Wednesday, February 13, 2008

'Lake' Mead reservoir likely dry in 6 to 13 years

LAME boat harbor in 2007: going, going, gone

LAS VEGAS -- The 'Lake' Mead reservoir, also known as LAME, is drying up and could be gone by 2014-21, says the respected and independent Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego.

"We were stunned at the magnitude of the problem and how fast it was coming at us," said marine physicist Tim Barnett, who co-authored a paper examining the fate of Lake Mead. "Make no mistake, this water problem is not a scientific abstraction but rather one that will impact each and every one of us that live in the Southwest."

Barnett and co-researcher David Pierce, a climate scientist, said they used conservative estimates in reaching their conclusions and suggested even more dire conditions are possible. Their peer-reviewed findings will appear in the journal Water Resources Research, published by the American Geophysical Union.

Central Arizona Project officials like Larry Dozier, who's agency, budget and jobs are based on selling us dwindling bad CAP water, say it isn't so. Who are you going to believe, independent scientists, or water-hogging conflicted CAP bureaucrats? I'm with the scientists.

This is just the latest example of why trying to rely on the CAP for future water supplies, as Tucson is doing, is unwise and a potential disaster. The lower Colorado River and CAP likely will not be a reliable water source for Arizona in this hotter, drier time of global warming related climate change in the southwest.

Will our water managers and elected officials act now, or will they just pray for more rain? Developers, bureaucrats and politicians continuing to encourage millions more people to move to the southwest under these conditions is unwise and unethical.

Making tough but critical decisions to secure our water future is a top reason I'm running for the Arizona House of Reps.

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