Sunday, April 22, 2007

Happy Earth Day

PHOENIX - The 25 million Americans who rely on the Colorado River for water should expect continued — and even worsening — drought spells and water shortages as rising temperatures and growing populations create a double whammy, experts warned in a new report.

Water conservation measures have helped somewhat, but consumption has boomed in certain areas. For example, Nevada's Clark County, which includes Las Vegas, saw water use double from 1985 to 2000.

"The combination of limited water supplies, rapidly increasing populations, warmer regional temperatures, and the specter of recurrent drought point to a future in which the potential for conflict among existing and prospective new water users will prove endemic," the research council said in a statement that accompanied the report.

The report was commissioned by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the Southern Nevada Water Authority and two California water agencies.

Human-induced change in Earth's atmosphere will leave the American Southwest in perpetual drought for the next 90 years, a new study finds. Live Science

Meanwhile, development in much of the Southwest is booming. In the Phoenix metro area alone, permits were issued for 63,570 new homes last year.

"Planners should consider that there's a limit to the water resource and that we're starting to push that at times," Meko said. "This recent drought was a good example. That's going to happen in the future more and more as demand increases."

In a telephone interview, Meko told LiveScience that the study results "should put a limit on how much growth can occur in the arid parts of the Southwest
." Live Science

In the meantime development and population growth continue unabated and we keep building more of these.......

Just something to think about.


TomCat said...

We need to start loving the earth.

ChasingMoksha said...

"We need to start loving the earth."

For real, like, as of yesterday.

Women on the Verge said...

Just read about a report that says by 2050 the folks in the southwest will be experiencing conditions must like the midwest did during the "dustbowl" era. Let's hope that we wake up before we're smacked with another disaster of epic proportions...


United We Lay said...

Great post. Look at Al Gore's website for An Inconvenient Truthfor other things that you can do to help cut down on your personal carbon footprint. Also, a lot of these developments have housing associations. If you offer to donate 10 trees and plant them, many of them wil;l be grateful for the greenery. You can get 10 free trees for a 10$ donation to the National Arbor Day Foundation.

BadTux said...

A golf course in Seattle has to do with events in the Desert Southwest... how?

When I lived in Phoenix we had *lots* of golf courses. Without fail, they were all watered with treated sewage ("greywater"), not with potable water. How do you think they keep the grass so green? (heh!).

Now, whether putting treated sewage onto golf courses or back into the (dry) Salt River is a different issue, but the golf courses themselves weren't using a whole lot of potable water, other than for the normal toilets and such...

BadTux said...

Oh, "United We Lay", please, *PLEASE* do not suggest planting trees in the desert Southwest! The climate does not have enough rainfall for trees other than at the bottom of watercourses where desert willows can grow. The best xeroscaping for desert lawns is cacti, palo verde, ocotillo, brittlebrush, and other things of that sort, along with ironwood and mesquites that look more like big shrubs rather than things immediately recognizable as "trees". And naturally grass is right out of the question for a desert lawn (indeed, is *illegal* in some places, like in Tucson AZ). The stuff above is happy with a half inch of water per month. Grass, which needs a half inch of water per week even when *dormant* to keep it from dying, uses way too much water unless you're set up to use treated sewage to water it (which has its own health issues, as those who've gotten sick on Phoenix golf courses can attest).

United We Lay said...

There are a lot of other things you can plant, or write your local officials and get them to legallize planting emp, which actually helps keep moisture in the soil. I would suggest moving your ass out of the southwest before it dries up and you all come over here looking for water and shelter from the dust bowl. I personally find it incredibly stupid that people choose to live out in the middle of the desert, especially when getting water to those developments is harmful to the earth.

pekka said...

Mama, I am commending you for opening up this super important and oddly hushed issue!

Every source I've looked, your aquifers are at record lows, especially in the Mid West and the South West. They have alredy passed the point of recovery. Combine that with the unsustainable and explosive housing developement, mainly in the SW, and you can see how hard it will be dealing with the looming doom.

Everybody there seem to go ballistic about the horror of not being able to obtain cheap gas but they give hardly a beep about water shortage. You can live and prosper without oil but not water. The only sensible thing to do, in my mind, is to have a moratorium on the reckless housing expansion till the environmental considerations have been checked out. However, I am a bit worried that such an action might be un-American and maybe even just inches from Communism.

Right now, this Titanic is still unsinkable, and the band can keep on playing the happy tunes.