Sierra Nevada freshwater runoff could drop 26 percent by 2100, tree growth due to improved climate blamed

Forests_Sierra_NevadaFrom the University of California – Irvine and the “Environmentalists are never happy” department comes this amusing quandary.

The cause? Increased high-elevation plant growth fueled by climate warming

Irvine, Calif. — Freshwater runoff from the Sierra Nevada may decrease by as much as one-quarter by 2100 due to climate warming on the high slopes, according to scientists at UC Irvine and UC Merced.

Accelerated plant growth at higher elevations caused by increasing temperatures would trigger more water absorption and evaporation, accounting for the projected runoff declines, the researchers add.

A diminished river flow will only add to the burden of providing resources to the thirsty farms and homes that rely on it. The state is currently experiencing a severe drought, and some reservoirs and groundwater levels are at all-time lows.

The study findings appear this week in the early online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“Scientists have recognized for a while that something like this was possible, but no one had been able to quantify whether it could be a big effect,” said UCI professor of Earth system science Michael L. Goulden of the decreased runoff. “It’s clear that this could be a big effect of climate warming and that water managers need to recognize and plan for the possibility of increased water losses from forest evaporation.”

According to the researchers, runoff from mountain ranges is vulnerable to temperature hikes that lengthen growing seasons and result in more vegetation growth at high elevations. Snow-dominated mountain forests that are currently dormant in winter with cold temperatures have lower vegetative density and less evapotranspiration than downslope forests in the snow-rain transition zone, which have year-round growing seasons. Evapotranspiration is the combination of water evaporation from land and the loss of water through plant-leaf transpiration.

Goulden and UC Merced’s Roger C. Bales investigated the potential influence of a warming climate on evapotranspiration in the Kings River Basin in California’s Sierra Nevada and found resulting changes in the amount of freshwater mountain runoff available to serve surrounding communities.

They gauged water vapor emission rates and combined those measurements with remote sensing imagery to determine relationships among elevation, climate and evapotranspiration. According to the data, freshwater mountain runoff is highly sensitive to expanded vegetation growth.

The authors found that greater vegetation density at higher elevations in the Kings basin with the 4.1 degrees Celsius warming projected by climate models for 2100 could boost basin evapotranspiration by as much as 28 percent, with a corresponding 26 percent decrease in river flow.

Further, the relationships among evapotranspiration, temperature and vegetation density were similar across a broader area of the Sierra Nevada, suggesting that the impact of climate change on evapotranspiration and freshwater availability could be widespread.

“Most people have heard about the giant forests around Yosemite and Sequoia national parks, but these areas have not been a focus of this type of research. Understanding of Sierran hydrology has improved recently with the National Science Foundation’s Critical Zone Observatory, and data collected there allowed us to look at the problem from several perspectives,” Goulden said. “All of our analyses pointed in the same direction: An upslope expansion of forest with warming would cause a large increase in evaporative water loss and lead to reduced water availability.”

###

Bales is a professor of engineering and director of the Sierra Nevada Research Institute at UC Merced. The research was supported by the NSF, through the Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory (EAR-0725097) and a major research instrumentation grant (EAR-0619947), and by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Terrestrial Ecosystem Science program.

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James the Elder

They should be happy about more trees. After all the coal plants are shuttered, they will need the wood to stay warm.

Rhoda R

Doesn’t increased run off have a lot to do with flooding in California?

Jack

what a load of hogwash. Water is too serious a matter to let fools like that play with failed computer models. Anyone who extrapolates out that far is not a scientist of any repute or regard. We have to use what water we have in much better ways and technology is rapidly advancing in this area.
That advance must not be blocked by these dopes trying to grab so me more climate funding.

Duster

The loss of ground water to trees is no model. One of the worst consequences of “only you can prevent forest fires” was the drastic increase in the numbers of trees per acre in most of the lower 48 since the end of the 19th C. I have heard from good authorities that there are more trees within the US borders now than there were 200 years ago. Fire suppression also encouraged development of dense undergrowth and understory formation which fire fighters of my acquaintance refer to as “fire ladders.” The reason given is that a small fire in the duff can burn merrily along until it encounters brush, climb into the brush, thence into understory trees and from there into the overstory crown. It was preventing forest fires that made them worse. One cause of lowered incidence of major fires in the west may be due to the hands-off, defensive approach now employed by many forests in fire suppression.
One of the consequences of dense tree stands is increased depth to ground water, and as the water elevation drops the trees compete with each other. A forester working with the Willamette N.F. in Oregon pointed out square miles of dead trees that had essentially “fought to the death” for declining water. Seriously thinning forests is a means of increasing surface water supply and I have seen it convert seasonal streams to perennial streams, and intermittent streams to seasonal streams on ranches in the Sierra Nevada foothills and in the Coast Ranges in California. Not everything about climate is temperature, and not everything about climate change is NOT anthropogenic. We do have an influence, just not usually what “the Team” talks about.

