The system is broken

Texas floods, California drought. Dana Summers Copyright 2015 Tribune Content Agency

Meanwhile, here in Colorado, we’ve been dealing with flooding along rivers east of the Rockies, although nothing approaching the deluges in Oklahoma and Texas. On the west side of our mountains, officials are releasing more water from the Dillon Reservoir (Denver’s primary water supply) because of all the water. The water released will flow into and down the Colorado River toward the drought-stricken areas of the Southwest and eventually to California.

My concern and condolences to Texans, Californians, Oklahomans, and anyone else being affected by this seriously out-of-whack spring weather.


19 thoughts on “The system is broken

  1. As part of being a board member of our association, I just attended a meeting with one of the regional water suppliers here. Lots of information about aquifers dropping, increased influx of people, and water rights that were negotiated in the 1800s. Colorado is heading the way of California, and few people are willing to do anything about it.

    All the rain we’ve been having . . . we can’t even capture it. We don’t have a right to it. It’s nuts.

    As for flooding elsewhere. It is an El Nino year . . . combine that with warming oceans and you have weird stuff happening all over. Oceans are also rising much faster than predicted as the Greenland and Arctic ice melts.

    . . . but, apparently, according to many, there is nothing we can do about any of it. Some don’t even agree it’s happening. And some agree but call it cyclical.

    Personally, I’d like to see humanity put the brakes on reproduction. That’s not gonna happen.

    I’d also like to see people be smarter about where they build. When I moved here, the first thing I did is look at historical records of flooding and fires, and chose where to buy my house accordingly. I’m seeing homes go up in places where I know they will have a problem at some time or other, and I wonder why.

    . . . anyway, it just has to last another 20 years or so, and then I will be past caring about how people mess things up and then wonder why things are messed up.

    1. So many adjustments need to be made, regardless of why one might think it’s happening. I was reading earlier about the now-outdated Colorado River Compact. One interesting point was that the water was divided up based on what was available at the time — during an abnormally wet year with greater than average snowpack, etc. Population and ag centers have grown or changed or sprung up but the allocations haven’t been changed or adjusted. The allocations need to be renegotiated and adjusted periodically to account for the changes — and I don’t mean sending more water to Phoenix for golf courses or to LA for swimming pools.

      There have been discussions up here on the north side of Denver about limiting new development unless and until a developer can prove he has a new and/or sustainable source of water. It should be obvious to all that you can’t have more and more people taking water from the same finite sources without eventually running out of water. Nature doesn’t try to grow a forest in the desert; we shouldn’t be trying to grow cities there either.

      To me it’s always made sense to not buy or live in flood- or fire-prone areas. And I don’t count on the realtors to tell me, either. Fire, flood, commercial zoning, school districts … the buyer best do his homework.

  2. It is encouraging to think that the water will flow to California. I wish we could somehow just have large drains that carry water away to areas that need it before it is able to build up and flood. But, alas, I have no real magic.

    1. All I can promise is more is being released (because the reservoir is full). Whether it gets all the way to California before being used up is anyone’s guess.

  3. Not only is the system broken,Americas moral compass is in drastic need of re calibration before it is broken beyond repair. Does anybody else think it is more than just coincidence that the world is going thru major political,economic,geological and social upheaval all in close proximity to each other?

    1. Yes! I agree completely! Obviously, Americans are praying to the wrong God. That must change, and change quickly!

      We need a benevolent God, one that actually helps instead of just bitching about how we are doing it wrong and killing innocent people in retribution!

      I’m 100% with you! . . . I suggest Wakan Tanka. He did good works in the past.

  4. California will be grateful…or they should be. Colorado does need to reconsider agreements and the CO. River Compact. Water Rights will become very important.
    It’s another of those wet springs here along the TX gulf coast.. Really these spring floods are worse than hurricanes – hurricanes leave. (The news media is showing the worst they can find) We have these periodically. We have had worse (much worse if you look at the real numbers). It’s flat. It floods.
    Wasn’t good that so many tourists were out on holiday weekend in unfamiliar areas. You have to know where to stay put and where to run from.
    Each El nino year(wet winters) turns into a La nina year which means big spring floods and storms (fewer hurricanes usually). Hopefully the pattern will not repeat back to back. I hate that. (mid 70’s, about ’83, a couple in the 90’s/’97, 2001-2 or so…get so tired of being wet and soggy)
    Some master plan and system of moving excess water to places that need it should/could be developed. Would be a smart idea…along with changing home/yard expectations to fit the natural climate of an area. Golf courses in the desert….good points about developers creating artificial environments.
    People need to live with the environment and be aware of the risk there. Always something: earthquakes, drought, floods, tornados sink holes, hurricanes, sort of pick your poison.
    (Do wish some serious punishments would be dealt out to those to victimize disaster victims. Stealing possession drying out on lawns. All the fake contractors already showing up. No end to how horrible people can be)

    1. You’re one of several people I know living in the greater Houston area and I’ve been worried about all of you staying safe. I know the media goes ape on a story like this and they always seek out the worse possible images, totally distorting the perspective. Still, I have family in OKC and they’ve been very close to some badly flooded areas. All smart enough not to live in the flood plains, however, as I’m sure most in Texas are. I’d noticed a lot of the folks in Texas being reported on were vacationers, though the info was minimized. One needs to maintain situational awareness, even on vacation.

      So sad to hear about the victims being victimized a second time by fellow “citizens.” The lowest individuals in our society come out after every disaster to prey on the victims. If I had the power, I’d lock ’em up and throw away the key.

      Sorry you’re soggy. Hope you see the sun soon.

      1. Sun most of the day today…clouds on the horizon for early tomorrow. People are flooded, but luckily the homes here seem to be not much more than 3-4 feet at worst – enough to ruin everything, but not drowning inhabitants in their homes.
        It’s flat. If it rains long enough in any place around here, it floods. Rarely the same spot. Anyone who lives near bayous or rivers should know the risk. What you will be seeing now are pix of the low river bottom areas. People who live along the rivers (that are now carrying the water being dumped out of the dams) shrug and know to leave. Most say the location is worth the problems. Most houses are built on stilts along the river bottoms.
        Houston is flooded (not here). But manageable. The furniture stores are probably thrilled. I was there yesterday and today. We worry about the newcomers.
        Looks like we lost a 12yr old tourist girl in Galveston not a few hours ago – big signs by jetties saying “Do not swim here. Danger. Rip tides” in multiple languages. The life guards/coast guard are in the water searching.
        But on the good side. Lake Travis is over 50% full now. Spring flowers are recharged!

        1. It tough to get your footing when you’re new in an area and inexperienced with its foibles. But it only makes sense to obey the signs and listen to the advice of the old-timers until you’ve learned the ropes. What a tragedy that lives are still being lost.

          1. Hopefully people will stay alert and stay safe. Night is dangerous. My favorite story is the one about the woman who had gone to the Rockets game, gotten stranded, but finally got home, saw it flooded but found her little dog safe and sound curled up on a chair floating around her kitchen. Sounds odd to say, but the neighborhoods with some of the worst flooding are also some of the most established with strong neighborhood groups of friends. Neighbors are seriously helping neighbors and other groups of people are rushing in to assist – especially the very old residents/widows. Good people are out there – even if the media rarely shows them

          2. That’s one reason I get so upset with the media. With every disaster, the way neighbors pitch in to help each other and outsiders rush to help is ignored. Death and destruction is all they want to report.

  5. Climate Change has been happening for a long, long time. Possibly some of it today is human made, however there are multiple factors involved. If you believe the U.S. Is to blame and not doing anything to improve the situation, then you need to look more closely at the data.

    Two points…
    1/ global population growth is a serious issue. The situation has deteriorated since the 1960s when I earned a degree in Demograpy and we learned about population change. Outside Academe, nobody listened when Demographer after Demographer warned about population growth and environmental decline. Various organizations, including USAID, where some of my fellow grads still work, worked with developing nations to help them improve the lives of their inhabitants.

    Improvement included clean accessible water, medical care, GMO food crops and fertility control and breaking down trade barriers. As far as I can tell, progress occurred for a while, then everything slid backwards again.

    California, for example is overrun with immigrants and is a semi-arid state which cannot support this growth. The drought made it worse. Many of these immigrants came from Mexico, which the UN (in the 1950s) characterized as the first developing country to make it into the ‘first world.’ The remainder come from other states.

    Another success story was Colombia. Well you know what happened in these two countries thanks to US drug users. (Didn’t CO just legalize MJ).

    Also damming the Colorado to create Lake Mead and provide a water supply for the crime syndicates that built many NV and CO cities, stopped the flow of water into northern Mexico and dammed the poor to a lives of desperation.

    2/ Even if The Left succeeded in killing coal, Fracking and offshore drilling, alternative forms of energy would fail to meet the needs of people who will die without energy for heat and light. Remember, when the U.S. population was less than a third of what it is today, most folks in the South and Midwest did not have access to electricity or natural gas. If you think ‘renewable’ energy can make up for the use of fossil fuels, I think you are dreaming.

    1. Education (especially sex education) and birth control have been mantras of mine for decades. It doesn’t take a scientist to see the problem with burgeoning populations and finite resources. Yet there are a lot of people right here in our supposedly educated country who refuse to recognize the problem and who continue to oppose both obvious and potential solutions.

      1. Unfortunately, the actions of the many are not seen as such by individuals. And I have found that most people, particularly women can’t or don’t want to deal with math or problems beyond the kitchen table. Sexeducation should begin in the home, but often doesn’t. I know I learned about sex the hard way. The status of women is the key to all problems.

        1. I get even more basic and say education is the key to all problems. Educated people understand cause and effect, logic, critical thinking, etc., and ways to solve problems. Educated people realize that the oppression of half the population hurts everyone.

... and that's my two cents