Category Archives: Water

A Picture of the California Drought

Two themes that we identified early on as having the potential to affect the North American economy are the drought is the US Southwest and Pacific regions. Ebola we update via email since we have not bothered to write about it. It is progressing nicely with major economic dislocation in the West African countries most affected and a growing impact in the developed world. This is still in early stages.

The other story we are tracking is the drought in California (read Another Dry Essay). The following video clip by the New yorker provides a poignant glimpse into the lives of those on the front lines.

The US Drought Monitor for Oct. 16 shows no change from that shown in Another Dry Essay for Sept.

Update: 20150420

This essay attempts to document the human suffering associated with the California drought. An article today in Zero Hedge by Michael Snyder titled Another Reason To Move Away From California: “Conditions Are Like A Third-World Country”, touches on the impact of depleted groundwater supplies. Residents and farmers in the interior are having to drill down 1800′ for water. Many can’t afford this and will have to abandon their properties.

Update: 20150724

Pictures of depleted reservoirs: A Stunning Look At California’s Historic Drought – From The Air.

Jeopardy Question: This Body of Water Determines the Fate of the Modern Day Anasazi

The answer is Lake Mead and the civilization that is about to disappear like the Anasazi is Las Vegas and its profligate life style.  We were motivated to write this essay, partly because it is a piece in the puzzle of a larger theme that we have begun on complex adaptive systems (CAS: The Operative Principle Behind Everything) and partly by this article from Zero Hedge: Las Vegas Is “Screwed”; The Water Situation “Is As Bad As You Can Imagine”. We first look at a few facts about Las Vegas. Then we look at Lake Mead and its importance to the region. Finally we look at the present state of affairs and Las Vegas’ future.

Another Dry Essay

Drought in the US is something we have been following for years. We have decided it’s time to capture the parameters of the subject. As with many articles we write, we use them for an ongoing chronology of a topic, something that could not have been easily done before the World Wide Web. The importance of this topic is that California feeds North America and California agriculture is based on irrigation. Anything that reduces agricultural output in California will send fresh produce prices skyrocketing. Food inflation then propagates through the economy as reduced expenditure everywhere else. This issue affects you directly.

Figure 1. Progression of the California drought, Jan. to May, 2014.

And the current situation:

Figure 2. Current California drought assessment (through Sept. 2014.)


Source: US Drought Monitor.

What follows is the chronology of articles with associated comment. We may at some point create a summary.

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