(News & Editorial/ The western drought…the coming cost)
20 Signs The Epic Drought In The Western United States Is Starting To Become Apocalyptic
15 July 2014, TheEconomicCollapse, By Michael Snyder
Pasted from: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/20-signs-the-epic-drought-in-the-western-united-states-is-starting-to-become-apocalyptic
When scientists start using phrases such as “the worst drought” and “as bad as you can imagine” to describe what is going on in the western half of the country, you know that things are bad. Thanks to an epic drought that never seems to end, we are witnessing the beginning of a water crisis that most people never even dreamed was possible in this day and age. The state of California is getting ready to ban people from watering their lawns and washing their cars, but if this drought persists we will eventually see far more extreme water conservation measures than that. And the fact that nearly half of all of the produce in America comes out of the state of California means that ultimately this drought is going to deeply affect all of us. Food prices have already been rising at an alarming rate, and the longer this drought goes on the higher they will go. Let us hope and pray that this drought is permanently broken at some point, because otherwise we could very well be entering an era of extreme water rationing, gigantic dust storms and crippling food prices. The following are 20 signs that the epic drought in the western half of the United States is starting to become apocalyptic…
#1 According to the Los Angeles Times, downtown Los Angeles is now the driest that it has been since records began being kept all the way back in 1877.
#2 The California State Water Resources Control Board says that nearly 50 communities are already on the verge of running out of water.
#3 In a desperate attempt to conserve water, the state of California is considering banning watering lawns and washing cars. Once implemented, violators will be slapped with a $500 fine for each offense.
#4 It has been reported that a new social media phenomenon known as “drought shaming“ has begun in California. People are taking videos and photos of their neighbors wasting water and posting them to Facebook and Twitter.
#5 Climate scientist Tim Barnett says that the water situation in Las Vegas “is as bad as you can imagine”, and he believes that unless the city “can find a way to get more water from somewhere” it will soon be “out of business”.
#6 The water level in Lake Mead has now fallen to the lowest level since 1937, and it continues to drop at a frightening pace. You can see some incredible photos of what has happened to Lake Mead right here:
#7 Rob Mrowka of the Center for Biological Diversity believes that the city of Las Vegas is going to be forced to downsize because of the lack of water…
The drought is like a slow spreading cancer across the desert. It’s not like a tornado or a tsunami, bang. The effects are playing out over decades. And as the water situation becomes more dire we are going to start having to talk about the removal of people (from Las Vegas).
#8 In some areas of southern Nevada, officials are actually paying people to remove their lawns in a desperate attempt to conserve water.
#9 According to Accuweather, “more than a decade of drought” along the Colorado River has set up an “impending Southwest water shortage” which could ultimately affect tens of millions of people.
#10 Most people don’t realize this, but the once mighty Colorado River has become so depleted that it no longer runs all the way to the ocean.
#11 Lake Powell is less than half full at this point.
#12 It is being projected that the current drought in California will end up costing the state more than 2 billion dollars this year alone.
#13 Farmers in California are allowing nearly half a million acres to lie fallow this year due to the extreme lack of water.
#14 The lack of produce coming from the state of California will ultimately affect food prices in the entire nation. Just consider the following statistics from a recent Business Insider article…
California is one of the U.S.’s biggest food producers — responsible for almost half the country’s produce and nuts and 25% of our milk and cream. Eighty percent of the world’s almonds come from the state, and they take an extraordinary amount of water to produce — 1.1 gallons per almond.
#15 As underground aquifers are being relentlessly drained in California, some areas of the San Joaquin Valley are sinking by 11 inches a year.
#16 It is being projected that the Kansas wheat harvest will be the worst that we have seen since 1989.
#17 The extended drought has created ideal conditions for massive dust storms to form. You can see video of one female reporter bravely reporting from the middle of a massive dust storm in Phoenix right here:
#18 Things are so dry in California right now that people are actually starting to steal water. For example, one Mendocino County couple recently had 3,000 gallons of water stolen from them. It was the second time this year that they had been hit.
#19 At the moment, close to 80 percent of the state of California is experiencing either “extreme” or “exceptional” drought.
#20 National Weather Service meteorologist Eric Boldt says that this is “the worst drought we probably have seen in our lifetime”.
Most people just assume that this drought will be temporary, but experts tell us that there have been “megadroughts” throughout history in the western half of the United States that have lasted for more than 100 years.
If we have entered one of those eras, it is going to fundamentally change life in America.
And the frightening thing is that much of the rest of the world is dealing with water scarcity issues right now as well. In fact, North America is actually in better shape than much of Africa and Asia. For much more on this, please see my previous article entitled “25 Shocking Facts About The Earth’s Dwindling Water Resources”.
Without plenty of fresh water, modern civilization is not possible.
And right now, the western United States and much of the rest of the world is starting to come to grips with the fact that we could be facing some very serious water shortages in the years ahead.
B. ‘Shocking’ underground water loss in US drought
24 July 2014, Yahoo! News,
Pasted from: http://news.yahoo.com/shocking-underground-water-loss-us-drought-185439412.html
Washington (AFP) – A major drought across the western United States has sapped underground water resources, posing a greater threat to the water supply than previously understood, scientists said Thursday.
The study involves seven western states — including Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, California, New Mexico and Nevada — in an area known as the Colorado River Basin.
