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Colorado Water Distribution House of Cards: Farmer Water Rights Prevail | High Sierra Backpacker

Colorado Water Distribution House of Cards: Farmer Water Rights Prevail

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 21 March 2018


Colorado Water Distribution House of Cards

52 Card Pickup: Bottom-Line Farmer Water Rights Prevail

Little-Known California Lawsuit Complicates Drought Plan for Lake Mead,
Water Deeply, March 21, 2018.

This suit is pulling the plug on the multi-state “Drought Contingency Plan” that’s trying to keep enough water in Lake Mead to keep it from dropping below its critical surface-level of 1,025 ft above sea level, which is the level of declaring a dire water emergency. And, potentially cutting off millions of "late-arriving" desert-dwelling residents who have no water rights, or very much inferior claims to the senior holders of Colorado River water rights.

The background to the decreasing water availability triggering this crisis is not a temporary, “drought.” We are experiencing a long term drying, an “aridification” that is happening all over the West and Southwest of the United States.

Whole Southwest of US Undergoing Aridification


Cites & Drought
Others are calling these present times the beginning stages of the development of a Mega-drought in the Southwestern US. Regardless, we’ve seen substantial decreases in the Winter snow pack of the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountain Ranges over the past twenty years, which affects both major water systems, the Colorado River and California Water Project, who between them are tasked with supplying the burgeoning mega-cities of Southern California and the Southwest US with enough water for these obscenities to even exist, let alone grow even larger, which is our corporate leadership's plan.

Destroying ecosystems to build mega-cities in the deserts of the Southwest was the height of arrogant stupidity driven by greed, even before the onset of the Mega-drought. It is now the height of insanity, now that we clearly see the outline of a very much drier Southwest, if not a full-on Mega-drought in our near future.


I long ago predicted the arid conditions, the grasslands and deserts stretching South from Monterey California down to Mazatlan, Mexico, were marching steadily North, and ultimately going to push the Southern limit of temperate conditions here in Northern California at least nine hundred miles North of their traditional, currently embattled, position.

The changing weather is now slowly, but surely replacing the temperate rainforests running along the Northern California and Oregon Coasts with dry grasslands. The same process is happening in the Sierra, with changing, warming conditions climbing into high altitude zones being the corollary to changing conditions with increasing latitude-movement North at sea level. We can see the same warming process working across the scales of both planes.


That's why the meteorologists who say the current levels of snowfall will turn to rain are completely wrong. The traditional global-scale patterns bringing Winter precipitation to the Sierra are fundamentally changing, which will not just turn snow into rain, but are also changing both the timing and length of the High Sierra "Winter," which is dramatically altering its "character," which will dramatically affect the average amount of falling precipitation the Sierra will experience, as well as where the majority of that moisture is coming from. All of the regional factors contributing to the creation of the weather on the West Coast of the US are all currently undergoing dramatic, rapid, and complexly interlocked changes.

The weather patterns supporting semi-tropical grasslands have already marched far North of their traditional ranges, and they are pushing further North every year. The temperate "fingers" of temperate rain forests reaching down the California Coast, in a thinning line along the coast all the way down to Monterey, are getting dried-out and burned, while the semi-arid valleys and our Big Valley are going bone-desert-dry and spreading. The Sierra Nevada Mountain Range's climate is transforming from mountains traditionally hosting a climate and associated forest stratifications ranging from temperate to sub-Alpine conditions, into a very much drier and warmer mountain range.


That's what all of us Americans are part of, we are part of the era of wildly irresponsible growth that is killing the last bits of the ancient weather patterns and ecology that's dominated our state and the High Sierra since the end of the last Ice Age. We broke it, and now we are seeing all the secondary and tertiary consequences of our actions playing out in real time as the disruption, if not outright destruction, of all our traditional ecosystems.


Despite its damages, our greed is still generating a huge burst of irresponsible growth and development, which had the consequence of finally bursting our ecological balances decades ago, and at our current point having pushed us way beyond our environment's, "tipping point." Our behavior of greedily growing beyond our Natural limits and reasonable constraints is now manifesting itself as Drought, Fire, and Flooding, ironically presenting a threat to continued growth itself.

Nature is brilliant, showing us its reflective genius, even as we drain and kill it.


The article above is as pertinent to our situation as an article about the professional deck-chair arrangers on the Titanic on the day before it struck the berg.
So too will these economic interests cited in the article above, and their political and legal representatives, who are all striving for the best "seat," the largest share of the shrinking pool of Colorado River water they can get their hands on, so their interests can profit as they watch this slow-motion water disaster unfold, the disaster that their growth itself created, with umbrella-drinks in their hands, peasant servants at their feet, and guaranteed seats on one of the "lifeboats," while their tens of millions of mega-citidiot servants sink into the rising sea of sand dunes that their mutual pact of greed and corruption is currently creating.


Today we are watching historic, classic forces of greed, delusion, corruption, and propaganda working overtime to push failed imperial growth policies to the limits and over the brink of our own ecological destruction. This is exactly how a lot of empires through the ages drained their people and ecology, then died.


Our only difference is that today we have much more powerful "tools," making the scope of all aspects of our damages, but especially our environmental damages, global, rather than regional.
The depth of the reach of our destructive force is now capable of, and is reaching deep down into the fundamental chemistry of life, to harshly squeeze the fundamental "engines of life" everywhere they exist on our planet, by radically disturbing the timing and temperatures of water, chemistry, and the seasons sufficiently to alter plankton blooms and suppress Spring's terrestrial bursting bloom of life.

Everything is freaking out.


It is time to take the Corporate Growth Machine of Death out of "drivers seat" of our political institutions, and put their Growth Machine of Death into "neutral" for a while. A long while. Prudence, if not basic ethics, demands we shore up the human and environmental damages their greed and corruptions have done to the very foundations of our civilization and our environment. Unless we really are "based on greed," like our leaders constantly state. If so, then we will continue to consume everything until we disappear.

Want to fight back? Then instituting a policy of Zero corporate-billionaire contributions into their elections or into their political parties is a good first place to start cleaning up this mess, and turning them back into our elections and our political parties...



Recent Colorado River & Lake Mead
Research & News


New Weather Patterns Steadily Diminishing Rio Grand & Colorado River Flows


Water News: Colorado River in Decline LA Must Shrink Now


Eco-Crash News, Rockies Broken: A Desert Full of "Consumers" Depend on Colorado River Water


2018 Water-Climate News: Drying Times, Colorado River in Trouble? Naw, millions of people are




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