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View Poll Results: What should Florida do about its water shortage?
Use police helicopters, have neighbors report each other to the police, etc.
3
20.00%
Raise the price of water.
5
33.33%
Ask people to "Please conserve your use of water. Pretty please! Please!"
1
6.67%
Other (please specifiy in a post)
2
13.33%
Don't do anything to try to solve the shortage.
0
0%
I don't care. I just like to vote in polls.
2
13.33%
This poll sucks!
2
13.33%
Voters: 15. You may not vote on this poll

Water-use restrictions start next week in South Florida

Old 04-02-07, 11:02 PM
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Water-use restrictions start next week in South Florida


http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/loc...home-headlines

Water-use restrictions start next week in South Florida

By David Fleshler

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Posted March 15 2007, 11:28 PM EDT

City inspectors, armed with citation books, will cruise the streets ready to pounce if they find a sprinkler operating illegally. Neighbors will be encouraged to rat each other out for watering on the wrong day. Helicopters will hover above farms and golf courses, taking satellite coordinates of pumps operating in violation of water-shortage orders.

This is the new era of water restrictions. It begins next Thursday, when rules approved by the South Florida Water Management District take effect.

With South Florida enduring its worst drought since 2001 and the risk of wildfires growing, the district's governing board on Thursday unanimously approved restrictions on lawn watering, car washing, golf course irrigation and other activities that use large amounts of water. Residents will be allowed to use sprinklers on alternate days and at specified times, with the goal of reducing consumption by 15 percent.

Almost half of all drinking water in South Florida goes toward watering lawns
, according to the district, which controls water supply and drainage for 16 counties in Central and South Florida.

District officials said the restrictions may become permanent and that tougher rules may be necessary.

"Water conservation is everybody's responsibility," said Kevin McCarty, chairman of the governing board. "By taking action now, we can ensure that it's available when we need it."

Enforcement of residential rules will be up to local governments.

In Delray Beach, for example, code enforcement officers will first warn those caught violating the water restrictions, said Al Berg, assistant director of community improvement. If the person is caught again, a fine of $100 will be issued, he said. The fine will double if the person is caught yet again, he said.

"Last time this happened, I think Delray Beach set a record for issuing tickets," said Richard C. Hasko, director of environmental services. "We were real stringent about enforcing it."

In Coral Springs, the police will enforce the rules, City Manager Mike Levinson said. After a warning, violators must pay $25. For every subsequent violation, the person may have to pay up to $500 and face up to 60 days in jail.

The district issued a guide to the rules that states, "Residents are encouraged to report violators to their local code enforcement office."


For large users, such as golf courses and farms, the district's staff will conduct inspections and issue citations. The district will use two helicopters, as well as motor vehicles, to look for violators. They will receive warnings and after that will face fines of up to $10,000 a day.

More stringent rules will apply to the towns and farms around Lake Okeechobee, where the water shortage is particularly acute. Homeowners, businesses and farms will be subject to rules intended to reduce use by 30 percent, known as Phase 2 restrictions.

During its meeting Thursday, the governing board drew fire from environmentalists for approving a water-use permit that will allow a new golf course to draw 31 million gallons a month for irrigation.

The 189-acre course is being built at South County Regional Park, near the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. District officials defended the decision, saying a drought is temporary and the course will be subject to the same water-use restrictions as other users.

The water emergency resulted from a lack of rainfall, the region's primary source of new drinking water, district officials said. About 4 inches of rain have fallen, while 6.3 inches is normal, the National Weather Service in Miami said. Lake Okeechobee, which serves as the backup water supply for cities and farms, stands at 10.9 feet, about 4 feet below its average level.

It will take several widespread and heavy rains to bring Lake Okeechobee back to its normal levels.

"It's so big and so shallow that hot, windy days cause a lot of water to be lost to evaporation," said district spokesman Randy Smith. "So it's apparent that one good soaker is not going to create a rebound for Lake Okeechobee."

Linda Lobdell, 61, of Fort Lauderdale, laughed when she heard about the daily water restrictions. "Anybody who knows anything about yards knows three times a week is more than enough for grass," she said. The Victoria Park resident's lawn was flush with tall, green grass. She waters only three times a month.

"Most people around here water too short and too often. Soaking your lawn every other day isn't going to save it," she said. "Water restrictions are no big deal."

Staff Writers Mark Hollis and Erika Slife contributed to this report.
Police helicopters?

Encouraging people to report their neighbors to the police?

Threats of 60 day jail sentences?

Sounds like a totalitarian dictatorship to me.

How can anyone say this is a good idea?

