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April 03, 2007 11:16PM
http://www.ecanadanow.com/weather/2007/04/02/in-record-dry-spell-la-fears-the-perfect-drought/

In record dry spell LA fears the perfect drought

Los Angeles is suffering its driest spell since record-keeping began 130 years ago, fuelling fears that global warming could cause a “perfect drought” that could dry all the far- flung water sources for a region of over 18 million people.

According to a report by the National Weather Service on Sunday, Los Angeles has received just 6.27 centimetres of rain since July 1, 2006, compared to an average of 35.4 centimetres.

“The rain season is currently the driest to date in downtown Los Angeles since records began in 1877,” the weather service said in a statement.

“If downtown Los Angeles receives less than 4.9 centimetres of rain from now through June 30th this will become the driest rain season ever,” it said.

Currently the driest year on record is the 2001-2002 season, which saw just 11.22 centimetres of rain.

Already the drought has catalysed a series of recent wildfires that are commonly seen only in the late fall months when the forests and brushlands are tinder-dry from months of the region’s famous sunshine.

A potentially devastating confluence of weather patterns could conspire to quickly turn the region into a modern dust bowl that could lead to uncontrollable wildfires, the breakdown of the electricity grid and a disaster for agriculture, experts say.

The huge southern California urban and suburban area, which is about the size of Switzerland, draws its water from three areas - the Sierra Mountains snowpack, direct rainfall on the region and the Colorado River Basin.

Normally at least one of these three areas is reasonably wet even when the others are dry. But this year, the snowpack is at the lowest level in nearly two decades, the Los Angeles area has had record low rainfall and the Colorado River system remains in the grip of one of the worst droughts in centuries.............

I just got back from a week long trip to Southern Missouri. We flew out of Las Vegas and the new construction occuring all over that area is mind boggling. I talked to a guy on the flight back from Missouri who lives in Vegas, who told me there is alot of talk in the news up there that the Las Vegas area may very well see its rampant growth stall out around 2010 when they are expected to hit the wall of lack of water. This same guy also told me that Las Vegas is currently working on the prospect of building a huge water pipline to areas north of this region ( can't remember the exact area the guy mentioned ) to bring more water to Vegas. However, the people in the area they want to take the water from, are understandably not supportive of this move. Its all De Ja Vu of the times past when Los Angeles went up to the Owens Valley and Hood Winked the locals into selling thier water rights. Tree ring evidence in the Sierras shows a number of lengthy drought periods. one lasting over a hundred years. You can only imagine what that kind of long drought would do to the Southwestern economies.
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Wizard 964April 03, 2007 10:51PM

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mojavegreen 570April 10, 2007 09:51PM

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