cnxtim

The problem is really one of unbounded funding.
Why governments have been suckered into approving this enormous waste of taxpayers money is beyond me
With so many real problems facing every country, this climate overstudy nonsense is both reprehensible and just plain STUPID!
Get a job you useless bludgers!

ossqss

So,,,, we have a new feedback to absorb more C02? Go figure, a cycle perhaps?

John

“but thanks for acknowledging the need for CO2 sequestration”
That’s’not what ossqss meant.

Eugene WR Gallun

Global warming causes earthquakes — we have heard that bit of loony nonsense before.

ossqss was being cynical about CO2.
Your “there is good science that says this [drought] may cause stress to the San Andreas Fault” is not supported by the article you linked. It says that extensive groundwater pumping “makes it a bit easier for the plates to slide, which might set off subtle shudders“. Sounds to me like groundwater loss eases the stress slightly.

Bert Walker

Peter you should actually read the articles you link before you (incorrectly) comment on them.
It is not the draught per se, that causes tectonic strain, according to the article but rather the seasonal changes of alternate of snow and rain load followed by summertime relief from the precipitation load. According to their hypothesis a prolonged drought would reduce stress on the SA fault.
Oh, BTW increased tree/vegetation growth from increased atmospheric CO2 concentration may lead to greater snow deposition accumulation in the Sierra Nevada causing a net increase in springtime water runoff. The increased CO2 concentration will improve vegetation drought resistance improving produce yields in the central valley as well .
Yea increased CO2!

johnmarshall

It is the slight rise of atmospheric CO2 that has increased tree growth.

AndyZ

Droughts suck but have little to do with CO2. Building in a desert is the real problem… The irony is the panic of increased CO2 will run uncontrolled. But when alarmists acknowledge flora is a negative feedback, suddenly flora is the cause for alarm. I’m pretty sure not everything that happens in the world is panic worthy…

Austin

More trees will not mean more CO2 absorption? Really? Not to mention all the other non-tree foliage that will accompany the trees. You made your statement as if you already know the precise amount of vegetation that will result in a bit of warming. And what of the evaporation rate? More evaporation means more rain. More rain means more cloud coverage. More cloud coverage means a cooler surface.

TeeWee

Business Insider, MSNBC and ThinkProgress. What great scholarly and peer reviewed scientific sources. Why not include The Daily Kos and MediaMatters for America?

latecommer2014

Lots of “coulds” in this article as in “it could be with warming”….. Of course the fact that the Sierras are cooling makes it irrelevant .

Moreover, the useless bastards will starve or freeze to death when the upcoming mini ice age really gets cracking!!

Leon Brozyna

Those environmentalists and their negative vibes … their glass is always half empty.

dp

Sounds more and more like there’s too many people in California – it is characteristically incapable of supporting so many people in the style and comfort they’ve raped the land to produce. Let the Owens river run free and relocate the hungry and parched climate refugees to New England, the other leftist coast.

David A

The left coast really is the left coast. Geographically speaking the majority of Calif is conservative.
The water shortage is primarily political, despite the current and real drought. We flush a lot of water to the ocean for a little fish, the CA smelt. The greens have shut down any new reservoirs for decades.

Duster

Just a dry spell if you live here. As regards “flushing water” anywhere, a very large number of delta ranchers aren’t in favor of tunnels or, for that matter, pumping water to So. Cal., or even south into the desert called the southern San Joaquin Valley. If you know what you are looking for, evidence of the past failures of long distance water transport to make perfectly good grazing land useable as cropland are all over the Great Valley. Besides, smelt are decent eating when you can take them legally. You can’t say that about an inhabitant of L.A.

Too many stupid people.
They dumped eight hundred thousand acre-feet of fresh water into the ocean on the unproven assumption it would help a so-called endangered fish.
“Sierra Nevada freshwater runoff could drop 26 percent…”
Instead of freshwater, we should runoff the politicians in California. Dump them into the ocean!

