Arizona has a severe water crisis and we are headed for big problems. Desert water is precious, especially in the midst of a 26 year dry spell now called a “mega-drought.” Remember fist-fights taking place over masks? That will look like child play when water rationing starts.
When we are finally forced to ration water, Americans will react badly and I can see fist fights on lawns over sprinklers. Violence is likely when we can’t wash our cars, when we are required to curtail their daily showers, when we can’t water our golf courses and sports fields, and when we can’t do what we want.
If you think doing whatever you want is freedom, you’ll likely have an enlarged sense of self-importance and entitlement. But that’s not freedom, its the indulgence of pre-adolescence and displays that level of maturity.
Lake Mead, the reservoir which feeds the Colorado River, providing 39 percent of Arizona’s water, is at its lowest level since it was first built and filled in the 1930’s. READ THAT AGAIN. And the Upper Colorado Basin Snowpack fell below normal for the second year in a row according to NOAA snowpack winter data. Spring snowpack levles are 11 inches below normal, which contributes to low spring water levels.
We have a serious water crisis, but rather than meeting this with information, strategy, or communication about how citizens could help, Arizona politicians and officials stay silent and pretend nothing is wrong. It amounts to burying their heads in the sand.
Parts of New Mexico are observing a Stage I Water Shortage Emergency. That means citizen voluntary cutbacks. There are four stages, and Stage IV Emergency requires mandatory cutbacks on water use; violators will face water suspensions and $500 fines.
Rather than institute steps to use LESS water now, or even talk about conservation, the so-called conservatives persist in magical thinking (believing that technology will find a way to fix it). They belive in a plan to build another draw canal from the Mississippi River to feed water GREED here. This will mean spending millions – if not billions – so that we may continue acting out the fantasy that clean water is unlimited.
It’s either spend billions, or we, the citizens, change our behavior, conserve water, and act as if we really are in the desert. They don’t get it, so we will be required to teach and demand change from below just as any real change for the public’s good has always been due to pressure from below.
As politicians ignore this impending crisis and citizens delude themselves into comfort and joy, the obscene waste of water in the desert goes on as if we were living in the Great Lakes Region. Water rationing measures are needed now – just for a quick bandaid fix – but serious action will be required in the future. It’s because the climate is not just changing, but as Jeff Gibbs, director of Planet of the Humans says, its collapsing.
To stop climate change and civil disaster, everyone will have to curtail their consumerist habits. Nobody will like this, but its the truth that officials will not speak because it means changing our minds from comfort at all costs to care for the planet and our most precious resources: Earth, Water, Air.
Turn down the heat in winter.
Turn up air conditioning in summer.
Wash your car only occasionally, cut back once every several weeks or months or use a bucket.
Stop watering lawns.
Eat less meat – or none, it takes 10 times more water to create one pound of meat than it does one pound of grain.
Cut back on showers.
Become aware and more.
More pointed: DON’T WASTE WATER (don’t be a dick).
This week, I picked up a copy of The Navajo Times where I read three articles on water use. The other news outlets seldom publish this information, and never include three long and detailed water analysis articles. BRAVO to The Navajo Times.
It makes sense that the Dine Nation would hold water precious, for up to 40% of households still carry their water. Water IS a precious resource, but for most Americans, its far too easy to turn a faucet and get water without even thinking about it; therefore, its taken for granted.
If we want a future with clean water, change is required from all of us now and that means treating water as life. If we don’t, our children’s children will be justified in rightfully condemning us for our gross selfishness.
Politicians know we don’t like hearing anything that’s not positive or anything inconvenient. As a result, the problems will grow more severe while leadership and society go on fiddling as they eat their pudding and fudge the facts.
But soon, when our adolescent American indulgences are pressed way beyond a minor inconvenience – like wearing a mask – and when the economics of water become inconvenient, divisive, and even violent, the shit will truly color the fan and it will look big and ugly.
Video credit of Salt River, Randy Anagnostis