Some of my favorite water people like to point out that we don’t have a problem of water shortage here in the arid West, but rather a problem of water allocation. In the comments, the mysterious DG seems to be in that camp, offering this on what will happen when the Colorado comes up short:
At our present consumption rate, the river will come up short. I guess that some farmer in the Imperial Valley will have to limit his seven yearly cuts of Alfalfa down to five. I’ll throw another brick into the toilet tank and a water park in Phoenix will be shutdown.
The question is what societal mechanisms we have to allocate shortage. That’s the real point of the exercise for me, and suggests I spend entirely too much time on the science and engineering and not enough on the messy legal-political-social science side of this discussion. The science is relatively easy in comparison.
(map courtesy University of California)