Water Shortages, Rain Doesn’t Fix It

Water is the single most precious resource on the planet, not oil.

A couple of days of rain doesn’t mean there’s water and the global shortages are all gone. Humans tend to be short-sighted like that. Bring on a nice string of spring rain storms and everyone re-submerges themselves in complacency and waste. That’s not a good idea.

A few days ago, it was announced that Lake Mead, the single largest source of potable water in the southwest U.S., was at its lowest level since it was first filled up via Hoover Dam in 1936.

ethanholmesblogLakeMeadDecline_ModIn early 2000, I photographed Lake Mead from atop Hoover Dam and from various other vantage points. It didn’t look much different from the 1983 shot above. Today, it looks like this.

ethanholmesbloglakemeaddroughtAnd this.

ethanholmesbloglakemeaddrought3Water levels are so low that a billion dollars is being spent to construct a new intake below the current lowest one, (about 900′). Intakes are how we get water out of the pool and into our homes and businesses.

After that, Lake Mead becomes a dead pool. No water is going to leave the lake, such as it is at the time. Keep in mind that the whole reservoir is like a giant funnel that gets narrower as it drops. That means the remaining level is going to drop at a much more precipitous rate from now on. Something to think about while you’re washing your car, running the water while doing dishes or brushing your teeth, pouring it by the hundreds of gallons on your lawn so it will look pretty and running your irrigation for hours when it’s not necessary. (Unfortunately, these are only a few of the many ways in which humans nonchalantly waste this precious resource.)

This is why I stopped two other books in progress a year and a half ago and wrote the fact-based, fictional novel Water. Just as I did in writing Earth’s Blood, I did my homework first. The time is coming when large portions of this country will experience what I depict in Water. Already there are more than a few communities of all sizes that no longer have readily available potable water. You can find them spread all across the western U.S. as well as in many other countries around the planet.

What would you do if you went to your kitchen faucet and nothing came out? What if you turned on the shower and got hit in the face with spatters of mud? Try flushing a dry toilet. Go to the grocery store and find the produce shelves bare. Then what?

water-cover-5ARead what happens when the world runs out of water.

Visit the author, Ethan Holmes.

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About Ethan Holmes

Ethan Holmes currently resides in Northern Arizona and he is the author of six published books; Earth’s Blood, The Keystone, A Multi-Pack of Brain Flakes, Shorts and Other Laundry, Live Your Life In A Crap Free Zone and his latest, Water. When he is not writing Ethan is also a professional freelance nature photographer.

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