Colorado River Drought Forces a Painful Reckoning for States

Article author: 
Michael Wines
Article publisher: 
New York Times
Article date: 
5 January 2014
Article category: 
Our American Future
Article Body: 

The sinuous Colorado River and its slew of man-made reservoirs from the Rockies to southern Arizona are being sapped by 14 years of drought nearly unrivaled in 1,250 years...

Reservoirs have shrunk to less than half their capacities...

But many experts believe the current drought is only the harbinger of a new, drier era in which the Colorado’s flow will be substantially and permanently diminished...

Reclamation officials say there is a 50-50 chance that by 2015, Lake Mead’s water will be rationed to states downstream. That, too, has never happened before...

Unfortunately, the Colorado during most of Lake Mead’s 78-year history was not normal at all.

Studies now show that the 20th century was one of the three wettest of the last 13 centuries in the Colorado basin. On average, the Colorado’s flow over that period was actually 15 percent lower than in the 1900s. And most experts agree that the basin will get even drier...

Working to reduce water consumption by 20 percent per person from 2010 to 2020, Southern California’s Metropolitan Water District is recycling sewage effluent...



The US takes in millions of people each year from foreign countries, which draws down our environmental resources at even faster rates. This acts as a population safety relief valve for those donor countries. They can simply export their excess population to the US without having to address population and quality of life issues at home.

Because of mass immigration, United States population is projected to double with the lifetimes of children born today. The water crisis may be viewed from two perspectives. One is that it is the result of a "water shortage" and poor planning. But the sad reality is that it is actually the result of a "people longage" - there are simply too many people demanding limited supplies of sustaining water.