Drought Forces First-Ever Colorado River Water Cutback to Southwest States
Move likely to hit farmers hardest, reducing access to region’s economic lifeblood amid protracted drought
That’s the headline from an article by Jim Carlton of The Wall Street Journal this week. It comes on the heels of restrictions of water in California (see August 5th blog https://aquaterrex.com/it-is-time-to-supplement-our-sources-of-water/)
We’ve heard about water restrictions before. But this challenge is “unprecedented and accelerating” said the Assistant Secretary for Water & Science at the U.S. Department of the Interior. Never before has a water shortage been declared on the 1,450-mile Colorado River, which “supplies drinking water to 40 million people, irrigating 5.5 million acres of farmland and accounting for an estimated 16 million jobs.”
The cutbacks go into effect at the start of next year. Arizona will lose 18% of its annual allocation, Nevada and Mexico will lose 7% and 5% respectively.
The cuts are targeted at agriculture so as to avoid disruption of population centers. To compound the problem, the precious water must be maintained at a certain level in order to keep hydroelectric power generating. “Every foot of water lost at Hoover Dam from the Colorado River equates to about six megawatts less power generated,” according to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, enough power for 800 homes.
Avoiding Death by a Thousand Cuts
We can avoid this form of torture – “death by a thousand cuts,” known as Lingchi in Chinese. The answer lies in Deep Seated Water, which are vast oceans of underground fresh water found across the planet. The U.S. National Groundwater Association estimates that there are 22,600,000 cubic kilometers of groundwater in the upper two kilometers of the earth’s crust. Each cubic kilometer is about 264 billion gallons. The world uses just 3,717 cubic kilometers of water per year. So, we have enough water in the ground to supply Earth for over 6,000 years at today’s global consumption rates. Tapping even just a fraction of this largely untapped vast resource can supplement our current water supplies in a sustainable fashion. The chart below depicts how Deep Seated Water is the missing piece of any water strategy.
Deep Seated Water – The Missing Piece
Deep Seated Water exists in abundance in the US Southwest and across the planet. It has not been factored into the “water budget” of nearly all water agencies because it was not considered available or accessible. Now that the technology exists to economically locate and utilize Deep Seated Water, it is time to add it to the mix of solutions.
After all, death by a thousand cuts is just plain torture.
Chairman and CEO
Read the full Wall Street Journal article here: https://www.wsj.com/articles/drought-forces-first-ever-colorado-river-water-cutback-to-southwest-states-11629145001?st=vsw8jbc4s2xpk5l&reflink=desktopwebshare_permalink