This is from Thomas Sowell. When he wrote this, he wasn't talking about water, but his comments are relevant:

http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell011201.asp

By Thomas Sowell

As an economist, whenever I hear the word "shortage" I wait for the other shoe to drop. That other shoe is usually "price control."

In the absence of price control, a shortage is usually a passing thing. When prices are free to rise, that causes consumers to buy less and producers to produce more, eliminating the shortage. But when the price is artificially prevented from rising, the shortage is prevented from ending.

That makes a lot of sense.

Since the article about Florida mentioned the city of Delray Beach, I found this. It's actually a PDF file, so I'm linking to a google HTML cache of it.

http://209.85.165.104/search?q=cache...=us&lr=lang_en

RESIDENTIAL CUSTOMER MONTHLY WATER/SEWER RATES

Effective October 1, 2006

Commodity Charge (All meter consumption per 1,000 gallons)

Zero to 3,000 gallons $1.59

4,000 to 20,000 gallons $1.76

21,000 to 35,000 gallons $1.94

36,000 to 50,000 gallons $2.10

Above 50,000 gallons $2.40

So they use tiered pricing. But even at the top end of the scale, the highest price for each 1,000 gallons of water is only $2.40.

No wonder why people are wasting so much water.

The function of prices is to communicate information about supply and demand, and to encourage efficient use of scarce resources.

The price here is way too low.

So instead of telling people that water is scarce, and that they should conserve, this price is telling people not to worry, and to use as much water as they want.

Here's my proposal: for the first 20,000 gallons a month, keep the prices as they are. For anything above 20,000 gallons a month, raise the price by one penny per gallon.

The higher price would encourage conservation. And the extra revenue could pay for the purchase and operation of a desalination plant. So the demand would go down, and the suppy would go up, and the shortage would disappear.
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Old 04-02-07, 11:24 PM
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I thought the price of water was much more expensive than that.
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Old 04-02-07, 11:33 PM
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I'm surprised they don't just raise the price on using the water. I mean, Duhhhh.
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Old 04-03-07, 12:02 AM
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Our tiers work like this:

Having a water meter: $25.50
0-16456 gallons: $2.43 per each 748 gallons
16456-36651 gallons: $4.86 per each 748 gallons

My monthly bill runs $43-50. There are 2 tiers about those but I don't know what they cost since I never hit them. At these prices we don't waste water around here.

We have an experimental desalination plant. Recently it was found that water from it would cost about two to three times what other water sources cost, and the cost of the plant doubled too. Big surprise.

http://www.marinij.com/fastsearchresults/ci_5191415
http://www.marinij.com/fastsearchresults/ci_5159839
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Old 04-03-07, 12:22 AM
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Wow. I think our rate is around $20 and they always tell us that it is that price because they need to be within 10% of the state average to get some type of funding from the state. That is for a 3/4 inch meter.
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Old 04-03-07, 12:26 AM
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They should just have the TSA patrol neighborhoods. They are good at finding dangerous water.
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Old 04-03-07, 12:30 AM
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Anyone's water bill measured in cubic feet?

Ours seem to be and was $14.02 not counting garbage and sewerage. I THINK it was for 7470 gallons. Probably don't use that much and am just getting charged at the minimum tier use rate.
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Old 04-03-07, 12:56 AM
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Crap. I was curious about the rates for the two other tiers and found out they're raising our rates and lowering the amount of water per each of the lower tiers. So the rate increases in the two lower tiers will range from 29-66%!

http://www.marinwater.org/documents/...les_011707.pdf

I'm really happy I have a spring running underneath the yard so I hardly ever have to water outside plants.
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Old 04-03-07, 01:04 AM
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Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
I'm surprised they don't just raise the price on using the water. I mean, Duhhhh.


I'm surprised too.

I can understand why they might keep the price low for the first 20,000 gallons each month. But for the higher levels, there's no logical reason to keep it so cheap. Even above 50,000 gallons, it's only $2.40 for each 1,000 gallons. It's as if they are telling people to waste water. There's no other reason to keep it so cheap that I can think of.