Stunning,.. the CAGW types only see DOOM and GLOOM in every thing they study. When it comes to CO2 fertilizing food crops, they focus on the 5% reduction on possible minerals and the fact that the bugs will find them more attractive to eat. It is to the point that I think these people need to be on meds.

SAMURAI

In addition to all the positive benefits gained from a slightly warmer Earth this “researcher” mentioned, isn’t it funny he completely failed to mention the CO2 fertilization effect, which will further increase plant growth, crop yields and forest growth by 50% once CO2 levels hit 560ppm? (Idso & Idso et al).
How will nature and humans ever adapt to a greener and more fertile planet that’s better able to feed and support more life?
Oh, the humanity….
Moreover, increased ocean evaporation from slightly warmer global temps would more than offset any incremental loss of evaporation from tree lines moving to higher altitudes/latitudes…

SAMURAI

I forgot to mention that the, “4.1 degrees Celsius warming projected by climate models for 2100”, cited in this paper is now a completely implausible scenario.
Such an absurd CAGW warming projection would require CO2 induced warming to be 0.38C/decade every year for the next 86 straight years, starting from tomorrow, to achieve such a huge amount of CO2 induced warming….
Too bad for the CAGW grant swindlers that there hasn’t been ANY global warming trend for the past 15~18 years (depending on temp database used), despite 1/3rd of all man-made CO2 emissions since 1750 (not a typo) made over just the last 18 years..
Not even the IPCC will admit 0.38C/decade of CO2 forcing is even remotely possible for the next 86 straight years…

I guess they never leave the air-conditioned office.
Trees, foothill forests prolong river flow throughout the year.
The forest acts as a sponge for snowmelt, downpours and so on, thus preventing flooding and then their real value kicks in, come midsummer the water flow is clean, cool and steady.
Known in many farming areas where the forests were cleared ruthlessly to create farm land.
Until the foothill forests grew back, there was spring flooding and summer drought.

JimS

Back in the day, the supporters of AGW were far more amusing, speculating about global warming creating more prostitutes, and stuff like that. Now they are getting rather boring.

lee

‘“Scientists have recognized for a while that something like this was possible, but no one had been able to quantify whether it could be a big effect,” said UCI professor of Earth system science Michael L. Goulden of the decreased runoff. ‘
‘ recognized for a while’? When the dams don’t fill because of reduced runoff, because it is not PC to maintain good runoff drains, has been known for decades.

This shall not help the historic (dare I say “unprecedented”) anthropogenic aquifer depletion, some areas will already need a thousand years of steady rain to recharge, or more. Compare maps:
Used in Wikipedia “Sierra Nevada” entry:comment image
From USGS on groundwater depletion:
http://water.usgs.gov/edu/gwdepletion.html
http://water.usgs.gov/edu/graphics/gwdepletion-map-2008.png
Naturally clouds from the Pacific move inland to the Sierra Nevada range, which yields precipitation. But the area of greatest depletion is in this “rain shadow” of the mountain range, incoming is far less than outgoing. With less freshwater runoff, the situation will worsen.
Question for experts: With the aquifer depletion there is subsidence, which can happen suddenly. Does the area of great aquifer depletion indicate an area with a pattern of minor earthquakes?
The water shortages and riots will happen shortly without action. If California doesn’t build desalinization plants soon, as in build and not just start another multi-decade environmental review and blocking lawsuit cycle, smart people should evacuate. As if anyone needed another reason to get away from Krazy Kalifornia.

SAMURAI

It’s absurd that California has not spent more on desalinization plants given its population growth and its semi-desert climate.
Many desalinization plants have been proposed, but the EPA and enviro-wacko advocacy groups have prevented their development.
Another problem in California is the cyclical nature of its precipitation, which closely follows El Nino/La Nina cycles. Stupid political hacks often propose building desalinization plants during dry La Nina cycles, and then defund the projects once El Nino/high precipitation cycles restart….
The US should follow Singapore’s model of rapid desalinization plant development to address their water shortage problem.
In the future, cheap and abundant waste heat from Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors will eventually supply arid areas of the country with more fresh water than they’ll know what to do with…
Until LFTRs are available, reverse osmosis desalinization plants must rapidly be built in California to meet its growing water requirements.

It’s no use burning coal to remedy a CO2 problem.

