Spike Bull 's Link
Falling Lake Mead Water Levels Prompt Detente in Arizona FeudTensions rise over water in the Southwest as extreme drought conditions return
Water levels in Lake Mead are only two feet shy of falling below a federal threshold that can trigger mandatory cutbacks by U.S. officials. PHOTO:ALEXANDER STEPHENS/USBR
July 7, 2018 7:00 a.m. ET
Arizona is the odd state out in agreeing to dramatically curtail water use from the Colorado River, raising tensions in the Southwest as extreme drought conditions return.
At issue are falling water levels at the West’s biggest reservoir, Lake Mead. Having already dropped by more than 150 feet over the past two decades to 1,077 feet, the Nevada reservoir is two feet shy of falling below a federal threshold that can trigger mandatory cutbacks by U.S. officials.
Nevada, California—and Mexico—have mostly agreed to a regional Drought Contingency Plan that would adopt more reductions in the amount of water drawn from the river. But bureaucratic infighting between two Arizona agencies had delayed adoption of the plan.
The Central Arizona Project, which manages most of the state’s river water, and Arizona Department of Water Resources have been in a year-long dispute over the plan, and in May the two agencies pledged to work together.
“The risk is real, and the time for action is now,” Terry Fulp, regional director for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s Lower Colorado Region, said in a recent public meeting on the issue in Tempe, Ariz.
The Colorado River, which supplies water to 40 million people from Denver to Los Angeles, has been gripped in the driest 19-year period on record, according to officials from the Bureau of Reclamation, a multistate agency that manages water and power in the West. With low snowpack and warm conditions again, runoff from the river this year is only about 40% of the long-term average, prompting renewed concerns over the water level in Lake Mead.
The risk of the reservoir falling below 1,025 feet by the year 2026—a level once thought unthinkable—has risen to 40%, according to new estimates by the Bureau of Reclamation. Because the lake is funnel shaped, water officials worry it could decline even faster once it gets that low—triggering even bigger cutbacks.
Arizona, Nevada and California in 2007 had agreed to undertake a series of cuts from the river, under Interior Department guidelines for when Lake Mead dipped below 1,075 feet. For example, Arizona, which has the lowest water rights on the system, agreed to curtail roughly one third its annual use, or 320,000 acre feet. (An acre foot is the amount of water used by an average family of five in a year.)"
Water will be the new gold standard if the lack of precipitation continues in the west...
As long as people are willing to pay the outrageous insurance premiums we will have these problems.
Of course, some can be made less problematic with better government policies but I wont hold my breath.
Lake mead is being sucked dry. No doubt. Maybe Israel should be gone too? They desalinate sea water for their existence.
Mankind can and will adapt other ways to get water down to Arizona and Nevada and southern cal. Mother Nature will eventually provide the moisture she used to. Last winter in the west, was damn near record breaking. Again, spike bulls theory about where to not build and to build, is ludicrous at best.
Floods, fire and drought. Well, we pretty much covered all 4 corners of America. Where’ll the next mayflower take us??
By the way, I love you, too.
As far as not not living out west because of a severe drought every 15 or 20 years...I'll stay put and leave the lush east to their more liberal politcs.
DConcrete - on a side note, went up to the San Juan unit today and have not seen it that dry before, but, thunderheads and storm clouds are starting to build in the afternoons now, so hopefully it starts to green up a little. A small lake up there is down about 40' from last summer...
You fellas out west are getting your panties in a wad over something that makes zero sense. All we hear from you guys is the pitfalls of eastern living. How terrible it is in regards to the wild west. Yet, you take zero account that it is OUR majority of tax dollars keeping your butts alive. We pay for your water projects with our over whelming tax base. We pay for your Fire services protecting your homes. We pay for a majority of your roads to truck in products the country you live in won't support. I understand that philosophy applies here to some degree as well but, not nearly at the extent it does there. I can make it here. Many of you can't without tax payer subsidy to make /made it possible
See how quick that gets real when reality is perceived.
