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Alex Wierbinski's picture

Water Expert's Long Term Views: There Never Was Enough Water in the Colorado River



Hoover Dam Intake Towers Exposed by Low Level of Lake Mead
Hoover Dam's Lake Mead Intake Towers Exposed, egorshitikov, Pixaday.
Trend lines for the Colorado River & Her Reservoirs are pointing downward rapidly as illegal populations in the Southwestern US continue to explode. Image by egorshitikov, Pixabay.


Water Expert's Long Term Views: There Never Was Enough Water

From “The Great Mistake” to “Science Be Dammed,”
JFleck at Inkstain, October 9, 2019.


Sibert's Pre-Construction Analysis
"A retired Army officer and engineer, he headed a panel chartered by Congress in 1928 to review the feasibility of the..." Hoover Dam Project.

The Question
"...does the Colorado River really have enough water to honor the allocations in the legislation Congress was about to approve?"

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Farming Overproduction in The Valley Hits the Wall with SGMA




Farming Overproduction in The Valley Hits the Wall with SGMA

California Farmers Face ‘Catastrophic’ Water Restrictions. Can They Adapt to Survive?
Sac Bee, September 25, 2019.


"...California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, or SGMA. Starting next January, the law will require farmers to gradually rein in the amount of groundwater they can pump from their wells."

"...groundwater. It accounts for 38 percent of the state’s total supply in a normal year, close to 50 percent or more in a dry year."

"The SGMA law (pronounced “sigma”) says groundwater basins must be brought into “sustainability” — defined as cutting consumption to the point that they’re no longer causing “chronic lowering of groundwater levels” or other “undesirable results.” To implement the law, dozens of regional groundwater agencies have been set up. The January launch has managers scrambling to figure out just how much less water their farmers will have in the future."

"It could devastate the economy of the entire San Joaquin Valley."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Climate Change Bringing Trouble to the Source of the Blue Nile in the Ethiopian Highlands



Map of the Blue Nile
Map of the Blue Nile, Lourdes Cardenal, Wiki.
Lourdes Cardenal, Wiki.


Trouble at the Source of the Blue Nile in the Ethiopian Highlands

Upper Nile will experience more water scarcity due to hotter, drier periods,
AGU Blogosphere, August 28, 2019.


The Problem
"An increase in hotter, drier years in the coming decades due to climate change may worsen water scarcity issues in the Upper Nile Basin."

Failure & Failure
"This region is already on the verge of water scarcity..."

"...impacts are likely to cause an increase in agricultural failure in Ethiopia and may potentially lead to civil strife, according to the authors..."

Increasing Extremity
Rain and Drought Increasing
"Climate models generally agree that rainfall will increase by roughly 10 percent by 2080 in the regions around the upper branches of the Nile River."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

SB 559, & the Friant-Kern Canal: "Socialism," for Rich Corporate Farmers & their Illegals



Friant-Kern Canal: Socialism for Rich Corporate Farmers

Surviving the Next Drought: It’s Political in California’s Central Valley,
Courthouse News Service, August 16, 2019.


Friant-Kern Canal
"Since 1951, the gravity-fed Friant-Kern Canal has delivered San Joaquin River water from Fresno to water districts south to Bakersfield."

Central Valley Project,
Bureau of Reclamation.

Drought Effects
"...the rush to plant the water-intensive crops – and overpumping the groundwater to quench the plants’ thirst – has caused the canal to settle in the southernmost section and form a pinch point that limits its capacity to deliver water. Experts refer to the settling as subsidence..."

Friant-Kern Canal
Fed-Local Farmer Ownership
"The canal’s owner, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and its operator, Friant Water Authority, claim it has lost 60% of its ability to deliver water."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

US Wells Chasing Disappearing Groundwater Ever Deeper



Groundwater Well Drilling Equipment in California's Central Valley
Looks like a rocket, but one pointed at the blood of the Earth... Photo Credit: CHAD RESS, UCSB.


Original Research

Drilling Deeper,
University of California - Santa Barbara, July 22, 2019.

After-market Article

In the US, wells being drilled ever deeper as groundwater vanishes,
Ars Technica, July 25, 2019.


Not Sustainable
"...current levels of groundwater use are not sustainable: resources are being steadily depleted as groundwater use outpaces natural replenishment."


Recent Research
The Destruction of American Groundwater


March 2019
Our Frightening Groundwater Future of, Fright, Flight, & Fight


Alex Wierbinski's picture

2019 Dead Zones at Record Size & Expanding



Dead Zones at Record Size & Expanding

1>Gulf Mexico --&-- 2>Chesapeake Bay


1>Gulf Mexico

2019 'Dead Zone' may be the Second Largest on Record,
Louisiana State University, June 10, 2019.

Main Points

Second Biggest on Record
"A recent forecast of the size of the "Dead Zone" in the northern Gulf of Mexico for late July 2019 is that it will cover 8,717-square-miles of the bottom of the continental shelf off Louisiana and Texas. The unusually high Mississippi River discharge in May controls the size of this zone, which will likely be the second largest zone since systematic measurements began in 1985."

