The Real Deadpool: America's Drought

We were foolish enough to believe we could water the entire southwestern U.S. with the Colorado River. Nothing could go wrong. Now it has, and tens of millions of people are staring down the barrel of real trouble.

As much as 75% of the water from Lake Mead (fed by the Colorado River) goes to agriculture…so now we have a potential food production problem. Major cities like Las Vegas depend on that water for its citizens…now we have a potential personal survival problem for local residents.

More than 40 million people in seven states need to decide how they go on living if the rains do not return. Is anyone worried? Is there an emergency management team in place? Doesn’t seem that way if you review the local news there.

Are they prepared? No. Maybe 3% of the population has anything in place for survival. What do they do? Where do they go?

Is Kansas ready for an influx of evacuees from California? Can the East Coast handle another few million people?

Watch this important video.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Drought Historical Data

Attached is data on multi-decade droughts in California.


Badly Managed Water Supply In Ca?

According to the people writing at this link, the CA drought has been brought on by dumping their reserved water in the ocean.


The Black Water Event

Algae blooms in all open bodies of water, both salt and fresh water, are appearing everywhere.
States and cities who get their water from open bodies of water are seeing their freshwater intakes getting clogged. Look up Vermont and Lake Champlain. Look up Detroit. Look up Bellingham, Washington.
In addition, a new variable, cyanobacteria is producing a deadly algae called Blue Green Algae.
You drink this stuff, and it destroys your major organs. Death is quick. Dogs that have gone swimming, and consumed Blue Green Algae, have died before reaching shore. Hikers have succumbed.
About four (4) years ago, Cornell scientists did a study on the Finger Lakes in Upstate New York, also known as the “crown jewels” of New York State, and it has shown up there as well. Lake property owners have installed infrared drinking water purifiers. For owners of lake property on the Finger Lakes the ten (10) invasive species that have compromised the ecology of these bodies of water wasn’t enough. [Sarcasm. Some irony.]
What can be done? Not much according to Cornell scientists. It’s an epoch thing. Fossil records going back tens of thousands of years contain examples of algae.
Algae has been around for almost forever, but 200-years of industrial farming, and all that fertilizer washing down into wells and open bodies of water has really aggravated crisis with nightmare scenarios for human beings. The result is the same for the millions of abandoned septic systems leeching into the local ground water systems, wells, and open bodies of water, doesn’t help matters much.
Worse, algae was once thought to be dependent upon photosynthesis for its existence. Not true. It is showing up in well water, where the sun don’t shine.
What can we do? Not much. The Cornell scientists just shrug their shoulders. Just something else to live through. Or not. We are going to have to ride this thing out.


Misuse and mismanagement are significant human traits but at the end of the day resources are more limited than our population, but not forever.


I can verify this with local anecdotes. Dead dogs from swimming in local lakes when these algae blooms happen. Stomach sickness in people. The local lakes,which tend to be shallow, that are surrounded by nearby homes and small farms are the worst. All things drain into the lakes from the surrounding landscapes. While some algae is naturally occurring, clearly humans using herbicides, pesticides etc near lakes has not helped.
I can no longer eat trout I catch from these lakes. Well, at least until I get really desperate…


Water - Overlooked Resource

For maybe 10 years now I’ve believed that we are using far too much water and using it wastefully. As much as energy is “the master resource” for economies and societies today water is “the master resource” for life itself. Clean water could possibly become as important and contested a resource as energy in the coming decade.
It doesn’t matter how much energy you have if you have no water. I believe I’ve heard Israel is the most efficient country on Earth when it comes to water use, recycling a high % of its water back into productive uses. I don’t know how energy intense it is but it’s something many countries are going to have to start emulating if they want to continue to exist.


Standing Water In The Desert

I like to visit where the things I like to eat are grown, so when in Palm Springs I went to the date farms, and I discovered date palms have to grow in standing water! So there you are in the desert, with standing water courtesy of the Colorado River. For added irony the salton sea that has been shrinking and becoming too saline for life is nearby. That is one form of madness.

