The long term effects of global warming, and desertification of the West examined. Exporting the water to the urban areas means exporting the rural areas’ soil to the East.
Livestock grazing, water mining, dams, all serving to desertify the West which ends up blowing, in the form of dust, to the East causing snow to melt faster and making less water available in the long run.
“After decades in which Easterners ritualistically visited the American West, the West may be traveling east.”
Red Snow Warning: The End of Welfare Water and the Drying of the West
by Chip Ward in the Huffington Post.
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Related article added on 9/15. New study shows river runoff decreases in driest years in Oregon, Northwest. By Joe Rojas-Burke, Oregonian.