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Author: RaptorD2 Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 449257  
Subject: Re: Water Problems in the West Date: 2/24/2013 5:27 PM
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National Drought Mitigation Center (Lincoln, NE): http://drought.unl.edu/

And here I am in Lincoln, NE. We've had 2 light-to-medium snows this winter and that's it. It seems we get less and less moisture every year.

Starting 2 weeks ago, DW and I have noticed flocks of robins (yes, I know robins don't travel in flocks, but they're here) several times around our house. Each time there were 20-50 robins in the flock. We normally don't see robins here in the winter at all and never in flocks. (Maybe I just never noticed before but I think not.)

Last summer we had a legal ban on watering anything outdoors. Lawns, shrubs, trees, even new lawns. Even watering cans were outlawed. Anyway, during the first week of the ban, our lawn sprinklers went off on the wrong morning at 3 a.m. because I mis-programmed it (it's not intuitive at all and I normally never touch it.) One of our butthead neighbors turned us in and when the police came to the door MrsRaptor answered so she got the ticket and also later on, the misdemeanor conviction. Her job allows no misdemeanors, and we couldn't travel to several countries including Timada up north (Canuckian territory.) Meanwhile we're appealing to the county commissioners and the governor for some sort of relief from the misdemeanor charge with some hope of resolution.

Macro? Everything residential here goes to plant heaven but the farmers suck out all the water from the Missouri, Platte, Loup and other rivers to keep your food growing. It may be a small price to pay but the trees are confused about the seasons and whether in general and don't know whether to leaf out, shed leaves or just give up. I hear they are threatening a mass protest against death by thirst.

We went months without rain last year and with barely any snow this winter I suspect we're heading right back into drought.
Lincoln is "Tree City USA" and has more trees per acre than any other city but that may change soon. Arbor Day was introduced in a small Nebraska city near us. The next step in this trend will be when the farmers run out of water from the Ogalalla reservoir (the largest in the world, I believe) to irrigate crops with and then someone is going to go hungry and/or the price of food is going to take a bigger bite out of the budget.

We can argue endlessly whether these patterns are caused by man or are just part of the normal macro climate changes, but the repercussions are becoming very real and if they continue, the forecast is for acute pain. Is that macro? Sounds pretty macro to me but what do I know, I'm just a midwestern hick redneck who can't even travel to Canada because my wife is a water criminal. (Glad I wasn't home to answer the door to the police.) :)

Dan, thirsty but so far no beer rationing. < hic! >
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