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These Are Words. . .but Really, There Are No Words

Water is a VERY sore subject, especially for those living in Northern California. I grew up in Southern California and watched the Coachella Valley develop precious desert acre after acre into golf courses, townhomes and shopping malls. The massive waste of potable water in fountains and swimming pools and the even more massive waste of water in golf courses, where the once adequate ancient aquifers used to be able to recharge and supply a modest population of under 200,000 in the 1960’s, has grown to nearly a million people in the valley in 2022, and with all the ancient aquifers depleted, all the water has to be imported. Worse, most of those millions of swimming pools throughout Southern California were converted to salt water. Not very good to drink if a large earthquake takes out the water supply distribution lines. And the central valley is subsiding due to ground water reserves being tapped by farmers to water crops to such a degree, major flooding events are now predicted.
Meanwhile the Salmon in Northern California don’t have enough water to breathe or swim in because waters are being diverted to the south. They are dying. This year - 2022, they released over 500,000 young salmon for a 320 miles journey to the pacific ocean. Over 96% died on the way.
Now the entire U.S. west is struggling with severe water shortages and with the piggishness I have personally witnessed it is no wonder, and isn’t just with water,
it’s with the land as well. In Southern California, developers have literally consumed the Interstate 405/5 north/south corridor from the west - beach sand - to the east at the bottom of the mountains - wall to wall development. Los Angeles county alone has over 10 million people. The animals and wildlife were left with nothing to eat and no land to exist on and then people complained when coyotes killed their pets for food. Have seen this happen all throughout California. I can’t look any more. Sorry to say, the way we have treated everything has been so myopic, so destructive, selfish and greedy that we have ensured our own misery. Yet many are confused by how this could happen? It was all right there in front of us the whole time, decade after decade, and no one took the time to notice.


The date trees are only irrigated maybe once or twice a year. Growing up we had a date orchard behind our home. I used to sit on the rim of the irrigation tank when the water was flowing. Once the trees are mature, they are pretty drought resistant, as they are indigenous to arid climates.
The Salton Sea actually sits on ocean crust. It is a rift zone and some point in about 35,000 years that area will be an island. There is a Vulcan’s Throne at the furthest southern point. And on the north side in the Chocolate Mountains, it is the origin point of the San Andreas fault. The sea used to be an ancient lake, dating back 10,000 years ago. One can still see wave cuts in the mountains along with lobster traps. As kids we’d find fossil shells in the Ag lands when we’d play.
The Salton Sea is a little over 600 feet below sea level and it has always been more saline than sea water. It was in the 1960’s that developers tried to create interest for that area. They built a yacht club and marina. But it didn’t really take off. There used to be an old salt mine years ago. But now unfortunately, the Salton Sea is the new silicon valley for Lithium. Whatever is left of the old valley I knew, will be gone in no time.


This is something we all need to be paying attention to and now. My guess now is that South American crops will fail this year also along with the US.


It Gets Worse


Thank You

Really important work Dr. Chris. Many thanks.


Chris’s Unintended Humor

I found some humor in this dark forecast…
I was listening to the podcast version (audio only) on a run this morning and did a double-take when I got about 25:15 into the recording where Chris was discussing what we could do. He said that one of the things we could do was “pray for lots and lots of rain. Noah is forecasting a busy hurricane season.” It took me a couple seconds to realize he must have been talking about NOAA! ???


New Water Emergency In Texas

...Emergency workers in Odessa, Texas were dishing out bottled water on Tuesday as a burst pipeline emptied the city's taps - a catastrophic situation that came amid 102 degree temperatures in a powerful heatwave.
Schools, businesses and even hospitals in the city closed, with Medical Center Hospital cancelling all planned surgeries and shuttering for the day for non-emergencies.
The hospital said it was installing temporary 'port-a-potties' in its wards because none of the toilets would work until the city's water system is back online, according to ...



I have a smallish chunk of wood, with an interesting (to me) history. A piece of old growth hem-fir harvested around 1900, and from the curve of the rings from the outside of a least a 6 ft dia. tree. The growth rings (800 years worth), vary from 90 per inch to 16 per inch with varying mostly 40-100 year intervals. So in the Pacific Northwest growing conditions (mostly rainfall) vary 6 fold over time!


Very cool! No offense but I can’t resist the urge to post this:


Cadillac Desert

I highly recommend Cadillac Desert by Marc Reisner. The take-away line from the book is “water runs uphill, towards money”


We Grow Fuel For Cars

We use our limited water supply to grow corn that we ferment, then distill, then put into gas tanks.