Prolonged drought aka desert

Uh oh.

[Water] Levels in Lake Mead – the largest US reservoir by volume – fell to historic lows on Thursday, as the region continues to face the effects of a devastating prolonged drought.

Stationed on the main stem of the Colorado River in the Mojave [desert] along the Arizona-Nevada border, Lake Mead was formed with the construction of the Hoover dam, which generates electricity for areas in Arizona, California and Nevada. It provides water for urban, rural and tribal lands across the south-west.

It’s approaching its lowest level ever and it will get lower over the summer.

In normal years, the dam produces enough electricity for 8 million people, but the water shortage will slow energy output while adding additional pressure on the increasingly water-starved systems across the west.

And this part of the west is desert. It’s already desert and now it’s a desert in a drought. The problem is, millions of people live there. I’m not sure we thought this through.

Roughly 75% of the American west is currently mired in “severe” drought, according to the US Drought Monitor, but the region has been strained by drought conditions for decades. The climate crisis has amplified effects of the dryness, as rising temperatures obliterated the already sparse snowpack and baked even more moisture out of the landscape.

And [arms flailing in the effort to get the point across] this was already desert country. Why anybody thought it would be a good idea to fill it up with people is beyond me.

11 Responses to “Prolonged drought aka desert”