Water Availability & Storage

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Summer is full on here in the Northern Hemisphere, and with it where I live (Utah) there’s talk again of the Megadrought of the American Southwest.

I live overlooking a local reservoir, so you could say I’m very close to the issue. Fortunately, in the specific neighborhood I am there’s a small HOA that has secured its own private water source that’s upstream from that reservoir. Good thing. The town residents who get water from it, and all of the other municipalities who draw their water from similar sources are not so lucky.

In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s bad. In fact, it’s the driest it’s been here since at least the year 800 A.D. and it may have been even longer than that since we had this little rainfall.

Keep in mind that most of the water that gets used here in Utah actually fell many millions of years ago, it’s not like it gets replenished every year. Over the last few decades, we’ve drunk up much of that limited supply. When that’s gone, it’s like gone gone.

People here in 2022 tend to forget that it doesn’t matter how many shares of water rights exist when the water supply itself is threatened. Argue all you like with fellow humans about how much water there should be, inarguable science will answer with how much of it there actually is. Which is simply not enough to go around.

Speaking of science, here’s an unusually intelligent explanation of this typically dry topic from the YouTube channel Practical Engineering. May this quench your thirst for knowledge about drought and the underlying economics.

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