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Over Half The U.S. Has Now Been Hit By Drought As Lake Powell And Lake Mead Drop To “Dangerous” Low Levels

Over Half The U.S. Has Now Been Hit By Drought As Lake Powell And Lake Mead Drop To “Dangerous” Low Levels

The worst drought in years in the western half of the United States has sparked hundreds of wildfires, has crippled thousands of farms, and has produced what could ultimately be the worst water crisis in modern American history.  As you will see below, Lake Powell and Lake Mead have both dropped to dangerously low levels, and officials are warning that we may soon be looking at a substantial shortfall which would require rationing.  Unfortunately, many in the eastern half of the country don’t even realize that this is happening.  The mighty Colorado River once seemed to be virtually invulnerable, but now it doesn’t even run all the way to the ocean any longer.  Demand for water is continually increasing as major cities in the Southwest continue to grow, and this is happening at a time when that entire region just keeps getting drier and drier.  To say that we are facing a “water crisis” would be a major understatement.

I have written quite a bit about the drought in the Southwest in recent months, and it just keeps getting worse.  According to Forbes, more than half the nation is now experiencing some level of drought…

Drought conditions across the United States have worsened throughout the summer, culminating in more than half the country experiencing abnormally dry or drought conditions by the end of August.

The latest update of the United States Drought Monitor shows that more than half of the country—nearly 56 percent—is abnormally dry or mired in a full-on drought. More than a third of the country is experiencing drought conditions, and almost eight percent is in an extreme or exceptional drought.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Exposing Africa’s Manmade Water Crisis

The imminent shutdown of Cape Town’s piped water network should serve as a wake-up call for all of Africa to overhaul urban water-management systems. Unfortunately, like Africa’s water resources themselves, Cape Town’s crisis seems likely to be wasted.

About a decade ago, at a meeting of South African mayors convened by Lindiwe Hendricks, South Africa’s then-minister of water and environmental affairs, we predicted that an unprecedented water crisis would hit one of the country’s main cities within 15 years, unless water-management practices were improved significantly.

That prediction has now come true, with Cape Town facing a shutdown of its piped water network. The question now is whether African leaders will allow our other projection – that, within the next 25-30 years, many more of the continent’s cities will be facing similar crises – to materialize.

Africa has long struggled with urban water and wastewater management. As the continent’s population has swelled, from about 285 million in 1960 to nearly 1.3 billion today, and urbanization has progressed, the challenge has become increasingly acute. And these trends are set to intensify: by 2050, the continent’s total population is expected to exceed 2.5 billion, with 55% living in urban environments.

The challenge African countries face may not be unique, but it is, in some ways, unprecedented. After all, in Western countries, urbanization took place over a much longer period, and against a background of steadily improving economic conditions. In building effective systems for water and wastewater management, cities had adequate investment funds and the relevant expertise.

In Africa, cities’ financial and management capacities are already overwhelmed. As a result, water and wastewater management has often fallen by the wayside, with policymakers focusing on water-related issues only when droughts and floods occur. The Third World Centre for Water Management estimates that only about 10-12% of Africa’s population has access to adequate domestic and industrial wastewater collection, treatment, and disposal.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Environmental Nightmare! Dozens Of Highly Toxic Substances Have Been Found In Tap Water All Over America

Environmental Nightmare! Dozens Of Highly Toxic Substances Have Been Found In Tap Water All Over America

After reading this article, you will never look at tap water the same way again.  Most Americans have generally assumed that the water coming out of our taps is perfectly safe, but the Flint water crisis and other similar incidents are starting to help people to understand that there are some very dangerous substances in our water.  In particular, I am talking about things like arsenic, lead, atrazine, perchlorate and a whole host of pharmaceutical drugs.  According to an absolutely stunning NRDC report, close to 77 million Americans received their water from systems “that violated federal protections” in 2015.  And even if you get your water from a system that meets federal standards, that still does not mean that it is safe.

Let’s start by talking about arsenic.  Earlier today I came across an article that talked about how levels of arsenic in the water at some schools in the San Joaquin Valley “exceed the maximum federal safety levels by as much as three times”

Reef-Sunset Unified School District Superintendent David East is worried about water. Not because of the drought—record rains this past winter ended five years of dry times. Rather, East, whose district encompasses the small towns of Avenal and Kettleman City on the San Joaquin Valley’s west side, is worried about the safety of the water that the 2,700 students in his school district are being given to drink.

