Colorado River Seen as Depleting resource

Article author: 
Ken Ritter
Article publisher: 
Houston Chronicle
Article date: 
12 December 2012
Article category: 
Our American Future
Article Body: 

...rising demand and falling supply have water managers in the arid West considering a host of other options to deal with dire projections that the Colorado River - the main water supply for a region larger than the country of France - won't be able over the next 50 years to meet demands of a regional population now about 40 million and growing.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar issued what he termed "a call to action" with a three-year study of the river, its flows and its ability to meet the future needs of city-dwellers, Native Americans, businesses, ranchers and farmers in seven Western states.

"We are in a troubling trajectory in the Colorado River basin, as well as the Rio Grande basin," Salazar told reporters on a conference call outlining the math in the findings of the Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study...

Salazar and Bureau of Reclamation officials warned that the Colorado River's historical 15 million acre-feet per year flow has been reduced by 12 years of drought to about 12 million acre-feet. Officials say an acre-foot can meet the water needs of up two families per year.

Water interests and the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming together lay claim to all the water in the river and then some.

Mexico also has a stake in the river, and officials last month set new rules to share Colorado River water south of the border and let Mexico store water in Lake Mead near Las Vegas.

The study projects that by 2060 the river flow could fall 3.2 million to 8 million acre-feet short of regional needs...

Carly Jerla, a federal Bureau of Reclamation analyst, told reporters the range of future growth scenarios went from a small increase to doubling the regional population...

CAIRCO comments:

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". 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.

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