Since 2000, the region has seen the driest 14-year period in a century, and researchers now say three quarters of the water loss has come from underground.
The total amount of water loss is almost double the volume of the nation’s largest reservoir, Nevada’s Lake Mead, said the study in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
From 2004 to 2013, satellite data has shown that the basin lost nearly 53 million acre feet (65 cubic kilometers) of freshwater, it said.
“This is a lot of water to lose. We thought that the picture could be pretty bad, but this was shocking,” said lead study author Stephanie Castle, a water resources specialist at the University of California, Irvine.
This picture taken from a helicopter shows a drought affected area near Los Altos Hills, California, …
“We don’t know exactly how much groundwater we have left, so we don’t know when we’re going to run out,” added Castle.
NASA said the study is “the first to quantify the amount that groundwater contributes to the water needs of western states.”
The data came from the NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite, a joint mission with the German Aerospace Center and the German Research Center for Geosciences.
Experts say water levels and losses in rivers and lakes is well documented, but underground aquifers are not as well understood.
The satellite was able to detect below ground water by measuring the gravitational pull of the region as it changed over time due to rising or falling water reserves.
The Colorado River Basin supplies water to some 40 million people in seven states, and irrigates about four million acres (1.6 million hectares) of farmland.
“The Colorado River Basin is the water lifeline of the western United States,” said senior author Jay Famiglietti, senior water cycle scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
He said the basin, like others worldwide, was relying on groundwater to make up for the limited surface-water supply.
“We found a surprisingly high and long-term reliance on groundwater to bridge the gap between supply and demand,” he said.
“Combined with declining snowpack and population growth, this will likely threaten the long-term ability of the basin to meet its water allocation commitments to the seven basin states and to Mexico,” Famiglietti said.
C. Water costs skyrocket 1,000% where half the nation’s fruits, vegetables and nuts are grown
4 August 2014, NaturalNews Network, contributed by NaturalNews.com
Pasted from: http://www.thedailysheeple.com/water-costs-skyrocket-1000-where-half-the-nations-fruits-vegetables-and-nuts-are-grown_082014
It is not as if there aren’t any economic factors influencing the price of groceries these days. Transportation alone, thanks to skyrocketing fuel prices, has lifted the cost of everything we buy at the grocery store. Now, one of the worst droughts in U.S. history is making the one thing absolutely vital for food production — an ample water supply — more expensive as well, and that, ultimately, will translate into even higher prices at the market.
To set the stage, back in February the U.S. Bureau or Reclamation released its first outlook of the year, in which the agency found insufficient water stocks in California to release to farmers for irrigation. That was the first time in the 54-year history of the State Water Project that had happened.
“If it’s not there, it’s just not there,” said Water Authority Executive Director Steve Chedester, who noted that it would be tough finding water in the coming year or more. Farmers were to be hardest hit, the official added, stating, “They’re all on pins and needles trying to figure out how they’re going to get through this.”
‘Paying as much as 10 times more’
One way to deal with the drought is for farmers to plant fewer fields, which would mean that early on there would be fewer crops; in the law of supply and demand, when supply is reduced, but demand remains high, prices rise.
The other option would be farmers being forced to pay premium prices for the remaining available water, which would also add to the final cost of crops — costs that would have to be passed on to consumers.
Fast-forward to late summer 2014: As the drought has only worsened over the summer, farmers in California’s Central Valley, which is by far the world’s most productive agricultural region, are paying as much as 10 times more for water than they did before the state’s record dry spell forced officials to cut water supplies earlier this year.
[Photos: Some of the garden produce and fruit grown in California. When we in the rest of the US eat fresh vegetables during the fall,
winter and spring, know that most of them have come from an area now threatened by a very serious, growing drought. Mr. Larry]
As reported by Bloomberg Briefs, costs to raise crops in California have soared to $1,100 an acre, or $140 more per acre than last year in the Fresno-based Westlands Water District, a region representing 700 farms, according to Gayle Holman, a spokeswoman for the district. Meanwhile, north of the state capital of Sacramento, in the Western Canal Water District, water is selling for double the usual price: $500 per acre-foot, which is about 326,000 gallons.
The most severe shortages have occurred in the San Joaquin Valley, in an area from Bakersfield to Patterson and Chowchilla, said Mike Wade, executive director of the California Farm Water Coalition, a group based in Sacramento that represents farmers and most agricultural irrigation districts in the state.
Whole states are running dry
The drought, as it worsens, threatens also to dramatically increase production costs that are already high in part because of an unexpected, unseasonable December frost, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Last month, analysts said they believe that the price of fresh fruit will rise as much as 6 percent this year. [Don’t be concerned (chuckle), food is not considered part of the Consumer Price Index, so the coming 6 percent increase will not show up as either inflation, wage pay increases or in the Social Security retirement stipend. Mr. Larry]
Meanwhile, dairy products — of which California is the largest producer — could rise as much as 4 percent. Following three years of record-low rainfall, 82 percent of California is currently undergoing extreme drought conditions, per the U.S. Drought Monitor, a federal website.
Mat Maucieri, a spokesman for the Bureau of Reclamation, said that the rising food prices are “a function of supply and demand in a very dry year and the fact that there are a lot of competing uses for water in California.”
As shown on the U.S. Drought Monitor website, the entire states of California, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico, along with most of Texas, Utah and Oregon, are experiencing various levels of drought conditions. California is, by far, experiencing the worst.