The effects of drought on water policy

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There’s an interesting discussion of sorts underway in the comments section of John Fleck’s blog over the recent release of a study on the Colorado River. Tom Yulsman wrote the following:

[N]othing in the NRC report sounded terribly new. We knew that droughts much worse than what we’ve experienced in the last 100 years have occurred in the past, we knew that the river is over-appropriated, and we basically knew that global warming could make drought even worse.

Fleck responds by arguing that reporters should have no qualms about reporting information that may not be new, but still valuable to readers:

My conversations with the lay public and my observations of the political debates over water in New Mexico lead me to believe lots of folks don’t understand that 80 percent of the consumptively used water in the arid West is used by agriculture. A refined understanding of drought probabilities or the potential water supply effects of global warming is playing at the margins relative to the ag-urban issue.

Check out John’s first post on the water study (where you can download your own copy) and then head over to this link for more.

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