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Re: [CDT-L] aquifer

Since we are talking about water I wanted to mention that I recently read 
that the SW routinely comes into drought conditions approximately every 30 
years. It is believed that a 1/4 century drought wiped out the Anasazi. From 
the picture James painted with regard to the current
ab-use of water it would seem that another couple years of drought could 
cripple the mid and south west.

Noting that climates change Pie Town is a good example. Lester Jackson told 
me that Pie Town used to produce heaps of pinto beans, but due to the 
decrease in precipiation it's no longer a practice.

Regarding the "piping" solution, water that is, it struck me as odd the 
first time I looked at a map of the CDT in CO and noticed "streams" flowing 
from the western slope across the Divide to feed the water poor Front Range. 
These "streams" are in fact tunnels that divert water through the Divide. 
Unfortunately every snow flake that falls to the earth in this state is 
already over-allocated. My previous neighbor is a water rights attorney and 
he said there are already major battles in court over who gets what out of 
the Colorado River. There are all these water hungry developments in Los 
Angeles and Arizona, not to mention the golf courses. It's a question most 
of us will certainly see in this lifetime, where does it end?

To put this into perspective only 3% of the water on earth is "fresh" or 
drinking quality and 1/6 of this "fresh" water is in Canada. Current "waste" 
practices use "drinking" water to move feces and urine, either to a septic 
system or municipality. Septic systems in general can contaminate ground 
water and municipalities use chlorine, which is toxic, to treat 
"contaminated" water and then return the "treated" water that's still full 
of bacterial choliforms and chlorine to some stream. Go to any city and take 
a drink of "tap" water and compare that to spring water flitered by the 
earth. Simply there is no comparrison.

Going back to the agricultural practices James described it's easy to draw a 
conclusion that the water depletion is a function of the cost of energy, 
fuel or electric, that's used to draw water from the earth. If the price of 
crops or beef supports the practice then it will continue.

The ranching way of life is rapidly diminishing due to the increased demands 
on the environment and in most cases the price of realestate in comparison 
to the price of beef. Alhtough I don't dispute that most ranchers are 
environmentally aware and do manage their range, it still strikes me as odd 
that someone would graze cattle say in the Mojave Desert or the Great Divide 
Basin. Additionally, I have not seen where riparian areas are protected from 
livestock. I found this a sad reality on the CDT; hence I can say that the 
water quality on the Divide in general is worse than the water found along 
the PCT and AT.

David Patterson
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