Near as I can tell all the factors of Climate Change or the rising World temperatues aroung the globe involve water. Water is not plentiful for everyone, but most of us in the Southeastern United States take water for granted. We are a function of our environment, and as I was growing up we could count on about one good rain a week during the summer time. We had the nearby Catawba River as a source of water, and every thing was good. I even recall reading in the Charlotte Observer many years ago that we had enough water here to provide us with water if it did not rain for 17 years. Now admittedly that was a long time ago, and there do not seem to be records to confirm that article. I would think this was a lapse in memory, but my wife remembers the same article.
Over time I have realized the foolishness of those thoughts. Freshwater makes up 2% percent of our total water and about 1% of all the water in the World is useable by mankind. All the water in the oceans, ice caps, glaciers, lakes and streams is recycled. The rain or other precipitation that falls is basically fresh water. Where that water falls or how it is used determines if it is available for human consumption.
Our body is more of less 60% water depending on the person, and if we don’t get enough we die pretty quickly.
Fresh Water is produced by evaporation which condenses and falls back to the earth as rain, snow, or hail. Simplified, the water evaporates depending on the difference of heat of the oceans or land surfaces and the temperature of the atmosphere.
Our ice caps world wide are shrinking rapidly. As the white reflective ice retreats, the exposed soil absorbs more heat which speeds up the cycle. Shrinking ice caps http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/thick-melt.html .
I have always enjoyed the out doors. In the last ten years I have taken a serious interest in fly fishing. Fishing, particularly fly fishing puts us in some beautiful spots in this great country. These areas are usually beautiful, have significant wildlife around, and yet human activity is always present.
There are some very serious issues about water that will affect all of us world wide.
Here a few examples.
Lake Mead which was dedicated to Herbert Hoover who was responsible for building the dam. This is the largest lake in the United States and holds 25,880,000 acre feet That is 23.66 times the volume of Lake Norman above Charlotte which covers 32,510 Acres, and holds 1,093,600 acre-feet of water. That’s 3.4 trillon gallons of water. Each acre foot holds 325,851.4 gallons.
Already Lake Mead is one half empty. View it like an ice cream cone There is much greater volume in the upper part of the lake than down in the bottom. So the upper part and the high water mark that you see in white rock is the level to which the lake has dropped. In 2012 it is now predicted to drop 13 more feet.
Consider the fact that Lake Meade is not at full pond but 45.04% of Full Pool as of July 2011 which is the last time I found that it was measured.
Compare that to Lake Norman and the Catawaba River Basin through our part of the country. (Piedmont NC above and below Charlotte NC) Lake Norman is at full pond and water in the East has been generally good. The Catawba River Basin supplies water for a string of cities, Charlotte being the biggest. The Catawaba chain has many lakes and there is a lot of pressure to pump water from the Catawba. to other areas. http://www.lakenorman.com/index.php?action=page&id=7
Lake Mead supplies most all the water for Phoenix, Tucson, and most of Southern California. Some scientist predict that Lake Mead will be dry in ???? years. What will the cities do for water. What will the farmers do for their crops. I suspect that many people will move from the area to other more suitable areas to live. If they move to our part of North Carolina which has one of the best natural water systems in the world, that will provide an impact on our water usage.
Conserving water by using less, using gray water for irrigation, collecting rain water, and other measures are things we should all be concerned about now.
To read more about water around the world check out these links.
(below are notes)
The basic cause of the shrinkage is that it is hotter and hence more evaporation. The glaciers that feed the lake are drying up Once that water is gone it is gone.
The population growth of the towns in the Western US are growing and are much larger than just several years ago. Las Vagas is booming and is installing a massive project to rectify the water issue. A
Some scientist predict that Lake Mead will be dry in ???? years.
Presently Lake Mead supplies most all the water for Phoenix =, Tucson, and all of Southern California.
To make bad matters worse when the water drop to the ??? ft lever the generators will cease working.. What will the people do. Where will they get the water for their crops much less drinking water. In Texas Jan 31 2012 bottled water is being deliver the citizens in several towns. If the drought is to continue, much of Texas become desert.
There is no reason to expect the good rains and water to return.
There are many sites on the Internet that discuss the western issues. I have found this Blog Water is life very interesting. Please check it out http://water-is-life.blogspot.com/