The only CO2 problem is the Earth has already sequestered away too much as carbonate, the plants would like much more to grow better.
With the desalinization water you can have greenhouses, the “carbon emissions” from the coal-fired energy stations can be pumped through the greenhouses where they will be happily received by the plants.
Don’t forget to first use the incoming seawater as cooling water for the coal-fired energy stations before sending it to desalinization pre-warmed. Perhaps it can be engineered as part of the desalinization, convert seawater to steam to drive the turbines, then condense the freshwater. Total commercial products from burning coal: potable water, sea salt, happy fresh produce, coal ash.
You should be happy to know coal ash has many uses, including as a partial replacement of Portland cement in concrete which greatly increases its durability. Thus by displacing the cement, the carbon footprint of the concrete is reduced.

Eugene WR Gallun

All that about desalinization plants was also said in Australia a few years back — and they built them. They now sit unused — one of the biggest government boondoggles in Australian history.

That’s because idiot politicians didn’t know about Australia’s drought and deluge aquifer cycle, but they did know jumping on the CAGW bandwagon got them votes and political support including financial.
This in the US is different, we’ve pumped down aquifers until the ground is sinking in and seawater is infiltrating. See the link, around Chicago they’re down 900 feet, and that’s next to Lake Michigan. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Chicago swallowed up in a chasm from a subsurface channel of inflowing water that eroded the bedrock.
This aquifer depletion is not sustainable. Really.

David A

Looking for an updated report on the central valley water table. Most of the initial depletion happened prior to 1985, with some land subsiding up to 60′. By about 1985, for a time, water table decline flattened, and even rose in the northern areas of the central valley. This was partially due to extensive canals that actually acted as mini rivers, losing water into the ground water table. In the last ten years, despite some areas being denied water, many wineries were approved, and many fruit and some nut trees have been abandoned and torn out. It is a solvable problem, even in severe droughts like the current one, but not in todays political non-sense thought.

Grey Lensman

Simple solution. drill it and frack it. Then when flood rainds come, drain the excess into the aquifer rather than let it run away to sea and or flood areas.

Leo Smith

floating nuke desal unit.
far enough off shore to survive a tsunami.
In fact, make it a floating town as well.

Greg

“It’s no use burning coal to remedy a CO2 problem.”

There is no CO2 problem other than those created by the current political stupidity.
Now get back to discussing REAL environmental problems, there are plenty, and maybe we can work together on real solutions.
I grew up arguing for paper and glass recycling when it all went into landfill. Now I’m sick of hearing all this so-called “ecological” crap. I’m not some redneck neoconservative republican but I’m sick of it.
Do you understand that?

mikeishere

What warming ?
How do they get away with blaming things on something that hasn’t happened .
Oh – by 2100 according to estimates based on models I presume .
We’re all gonna die !!!

Greg Roane

Yes we are Vic, yes we are.
Horoscope:
Aries – You are gonna die.
Cancer – You are gonna die.
Leo – You are gonna die.
Scorpio – You are gonna die.
Pisces – You are gonna die.
Taurus – You are gonna die.
Gemini – You are gonna die.
Virgo – You are gonna die.
Libra – You are gonna die.
Sagittarius – You are gonna die.
Capricorn – You are gonna die.
Aquarius – You are gonna die.

RoHa

“The authors found that greater vegetation density at higher elevations in the Kings basin with the 4.1 degrees Celsius warming projected by climate models for 2100 could boost basin evapotranspiration by as much as 28 percent, with a corresponding 26 percent decrease in river flow.”
Given how accurately climate models have predicted projected warming hitherto, I would suggest moderated terror.

Research sponsored by the USFS to justify a larger timber cut. ( just kidding).

rogerknights

It would make a funny rebuttal to propose logging as a solution to the problem.

Marcos

am i right that none of this is based on the results of analyzing actual data? they took the results of what a climate model predicts will happen to temps in 2100 and plugged them into another model that predicts runoff levels in the predicted climate of the year 2100…

No doubt contributing to Omega drought . Suspect they may be forgetting the CO2 fertilization. Imagine all those doggone plants up there sucking up our rightful water and sinful CO2 to put Oxygen in the atmosphere!

A. smith

Better call the lumberjacks.

M Courtney

That does seem to be the answer to this problem.

If you want more water shed from the highlands get rid of the trees and brush! Kill Smoky the Bear! The stories you have been fed are lies. The Indians and old timers knew this and created the conditions that maximized water and food production from these areas. Modern practices maximize fire storm fueled conditions of high fuel accumulations and die off from soil water depletion under that growth. Trees and brush suck springs dry and deplete the shallow water tables. They use as much water as a real irrigated farm field!. pg

David in Cal

I take this seriously, given that water shortages already occur every few years. This paper will make a positive contribution if it persuades people to take steps to provide more water.

