Monday, January 28, 2008

Coachella Valley won't last

It may seem incongruous to talk about saving water when almost the entire state has been deluged this past week. Yet the AquaMaven is catching and forwarding those stories that I would normally have missed.

Just how big is the problem? We supposedly plan for 100 year floods... how about 500 year drought?
The worst drought along the Colorado River in about 500 years has convinced communities throughout the Southwest to restrict how they use an increasingly scarce resource, water.
Of course, some areas like the Coachella Valley, once home to a pre-historic lake, sit on top of a large underground aquifer. That has been their primary source of water for a hundred years, allowing date palms and golf courses to grow in the desert.
Years of groundwater overuse is causing the valley to sink - literally. The subsidence, if unchecked, could cause millions of dollars in damage to roads, pipelines and other infrastructure.
The issues of water supply, growth and agriculture in this state are so intimately entwined as to be inseparable. They require nothing less than a fundamental re-thinking of the American Dream. If this is to happen, if it is going to be achievable through politics, then it must begin with the Green Party. There is no other choice.

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