Human Settlements in Desert Southwest in Serious Trouble

“The researchers estimated that there is a 10 percent chance that
Lake Mead could be dry by 2014. They further predict that there is a
50 percent chance that reservoir levels will drop too low to allow
hydroelectric power generation by 2017.”

“Barnett said that the researchers chose to go with conservative
estimates of the situation in their analysis, though the water
shortage is likely to be more dire in reality. The team based its
findings on the premise that climate change effects only started in
2007, though most researchers consider human-caused changes in
climate to have likely started decades earlier. They also based their
river flow on averages over the past 100 years, even though it has
dropped in recent decades.

“Today, we are at or beyond the sustainable limit of the Colorado
system. The alternative to reasoned solutions to this coming water
crisis is a major societal and economic disruption in the desert
southwest; something that will affect each of us living in the
region” the report concluded.


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