With “global warming” getting socked following an ice-stuck Russian ship with “warming” followers aboard during summertime in the Antarctic along with record cold over most of the U.S. last week plus Southern California getting another round of earthquake perils stories, media are turning to another periodic nature-triggered standby: drought, with a lengthy New York Times feature as a prime example, notes Grumpy Editor.
The N.Y. Times story focuses on the 1,450-mile Colorado River “being sapped by 14 years of drought nearly unrivaled in 1,250 years.”
(One wonders who was measuring the river flow going back to 728 years before Columbus discovered America.)
N.Y. Times writer Michael Wines relates “many experts believe the current drought is only the harbinger of a new, drier era in which the Colorado’s flow will be substantially and permanently diminished.”
(The Colorado River depends mainly on Rocky Mountains snow melt. Precipitation varies from year to year, as any meteorologist will explain. Thus, a period of low measurement could be followed by an above-average or a record-breaking tally.)
Most interesting in the N.Y. Times piece is that while citing the Colorado River provides water to Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Arizona, Nevada and California --- and that drought-linked possible rationing lies ahead --- a vital missing word in the article is Mexico.
Mexico siphons 1.5 million acre-feet out of the 16.5 million acre-feet per year from the Colorado River and Lake Mead, stemming from appropriations in a 1944 treaty. That’s five times the allotment of a skimpy 300,000 acre-feet annually for the whole state of Nevada, not just Las Vegas as reported by some media.
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