David A

Peter, Peter, Peter, this is models all the way down, and models ignorant of history to boot. From your paper”…and the risk of an unprecedented 50 year megadrought is non-negligible under the most severe warming scenario (5-10%…”
————————————————————
Calif has had two 100 plus year droughts in the last 1000 years.

D Nash

Interesting. David A points out two issues (over reliance on models and the ‘unprecedented’ scare word) and Peter responds with an appeal to authority. They are probably right though, 100 years is not the same as 50, so it is possible that if the drought went to 50 years, even though it has gone longer, it would be unprecedented unless you can show another went exactly 50 years. They got you there David.

If increased evaporation from more trees at higher altitudes is really an issue, the can borrow my chainsaw !!!

A diminished river flow will only add to the burden of providing resources to the thirsty farms and homes that rely on it. The state is currently experiencing a severe drought, and some reservoirs and groundwater levels are at all-time lows.
Have any of these idiots actually been up to the high altitudes in the Sierras lately? I have been in the past few weeks and have pictures from friends who were up there this weekend and recent rains have completely replenished the lakes above 10,000 feet. Also, if you are up there, where is the most moisture, where there are no plants and trees? Nope, where there are trees, there is moisture, and it retains that moisture to run into the lakes during the dry summer months and precludes rapid evaporation that otherwise happens at the high altitudes.
More stupid computer models that fly in the face of reality.

Grant

I live in the Sierras and have also been in the high country. It has been a relatively wet August in the high country, but little of it has found its way down to lower reservoirs. Every little bit helps though.

Leo Smith

Give it time.
Aquifers take years to replenish.

Eugene WR Gallun

So plant growth is advancing upward.
We have already seen plants encroaching on desert areas.
More CO2 allows plants to prosper in areas in which they previously could not live. More CO2 promotes more plant growth everywhere — in deserts and on the sides of mountains.
I have to laugh. Trees are now evil. We need to send in the loggers to clear cut them.

mikeishere

“Trees are now evil.” Not really, trees became “evil” to these charlatans long ago the minute they started carping about “sustainability”. Bio-fuel, solar panels and wind turbines are already the enemies of the forest and everything that lives there. Coal and crude are what saved US forests from complete decimation in the 1800’s.

DesertYote

And X degree C increase in average global temp results in X degree C increase in the Sierra Nevadas? Yeah, right!
And a change in average global temp does not result in a change in rain fall patterns.
Yeah, right!
This study has enough holes in it to contain a major modern naval battle.

Steve Oregon

“A new paper…… suggests…”?
So what is vastly important about that paper? Absolutely nothing.
There’s a new paper every day suggesting every imaginable thing.
Are all of the suggestions vastly important?
What is it you think is so important?

Grant

4.1 Degrees Celsius warming? Are they out of their minds? Where’s the evidence that this is even remotely starting to happen?

tomwys1

The evidence must be in the models, as it surely is not in the data!

http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_24993601/california-drought-past-dry-periods-have-lasted-more
California drought: Past dry periods have lasted more than 200 years, scientists say
The two most severe megadroughts make the Dust Bowl of the 1930s look tame: a 240-year-long drought that started in 850 and, 50 years after the conclusion of that one, another that stretched at least 180 years.
“.

Maitland155

Models say 4 degrees, my guess 0.8 maximum given current hiatus projected to continue for 20 to 30 years. This is being generous. Therefore divide the result by say 5 gives 5% increase. If we knew the margin of error for this research given it is climate and widely variable. The real answer is probably with the margin of error 100 years out.
Why do “scientist” use failed models

Reply to denniswingo
Simple, these guys spend their time in front of their computers and don’t do much fieldwork. Possibly when they did their degrees they didn’t do much fieldwork then either.
So even if they did do fieldwork now they would not understand what they would see with their own eyes.

Bill Jamison

I wonder if they took into account the increased density of trees due to the many decades of total fire suppression?

steve mcdonald

In Brisbane Australia we have had ideal weather all year.
Has this been caused by catastrophic man made global warming horror.

Eugene WR Gallun

An energised planet?
I think you have been drinking too much Red Bull..

M Seward

And pigs may fly on the upcurrents from these expanding forests.

johnmarshall

CA has always been short of water, it is what makes CA a nice dry place to live. CA’s problem is too many people drinking the available water.

