State Of Emergency: This Blogger’s Novel Predicted Twenty Years Ago Potential for Second Civil War Over Colorado River Water Shortages!
Ten years ago, I was asked by a senior US Army General what I thought would be the most serious National Security problem in the next twenty years. I responded that I had written about the problem of the different states sharing the limited, shrinking water supply of the Colorado River as a serious National Security problem of major proportion.
I summarized the problem as an “invaluable resource”—WATER—becomes a LIMITED NATURAL RESOURCE— then, States bordering the COLORADO RIVER WILL FIGHT OVER THEIR RESPECTIVE ALLOTMENTS WHICH WERE DETERMINED IN THE 1920’s. Today those rules are no longer relevant!
The general was respectful enough to agree with me. If he really did, that was another matter.
The issue of severe water shortage on the Colorado River came up recently in a quiet, rightfully discreet water sharing agreement negotiated between Mexico and the United States called “MINUTE 319” signed in November 2012.
This amendment allocates a small amount of water to restore the Mexican Delta Region.
But this agreement really highlighted a far more serious problem and that is the MISMANAGEMENT of the COLORADO RIVER ON THE US SIDE BY THE U.S. BUREAU OF RECLAMATION.
This blog is not intended to critique the USG or the bureau because the Colorado Water issue involves far more complex historical and weather variables that were not foreseen in the 1920’s.
 The Colorado River provides water for irrigation for FIFTEEN PERCENT OR MORE OF THE TOTAL CROPS PRODUCED IN THE US. That includes vegetables, fruits, cotton, alfalfa, and hay.
 The river also provides MUNICIPAL WATER for LARGE CITIES like PHOENIX, TUCSON, LOS ANGELES, SAN DIEGO, and LAS VEGAS, accounting for more than HALF OF THE DRINKING WATER IN ALL OF THESE LARGE CITIES.
 In 1922, the SEVEN U.S. STATES in the Colorado River Basin established a COMPACT TO DISTRIBUTE THE WATER.
A border was drawn between the UPPER BASIN: WYOMING, COLORADO, UTAH, NEW MEXICO which were ALLOCATED 9.25 BILLION CUBIC METERS A YEAR…. AND…
THE LOWER BASIN: ARIZONA, CALIFORNIA, NEVADA , which was ALLOCATED 10.45 BILLION CUBIC METERS PER YEAR.
The dividing line was defined as LEES FERRY, ARIZONA.
Mexico was allotted in 1944, 1.85 billion cubic meters per year.
So what is the problem?
 Over allocation of the river’s water 90 years ago falls SHORT.
21 Billion cubic meters per year IS LOST TO EVAPORATION.
 There is no UPPER and LOWER BASIN AGREEMENTS as to how to allocate the Colorado River waters.
There are major disputes among the lower basin states and also many issues between upper basin states and the lower basin states which use significantly more water than the Upper Basin states.
 Therefore, increased population along the Lower Basin, and “useful purposing” of the water creates MAJOR CONFLICTS between different competing groups like:
Farmers [Agriculture Use] VS. Large Cities[ Urban Water].
For example, “useful purposing’ created some 90 years ago, allows the irrigated agriculture in California to have PRIORITY over municipal DRINKING WATER IN PHOENIX , ARZONA.
 Large scale manipulation of the water allocation by creating dams to divert water to necessary areas have become outmoded. In the early 20th Century, more than TWENTY DAMS were built over the Colorado River along with LAKE POWELL RESERVOIR and LAKE MEAD. In addition, tributaries of water brought through canals that bring water to desert areas like Imperial and Coachella Valley in Southern California for irrigation and drinking.
So what can be done to avoid this inevitable catastrophe?
While I lived in Montana, I was impressed by the serious possible solutions that were proposed by the US Bureau of Reclamation and water experts:
 Vegetation Management—Elimination of ‘water-intensive’ or ‘invasive’ plants.
 Water Reuse.
 Reduced use by power plants.
 Water Banking [my favorite]: water is stored in either RESERVOIRS or UNDERGROUND AQUIFERS.
 Water Imports including ‘icebergs’.
In theory, the implementation of the aforementioned options would add an extra 5 billion cubic meter per year.
But the truth is far more ugly.
Most of the methods would take decades and agreements that are not being addressed. The mismanagement of the Colorado River plus Mother Nature have both conspired to create a serious situation of conflict in the 21st century.
Witness the present day conflicts over water that presently arise from competing interests for the ultimate limited resource –water.
See the conflicts throughout CENTRAL ASIA AND NORTH AFRICA as the rivers traverse different NATION STATE BOUNDARY LINES.
For those of you who are still skeptical, I will refer you to one of my other novels, written in the OP Center Series which DELINEATES THE PRESENT DAY CONFLICT BETWEEN ISRAEL, JORDAN, SYRIA all around the ISSUE OF WATER CONTROLLED BY –NONE OTHER THAN- TURKEY!!!!
Muslim vs Jews has less to do with the present day conflicts than who drinks water from which well and who really owns that well.
Water again trumps religion! Or ideology!!!
Water even trumps gas, oil, or any other natural resource!!! Because without WATER, we Homo Sapiens, will inevitably DIE!!
SIMPLE AS THAT!!!
SIMPLE AS THAT!!!
Cogito Ergo Sum!!!
Post script: Lake Powell and the six year drought that surrounds it [including Page, Arizona] is the major focus of conflict in the Second Civil War portrayed in this author’s novel, State of Emergency. In the novel, I predicted that the different governors’ of the respective states bordering along the Colorado River will SECEDE FROM THE UNION in an attempt to DEFY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S control OVER the Colorado River. Like the First Civil War which was really fought over the right of the INDUSTRIAL NORTH TO CONQUER THE “ANTIQUATED AGRICULTURAL SOUTH” BORDERING THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER BECAUSE THE MISSISSIPPI WAS ESSENTIAL TO NORTHERN TRADE. In effect, the first civil war had really less to do with slavery but far more with the INDUSTRIAL IMPERATIVES of the NORTHERN STATES which required both the river and it’s natural outlets—The Ports and Harbors of Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, et al.
US Commerce beats US ideology almost all the time. Fake narratives are created to justify the death of 800,000 US Civilians killing each other for the necessity of CREATING A VIABLE CROSS-CONTINENTAL RAILROAD as well as a navigational REPUBLIC FOR ENDURING NORTHERN COMMERCE .
The Civil War was less about SLAVERY but in fact the first AMERICAN AUTOGENOCIDE. Always remember that Abraham Lincoln was a lawyer bought and sold by the INDUSTRIAL BARONS WHO OWNED RAILROAD and TRADE INTERESTS!!
Anyway, as you can see the scenario for potential inter –state conflict is readily approaching.