Utah has more federal tax Payers than your state does. We have 3 million people. Almost double West vaginas.
We can stay alive just fine out here without your dollars. Remember, we pay taxes too chump!
Hey how about a break on NR fees!?!
It's not that I think this is a good idea or the right way of looking at it. However. it is reality
Had no idea it was to fund the roads out west.
Drink your own water? And we don’t?
Shows how much you know about the West’s watershed.
Grow own food? Guess you didn’t know that a sizable amount of food is grown here too.
You’re very detached on a few things out west.
You are once again chewing on your panty’s and missing the point. I never said the west didn’t have its own water or food. I said areas that require subsidized resources should be abandoned. Whether that be the east or the west. I only stated reality about tax revenue to play devils advocate. Instead of get the point, you are taking it personally.
HDE, most of the east from the mid Atlantic to the south is very conservative.
Most of the west is too, except for dumb little 'ol NM - a blue state.
I saw Lake Mead last year for the first time in 25-30 years....... I was shocked how low the water level is..... You can see the old water line..... We went past the Hoover Dam from Vegas to go to the Grand Canyon....
Water, food, and shelter will someday be a fight between neighbors. If a deadly pandemic or nuclear war doesn't beat us to our carrying capacity.
"You keep using that word, I don a think it means a what you think it a means".
Umm...Colorado and Utah residents pay more in fed income tax then they receive in federal funds. We are net givers of federal dollars. West Virginia, on the other hand, receives over twice as much federal funding as they pay in.
So, who is keeping whose butts alive, again?
So, if Montana decided to cut off your water to the Missouri River, you'd be OK with that?
And how about sub-surface water? Aquifers often extend across state lines. Perhaps your well is tapped into one of them. Is that "your water", or is it another state's water?
Or, should all water be considered a resource to be shared by all?
From each according to his ability and to each according to his needs.
One last time. This isn't a state by state thing. Only you nimrods are trying to make out that way to win some point? This is exactly what I said it is. Whether you like to admit it or not, there are many areas in this country that people do not belong trying to live at all or, in the numbers that they do. It causes a huge finiacial burden to all tax payers country wide. Many of those areas are in the west. Without tax revenue generated by the EASTERN tax payer, many of these areas WOULD not EXIST today and cdrtainly would not be looking to expand their burden. As they are today.
IF that is to complicated for the sensitive among us, just forget you read it.
That's why I questioned SA's rather selfish comment about "my water". If Colorado adopted a "my water" policy, I know of at least 5 states that would suffer badly.
My older sister graduated at the top of her law class at CU in Boulder. Her area of emphasis was water law. Thru conversations with her, I have a rudimentary understanding of how extremely complex the subject is. There really is no such thing as "my water".
My state is one of the worst, and I can tell you why - along with Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana.
FWIW, WV ranks pretty high on the list as well...
Your original assertion was:
"You fellas out west are getting your panties in a wad over something that makes zero sense. All we hear from you guys is the pitfalls of eastern living. How terrible it is in regards to the wild west. Yet, you take zero account that it is OUR majority of tax dollars keeping your butts alive. We pay for your water projects with our over whelming tax base. We pay for your Fire services protecting your homes. We pay for a majority of your roads to truck in products the country you live in won't support."
That's a very disingenuous and erronious statement. The fact is, the majority of the states that give more federal tax dollars than they receive are western states. The east isn't funding squat for them. Especially not your state, which receives more than twice what they put in. Should I conclude no one should live in West Virginia because the rest of us are subsidizing you?
It's a good thing for the wealth back east to be so generous to donate the surplus after the slush funds are taken care of for weather related destruction...
Sorry to bring facts to the discussion, but the notion that the east subsidizes most of the west thru their federal tax dollars is laughable, especially from a resident of WV, which ranks 10th highest for sucking off the federal teet.
GG, are you aware of where the quote comes from?
But, what is the alternative with respect to water, and air for that matter? Do you really want Colorado to shut off its surface water that flows to Kansas and other states? And what about aquifers that span over state lines? How do you propose we divide that water up?
