Man-Made Drought in US Southwest


Once again climatism misinforms and misdirects on environmental hazards. Now fears of long-term drought in the US Southwest are put forward and blamed on “climate change”, code for burning fossil fuels. NASA: Megadrought Lasting Decades Is 99% Certain in American Southwest 

Unsurprisingly, when you read past the headlines, you find that the real issue is man-made all right: water and land usage by growing populations of residents in the region.

Much of the Southwest relies on the Colorado River and its tributaries for some or all of its water. Beginning as a trickle seeping out of the ground above 10,000 feet, just west of the Continental Divide, the Colorado feeds critical farmland, public water supplies and helps generate hydroelectric power. Thirty to 40 million people rely on Colorado River water.

Historically, the Colorado emptied into the Gulf of California. Today, what little remains of the Colorado River when it reaches Mexico has been diverted to irrigate the farms of Mexicali Valley. The rest of the river exists mostly as a dry memory.

“The Colorado River is one of the most dammed and diverted rivers on the planet,” said Gary Wockner, executive director of Save The Colorado, in an interview with EcoWatch. “In fact, every drop of its water, over 5 trillion gallons of water per year, is diverted out and the river no longer meets the Gulf of California.”

Climate models are then employed to predict a megadrought for the region resulting from projecting several degrees of global warming.

First of all, even though the US Southwest has seen more temperature rise than other US regions, it is still the case that it is not getting hotter, it is getting milder. That is, daily maximums are trending lower, while overnight lows are rising, resulting in milder winters, earlier springs and later autumns.

But future temperature increases are not the problem, that is misdirection.  The present water shortages are totally man-made, directly resulting from failed management practices and lack of political will and leadership.

“The implications are that the river is already severely depleted and the reservoirs are at near historic lows and all the predictions are that it is going to get worse,” said Wockner. “And so people who manage water supplies need to be managing for less water.”

It is a cop-out to campaign for CO2 reduction agreements and for a cap-and-trade market (casino to replace the subprime mortgage game). Those initiatives will do nothing for water in the region. Forget “fighting climate change” and get on with adapting social and economic policies to suit the water realities that exist already.



  1. manicbeancounter · October 8, 2016

    The reason that the Colorado River more influenced by human activity compared to possibly any other major river in the world is that it has a relatively low volume of water. The 5 trillion US gallons annual discharge equates to 600 m3/s. Wikipedia lists 139 rivers in the world with discharge >2000 m3/s, of which 17 are in North America (and over half are tributaries of other rivers). The biggest is the Amazon with >200,000m3/s. In terms of length the Colorado is listed as 46th.
    In British terms, the Colorado has 9 times the discharge of the River Thames and probably serves just twice the population, with a basin 30 times the size. (390,000 km2 v 12935). Water is much scarcer per square mile, so people in California are much more reliant on the rivers as a water source than in southern England.
    In Canadian terms the Colorado has 1/30 of the discharge of the might St Lawrence (17800 m3/s) from one third of the area.

    Years ago I read in the Economist that a problem with water in California was pricing. The farmers get the water for virtually no cost, so there is little incentive to economize.


    • Ron Clutz · October 8, 2016

      Thanks for the input. In addition to those river characteristics, it is also running through an arid region with little rainfall to supplement. Even Colorado state itself is classified as “high desert.”


  2. Hifast · October 9, 2016

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.


  3. nabbiz · October 9, 2016

    At Yuma, where rte 8 crosses the CA – AZ border, there is located a US Bureau of Reclamation plant. The river is dammed and its water is passed thru a very large R/O purification installation. The purified (agricultural chemicals removed) water is then dumped below the dam to go on to Mexico. Why is this done? We have a treaty with Mexico wherein we GIVE them purified Colorado River water, and in return, they SELL us oil! What a bargain!


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