Water War A’Coming – Who Wins, Who Loses?


Education Images/UIG

❝ Lake Mead is the country’s biggest reservoir of water. Think of it as the savings account for the entire Southwest. Right now, that savings account is nearly overdrawn.

For generations, we’ve been using too much of the Colorado River, the 300-foot-wide ribbon of water that carved the Grand Canyon, supplies Lake Mead, and serves as the main water source for much of the American West.

The river sustains one in eight Americans — about 40 million people — and millions of acres of farmland…snowpack in the Rockies has been dwindling, and there’s no physical way for them to store the water they depend on. There are no big reservoirs in the Rockies…

❝ And then there’s always climate change. On the world’s current emissions trajectory, sharply warming temperatures boost the odds of a megadrought in the Southwest sometime later this century to more than 99 percent. Such a drought would last a generation. Nearly all trees in the Southwest could die. The scale of the disaster would have the power to reshape the course of U.S. history.

❝ For now, the spat over the Colorado River offers a glimpse into water politics in an era of permanent scarcity.

Our little community in La Cieneguilla is well situated to survive a water war. Geology is on our side. So what? We have neighbors in the county, in the state, who will move to logical and kindly, illegal and greedy, solutions depending upon timely local politics.

Gird your loins wherever you may be in [or near] the Southwest. Hopefully, common sense and decency prevail.

11 thoughts on “Water War A’Coming – Who Wins, Who Loses?

  1. Cassandra says:

    “How a city that floods is running out of water” (BBC 5/14/18) http://www.bbc.com/future/gallery/20180510-how-a-city-that-floods-is-running-out-of-water “Mexico City is running out of water – and that crisis is exacerbating everything from sewage spills to subsidence to earthquakes.”
    “Mexico: Water Activist in Baja California under Preemptive Arrest for Bogus Charges” https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Water-Activist-in-Baja-California-Put-Into-Preemptive-Prison-20180513-0009.html
    “How Cape Town delayed its water-shortage disaster—at least until 2019” (Quartz 5/4/18) https://qz.com/1272589/how-cape-town-delayed-its-water-disaster-at-least-until-2019/

  2. On borrowed time says:

    “Satellite study finds major shifts in global freshwater” https://phys.org/news/2018-05-satellite-major-shifts-global-freshwater.html “What we are witnessing is major hydrologic change,” said co-author James Famiglietti of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “We see, for the first time, a very distinctive pattern of the wet land areas of the world getting wetter—those are the high latitudes and the tropics—and the dry areas in between getting dryer. Embedded within the dry areas we see multiple hotspots resulting from groundwater depletion.”
    Annotated map of Terrestrial Water Storage trends from: “Emerging trends in global freshwater availability” https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0123-1/figures/1
    “Humans are causing massive changes in the location of water around the world, NASA says” (Washington Post 5/16/18) https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2018/05/16/humans-are-causing-massive-changes-in-the-location-of-water-all-over-the-earth-nasa-says/?utm_term=.3892e2425bd6 “I think we have forgotten, society has forgotten, how much water it takes to produce food,” Famiglietti said. “We’ve taken its availability for granted. And you know, now we’re at a point in many of these aquifers where we can’t take it for granted anymore. Population is too great, groundwater levels are too low. … we’re at tipping points.”

  3. Chirrionera says:

    “New Mexico official says Texas landowners are “stealing” millions of gallons of water and selling it back for fracking” https://www.texastribune.org/2018/06/07/texas-landowners-new-mexico-stealing-water-fracking/ In this new water-war battlefront, the New Mexico land commissioner argues that unregulated pumping of water from wells along the state line in West Texas for use in fracking is depleting the shared aquifers that supply water to southern New Mexico.

  4. Ольга says:

    “Crimea water crisis resolution unlikely, risk of further Russian incursion into Ukraine rises in three-year outlook” (Jane’s July 5, 2018) http://www.janes.com/article/81549/crimea-water-crisis-resolution-unlikely-risk-of-further-russian-incursion-into-ukraine-rises-in-three-year-outlook
    Key points:
    ● The water crisis in Crimea, already severe, is likely to deteriorate further, following Ukraine’s decision to cut fresh water supply to the annexed peninsula in 2014, which had previously accounted for 86% of the total.
    ● Although there are potential non-military solutions to the Crimea water crisis, they would require large investments and time to be implemented successfully, thus potentially pressing the Russian leadership to choose a quicker military solution.
    ● A military operation to secure water supply for Crimea, currently a low-probability but high-impact scenario, would require Russian invasion into the Kherson region of Ukraine, potentially under a hybrid scenario under the pretence of assisting the oppressed Russian speakers in the region, reminiscent of the Donbass conflict’s scenario in 2014.

  5. Cassandra says:

    Pakistan: “Parched for a price: Karachi’s water crisis” https://interactive.aljazeera.com/aje/2017/parched-for-price/index.html (interactive) “Residents of Karachi, one of the largest cities in the world, are being held hostage by a ‘mafia’ that makes millions of dollars out of their need for water.” See also “Karachi ‘water mafia’ sucking city’s pipelines dry” (2015) https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/09/karachi-water-mafia-sucking-city-pipelines-dry-150910062202773.html
    Scotland: “Water help for communities ‘running dry’ after heatwave” (BBC 7/18/18) https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-44865968
    “Sinking land, poisoned water: the dark side of California’s mega farms” (Guardian UK 7/18/18) https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jul/18/california-central-valley-sinking-arsenic-water-farming-agriculture

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