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Extension of Remarks: Hell and no water ...

Published August 17, 2013 10:30 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Page One of today's Salt Lake Tribune depicts the new normal.

— Patch Springs Fire destroys homes in Willow Springs — Salt Lake TribuneSome Rockport 5 Fire evacuees allowed back home, but the Patch Spring Fire in Skull Valley burned 10 homes.

— Feds announce cuts to releases from Lake Powell — Salt Lake TribuneColorado River » Move will reduce outflow to lowest since Lake Powell's creation, add pressure on Lake Mead.

— Future is here: It's time for realism about water — Salt Lake Tribune Editorial"The future is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed."— William Ford Gibson, writer called the "noir prophet" of science fictionThe future of the American West, the one in which water supplies dwindle and politicians must play the role of King Solomon to allocate uncertain shares to 30 million people, is here, whether we like it or not. And nobody does. Nor will most Westerners be happy about how their lives must inevitably change with the changing climate.July's Colorado River flow into Lake Powell was about 100,000 acre feet less than had been expected, or just 13 percent of normal, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. That follows a June that reached just 35 percent of normal river flow. The months ahead are expected to be somewhat better.Climatologists have been warning us for decades that the early effects of global climate change would hit hard at Western states, where the land is dry, water supplies are dependent on mountain snowpack and even slightly warmer temperatures upset a delicate ecological balance. Add perennial population increases to global warming, both of which have accelerated faster than predicted, and you have a recipe for disaster. Not in 20 or 50 or 10 years. Now. ...

— Ten brush fires reported this week on the Ogden parkway — Salt Lake TribuneOgden Parkway » 10 fires in one week believed to have been set intentionally.

— Fire burning above Farmington — Salt Lake Tribune

— Firefighting a spectator sport — Logan Herald Journal Editorial ... This week's fires east of Millville and Hyrum have drawn large crowds of motoring spectators to those areas, and it has created a big enough concern for the Forest Service to include a notice on all of its fire press releases cautioning the lookie-loos not to interfere with any firefighting operations. ...

— When it comes to water, you can't plan too much — Albuquerque Journal EditorialAs you fill your water bottle this morning, a state task force is warning some New Mexico communities their water systems run the risk of running dry.Think it's the exception rather than the rule? Tell it to officials of the 290 – yes, two-hundred and ninety – systems determined to be at greatest risk. Most are run by volunteers who haven't made system sustainability a priority. ...

— Authorities can't let pot farms degrade state's water and land — Sacramento Bee Editorial

— Water conservation program worth saving — Tampa Bay Times Editorial

— Our water rights — Mexico needs to pay us what is owes — McAllen (Texas) Monitor Editorial

— Water regulation overdue — Times Colonist Editorial (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada)