Drought

Colorado peak questions, condition requests and other info.
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Scott P
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Drought

Post by Scott P »

Drought.JPG
Drought.JPG (75.66 KiB) Viewed 860 times
https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/CurrentM ... or.aspx?CO

This is the worse drought in at least 1200 years.

Even near timberline in Western CO is so dry that next to snowbanks the ground is dusty.

We thought we might get some rain from the current "storm", but the only thing that happened was an additional (at least) 20 wildfires set off by dry lightning.

I wouldn't be surprised if we did have any clear days (due to smoke) until at least October. I have a feeling that it's going to be a terrible, terrible summer.
Last edited by Scott P on Sat Jun 19, 2021 7:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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dubsho3000
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Re: Dought

Post by dubsho3000 »

I agree it's really scary. I was in Oregon recently and people I spoke with are pretty worried about the climate there. Fires in unusual places, reservoirs at all-time lows. I was actually a bit surprised how willing people were to just call it what it is - Global Warming. I think here in Colorado, or at least on this forum, people tend to hem and haw and say "well, we've had droughts before..." and "well, we've always had fires..." I've fallen into that pattern myself.

But this is not normal or natural and we need to address it. CO2 at 400+ ppm is not normal for the human experience. As of 6/17/21 we are at 418.68 ppm (so close to 420... :lol: )

For anyone with an open mind on the issue who isn't already familiar with why CO2 in the atmosphere matters, I encourage you to read this:

https://www.climate.gov/news-features/u ... 0%20years.
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Iguru
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Re: Dought

Post by Iguru »

I don't dought the current drought. :roll:
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CarpeDM
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Re: Dought

Post by CarpeDM »

I seriously doubt I'll try to get into the Weminuche this year. It was already a tinderbox when I was last there (2019). I'd be afraid of being in there when lightning strikes and there's a bit of wind.

And even if it doesn't burn, air quality will probably be bad from other wildfires.
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Re: Dought

Post by Wish I lived in CO »

Lead Mead is down to about 36 percent, other reservoirs dwindling as well. Upwards of 25 million residents depend on the Colorado for water. "Dead pool", an empty reservoir, could happen in 5 years if things don't change.

If you live in the SW like I do, the talk now is starting to be about upcoming water restrictions. Later this summer AZ, NM, NV will see pre-agreed to restrictions (CA exempt for some unknown reason) triggered by lowered levels in lake Mead. Needs to be more stringent in my opinion. 25 M people with nothing to drink (should it happen) will be a crisis that will cause economic upheaval like we've never seen. If worst case happens then entire major cities with no water (Phoenix, San Diego, Los Angelos, Tucson, Las Vegas among others). Let that sink in for a minute. There are other sources of course (primarily ground water), but those resources would dwindle at an accelerated rate without the Colorado river (and others like it).

I can hear it now, but as a side note if you are one of those inclined please don't mock and reveal your self superiority by commenting things like ....... "not my problem", "glad I'm in Co", "it's our water, not yours", "they can all just move", etc.

Back to point, I like golf but the pushback from the local golf courses here I believe is short sighted. People watering their lawns (though there is a good push to reduce lawns). Farms - yes 100+ year old water rights and for those affected would be the loss of a way of life, but yet looking large scale a good portion of the farming has no place here and is a huge burden on the water supply. Water could be recycled better. I wish people would wake up more to how serious this problem is and take meaningful action.

Of course the lack of rain here is appalling. Arizona sees Monsoon rains just like Colorado; or at least is supposed to. As an example, here in Prescott where I live, it is higher elevation w/ monsoon generating mountains nearby and we should typically have very good monsoon activity. -Rained twice at my house all of last year's monsoon season. Should have rained 4 or 5 days a week for July and August. Right now at the beginning of the season the forecast is scorching with low chances of rain. Unfortunately this may be the new norm. Using the Prescott example again, close to 100% of the water supply is ground water. Levels are lowering and in too many areas approaching bedrock. "Experts" here say we have 100 years of groundwater. Their models are very optimistic and don't account for the lack of rain nor the exponential population growth in this town. My guess is 20 years of groundwater. Then either we get creative and tap ground water from ever further sources (and pipe it in), or a metro area of 100,000 has nothing to drink. A real possibility. Phoenix - they are looking for alternative sources after the Colorado dries up (40% of their supply), and actually preparing well, but still would be a tough blow for a city area of 5M people.

