Thursday, November 03, 2022

Opinion: More dams in more places

Del Shannon

...My 30+ year career is focused on designing and building safe and reliable dams and levees to supply drinking and irrigation water, protect cities and land from floods, and produce clean hydropower. Dr. George Annandale’s work has shown that, in the last 40 years, the world’s net water storage has steadily declined from a high of 235,000 gallons per person in 1980 to 135,000 gallons per person today. This is the same per capita volume of water that we had in the early 1960s, and it continues to reduce.

If the current rate of decline continues, by 2050 we’ll have the same per capita volume of water storage that we had in the early 1900s, or less than 50,000 gallons per person. For comparison, the average US citizen uses approximately 30,000 gallons of water each year. This is a significant problem that must be addressed.

...In the arid west this is a significant issue because many people rely on a singular source of water: the Colorado River. Historically, the Colorado River has followed the cycle of high flows during the spring and lower flows during the summer, fall and winter. But with snowpacks decreasing in the mountains of the west, and overallocation of the water in the system, this water source is being depleted faster than it is replenished...MORE  

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