Sep 04 2014
All across California, the effects of the drought are being felt. A golf course in San Jose may face closure. Cemeteries are foregoing grassy lawns. More than 80% of the state is under extreme or exceptional drought conditions and futurists are predicting a mass exodus of residents out of the state. Gov. Jerry Brown has announced a statewide emergency and water utilities will be seeking fines from those who violate new water conservation ordinances. A ballot measure in November will ask voters to approve a water bond measure to the tune of $7.5 billion to spend on conservation and other related efforts.
But it’s not just California that is struggling. The entire South West region including Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, is experiencing protracted drought. Now, a new study by scientists from the University of Arizona, Cornell University, and the US Geological Survey concluded that the chance of a ten year drought in the Southwest is at least 80%. That’s not all. The chances of what they call a “mega-drought,” that lasts 35 years or more, is still quite substantial – between 20-50%. Even a 50 year drought has a 5-10% chance of playing out. Such a dry spell would apparently be worse than anything this region has seen in 2000 years.
GUEST: Professor Julia Cole. She’s a professor in the Department of Geo Sciences at the University of Arizona and co-author of the study on drought