Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Water Woes

San Diego is in a bit of a panic because we've had less than ten inches of rain in the last two and a half years. That's really not as bad as it sounds, as our normal rainfall is only ten inches per year, but things are really dry and the fire danger is up there. After the Cedar Fire of 2003 burned about half the county, we are a bit nervous about fire. A lot of our water comes from the Colorado River, which is now so heavily used that it no longer reaches the sea. Lake Mead and Lake Powell are at record low levels.

I lived in Atlanta, Georgia for about ten years and I loved the city. It is a great city with wonderful people and the best places to eat in the world outside of New Orleans. Only two things kept it from being ideal: traffic and rain. Growing up in the Desert Southwest may have heightened my perceptions, of course, but as I recall it rained a heck of a lot.

Well, not so much now.

Atlanta now has a total ban on all outdoor water use. Yikes. No lawn watering, filling swimming pools, water fountains... None. Large fines and phone numbers so you can turn in neighbors who violate the ban.

Predictions are that unless they get rainfall "on the order of a slow-moving hurricane" that by next summer they will have to begin a water rationing program of a nature that will even regulate when their residents can take showers and wash clothes.

Now that's a water shortage. And it is in a major US city. And it's now, not in some distant future.

No comments:

Post a Comment