Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Go west, bring water

And now, some science. A new study by David Schindler, one of the world's premier limnologists /water scientists, points out that the the praries and western Canada are expected to experience more prolonged and severe droughts in the future. It could spell disaster for an already water-stressed region and rapidly growing cities like Calgary.

It was mentioned in last week's Globe and Mail. There's a summary here. Some of you may be able to access the article in this week's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The study highlighst an important concern about the current westward migration in Canada and the US, driven by clear skies, open spaces and jobs. Under current demographic growth scenarios, no one is sure where communities like Calgary, but even moreso, places like Phoenix and Las Vegas, will get enough water.

That’s with no change in climate. If the climate continues to change as expected, the consequences will be much worse than having to shut off the fountain at the Bellagio. Before buying property in Arizona or Nevada, you may want to check out some of this research. Or maybe read up on the Anasazi in Jared Diamond’s book, Collapse.

No comments: