‘The #ColoradoRiver, though, is a special case’ …Paul VanDevelder

Colorado River Black Canyon site of Hoover Dam
Colorado River Black Canyon site of Hoover Dam

From the Summit Daily News (Paul VanDevelder):

We will never see men like Goldwater and Brower again. Nor will we see people like their cohorts, such as Floyd Dominy of the Bureau of Reclamation and the writer Edward Abbey; they were men of a certain time in America that no longer exists.

We can’t go back to that America any more than we can return to the days before the Civil War, or to the Indian Wars, and fix things. We’re stuck with the aftermath of those decisions, many of them poorly informed, unwise or downright bad. And, sadly, as the Hoover Commission warned 63 years ago, the consequences will be with us for generations to come.

The Colorado River, though, is a special case. It has always been a special case; now, more than ever. The drought that grips the Southwest today is the worst in 1,250 years, say some experts, and it shows no sign of releasing its grip. No doubt, the region’s leaders despair over vanishing options. The Bureau of Reclamation has announced it may start rationing water from Lake Mead to downstream states by 2015. And no climate model is predicting rain.

The first state in line to lose water from diminishing reserves is Arizona. Suddenly, those 280 golf courses in the greater Phoenix area — not to mention the tens of thousands of swimming pools — look kind of ridiculous. What in the world were we thinking?

More Colorado River Basin coverage here and here.

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