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View Diary: Got Water? Then Count Your Blessings (57 comments)

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  •  and since you mention it (21+ / 0-)

    There was a good post yesterday on the Colorado River

    Unprecedented Cut in Colorado River Flow Ordered, Due to Drought

    Posted by: Dr. Jeff Masters, 3:20 PM GMT on August 20, 2013   

    For the first time in history, the U.S. government has ordered that flow of Colorado River water from the 50-year-old Glen Canyon Dam be slashed, due to a water crisis brought about by the region's historic 14-year drought. On Friday, the Federal Bureau of Reclamation--a division of the Department of Interior that manages water and electric power in the West--announced that it would cut water released from Lake Powell's Glen Canyon Dam by 750,000 acre-feet in 2014.

     ...

     The flow reduction will leave the Colorado River 9% below the 8.23 million acre feet that is supposed to be supplied downstream to Lake Mead for use in California, Nevada, Arizona and Mexico under the Colorado River Compact of 1922 and later agreements. "This is the worst 14-year drought period in the last hundred years,"

    It is well-written and illustrated. Worth a visit for water-loving types.

    Global warming & smoking cigarettes = Nothing to worry about? Those who deny climate science are ignorant, evil or worse. Google Fred Singer.

    by LaughingPlanet on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 06:29:26 PM PDT

    •  Thanks - good story. (15+ / 0-)

      One of these days, people will be asking "Why is it called the Aral Sea when it's a desert?" Quite an engineering feat, to divert all that water away - based on a total lack of comprehension of the consequences, and a lot of lovely visions that turned into an eco-disaster once they were realized.

      "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

      by xaxnar on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 06:45:00 PM PDT

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    •  Colorado river does not reach the sea (5+ / 0-)

      I was flying home from a vacation in Mexico and flew over the delta at the mouth of the Colorado. It is nothing more than mud flats. The indigenous plants have all dried up and took the wild life with them.

      “We can always count on the Americans to do the right thing, after they have exhausted all the other possibilities.” - Winston Chuchill

      by se portland on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 06:46:34 AM PDT

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      •  Yes and no. (6+ / 0-)

        There is a tickle that makes it down the delta most years plus there is the water from the MODE (Drainage water from Wellton Irrigation District that is way to salty to count as water for Mexico under the treaty) canal drains to La Ciénega de Santa Clara which is eastern side of the original delta.  If they start using the desalting plant here in Yuma I fear they will use that water and it will be the end of the Delta for the Colorado River.

        "In short, I was a racketeer for Capitalism" Marine Corp Brigadier General Smedley D. Butler

        by Kevskos on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 07:13:56 AM PDT

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        •  Yuma desalting plant article in az star: (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kevskos, Carol in San Antonio

          http://azstarnet.com/...

          One of the potential solutions to drought in the Colorado River basin - a major test of desalination - was an environmental and economic success, UA researchers and U.S. officials said this week.

          But 20 years after the Yuma desalination plant was built for $250 million in federal tax dollars, it's still not clear if it will ever run permanently, or when a decision might be made.

          The plant has been seen by backers in various water agencies as a partial solution to the drought issues plaguing the Colorado River that provides much of Tucson's drinking water. By some environmental groups, it's also been seen as a potentially destructive boondoggle...

          The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation had expected the desal plant's test run to cost $23 million. The final tab was $15.9 million. The test was to last up to 365 days but treatment was finished in 328 days.

          Nonetheless, the plant's most immediate obstacle to long-run operations is lack of money. But a significant amount of fact-gathering and discussions must also occur, water officials and environmentalists said.

          The current tight federal budget has no money to run the plant at full scale, said Jennifer McCloskey, Yuma-area manager for the Bureau of Reclamation, which runs the plant.

          The plant also needs $25 million to $50 million in upgrades, she said.

          •  The Yuma Desalting Plant is (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Notreadytobenice

            just down the road from me.  It is an incredible piece of machinery.  I would like to see it used as long as the water is not coming from the Colorado River.  There is an aquifer with real salty water under the one feed by the river that could be used.  That would be the only use that would not just be cleaning Colorado River water.

            Jennifer McCloskey just got a promo for that job and doing a great job of running the Yuma Sector for Reclamation.    

            "In short, I was a racketeer for Capitalism" Marine Corp Brigadier General Smedley D. Butler

            by Kevskos on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 05:15:49 PM PDT

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            •  Uses a lot of energy to make fresh water... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Kevskos

              High carbon footprint. It's a catch 22.

              Desalination wiki:
              http://en.wikipedia.org/...
              The technology is proven but you need a lot of coal/oil/nukes.

              Nobody wants to pay the electric bill - Not YET :-)

              I read a sci-fi story awhile back. California was paying folks to cut down trees along the mighty Colorado. Saved a lot of water.
              CA also had guards shooting citoyens + other shit. Bad MF's.

              •  LA (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Notreadytobenice

                and Phoenix tap the Colorado River just a few miles apart near Lake Havasu City.  Could become a very important piece of geography at some point.

                "In short, I was a racketeer for Capitalism" Marine Corp Brigadier General Smedley D. Butler

                by Kevskos on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 07:20:43 PM PDT

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                •  Distant memories of jimmy carter... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Kevskos

                  approving canal to Phoenix from the mighty colorado. Read the City has 5 years of that water stored away for a "rainy day."

                  •  The (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Notreadytobenice

                    CAP, Central Arizona Project.  Looks like LBJ was the one who signed it into existence.  I do know that a lot of litigation was still going on in the 70's regarding it so that was probably Carters hand.

                    "In short, I was a racketeer for Capitalism" Marine Corp Brigadier General Smedley D. Butler

                    by Kevskos on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 07:46:34 PM PDT

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