I guess they also love waisting gasoline on those helicopters too.
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Old 04-03-07, 01:11 AM
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Originally Posted by X
We have an experimental desalination plant. Recently it was found that water from it would cost about two to three times what other water sources cost, and the cost of the plant doubled too. Big surprise.

http://www.marinij.com/fastsearchresults/ci_5191415
http://www.marinij.com/fastsearchresults/ci_5159839

The article at the first link says:

Desalinated water - water taken from the bay and desalted for residential and business use - would cost between $2,023 to $2,996 per acre-foot, according to the report.
Since an acre foot is about 326,000 gallons, that's less than one penny per gallon.
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Old 04-03-07, 01:17 AM
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Originally Posted by grundle
Since an acre foot is about 326,000 gallons, that's less than one penny per gallon.
And 748 gallons that nows costs $2.43 per 748 gallons in the 1st tier would cost over $7.00 from the desalination plant. Not including the cost of the plant.
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Old 04-03-07, 01:20 AM
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Originally Posted by X
Crap. I was curious about the rates for the two other tiers and found out they're raising our rates and lowering the amount of water per each of the lower tiers. So the rate increases in the two lower tiers will range from 29-66%!

http://www.marinwater.org/documents/...les_011707.pdf

I'm really happy I have a spring running underneath the yard so I hardly ever have to water outside plants.
You can try taking sponge baths to save water.


This was the best local info I could find. Doesn't seem to have a price chart.
http://brgov.com/dept/finance/sewerregs.htm

Good to know that I'm below the average at 10.

It is kind of mind boggling. I have heard horror stories of people in South Florida paying $200 a month for their water bill. They must have large pools or something.
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Old 04-03-07, 01:41 AM
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I love you grundle. Your threads are gradually becoming snarkier.

You forgot "Jump up and down screaming, blame Bush, and try to conjure water from nothingness"
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Old 04-03-07, 09:04 AM
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I think it's a bad idea to have not discouraged people from moving to places which were, because of a severe lack of fresh water, not intended to be inhabited by large numbers of people. I'm referring primarily to the southwestern United States. And by discouraged, I of course mean by allowing market forces to maintain water costs high enough to be a disincentive.
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Old 04-03-07, 11:00 AM
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Wow. For scarce water, you pay dirt cheap rates.

We have water out the kazoo (Great Lakes) and any restrictions are based on pumping and purifying capacities. (But we usually have odd/even restrictions in the summer.)

We pay a flat rate of $5.68/1000 gallons water and sewer. (It is legal to have a second meter for outdoor water, $3.05/1000 gallons water only, but you pay 2nd water meter, all plumbing, inspection of plumbing, etc.) During winter quarter, I use about 17 units/quarter, more in the other quarters.

The suburbs are in near revolt over Detroit water rates and talking about pulling out and setting up their own system.

Note: If anyone cares, that odd 748 gallon unit above, in X's post, is 100 cubic feet.

Edit: Crap, checking water board website, our rates were just raised but I haven't been billed yet. New rates: $6.30/1000 gallons water and sewer (the indoor meter), $3.30/1000 water only, for those with a 2nd meter.

Last edited by OldDude; 04-03-07 at 11:11 AM.
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Old 04-03-07, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by grundle
The article at the first link says:



Since an acre foot is about 326,000 gallons, that's less than one penny per gallon.
While less than a penny per gallon, it is $6.20 - $ $9.19 per 1000 gallons to put it in the context of other rates discussed above. A bit pricey!
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Old 04-03-07, 12:50 PM
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I didn't see ajything regarding swimming pools. Will they ask residents to stop filling them as well?
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Old 04-03-07, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by OldDude
While less than a penny per gallon, it is $6.20 - $ $9.19 per 1000 gallons to put it in the context of other rates discussed above. A bit pricey!
And that's just the cost of the water which is now pretty close to $0.00 since it's mainly rainfall. No storage, delivery, infrastructure, etc. costs have been added yet.
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Old 04-03-07, 01:29 PM
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I can't tell what this is about. The price people pay for water? Seems to be about water restrictions in South Florida.

We have water restrictions here in Rosemount MN, the state with 1000 lakes. It's odd/even depending on what side of the street you are on. First violation is a warning, the next is a $50 fine, then $100, then $500 I think. Not sure what happens after that.

I got the warning right after we moved in to our new house because I didn't quite have the automated sprinkler system worked out. Once that was fixed, I was in the clear the rest of the summer. I have no problems limiting the amount of water I use to water my lawn. It's a pretty wasteful practice, when you get down to it.
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Old 04-03-07, 02:52 PM
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A real conservative would complain that government regulation is creating the water shortage and say that if we handed water management over to private companies water shortages would magically disappear.
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Old 04-03-07, 05:57 PM
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I agree this is all a bit silly, but: "Residents will be allowed to use sprinklers on alternate days and at specified times..."

Who waters their lawn every day? That's just silly.
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Old 04-03-07, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Mordred

Who waters their lawn every day? That's just silly.
If you dont in Florida, your pretty much screwed if you want a green lawn...
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Old 04-03-07, 08:50 PM
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This is why I have rocks in front of my townhouse. I used to laugh at people who did this when I visited FL, but you don't have to water rocks.