"The water mass with oxygen concentrations less than 2 parts per million forms in bottom waters each year primarily as a result of nitrogen and phosphorus loading from the Mississippi River watershed, which fertilizes the Gulf of Mexico's surface waters to create excessive amounts of algal biomass."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Nitrogen Runoff & Algal Blooms Increasing Due to Global Warming



Massive Lake Erie Algal Bloom of July 2018
Lake Erie Algal Bloom, July 2018, For NOAA, by Aerial Associates Photography, Inc, by Zachary Haslick.
For NOAA, by Aerial Associates Photography, Inc, by Zachary Haslick


Nitrogen Runoff & Algal Blooms Increasing Due to Global Warming

Changes in Rainfall and Temperatures have Already Impacted Water Quality,
Carnegie Institution for Science, April 24, 2019.


“Changes in temperature and precipitation have already impacted the amount of nitrogen introduced into U.S. waterways...”

“This can lead to toxin-producing algal blooms or low-oxygen dead zones called hypoxia. Over the past several summers, dead zones and algal blooms in lake and coastal regions across the United States have received extensive news coverage.”

Proof in the Past
“...they looked backward to analyze long-term trends in nitrogen runoff going back to the 1980s.”

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Spring 2019: Upper Basin of Colorado Water System Flush in the Shadow of the Rockies



Hoover Dam Creating Lake Mead
Hoover Dam from the Air, Carol Highsmith
The Foundation of What Cannot be Sustained. Image by Carol Highsmith.


Colorado Water System Flush in the Shadow of the Rockies

Healthy Snowpack In The Colorado River Basin Is Improving Reservoirs Across Multiple States,
CPR, April 22, 2019.


Big Year
“Above-average snowpack in the upper Colorado River basin not only means a good forecast for Colorado, but for all seven states in its river system.”

“...snowpack in the basin through the winter ended up being 130 percent of average.”

“Lake Mead — the largest U.S. reservoir in Nevada and Arizona — could rise to 128 percent of its normal level.” (Lake Mead Elevation Chart)

One Big Year
“But one good year cannot reverse the effects of nearly two decades of severe drought. Current total Colorado River System storage is approximately 45 percent of full capacity.”

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Colorado River 2019 DCP Deal to Save Lake Mead Agreed

APRIL 18, 2019

1> IID sues MWD over DCP & Salton Sea

2> What Drought? Unlimited Water Use-Growth Expanding as Fast as Possible


Original Article


Lake Mead's Crashing Level
Lake Mead's Crashing Level, Central Arizona Water Conservation District, by Tom McCann

Notice a trend here? Death of a River, Central Arizona Water Conservation District, by Tom McCann, Big Chart.


Colorado River Deal to Save Lake Mead Agreed

Imperial, the Salton Sea, and the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan,
Jfleck, March 24, 2019.


Lake Mead
Colorado System Basic Problem

Alex Wierbinski's picture

2019 Spring Outlook: Major Flooding Risks Continuing across USA



Outlook for Spring 2019 Flooding
2019 US Spring Flood Outlook by NOAA.

Locations where there is a greater than 50-percent chance of major, moderate or minor flooding during March through May, 2019. (NOAA) Big Map.


2019 US Flooding Reaching New Levels of Extremity

Spring Outlook: Historic, widespread flooding to continue through May,
NOAA, March 21, 2019.


Widespread Flood Risk
“Nearly two-thirds of the Lower 48 states face an elevated risk for flooding through May, with the potential for major or moderate flooding in 25 states, according to NOAA’s U.S. Spring Outlook issued today.”

Record Flooding So Far
“...the upper Mississippi and Missouri River basins including Nebraska, Minnesota and Iowa – have already experienced record flooding this year.”

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Our Frightening Groundwater Future of, Fright, Flight, & Fight

Feb 25, 2019, below


The Subsidence Pole
The Subsidence Pole, by Dr. Polard & NOAA.
Visible Effects of Groundwater Draw, caption, credit to Dr. Polard, shown, & USGS

Our Frightening Future of, Flight, & Fight

Environmental 'time bomb' warning for world's groundwater reserves,
Cardiff University, January 21, 2019.

Main Points

A Global Picture
“...a global insight in to what will happen should our groundwater systems start to see changes in their replenishment.”

Long Response Time
“...in more than half of the world's groundwater systems, it could take over 100 years for groundwater systems to completely respond to current environmental change.”

Alex Wierbinski's picture

On the Water-Starved Colorado River, Drought Is the New Normal


The Party’s Over…But, Our Leaders are too Greedy to Stop Stealing...

Colorado River
Upper & Lower Basins map
Upper & Lower Colorado River Water System, USGS.
Upper & Lower Colorado River Water Systems, credit to the fantastic USGS.

The Party is Coming to an End

On the Water-Starved Colorado River, Drought Is the New Normal,
YaleEnvionment360, January 22, 2019.


Mega Drought Here
"The region is locked in a 19-year-long drought, the most severe in 1,250 years. (recent research) And it may continue much longer. The tree ring data shows that there have been numerous multi-decadal or mega-droughts in the basin in the last 1,000 years."

"...The crunch is here,” Harris said. “It’s here, and it will stay here. We will never be out of the woods, we are in the woods forever."

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