Western Drought

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RedRoxx44
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Western Drought

Post by RedRoxx44 »

From Dr. Jeff Masters Wonderblog ( on Weather Underground)

For the first time in history, the U.S. government has ordered that flow of Colorado River water from the 50-year-old Glen Canyon Dam be slashed, due to a water crisis brought about by the region's historic 14-year drought. On Friday, the Federal Bureau of Reclamation--a division of the Department of Interior that manages water and electric power in the West--announced that it would cut water released from Lake Powell's Glen Canyon Dam by 750,000 acre-feet in 2014. An acre-foot is the amount of water that will cover an acre of land one foot deep; 750,000 acre-feet is enough water to supply at least 750,000 homes for one year. The flow reduction will leave the Colorado River 9% below the 8.23 million acre feet that is supposed to be supplied downstream to Lake Mead for use in California, Nevada, Arizona and Mexico under the Colorado River Compact of 1922 and later agreements. "This is the worst 14-year drought period in the last hundred years," said Upper Colorado Regional Director Larry Walkoviak in a Bureau of Reclamation press release.

In the winter of 2005, Lake Powell reached its lowest level since filling, an elevation 150' below full pool. Lake levels recovered some in during 2005 - 2011, but the resurgence of severe to extreme drought conditions have provoked a steep decline in 2012 and 2013, with the lake falling 35' over the past year. As of August 18, 2013, Lake Powell was 109' below full pool (45% of capacity), and was falling at a rate of one foot every six days."


Get ready for higher water prices and stricter conservation ???
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nonot
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Re: Western Drought

Post by nonot »

ShatteredArm
Please refrain from ad hominem attacks, it's against the HAZ Forum guidelines.

There is no link to the second article about the 1200 year study, and a minimal understanding of statistics possessed by any first year statistic student is all that's needed to realize that the average withdrawal amount needed for sustainment is lower than that they've been operating at for the entire period since the dams were built. Yet despite the data and evidence, they continued to mismanage the water for decades after the evidence was clear.

Calling it a drought, rather than an incorrect guess at the average water usage, is what I called propaganda, not a conspiracy. People who are asked to predict the future, even when they do their best, will get it wrong whether its wrong a little or a lot. Such was the case for the guys that produced the original sustainability withdrawal predictions.

The concept to acknowledge that a prediction will be wrong and to deal with that by adjusting that guess over time to fit observed data is a basic scientific and engineering principle. Clinging to the original guess when all the data indicates the guess is wrong is where others show a lack of science and math sense, and mine is grounded firmly in reality.

But sure, stick to the story that it's not just a bad guess, it's a drought...<Quote cactuscat's sig>
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ShatteredArm
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Re: Western Drought

Post by ShatteredArm »

nonot wrote:Please refrain from ad hominem attacks, it's against the HAZ Forum guidelines.
What ad hominem attacks? I didn't address you personally, just your pointless comment. You "called BS" without actually addressing anything in the study.
Calling it a drought, rather than an incorrect guess at the average water usage, is what I called propaganda, not a conspiracy
What does water usage have to do with drought? The study doesn't address water usage over the past 1200 years, that's impossible, and beside the point. A drought has nothing to do with water usage. Usage deals with the debit side of the equation, while drought deals with the credit side. Whether there is a drought has nothing to do with water management; thus it is perfection reasonable and non-conspiratorial to compare current drought to droughts over the past 1200 years without having to address water management. Water management is a red herring.
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Re: Western Drought

Post by Jim_H »

What study are people referring to? Last I saw, Letty posted yesterday about an article she read. Probably a NYT article. No link was provided. So, the self righteous crowd might note that any earlier articles linked are not what people are talking about this time around. The thread is almost 3 years old. All prior discussion stopped in March of 2019!
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gummo
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Re: Western Drought

Post by gummo »

I do my part by giving water to snakes, lizards, tortoises, and occasionally baby birds and rabbits, if I can catch them. We don't feel the drought as much or at all, but they do.
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chumley
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Re: Western Drought

Post by chumley »

@gummo I’m sorry to hear that wildlife terribly mismanaged reservoir planning and suddenly find themselves with less water than their estimates and a stubborn inability to acknowledge their error. Poor snakes.
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ShatteredArm
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Re: Western Drought

Post by ShatteredArm »

@Jim_H
The study is referenced on a whole slew of news sites, Google "1200 year megadrought". Here's a direct link so you can skip the headlines:
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558- ... ww.npr.org
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Jim_H
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Re: Western Drought

Post by Jim_H »

@ShatteredArm
Why didn't you post that as a response to whoever it was that complained about the study in the first place?

For that matter, why aren't you responding with the link directed at them now? I don't care about the study. I didn't call the study into question.

I did say those who seek to exploit things like this drought study, have lost their credibility. I went on to call someone who thinks bison caused a climate disaster, morons. Letty mentioned a comment in her recent post. I see nothing in the dry paper that resembles a comments section.
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RedRoxx44
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Re: Western Drought

Post by RedRoxx44 »

I don't remember the source, might have been just a headline I clicked on. But the comment section was pretty funny overall. BTW had a nice rain shower yesterday.
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gummo
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Re: Western Drought

Post by gummo »

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chumley
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Re: Western Drought

Post by chumley »

While it's far too early to sum up the entire season at this stage, the snow depth readings across the West look promising so far. And the next week or so continues to indicate the potential for impressive additional totals across the Sierra. Only the yellow, orange, and red are below normal, and that dark blue indicates over 150% of normal. Many of those are well over 200%, even a few 300 and 400s!

Arizona's White Mtns are running a little low, and the Sangres are the worst of the west. But for the big watersheds and reservoirs, it's a promising start to a supposed La Niña.
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nonot
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Re: Western Drought

Post by nonot »

Interesting map @Chumley. The White Mtns make up for the low snowfall with the high monsoon total during the summer/fall. All in all 2022 seems like a good year for Arizona water totals across the state, except for Payson for some reason.

https://cals.arizona.edu/climate/misc/m ... Precip.png
https://www.williamsnews.com/news/2022/ ... 0in%202021.
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toddak
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Re: Western Drought

Post by toddak »

22.5 inches of rain since Nov 1 here at the base of the Sierras east of Sacramento, with more on the way :yes:
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chumley
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Re: Western Drought

Post by chumley »

It's over!
:y: :roll:
https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/CurrentM ... or.aspx?AZ

The western view shows improvement across many areas, with a few exceptions.
https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/CurrentM ... .aspx?West
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