A story on Quartz.com a couple of days ago warning of an impending catastrophic drought for California in the months ahead.
The NOAA “Drought Outlook” graphic that accompanied the story carries an ominous message for Arizona, too.
As you can see, a broad swath from northwestern Arizona, down and eastward across the southern belt of the state is expected to experience “persistent” or even more intense drought conditions.
The southernmost river depicted in Arizona is the Gila River. The Salt River joins it just west of Phoenix.
It is also worth noting that the Colorado River, which clips the northwest corner of Arizona where it carves through Grand Canyon, is tapped by our neighbors in Utah, Nevada, and California. Almost the entire states of Nevada and California are projected to experience intensifying drought.
As I reported in an earlier ScottsdaleTrails article, Arizona’s allotment comes to the south-central area via the Central Arizona Project (CAP) Canal, which delivers about 1/3 of the river flow to us.
Dwindling Colorado River Flows have already reduced reservoir levels at Lake Mead and Lake Powell to near-trigger levels for federal drought measures to be implemented. These measures would seriously impact Arizona’s allotment.
Obviously, farmers at Yuma–one of the most productive winter produce regions in the country–could also be affected.
Ironically, an Arizona Republic story posted yesterday reports that Phoenix got above average rainfall for the first time in several years. It was less than a half-inch above normal: 8.42 inches vs. an average of 8 inches…so let’s not go crazy with the lawn sprinklers and car washing.
Who should w listen to? What should we do?
The Republic failed to mention the HARD freeze of Feb 2011 following the average rainfall in 2010. There was no rain after Feb 2011 and the flora in the desert still has not recovered. A good test of 2013 avg. rains is to see how many doves show up and stay this spring. In a normal spring, 100’s of thousands of doves migrate through the Preserve. I saw very few doves in the spring of 2013 and flower seed production was decent but below what I call good. Ironwoods and palo verde’s did not blossom statewide in 2013. Noone knows why. Seed pods from ironwoods is essential to javelina, deer, rabbits, pack rats, etc. Which are essential to predators like Great Horned Owls, ringtails, coyotes, bobcat, mountain lions….food chain stuff.
Who do you listen too? Your own self.
Nothing from the Conservancy until Melanie (the botanist) is independent from the pressures of a Board and Director Mike Nolan that favors bulldozing a Pentagon size area for the Desert Disneyland (Discovery) Center. Nolan would fire Melanie if she supported my 12 years and 12,000 miles of daily Preserve observations. Nothing from Game and Fish who doubled the deer & javelina bag limit and season even though only 12 antlered deer could be found in 90 square miles. Obviously GFD wants revenue more than wildlife from Scottsdale’s $1.4 Billion Preserve.
What should you do? Hike acouple miles a day and learn for yourself or take binoculars and look from any trailhead at the mountains for wildlife. It is fun this time of year.