That’s because arsenic levels in the drinking water at some schools in the San Joaquin Valley exceed the maximum federal safety levels by as much as three times. And arsenic is not the only threat to schoolchildren. High levels of pesticides, nitrate, bacteria, and naturally occurring uranium also contaminate groundwater in many rural parts of the state.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

From drought to deluge: an ecological approach to California’s water crisis

From drought to deluge: an ecological approach to California’s water crisis

Mudflats, Erik Ohlson Nov 2015 article on drought
Dry creek bed in California. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Climate change is the greatest threat to human civilization and a major driver of droughts, floods, fires, food system collapse and economic destabilization. Basing our infrastructure on fossil fuel technology that is imposed upon rather than in harmony with the natural environment, we have created and exacerbated all of these crises. Most importantly, while we need to reduce consumption, we also need to fundamentally change the way we interact with each other and our planet. It is imperative to realign the needs of civilization with the sustainable management and regeneration of Earth’s natural processes.

Water is one of the greatest indicators of how far we’ve strayed from designing so much of what we build and shape to be regenerative of our environment.

In California we especially need to rectify our relationship to water. The state has been experiencing one of the greatest droughts in its history. The agricultural industry is at risk, and groundwater and public water supply regulations now affect millions of people throughout the state.

While the media focuses on larger-scale challenges, small-scale, implementable solutions seem absent from the discussion. Small-scale solutions are beautiful because they often address both drought and flood problems. With one of the strongest El Niños on record developing in the Pacific, California may see a massive deluge this winter. It could be damaging if we don’t prepare now. On the heels of a multi-year drought, flash floods and the inundation of dry, crusty soils will be especially damaging.

A sensible relationship with water is a key factor that has been missing from the management of our landscapes over the last 100+ years. The development industry thought of water as a negative that needed to be drained away lest it destroy our structures and cause flooding. This mindset must end.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

California Has Never Experienced A Water Crisis Of This Magnitude – And The Worst Is Yet To Come

California Has Never Experienced A Water Crisis Of This Magnitude – And The Worst Is Yet To Come

U.S. Drought Monitor June 9Things have never been this dry for this long in the recorded history of the state of California, and this has created an unprecedented water crisis.  At this point, 1,900 wells have already gone completely dry in California, and some communities are not receiving any more water at all.  As you read this article, 100 percent of the state is in some stage of drought, and there has been so little precipitation this year that some young children have never actually seen rain.  This is already the worst multi-year drought in the history of the state of California, but this may only be just the beginning.  Scientists tell us that the amount of rain that California received during the 20th century was highly unusual.  In fact, they tell us that it was the wettest century for the state in at least 1000 years.  Now that things are returning to “normal”, the state is completely and total unprepared for it.  California has never experienced a water crisis of this magnitude, and other states in the western half of the nation are starting to really suffer as well.  In the end, we could very well be headed for the worst water crisis this country has ever seen.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

 

War crime: NATO deliberately destroyed Libya’s water infrastructure

War crime: NATO deliberately destroyed Libya’s water infrastructure

The military targeting of civilian infrastructure, especially of water supplies, is a war crime under the Geneva Conventions, writes Nafeez Ahmed. Yet this is precisely what NATO did in Libya, while blaming the damage on Gaddafi himself. Since then, the country’s water infrastructure – and the suffering of its people – has only deteriorated further.

The deliberate destruction of a nation’s water infrastructure, with the knowledge that doing so would result in massive deaths of the population as a direct consequence, is not simply a war crime, but potentially a genocidal strategy.

Numerous reports comment on the water crisis that is escalating across Libya as consumption outpaces production. Some have noted the environmental context in regional water scarcity due to climate change.

But what they ignore is the fact that the complex national irrigation system that had been carefully built and maintained over decades to overcome this problem was targeted and disrupted by NATO.

During the 2011 military invasion, press reports surfaced, mostly citing pro-rebel sources, claiming that pro-Gaddafi loyalists had shut down the water supply system as a mechanism to win the war and punish civilians.

This is a lie.

 

But truth, after all, is the first casualty of war – especially for mainstream media journos who can’t be bothered to fact-check the claims of people they interview in war zones, while under pressure from editors to produce copy that doesn’t rock too many boats.

Critical water installations bombed – then blamed on Gaddafi

It was in fact NATO which debilitated Libya’s water supply by targeting critical state-owned water installations, including a water-pipe factory in Brega.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

The Greatest Water Crisis In The History Of The United States

The Greatest Water Crisis In The History Of The United States

US Drought Monitor May 5 2015What are we going to do once all the water is gone?  Thanks to the worst drought in more than 1,000 years, the western third of the country is facing the greatest water crisis that the United States has ever seen.  Lake Mead is now the lowest that it has ever been since the Hoover Dam was finished in the 1930s, mandatory water restrictions have already been implemented in the state of California, and there are already widespread reports of people stealing water in some of the worst hit areas.  But this is just the beginning.  Right now, in a desperate attempt to maintain somewhat “normal” levels of activity, water is being pumped out of the ground in the western half of the nation at an absolutely staggering pace.  Once that irreplaceable groundwater is gone, that is when the real crisis will begin.  If this multi-year drought stretches on and becomes the “megadrought” that a lot of scientists are now warning about, life as we know it in much of the country is going to be fundamentally transformed and millions of Americans may be forced to find somewhere else to live.

Simply put, this is not a normal drought.  What the western half of the nation is experiencing right now is highly unusual.  In fact, scientists tell us that California has not seen anything quite like this in at least 1,200 years

Analyzing tree rings that date back to 800 A.D. — a time when Vikings were marauding Europe and the Chinese were inventing gunpowder — there is no three-year period when California’s rainfall has been as low and its temperatures as hot as they have been from 2012 to 2014, the researchers found.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

 

Water Crisis: Lake Mead, Largest US Reservoir, Faces Federal “Water Emergency,” Forced Rationing

Water Crisis: Lake Mead, Largest US Reservoir, Faces Federal “Water Emergency,” Forced Rationing

Leak Mead – on your left, when you drive from Las Vegas across the Hoover Dam – is the largest reservoir in the country when at capacity. It’s fed by the Colorado River which provides water for agriculture, industry, and 40 million people in Nevada, Arizona, California, and Mexico, including Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, and Las Vegas. Now after 15 years of drought, the “lake” – a mud puddle surrounded by a huge chalky bathtub ring – is threatening to run dry.

It’s considered “operationally full” when the water level is at 1,229 feet elevation above sea level. On May 2, the water level was down to 1,078.9 feet above sea level, the lowest since it was being filled in May 1937. It’s down 15 feet from the same day a year ago. Over the last 36 months, the water level has dropped 44.8 feet. It’s down 150 feet from capacity.

If the water level is below 1,075 feet elevation – 4 feet below today’s level – by January 1, 2016, it will trigger a federal water emergency. And water rationing. Las Vegas Review Journal reported that forecasters expect the level to drop to 1073 feet by June, before Lake Powell would begin to release more water. Assuming “average or better snow accumulations in the mountains that feed the Colorado River – something that’s happened only three times in the past 15 years,” the water level on January 1 is expected to be barely above the federal shortage level.

Even with these somewhat rosy assumptions of “average or better than average snow accumulations,” the water level would begin set new lows next April. But if the next winter is anything like the last few, all bets are off.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Another Reason To Move Away From California: ‘Conditions Are Like A Third-World Country’

Another Reason To Move Away From California: ‘Conditions Are Like A Third-World Country’

As if anyone actually neededanother reason to move out of the crazy state of California, now it is being reported that conditions in some areas of the state “are like a third-world country” due to the multi-year megadrought that has hit the state.  In one California county alone, more than 1,000 wells have gone dry as the groundwater has disappeared.  The state is turning back into a desert, and an increasing number of homes no longer have any water coming out of their taps or showerheads.  So if you weren’t scared away by the wildfires, mudslides, high taxes, crime, gang violence, traffic, insane political correctness, the nightmarish business environment or the constant threat of “the big one” reducing your home to a pile of rubble, perhaps the fact that much of the state could soon be facing Dust Bowl conditions may finally convince you to pack up and leave.  And if you do decide to go, you won’t be alone.  Millions of Californians have fled the state in recent years, and this water crisis could soon spark the greatest migration out of the state that we have ever seen.

Back in 1972, Albert Hammond released a song entitled “It Never Rains In Southern California“, and back then that was considered to be a good thing.

But today, years of very little rain are really starting to take a toll.  In fact, one government official says that conditions in Tulare Country “are like a third-world country”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

 

 

How Many People Will Have To Migrate Out Of California When All The Water Disappears?

How Many People Will Have To Migrate Out Of California When All The Water Disappears?

The drought in California is getting a lot worse.  As you read this, snowpack levels in the Sierra Nevada mountains are the lowest that have ever been recorded.  That means that there won’t be much water for California farmers and California cities once again this year.  To make up the difference in recent years, water has been pumped out of the ground like crazy.  In fact, California has been losing more than 12 million acre-feet of groundwater a year since 2011, and wells all over the state are going dry.  Once the groundwater is all gone, what are people going to do?  100 years ago, the population of the state of California was 3 million, and during the 20th century we built lots of beautiful new cities in an area that was previously a desert.  Scientists tell us that the 20th century was the wettest century in 1000 years for that area of the country, but now weather patterns are reverting back to normal.  Today, the state of California is turning back into a desert but it now has a population of 38 million people.  This is not sustainable in the long-term.  So when the water runs out, where are they going to go?