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Yogyakarta

Increasing the temp a few degrees may increase the biomass accumulation rate. If so, it will sequester CO2. It will increase the water vapour content of the air and promote rainfall. If the density is great enough it will create a damp, wet microclimate that retains moisture well.
The claim about drought sounds very unlikely. Recreating forests slopes improves groundwater retention and runoff goes up because trees harvest water from fog at high elevations. Examples of this exist in Chile and the Giant Sequoia National Forest.
Trees shade the ground are reduce evaporation of rainfall. They also harvest snow as already noted above. They reduce sublimation of the snowpack. Trees are altogether good. Remove them and reduce surface water resources. This has been well known for over a century. Refer to books by Dr St. Barber Baker and Men of The Trees for additional information.

Greg

“Look, I barely passed science in high school so I don’t know much, but one thing I have learned is that climate scientists have an enormous regard to climate history. So much so that it occupies the bulk of their research.”
So much so that they are constantly rewriting it make sure it fits thier model output.

BallBounces

“… will only add to the burden of providing resources to the thirsty farms and homes that rely on it.”
Those farms and homes, and the people living in them, shouldn’t be there in the first place. I call this a win for global warming.

Plant growth will probably be increased by increased levels of CO2 but not by the totally absent increases in temperature. What effect this will have on rainfall or run-off is anyone’s guess.

Admad

Too much CO2, too much plant growth, cut down all the trees… No wait…

Jimbo

Interesting this. Whatever happens, “the models predicted it”. Sheeesh!

Abstract – 24 Nov 2011
Potential increase in floods in California’s Sierra Nevada under future climate projections
…….By the end of the 21st Century, all projections yield larger-than-historical floods, for both the Northern Sierra Nevada (NSN) and for the Southern Sierra Nevada (SSN). The increases in flood magnitude are statistically significant (at p <= 0.01) for all the three GCMs in the period 2051–2099. The frequency of flood events above selected historical thresholds also increases under projections from CNRM CM3 and NCAR PCM1 climate models, while under the third scenario, GFDL CM2.1, frequencies remain constant or decline slightly, owing to an overall drying trend. These increases appear to derive jointly from increases in heavy precipitation amount, storm frequencies, and days with more precipitation falling as rain and less as snow. Increases in antecedent winter soil moisture also play a role in some areas…….
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10584-011-0298-z

Matthew R Marler

Jimbo: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10584-011-0298-z
Thanks for the link. If that is correct, the extra tree growth will be most welcome. I think more tree growth will be better anyway, but hopefully more people will read the two papers together.

MarkW

If more trees causing a decrease in run-off is such a big problem, there’s an easy solution.
Bring back logging.

Don Perry

Perhaps they’d be happier if we sent in loggers to clear-cut the mountain slopes and remove all the trees. Then they could have ALL the runoff, including mudslides.

I’d like to see Jim Steele’s take on the points raised in this thread. He does know what he’s talking about!

Austin

The guys at the AMS seem a bit dramatic and unfamiliar with other established research.
http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_24993601/california-drought-past-dry-periods-have-lasted-more
That said, a prolonged drought will have serious consequences. My suggestion would be desalinization plants quickly.

Gary Pearse

One solution is to bulldoze the activists out of the way and build more water reservoirs. Incidentally, the rain over the Ogalla reservoir, even in TX, OK, NB etc. has been much more copious this year. Natural recharge can take a long time but perhaps we should take a leaf out of the oil and gas notebook and artificially recharge the aquifers when rain does come. Capture a lot more of it in reservoirs and the demand from aquifers is also greatly reduced. I guess we are stuck with the expense of empty-headed activists misanthropists against everything. Ironically, they can only thrive in an economy that creates the prosperity and abundance of dollars to keep them unproductive. Not a lot of this activism in 150 countries or so. If you want to know the end game of a long term successful social activist campaign against capitalism and the innovation and prosperity it creates, look at the winner of the earth day lights-out contest every year – North Korea. They have the lowest carbon and every other form of footprint in the world.

mikeishere

“They have the lowest carbon and every other form of footprint in the world.”
Yes comrade, DPRK is a shining example of sustainability on the march. http://eoimages.gsfc.nasa.gov/images/imagerecords/79000/79796/korea_vir_2012268_1.jpg

So now more plants are bad for the earth. Just what exactly is good for the planet?

mikeishere

Mother Gaia said that communism would be the best thing, (well okay, it was secondhand, a donkey told me she said it).

beng

Simple Californy-style solution — legislate for resident arsonists to go up to the high country to burn off the excess vegetation.