I still maintain there is no such thing as "my water".
There is if your tribal...they take precedence over EVERYONE.
According to Colorado law, I own the surface water rights to 4 springs on my property, as well as all the sub surface water rights. I secured those rights knowing that water will become a scarce and valuable commodity at some point. But, I have no illusions that that water is actually mine. When push comes to shove, that water will be given to whoever needs it.
So, "my water" isn't really mine. Doesn't that fly in the face of your "...that doesn't entitle you to any of my water." comment?
And it will.
Water is an interesting subject. For the guys that think the water collected on the surface is "theirs" to own, consider what you would do if there was way too much of it collected. You aren't simply allowed to throw your trash in your neighbor's yard, are you? If "your" water moves downstream and destroys property, are you responsible?
Generalizing that the West as a whole is supported by the taxpaying East is pretty asinine. Sure, there are a few locations that development creates serious issues, but those areas are really just a small portion of the West (maybe some heavily populated ones albeit).
ben h's Link
I don't understand the laws and how water shares transfer/sell, but in a nut shell we have water allocation laws and shares from 100-170 years ago when the west was settled and our water uses and population was very different then. The vast majority of the water is used by agriculture; much of it to produce very low value crops and not very many of them either compared to other parts of the country. I gather it's not really a free market selling the shares and the farmers don't get adequate compensation from other downstream users for conservation, so they're in a use it or lose it situation.
Piss poor politics have a larger role and you can thank liberal politics most of all. You can take that to the bank, Jack.
First it was about population and development. Then it has been about maintenance and federal dollars recieved, and finally It's about "wasting" water. You've been all over the place, so chill.
To explain: The different perspective was in response to a comment about eastern liberals. Yes, I said that. I'm not denying that. That however does not change reality since roughly 75% of federal tax revenue comes from payroll and income taxes. That is going to come from your population centers. Since the east has a much higher percentage of the total population, common sense and 3 brain cells say that. IF that pisses or rubs anyone wrong, I'm sorry but, that is reality. However, that isn't the only example of this. But, when confronted that this was wrong, I must defend what I KNOW is right. Since I SAID it.
I( must have done an absolute horrible job of explaining my point here. I've looked it over about 30 times. I can't see how this is being so confused and rubbing people wrong. I'm not concerned with Grey Ghost. He'd argue with a butterfly just to argue. I'm not even going to address his repeated stupidity to switch the argument to his topic of choice. What I am saying is there are some really smart people here that have misunderstood what I have tried to say all along. So, that must be my fault. However, if this isn't clear, I truly do not know how else to explain it any better.
Do those numbers above include SS payments? If so, then the chart is bogus in my opinion. People earned that SS and SS should not be included IMO. Also, I haven't researched it, but if SS is included, which of those top states in the chart do not tax SS? That would be a big reason for those states to show up high on the list...like Florida for instance...People who have the wherewithal to move will move to low tax states when they retire...
As to who subsidizes who, that is a sticky subject as pretty much everyone on this board has been subsidized to some extent if you have ever bought a house with a typical mortgage. Being able to write off property taxes and mortgage interest is a subsidy that everyone with a brain takes advantage of...
And you are right, we all benefit from tax breaks and subsidies. This view is slightly different and looks at the story in aggregate. There are lots of reasons why certain States are high on the list - some have large military bases, some receive lots of welfare, etc. This aggregates it all.
Here's the problem, WVM. You've carried a fact (that the Federal tax revenue comes from large population centers) too far (that it subsidizes areas that are, in fact, givers at the Federal level).
There's a big difference of where the money is collected and where it is spent. The fact of the matter is that there are many States out West (CA, WY, UT, CO for example) that are not reliant on Federal tax dollars from back East and, in fact, quite the opposite is true.
Sure, there are fewer Federal tax dollars coming from WY than there are from NJ and there are fewer Federal tax dollars coming from MT than NY. It's not a matter of what people are putting into the pot - it's what's being taken out.
