Tuesday, May 24, 2016

It can't happen here in the Okanagan - or can it?

Lake Mead helps supply water to 25 million people. And it just hit a record low.


It's a good time to revisit the slow-motion water crunch in the American Southwest. Last week, Lake Mead — a key reservoir that helps supply water for 25 million people in Nevada, Arizona, and California — shrunk to its lowest level ever. And the question of how to grapple with water scarcity is making headlines yet again.

Back in the 20th century, the United States built an army of dams across the West to tame rivers, generate electricity, and store water in reservoirs for cities and farms. This intricate system is why metropolises like Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Phoenix have been able to survive in what's basically a desert. Large-scale farming is really only possible in California's Imperial Valley or central Arizona because of these dams.

But rising demand and 16 years of drought have put a severe strain on this system. Dean Farrell has created a terrific interactive map showing how key reservoirs in the West have seen their water levels drop dramatically of late: (continue reading)

Duteau Creek reservoir is entirely dependent on annual snow and rain fall.There were years in the past when the reservoir levels dropped seriously and major fish kills were experienced. We should continue to proceed with a Master Water Plan that relies on the more reliable water sources of the valley bottom lakes: Kalamalka and Okanagan lakes.


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About Me

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I have been a resident of Coldstream since 1976. I have had 15 years of experience on Council, 3 years as Mayor. As a current Councillor I am working to achieve fair water and sewer rates and to ensure that taxpayers get fair treatment. The current direction regarding water supply is unsustainable and I am doing all I can to get the most cost effective water supply possible.