rises-soybeans-wheat-cheese-2021-4-1030353075

« Last Edit: April 27, 2021, 06:00:59 PM by rcjordan »

rcjordan

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<+>
"The latest forecast shows Lake Mead, the biggest reservoir in the Colorado River, declining past a threshold that it hasn't gone below since it was built. "

Southwest States Brace For Water Cuts As Colorado River Reservoirs Run Low
https://kjzz.org/content/1678559/colorado-river-basin-states-brace-future-water-cuts-colorado-river-reservoirs-run

<++>
Amid severe drought, Oregon farming region illegally diverts water from the Klamath River
https://thecounter.org/oregon-farms-water-klamath-river-drought-salmon/

« Last Edit: April 27, 2021, 08:18:18 PM by rcjordan »

ergophobe

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rcjordan

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From here, y'all look screwed.

California’s second-largest reservoir is just 42% full heading into summer

https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2021/04/29/dramatic-photos-of-lake-oroville-depict-californias-worsening-drought/

ergophobe

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As I have said, to live in rural California is to experience persistent low-level stress about fire, wind and water. The latter takes many forms: drought, flood, blizzard. We don't worry about earthquakes much though.

In the two local drainages (Merced River and the Tuolumne River, which supplies most of SF's water), April 1 snowpack was just 64% and 63% of average, following on a low winter last year.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2021, 04:47:57 AM by ergophobe »

ergophobe

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Giant sequoia still smoldering from 2020 Calif. wildfire
https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Tree-still-smoldering-from-2020-Sequoia-National-16153776.php

After a not-tragic 63% of normal snowpack on April 1, the May 1 snowpack in Yosemite is at 25% of normal in the Merced drainage. In other words, three quarters of our water is missing. In Sequoia it was 59% on April 1 and presumably following a similar trajectory.

The upshot is that we did not get enough moisture this winter to fully extinguish the fire still smoldering from last summer. The last time I recall this happening was after the 2013 Rim Fire which happened during the severe drought of 2011/12 to 2015/16
« Last Edit: May 07, 2021, 03:14:33 AM by ergophobe »

ergophobe

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Early signs show 2021 could be an especially catastrophic wildfire season in California
https://fortune.com/2021/04/13/california-fire-season-moisture-levels-fmc-wildfires-drought-san-jose-state

Wildfire researchers have a "grim" forecast for 2021's fire season, say it could be worse than 2020
https://www.salon.com/2021/04/14/wildfire-researchers-have-a-grim-forecast-for-2021s-fire-season-say-it-could-be-worse-than-2020/

This official report from the National Interagency Fire Center has charts and graphs of both fire risk and drought. The drought maps are dramatic
https://www.predictiveservices.nifc.gov/outlooks/monthly_seasonal_outlook.pdf

Nobody says it better than Bette Davis: fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy summer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vEEh0GF_C8
« Last Edit: May 07, 2021, 03:27:41 AM by ergophobe »

rcjordan

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>>From here, y'all look screwed.

>Early signs show 2021 could be an especially catastrophic wildfire season in California

Yup.

ergophobe

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Although, there was no particular reason to expect last year to be a big fire season, and yet it was. It's partly conditions and partly luck.