Experts say global warming is hitting West hard
Dam operators, water district managers, farmers, conservationists and scientists all predict mounting problems as scarce water supplies dwindle further in an area stretching from the Pacific Northwest to the desert Southwest.
"The warming in the West can now confidently be attributed to rising greenhouse gases and are not explained by any combination of natural factors," said Philip Mote, head of the Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington.
* Spring snow pack already has declined at nearly 75% of all weather recording stations in Washington, Oregon, and California, and the spring runoff is coming two weeks earlier than in the past.
* Southern California is experiencing its driest year on record, and Lake Mead, which supplies water to large parts of the Southwest, could be empty in 10 years.
* Tens of thousands of irrigated acres will fall out of production as water supplies tighten, and tensions over water supplies will only be exacerbated as the effects of climate change deepen.
What will the impact be on the people of those states? and the United States and World?? How will we supply water to those people? Are there restrictions to wasteful water practices in place? Are there campaigns to educate the public on our most valuable and life giving resource? Are we collecting what excess runoff there may be in reservoirs for safekeeping? By how much will the food supply be depleted when the fields aren't irrigated? How will we supply that food? Where would the most ideal place be to grow food with this projection? For what purpose are/will we using water on fields? We know that it takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce a pound of beef, but only 25 gallons to produce a pound of wheat. Furthermore, the EPA reports that chicken, hog, and cattle excrement have polluted 35,000 miles of rivers in 22 states and contaminated ground water in 17 states. That doesn't seem like a wise use of water to me. Isn't it about time we scrutinize the exorbitant, destructive, greedy, and reckless nature of our nation's consumption of meat? Are our lawmakers talking about this stuff? Are there committees trying to devise a game plan? I am frightened for my girls future, and I am growing ever more frustrated with our lack of leadership.