Important Video: Unsustainable water usage is reaching a crisis point for the Southwestern U.S.

Watch this video, or at least click through to youtube and read the transcript (click on the “…” next to the “save” option). The states that draw water from the Colorado River have very little time to find a way to eliminate one Arizona’s worth of water usage. Failing to do that means 25 million people could lose their electricity, because Lake Meade has almost dried up to the point that the Hoover Dam can no longer generate power reliably. I was recently talking to someone who was shocked that I would suggest we rebuild infrastructure and relocate people to make nationwide mass transit more viable.

The reality is that people are going to have to change and relocate either way, unless they want to be living without electricity in a notoriously hot and dry region, as the planet continues to heat. We are out of time.


  1. John Morales says


    YouTube’s “save” option only works if one creates an account and logs in.

    I don’t have an account, I shan’t be having an account.

  2. says

    Obviously. Outlaw lawns in those regions, require water efficiency measures from corporations, invest in indoor agriculture so you’re not just evaporating the whole damned river to keep crops alive.

  3. says

    There are probably ways EVERYONE needs to cut back on water usage. Just for starters, I know quite a few people who waste water in amazingly pointless ways, like leaving the faucet on without actually doing anything with all that water as part of their toothbrushing routine, or using half a sink-full of water and way more soap than necessary to wash one glass.

    And if we weren’t so eager to deregulate business, perhaps there’d be less toxic crap in our rivers, and thus more drinkable water, or at least water that could be more reliably made drinkable.

    And some areas could get a LOT more potable water just by collecting rainwater instead of building lots of infrastructure just to get rid of it as fast as possible.

  4. says

    I mostly agree, though I think we do need to pay attention to the effects of catching rainwater rather than letting it flow downstream, especially given the amount of pollution that’s in the rain these days.

  5. Katydid says

    The bottom line is that some areas are simply not optimal for humans to live in–no matter how frugal they are with water use.

    Back in the early 1990s everyone was rushing to Phoenix, a place that was averaging 7″ of water a year back then (no idea what it is now), with average temps that are just not pleasant. They immediately built air-conditioned McMansions and golf-course-adjacent homes and suburban sprawl with green grass lawns and swimming pools. It didn’t take a psychic medium to predict they’d quickly run out of water.

    Same thing with Las Vegas and most of Utah.

    Even Montana–back in the late 1990s, a friend moved to a cabin in the woods an hour from the nearest town. Where did their water come from? “There’s PLENTY under the ground!” Two years later they’d depleted the aquifer and had to move.

  6. says

    We need to re-structure a lot of the country anyway, to change how we consume energy for transport. Part of that should definitely include moving people and agriculture away from areas like that.

    Also the only way I’ll allow golf is if the course is a multi-use area for sheep grazing or whatever, and only reserved for golf once a week or something. No more dedicated golf courses.

    Oh, and I’ll probably be less forgiving to our resident creationist liar, given that they’ve already demonstrated a lack of interest in reality. My primary goal here isn’t persuading people that fire is hot.

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