My flowering bush is wilting in the heat and lack of rain, but I'm planning to rip that up and get some more rocks in there.

I do have potted plants outside my place, but I water them like once a week with a watering can, so I don't waste anything. When it rains, I don't water them at all.

As FantasticVSDoom mentioned, if you don't water your grass everyday in FL, it turns a golden brown. The funny thing is that lawns weren't meant for FL. Tell that to the morans who love grass.
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Old 04-04-07, 11:50 AM
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There's plenty of water. They just need to use desalination and pipes to a sufficient degree.


http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/04/us...gewanted=print

April 4, 2007

An Arid West No Longer Waits for Rain

By RANDAL C. ARCHIBOLD and KIRK JOHNSON

A Western drought that began in 1999 has continued after the respite of a couple of wet years that now feel like a cruel tease. But this time people in the driest states are not just scanning the skies and hoping for rescue.

Some $2.5 billion in water projects are planned or under way in four states, the biggest expansion in the West’s quest for water in decades. Among them is a proposed 280-mile pipeline that would direct water to Las Vegas from northern Nevada. A proposed reservoir just north of the California-Mexico border would correct an inefficient water delivery system that allows excess water to pass to Mexico.

In Yuma, Ariz., federal officials have restarted an idled desalination plant, long seen as a white elephant from a bygone era, partly in the hope of purifying salty underground water for neighboring towns.

The scramble for water is driven by the realities of population growth, political pressure and the hard truth that the Colorado River, a 1,400-mile-long silver thread of snowmelt and a lifeline for more than 20 million people in seven states, is providing much less water than it had.

According to some long-term projections, the mountain snows that feed the Colorado River will melt faster and evaporate in greater amounts with rising global temperatures, providing stress to the waterway even without drought. This year, the spring runoff is expected to be about half its long-term average. In only one year of the last seven, 2005, has the runoff been above average.

Everywhere in the West, along the Colorado and other rivers, as officials search for water to fill current and future needs, tempers are flaring among competing water users, old rivalries are hardening and some states are waging legal fights.

In one of the most acrimonious disputes, Montana filed a suit in February at the United States Supreme Court accusing Wyoming of taking more than its fair share of water from the Tongue and Powder Rivers, north-flowing tributaries of the Yellowstone River that supply water for farms and wells in both states.

Preparing for worst-case outcomes, the seven states that draw water from the Colorado River — Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico in the upper basin and California, Arizona and Nevada in the lower basin — and the United States Bureau of Reclamation, which manages the river, are considering plans that lay out what to do if the river cannot meet the demand for water, a prospect that some experts predict will occur in about five years.

“What you are hearing about global warming, explosive growth — combine with a real push to set aside extra water for environmental purpose — means you got a perfect situation for a major tug-of-war contest,” said Sid Wilson, the general manager of the Central Arizona Project, which brings Colorado River water to the Phoenix area.

New scientific evidence suggests that periodic long, severe droughts have become the norm in the Colorado River basin, undermining calculations of how much water the river can be expected to provide and intensifying pressures to find new solutions or sources.

The effects of the drought can be seen at Lake Mead in Nevada, where a drop in the water level left docks hanging from newly formed cliffs, and a marina surrounded by dry land. Upriver at Lake Powell, which is at its lowest level since spring 1973, receding waters have exposed miles of mud in the side canyons leading to the Glen Canyon Dam.

In California, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has sounded alarm bells by pushing for a ballot measure in 2008 that would allocate $4.5 billion in bonds for new water storage in the state. The water content in the Sierra Nevada snowpack has reached the lowest level in about two decades, state hydrologists have reported, putting additional pressure on the nation’s most populous state to find and store more water.

“Scientists say that global warming will eliminate 25 percent of our snowpack by the half of this century,” Mr. Schwarzenegger said recently in Fresno, Calif., “which will mean less snow stored in the mountains, which will mean more flooding in the winter and less drinking water in the summer.”

In Montana, where about two-thirds of the Missouri River and half of the Columbia River have their headwaters, officials have embarked on a long-term project to validate old water-rights claims in an effort to legally shore up supplies the state now counts on.

Under the West’s water laws, claims are hierarchal. The oldest, first-filed claims, many dating to pioneer days, get water first, with newer claims at the bottom of the pecking order.

Still, some of the sharpest tensions stem more from population growth than cautionary climate science, especially those between Nevada and Utah, states with booming desert economies and clout to fight for what they say is theirs.

