Water futures are "going to be ugly"

"It's going to be ugly," Mark Squillace, a water law professor at the University of Colorado, said. "The bottom line is there just isn't going to be enough water available."

What happens when the predictions about climate change are shortsighted or wrong? When droughts, extreme and unprecedented weather events, and other characteristics of catastrophe arrive with more force and sooner than scientists predicted. Megadroughts, mega disasters, and mega-denial are all comfy housemates in some political quarters. Can science predict the consequences of predatory capitalism – as a policy determinant, ideology, and cultural phenomenon? Are all predictions giving too much credit to the morality of profit-driven capitalists and the politicians who profit from a capitalist society? Why do we believe capitalism can solve the crisis that extractive logics of social organization based on subsidized competition and state-organized market controls created in the first place?

The recent Denver Post article examines how conditions for water accessibility are worsening at a faster pace than anticipated. Providing an accessible overview of the causes of water shortages, and the shortsightedness of current policy solutions, it's a quick and informative read.

Drought, overconsumption, and the disproportionate influence of big agriculture in state legislatures contribute to life-threatening water shortages in the southwest seven states in the river basin. As this article explains, the third year of El Niño conditions means probable less snow cap, which means less water. By next year, it may be that the dam at Lake Mead is no longer producing electricity.

"Without enough snow this winter, the water level at Lake Powell — the country's second-largest reservoir — will drop below a critical level by next November, according to a new report from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Below that point, the Glen Canyon Dam will no longer be able to generate electricity and experts worry whether conditions will worsen to the point that the structure will no longer be able to send water downstream at all."

Less water downstream. No more dam-produced electricity? Who is making money off of this catastrophe? Who will die faster as a result of this drying environment?

As Jennifer Gimbel, senior water scholar from Colorado State University, said, "Mother nature is teaching us how to be humbled." Mother nature has been trying to teach us to be humble since the philosophies of religious dominion over the earth, private property, and individual liberty (to violate laws and make a profit off of suffering and exploitation) first began their violent movement westward – in the hearts, minds, and souls of business-driven Christians.

Should golf courses be fined for having green grass during a drought?

For more on the politics of water in the US Southwest, check out this booklist compiled by We Are Water, a collective that "springs from an exciting collaboration between scientists, Indigenous science educators, learning researchers, informal educators, and library staff. Designed for communities in the Four Corners Region of the Southwestern U.S., in particular Indigenous and Latinx communities, stories and community voices are highlighted features and woven throughout the exhibit and programs."