Human Activity Blamed For Water Woes In The West
By ERICA WERNER, Associated Press Writer Thu Jan 31, 2:00 PM ET
WASHINGTON - Human activity such as driving and powering air conditioners
is responsible for up to 60 percent of changes contributing to dwindling water
supplies in the arid and growing West, a new study finds.
Those changes are likely to accelerate, says the study published Thursday
in Science magazine, portending "a coming crisis in water supply for the western
The study is likely to add to urgent calls for action already coming from
Western states competing for the precious resource to irrigate farms and quench
the thirst of growing populations. Devastating wildfires, avalanches and drought
have also underscored the need.
Researchers led by climate expert Tim P.
Barnett at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of
California, San Diego, studied climate changes in the West between 1950-1999.
They noted that winter precipitation falls increasingly as rain rather than
snow, snow melts faster, river flows decrease in summer months, and overall
warming is exacerbating dry summer conditions.
The researchers used statistical modeling to compare climate changes that
would have happened with natural fluctuations over time, to climate changes with
the addition of human-caused greenhouse gases and other emissions from vehicles,
power plants and other sources.
They found that most changes in river flow, temperature and snow pack
between 1950 and 1999 can be attributed to human activities, such as driving,
that release emissions including carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into
end of excerpt.
"It is not until the well runs dry, that we know the worth of water." Ben Franklin.
The population explosion in the Southwest is causing the one thing we up to now have only seen in third world underdeveloped countries. The Southwest is running out of water due to population increase, waste, and climate change. The time has come for evasive action to conserve water resources, provide for more water storage, and to invest in irrigation methods that save water, along with doing something about the tremendous population increase in this area.
Those who move there to have huge swimming pools in the desert and water their fake lawns need to understand what calamity they are precipitating by their actions. Will it have to come down to fines and forced restrictions? And notice in Las Vegas when you pass a casino all you see are huge fountains, pools, and water displays. Are they truly necessary at a time like this?
This study is a red flag that should lead people to truly think of the consequences of their actions. The water problems we are facing now in this country will not go away if we just pray for rain. We must be the catalyst in taking a moral responsibility for conserving water.