The drying Colorado

If you want to know what’s in store for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, keep tabs on the Colorado River. It’s drying — by as much as 20 percent by 2060, a new study says — while cities in the states that depend upon it are growing.

That’s the subtext of the BDCP process and the peripheral tunnels: for people who have chosen to live in deserts or semi-arid regions, time is running out.  Water is becoming more costly. Urban growth is imperilled. Big Ag’s profits are in jeopardy.

Good solutions such as growth limits and water conservation are on the table with bad solutions such as exporting more water from the Delta (the real solution, zero population growth, is never considered) and fantastic solutions such as towing icebergs to thirsty cities.

But, writes a Wasington Post blogger, “even if the right mix of adaptation strategies were adopted, the Colorado River Basin would still be highly vulnerable to droughts and water shortfalls in a certain portion of years. There’s no way to stave off all possible calamities.”

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    Michael Fitzgerald

    Mike Fitzgerald is The Record’s award-winning metro columnist. His column runs in the paper three times a week. Born in San Francisco, he was raised in Stockton. His column covers diverse beats including, sometimes, the offbeat. Read Full
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