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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Global warming: think thirsty

One of the excellent, in-depth stories from the NY Times examines an often overlooked consequence of global warming and population growth - decreasing water availability.
When Binney and I met at Dillon Reservoir, he brought graphs of Colorado River flows that go back nearly a thousand years. “There was this one in the 1150s,” he said, tracing a jagged line downward with his finger. “They think that’s when the Anasazi Indians were forced out. We see drought cycles here that can go up to 60 years of below-average precipitation.”
For the 30 million people that depend on the Colorado River, that's no laughing matter. The story goes on to discuss how water use in the United States is decreasing, but not nearly fast enough to prepare for inevitable battles between states and regions for the precious resource.

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