These problems I think will accelerate - unless the rain can return.
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cottonmountaineering
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Re: Drought

Post by cottonmountaineering »

i think were about 4f above preindustrial temps, lack of monsoon seems to be a potential consequence of that

this is probably the new normal and i hope they'll reallocate the real amount of water from colorado river to SW states, the current allocation isnt sustainable and was measured during a wet period
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Re: Drought

Post by Urban Snowshoer »

cottonmountaineering wrote: Sat Jun 19, 2021 8:02 am i think were about 4f above preindustrial temps, lack of monsoon seems to be a potential consequence of that

this is probably the new normal and i hope they'll reallocate the real amount of water from colorado river to SW states, the current allocation isnt sustainable and was measured during a wet period
If this is the new normal, which it may well be, fire restrictions may be the new normal as well, for good reasons--at from the Spring to fall.

To your point above about the Colorado River--depending on which source you go by, the original allocation may have been unsustainable from the beginning even accounting for the fact that it was during an unusually wet period.

As much some people like to blame the water issues on too many people moving here, the truth is the majority of water is used for agriculture. At the same time, food obviously has to come from somewhere.

Allocating water is a really hard problem to contend with and there aren't always a lot of easy (or good) solutions.
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Re: Drought

Post by cottonmountaineering »

Urban Snowshoer wrote: Sat Jun 19, 2021 8:25 am
cottonmountaineering wrote: Sat Jun 19, 2021 8:02 am i think were about 4f above preindustrial temps, lack of monsoon seems to be a potential consequence of that

this is probably the new normal and i hope they'll reallocate the real amount of water from colorado river to SW states, the current allocation isnt sustainable and was measured during a wet period
If this is the new normal, which it may well be, fire restrictions may be the new normal as well, for good reasons--at from the Spring to fall.

To your point above about the Colorado River--depending on which source you go by, the original allocation may have been unsustainable from the beginning even accounting for the fact that it was during an unusually wet period.

As much some people like to blame the water issues on too many people moving here, the truth is the majority of water is used for agriculture not residential purposes. At the same time, food obviously has to come from somewhere.

Allocating water is a really hard problem to contend with and there aren't always a lot of easy (or good) solutions.
water will be another lesson in tragedy of the commons, everyone overuses it and then one day it will be gone. there are a ton of ways to save water in agriculture but i think step #1 is to not grow food in the desert
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Re: Drought

Post by shelly+ »

cottonmountaineering wrote: Sat Jun 19, 2021 8:32 am there are a ton of ways to save water in agriculture but i think step #1 is to not grow food in the desert

disagree. food can be grown in the desert using water efficiently, if it's done with plant guilding and without monocropping. plus, there are LOTS of food plants that grow successfully in the desert. dried mesquite seedpods, for example, can be ground into flour. the problem is that people want eff'n strawberries and almonds.
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Re: Drought

Post by rmattas »

Scott P wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 11:35 pm Drought.JPG

https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/CurrentM ... or.aspx?CO

This is the worse drought in at least 1200 years.

Even near timberline in Western CO is so dry that next to snowbanks the ground is dusty.

We thought we might get some rain from the current "storm", but the only thing that happened was an additional (at least) 20 wildfires set off by dry lightning.

I wouldn't be surprised if we did have any clear days (due to smoke) until at least October. I have a feeling that it's going to be a terrible, terrible summer.
i agree...looks like another summer in flatland USA for me. i miss CB so bad...

good to hear you've recovered from the rona Scott.
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Re: Drought

Post by SchralpTheGnar »

It’s a huge issue, and likely not sustainable to have that many people living in a desert, no matter what course of action is take, most likely there will be a mass exodus back to the upper Midwest where lots of the folks moved from in the first place. It’s gonna get a lot worse before it gets better it we will adapt, civilizations have been migrating for many years to match the climate.
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Re: Drought

Post by osprey »

In the meantime:
Mesa, Arizona has approved a new data center ( they already have about 7 data centers ) which will use 1.25 million gallons of water/day for cooling the computers inside the data center.
This is in addition to a previously approved Google facility already under construction which will use up to 4 million gallons of water/day.
This nothing but short-sighted in face of this drought.
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