I have written quite a few articles about the horrific drought in California, but conditions just continue to get even worse.  According to NPR, snowpack levels in the Sierra Nevada mountains are “just 6 percent of the long-term average”

The water outlook in drought-racked California just got a lot worse: Snowpack levels across the entire Sierra Nevada are now the lowest in recorded history — just 6 percent of the long-term average. That shatters the previous low record on this date of 25 percent, set in 1977 and again last year.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Starved for Energy, Pakistan Braces for a Water Crisis

Starved for Energy, Pakistan Braces for a Water Crisis

Energy-starved Pakistanis, their economy battered by chronic fuel and electricity shortages, may soon have to contend with a new resource crisis: major water shortages, the Pakistani government warned this week.

A combination of global climate change and local waste and mismanagement have led to an alarmingly rapid depletion of Pakistan’s water supply, said the minister for water and energy, Khawaja Muhammad Asif.

“Under the present situation, in the next six to seven years, Pakistan can be a water-starved country,” Mr. Asif said in an interview, echoing a warning that he first issued at a news conference in Lahore this week.

The prospect of a major water crisis in Pakistan, even if several years distant, offers a stark reminder of a growing challenge in other poor and densely populated countries that are vulnerable to global climate change.

In Pakistan, it poses a further challenge to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, whose government has come under sharp criticism for failing to end the country’s electricity crisis. In some rural areas, heavy rationing has meant that as little as four hours of electricity a day is available.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

California – A Food Powerhouse in Peril | Erico Matias Tavares | LinkedIn

California – A Food Powerhouse in Peril | Erico Matias Tavares | LinkedIn.

Now in its third year, the drought in California has forced local farmers to switch their water use from rivers and reservoirs, which are at historic low levels, to underground sources. This has mitigated substantial production losses, but given that underground reservoirs take a long time to replenish, if the drought continues the food situation in California might get much more dicey.

Food export data provided by the US Department of Agriculture for 2012, that is, before the current drought started to bite, can provide a sense of what is at stake. [Note: while a State’s actual agricultural export value cannot be measured directly, the USDA provides estimates per major food variety based on farm cash-receipts data]. The following table shows the crops where California was ranked either #1 or #2 based on 2012 export values:

Source: USDA.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“It’s Very Extreme” – Drought & Drug Cartels Drain California’s Aquifers At Record Rate | Zero Hedge

“It’s Very Extreme” – Drought & Drug Cartels Drain California’s Aquifers At Record Rate | Zero Hedge.

“If there’s no water for people to live, and you don’t have the basic necessities of life, your population is going to leave,” warns the emergency services manager of one California town, warning that as the drought continues (and is not set to ease anytime soon), “you could see the economy of this area just decimated.” But as farmers face the catastrophe with “water levels dropping at an incredibly rapid rate in some places – like 100 ft a year – 10 times expected,” there is another drain on the dry state’s water sources. As The FT reports“Marijuana cultivation is the biggest drought-related crime we’re facing right now,” with up to 80 million gallons of water per day stolen by heavily armed marijuana cartels.

 …click on the link above to read the rest of the article…

California on the Brink: 14 Rural Communities Are Now Facing Water Depletion | The Daily Sheeple

California on the Brink: 14 Rural Communities Are Now Facing Water Depletion | The Daily Sheeple.

drought

Nestled in the mountains of California, is the infamous tourist destination of Bodie. Once a thriving gold mining town, it is now an empty shell of its former self. As soon as the gold depleted in the early 20th century, the town faced decades of decline that it would never recover from.

By the early 1960′s, the last handful of residents left the town. They leaving behind an eerie scene, filled with crumbling homes and businesses amidst a desolate landscape. However, gold isn’t essential to living. If the Western drought continues on its current course, then we have dozens of ghost towns to look forward to in the near future.

So far the drought in California has been relentless. Where I live in the Bay Area, we’ve had our first rain of the year today, if you could call it that. More like a fine mist. Normally we’ve gotten at least one rainy day by this time of year, but it’s looking like this winter is going to be just as bad as last year.

The people living in the rural parts of the central valley are getting hit the hardest. A total of 14 communities throughout the state are on the edge of water depletion. For now they’ve been able to keep the situation under control by allocating water from neighboring communities, but how much longer can they continue to do so?

…click on the link above to read the rest of the article…

Water crisis squeezes Sao Paulo state – Americas – Al Jazeera English

Water crisis squeezes Sao Paulo state – Americas – Al Jazeera English.

Itu, Brazil – The state of Sao Paulo is on the cusp of an unprecedented water crisis stemming in part from one of the worst droughts in decades, leaving millions scrambling to find clean water sources.

On Friday, the city of Sao Paulo recorded its hottest temperature in more than 71 years, and 70 cities in the state are facing extreme drought, with 30 cities already on some sort of water rationing.

The problem stems from a lack of water at the Cantareira, a complex of reservoirs and small dams built in the 1970’s that are the primary source of water for more than 10 million people in the state.

The water levels at the Cantareira are now below four percent, the lowest in recorded history, and estimates on when it could totally dry range from November to March of next year.

 

…click on the link above for the rest of the article…

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