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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/in-my-mind-the-west-stops-in-the-rockies-and-30560566.aspx

Subject:  Re: Water Problems in the West Date:  2/25/2013  11:26 AM
Author:  1poorguy Number:  416660 of 461289

(In my mind the West stops in the Rockies and then there's the Left Coast.)

Perspective, I guess. Here in Arizona we consider EVERYTHING east of us to be "back east" (including the Rockies). Colorado is not "west", it's "midwest". Of course, I see how one might think Arizona is part of the coast. There's a lot of beach here, just no ocean. ;-)

Arizona is lucky that Teddy Roosevelt created the Salt River Project. It has made water readily available here, and continues to this day. It's why we are able to have so many golf courses!! (Which, IMO, is phenomenally stupid in a desert.) People have grass lawns. It's really pretty nutty.** I guess that makes SRP a two-edged sword, though, as it has allowed Phoenix to grow much bigger than it probably should have.

It is going to be a problem. Lake Mead is down. A lot. Most of the reservoirs are down. Most weather folks say we've been in drought here for over 10 years (and, keep in mind, we're already pretty darned dry being a desert and all). I've heard rumblings that farmers in the Imperial Valley (CA) are feeling it a bit. They grow a massive amount of the food we eat in this country.

This trend is worrying. Shifting weather patterns could cause a lot of pain as areas suitable for agriculture "move", and what was once productive farm land becomes wasteland.

We haven't had a below zero day for quite some time. Something has changed drastically.

I'll avoid the politics, and just say that we KNOW the world is getting warmer. Lots of data shows it.
http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=global+average+temperat...

This is going to have numerous effects. Storms will have more energy, be more violent (e.g. Sandy). Weather patterns will shift so that even though on average the Earth is warmer, there will be places that get colder than normal. (It snowed in Scottsdale last week. It didn't last long, but it snowed.) As individuals we can adapt pretty easily. But as a society it will be very difficult to rearrange where we grow our food, where we live or don't live, how we deal with cities that may no longer be viable due to changing conditions such as rising ocean levels and propensity for storms.

1poorguy


**Compare to when I lived in Colorado 30 years ago...you could only water your lawn or wash your car on certain days of the week based on your address (as I recall). But Arizona? Heck no! Dump all the water you want on the ground to grow your grass, and have your 100+ perfect golf courses!
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