[ RadSafe ] USA Drought

Dan McCarn hotgreenchile at gmail.com
Tue Aug 25 01:06:02 CDT 2015

We in New Mexico have had significant moisture both from early spring and
summer rains and then monsoon rains. While it would take several years at
this rate to recharge the lakes in New Mexico, and more than that to
recharge aquifers, at least most of the state has received enough rain to
break the current years-long drought.

What concerns me the most is that California seems unable to restrict
groundwater withdrawals from aquifers so that irreversible loss of porosity
is now occurring at an advancing rate.

>From a year ago:

In the Southern Colorado San Luis Valley, I estimated that at least 1
million acre-feet (1,268.3 x 10^6 M^3) was being withdrawn from the aquifer
to produce the crops that are reported by the State of Colorado and this
does not include locally used crops, failed crops or over-watering. Data on
well withdrawals were kept secret as they are in California, and that has
significantly affected the middle reach of the Rio Grande river.
Historically, much of the perennial flow entering the Rio Grande was from
springs near the New Mexico / Colorado border recharged from the upper
reach of the Rio Grande. Heavy ground water use for over 100 years has
depleted these springs making the Rio Grande an ephemeral stream which
periodically dries-up. Changing weather patterns will amplify this effect.

McCarn, Dan W. (2004): Scoping Calculations: Natural and anthropogenic
multi-pathway risks associated with naturally occurring uranium
mineralization in aquifers; *IAEA-TECDOC-1396
See Table III, page 303.

Dan ii

Dan W McCarn, Geologist
108 Sherwood Blvd
Los Alamos, NM 87544-3425
+1-505-672-2014 (Home – New Mexico)
+1-505-670-8123 (Mobile - New Mexico)
HotGreenChile at gmail.com (Private email) HotGreenChile at gmail dot com

On Mon, Aug 24, 2015 at 12:25 AM, S L Gawarecki <slgawarecki at gmail.com>

> There is plenty of moisture available in the atmosphere whether icecaps are
> freezing or not (and they are currently melting). The California drought is
> a result of at least a couple of problems.
>    1. Changing storm tracks - in recent years a persistent high pressure
>    system has developed in the Gulf of Alaska (normally under the
> influence of
>    the Aleutian Low), which has diverted the jet stream, and this causes
>    Pacific cyclones to bear northwards away from California then dip
>    southwards in the mid-continent. Coincidentally, the Gulf of Alaska has
>    warmed as much as 5 degrees above its normal seasonal averages.
>    2. Winter temperatures in the Sierra Nevada are warmer, so that rain is
>    increasing in proportion to snow. Snow pack is what feeds the reservoirs
>    into late summer, and consequently the water distribution systems.
> Climatologists are hopeful that a strong El Nino predicted for this year
> will restore normal storm tracks and bring more rain to California. I say
> "prepare for mudslide season."
> Regards,
> *Susan Gawarecki*
> ph: 865-494-0102
> cell:  865-604-3724
> SLGawarecki at gmail.com
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