Las Vegas, the fastest-growing major city in the country, and the driest, developed the pipeline plan several years ago to bring groundwater from the rural, northern reaches of the state. The metropolitan area, which relies on the Colorado River for 90 percent of its water, is awaiting approval from Nevada’s chief engineer.

Ranchers and farmers in northern Nevada and Utah are opposed to the pipeline plan and have vowed to fight it in court, saying it smacks of the famous water grab by Los Angeles nearly a century ago that caused severe environmental damage in the Owens Valley in California.

“Southern Nevada thinks it can come up here and suck all these springs dry without any problems,” said Dean Baker, whose family’s ranch straddles the Nevada-Utah border, pointing out springs that farmers have run dry with their own wells. “We did this ourselves. Now imagine what pumping for a whole big city is going to do.”

Meanwhile, Utah has proposed a $500 million, 120-mile pipeline from Lake Powell to serve the fast-growing City of St. George and Washington County in the state’s southwestern corner. Nevada officials have said they will seek to block that plan if Utah stands in the way of theirs.

“Utah is being very disingenuous, and we’re calling them on it,” said Patricia Mulroy, the chief executive of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, the agency responsible for finding water for Las Vegas and its suburbs. “St. George, Utah, is growing as fast as southern Nevada, because the growth is going right up the I-15 corridor.”

Dennis J. Strong, director of the Utah Division of Water Resources, said Nevada was protesting too much and instead should be cheering the Lake Powell project because Colorado River water that Utah does not use would flow in Nevada’s direction. Mr. Strong said that Nevada’s protests “may be a bargaining chip.” He said he hoped for a compromise that would allow both projects to move forward.

In Yuma, near the Arizona border with Mexico, officials have pinned hopes on a desalination plant built 15 years ago. The plan then had been to treat salty runoff from farms before it made its way into Colorado River headed to Mexico, thus meeting the terms of an old water treaty.

But a series of unusually wet years made it more efficient to meet the treaty obligations with water from Lake Mead, so the plant sat idle. Drought has changed all that. Arizona water managers, who are first in line to have their water cut in a shortage under an agreement with other states, called for the plant to be turned on.

Under an agreement with environmentalists, the federal Bureau of Reclamation plans to monitor the environmental effects of using the plant, and study, among other things, using the purified water for purposes other than meeting its treaty obligations, like supplying the growing communities around Yuma.

“It never made sense to me to just dump bottled-water quality water into the river anyway,” said Jim Cherry, the bureau’s Yuma area manager.

What unites the Western states is a growing consensus among scientists that future climate change and warmer temperatures, if they continue, could hit harder here than elsewhere in the continental United States.

“The Western mountain states are by far more vulnerable to the kinds of change we’ve been talking about compared to the rest of the country, with the New England states coming in a relatively distant second,” said Michael Dettinger, a research hydrologist at the United States Geological Survey who studies the relationships between water and climate.

Mr. Dettinger said higher temperatures had pushed the spring snowmelt and runoff to about 10 days earlier on average than in the past. Higher temperatures would mean more rain falling rather than snow, compounding issues of water storage and potentially affecting flooding.

In some places, the new tensions and pressures could even push water users toward compromise.

Colorado recently hired a mediator to try to settle a long-running dispute over how water from the Rocky Mountains should be shared among users in the Denver area and the western half of the state. Denver gets most of the water and has most of the state’s population. But water users in the mountains, notably the ski resort industry, also have clout and want to keep their share.

Robert W. Johnson, the Bureau of Reclamation commissioner, said he shared the optimism that the disputes could be worked out, but he said he thought it might take a reconsideration of the West’s original conception of what water was for.

The great dams and reservoirs that were envisioned beginning in the 1800s were conceived with farmers in mind, and farmers still take about 90 percent of the Colorado River’s flow. More and more, Mr. Johnson said, the cities will need that water.

An agreement reached a few years ago between farmers and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the chief supplier of water to that region, is one model. Under the terms of the agreement, farmers would let their fields lie fallow and send water to urban areas in exchange for money to cover the crop losses.

“I definitely see that as the future,” Mr. Johnson said.

Randal C. Archibold reported from Yuma, Ariz., and Kirk Johnson from Denver.
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Old 04-04-07, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by VinVega
As FantasticVSDoom mentioned, if you don't water your grass everyday in FL, it turns a golden brown. The funny thing is that lawns weren't meant for FL. Tell that to the morans who love grass.
I find it hard to believe that Florida is that different than Texas. We have water restrictions during the summers usually where we can only water every 5th day. My grass turns brown then, but every 3 days and my grass stays nice and green. Of course maybe my standards are off because I'm not wanting a golf course outside my front door.
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