Friday, January 27, 2023

Colorado River still low in spite of more rains, this winter, in California

Recent storms, in California, haven't done much to help the dry Colorado River Basin that's mostly east of California.

Snowpack in the Sierra and northern California helps the Sacramento / San Juaquin Valley, but way down on the Mexican border is the Imperial Valley; a place where much of our winter vegetable crops come from.

The Imperial Valley relies on water from the Colorado River. That, along with much of Los Angeles, Arizona and other states, rely on the Colorado River which never even had the water flow originally estimated, in the 1920s, when the Southwest water system was designed.

Drought, related to climate change, has reduced the flow still more since 2000. Continued economic growth driven by population growth keeps demanding water, in spite of significant conservation measures.

As the locals and states cannot come to agreement, the Federal Government, under Biden, may have to force a divvying up of the water; bound to be politically difficult. Otherwise, the tap will just stop on it's own, such as when the reservoirs reach "dead pool" levels.

I would guess dead pool means no more water flowing until water, in a reservoir, reaches back to the level of an intake pipe.

I've often thought they will need large desalination projects, from the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California, for the Imperial Valley. San Diego already gets much of it's water this way, but plans for the Imperial Valley have been rejected, so far, by California water / environmental organizations. Similar ideas are being discussed for Arizona.

Whether we take action to create more fresh water, or not, we have to face the reality of population and economic growth having outpaced the water supply that's available today. More than just the people who live in those areas rely on food grown in those areas.

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