When you say what you did about people from the East paying for the services of people out West (I'm paraphrasing), you are saying that those States are takers. Many of those States aren't and they do not need the money from States back East. In fact, they are footing the Federal bill in many of the States back East.
compare apples to apples, not apples to oranges comes to mind.
The dollars spent on Federal services, projects, and programs in those States are less than what those States pay in Federal taxes. They are not reliant on other areas of the country. The complete opposite is true.
Both of those statements are not accurate. Plenty of States that generate a lot of Federal tax revenue still take more Federal dollars than they put in. Plenty of lower tax-revenue generating States are contributing more to the Federal pot than they are taking out. This is simple addition and subtraction. The residents of the State of CO are more than paying for the Federal spending in their State (water projects, fire fighting, roads, welfare programs, education, you name it).
The same cannot be said of the residents of WV. In fact, roughly 38 States are subsidized by the other dozen States in our Union. So you might want to rethink the statement that "areas that require subsidized resources should be abandoned."
For every dollar that Colorado residents pay in income tax, the state receives about 80 cents back in federal funding. For every dollar that West Virginia residents pay in income tax, the state receives about $2.20 back in federal funding.
So who is subsidizing whom, exactly? Eastern tax dollars don't fund anything in Colorado, Utah, California, Wyoming, etc.... If anything, those states are subsidizing many eastern states. Why is that so difficult to understand?
My grandmother grew up on the edge of the Mohave Desert near Bishop. I remember her talking about the Water Wars down there when the developers begin expanding LA and southern CA. Literally armed goons going from ranch to ranch and farm to farm strong arming people to sell/sign off their water rights so it could be diverted to LA. They burned people out. Families disappeared. Gun battles with those that fought back. LA developers literally getting away with murder as they paid off the local law. Serious stuff.
Many states now are claiming all the water for themselves to control. All of it. In OR even the rain that falls on your roof is not your's..... it's the state's. You can be fined for catching it in barrels and keeping it for your own use.
Yes, TD, and I have to wonder when and how this ends up being of and for the people, at the state and the federal level.
Grey Ghost's Link
TD, do you have any proof of that? I'm reading it's perfectly legal to collect rain water in Oregon. I even found the above PDF from the Oregon Building Code Division that outlines how to do it properly.
I'm thinking this is yet another internet myth.
Grey Ghost's Link
I can't find a single source that says collecting rain water in Oregon is illegal. I have found a few reputable articles that debunk that claim, including this 2018 article that lists rainwater harvesting laws for all states.
Most state's are encouraging residents to harvest rain water for conservation purposes. That's why I questioned TD's assertion.
I think I also found the case that started this myth. The Oregon resident built dams across his property and was collecting public water that ran across his property. He had collected the equivalent of 20 olympic size pools. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail, deservedly so, IMO.
FWIW, last time I was around Austin, Nevada, I had a few conversations with the ranchers there, and a frequent topic was about how the City of Las Vegas had been buying up all the large ranches and farms all the way up the valley from Tonopah. They buy out the farms with the best wells, and then pump it all down to Vegas.
Wrong. See House Bill 16-1005 passed in 2016. It allows Colorado residents to collect up to 110 gallons of rain water per household for outdoor use only.
Now think about it for a minute, what's wrong with that?
But also was stated in the same article it was illegal in CO up until two years ago..... =D
Two barrels wouldn't water my yard for one day..... Very curious as to what the logic and reasoning is to not allow more personal storage...... water hording I guess.
Gee, some people are just argumentative ashholes, THAT is true.
Show me where I argued with anyone on this thread, Spike. I just corrected some misinformation is all. Perhaps if you tried to disseminate fact from fiction on occasion, you would earn some credibility around here, too.
You over rate yourself, GG.
Long past that ever happening;)
In the eyes of the victim, every conversation is an argument and every one who disagrees with them is a bully.
"There really is no such thing as "my water".
Have your prostate removed and you'll realize how true this actually is.