WARNING: “Credible threat of severe accident at two nuclear reactors” due to Hurricane Harvey — “Clear potential for major disaster” — Plant “could be overwhelmed by raging flood waters” — Officials refuse to provide public with information

 

Reuters, Aug 29, 2017 (emphasis added): [W]atchdog groups called for the [South Texas Project nuclear] facility to shut due to Tropical Storm Harvey… The groups expressed concern about workers at the plant and the safety of the general public if Harvey caused an accident at the reactors… When asked if the plant would shut if flooding worsened, [spokesman Buddy Eller] said “We are going to do what’s right from a safety standpoint.”… Eller said 250 “storm crew” workers were running the plant… Personnel from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) are also at the plant, assessing storm conditions… Continue reading

Saudi Arabia buying up farmland in US Southwest

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Andy Sacks | Getty Images Harvesting alfalfa crop

 

Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf countries are scooping up farmland in drought-afflicted regions of the U.S. Southwest, and that has some people in California and Arizona seeing red.

Saudi Arabia grows alfalfa hay in both states for shipment back to its domestic dairy herds. In another real-life example of the world’s interconnected economy, the Saudis increasingly look to produce animal feed overseas in order to save water in their own territory, most of which is desert.

Privately held Fondomonte California on Sunday announced that it bought 1,790 acres of farmland in Blythe, California — an agricultural town along the Colorado River — for nearly $32 million. Two years ago, Fondomont’s parent company, Saudi food giant Almarai, purchased another 10,000 acres of farmland about 50 miles away in Vicksburg, Arizona, for around $48 million.

But not everyone likes the trend. The alfalfa exports are tantamount to “exporting water,” because in Saudi Arabia, “they have decided that it’s better to bring feed in rather than to empty their water reserves,” said Keith Murfield, CEO of United Dairymen of Arizona, a Tempe-based dairy cooperative whose members also buy alfalfa. “This will continue unless there’s regulations put on it.”

In a statement announcing the California farmland purchase, the Saudi company said the deal “forms part of Almarai’s continuous efforts to improve and secure its supply of the highest quality alfalfa hay from outside the (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) to support its dairy business. It is also in line with the Saudi government direction toward conserving local resources.”

“We’re not getting oil for free, so why are we giving our water away for free?” asked La Paz County Board of Supervisors Chairman Holly Irwin, who represents a rural area in western Arizona where food companies affiliated with the Saudis and the United Arab Emirates have come to farm alfalfa for export.

Added Irwin, “We’re letting them come over here and use up our resources. It’s very frustrating for me, especially when I have residents telling me that their wells are going dry and they have to dig a lot deeper for water. It’s costly for them to drill new wells.”

Full article: Saudi Arabia buying up farmland in US Southwest (CNBC)

EPA: Colorado Mine Toxic Waste Spill Larger Than First Reported

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People kayak in the Animas River near Durango, Colo., Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015, in water colored from a mine waste spill. (Jerry McBride/The Durango Herald via AP)

 

DENVER—The Environmental Protection Agency says the mine waste spill into Colorado waters is much larger than originally estimated.

The agency said the amount of heavy-metal laced water that leaked from the Gold King Mine into the Animas River, turning the water a mucky orange and then yellow, is three times larger than its initial estimate. Continue reading

Colorado river is collapsing ‘sooner than anyone thought’

(NaturalNews) Water resource experts have known for many years that current use of the Colorado River is not sustainable. Sixteen years of drought have made it clear that the river is overtaxed, and cannot indefinitely meet the demands of agriculture, hydroelectric generation, recreation and sustaining the populations of some of the fastest-growing cities in the nation.

This past spring was an unusually wet one, leading to higher-than-average runoff from river’s source in the Rocky Mountains. Yet even at atypically high levels, the river still ran dry before reaching its outlet at the Gulf of California.

All of which suggests that the elaborate water distribution system that sustains the cities and farms of the Southwest may be collapsing sooner than anyone expected. Continue reading

Lake Mead reaches another record low as water apocalypse nears for Las Vegas, a city living in denial

(NaturalNews) The severe droughts affecting the western United States are approaching apocalyptic proportions as the water level of Lake Mead – America’s largest capacity reservoir – has reached the lowest point in its history.

The water levels have just dropped (as of this writing on April 30, 2015) below 1,080 feet – that’s lower than last year’s record low level of 1080.19 feet. Continue reading

Not just Lake Mead, Lake Powell is also headed for catastrophic drought collapse

Today, Lake Powell’s vastness is diminishing with water levels falling under 45 percent capacity. The conditions at Lake Powell are beginning to look similar to Lake Mead, the world’s largest reservoir, which sits 180 miles downriver and is also drying up at a shocking pace.

Lake Powell’s “Bathtub ring” now appears 100 feet above boaters

Water levels at Glen Canyon dam have fallen more than 100 feet. The shoreline of Lake Powell now shows a deepening “bathtub ring” – a natural phenomenon that shows how high water levels used to be. This “bathtub ring” now shows in the sandstone walls of the canyon some 100 feet above today’s boaters who must now navigate around emerging islands and mud bogs. Continue reading

Leaking Las Vegas

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas… apart from the water. As the following interactive chart from ProPublica shows, water usage in the greater Las Vegas region has more than doubled in the last 40 years and with the drought conditions, every reservoir is near record lows. Welcome To Las Vegas (while water supplies last).

Click here for large interactive version

Vegas Water History

1905    The Las Vegas Land and Water Company is formed to build and operate groundwater wells which the city then depended on for decades.

1922    The seven basin states sign the Colorado River Compact, estimating the river’s annual supply at 18 million acre-feet of water and dividing 15 million acre-feet between the northern and southern states. The river would eventually prove to flow with just 14.8 million acre-feet a year. Continue reading

Lake Mead Water Level Mysteriously Plunges After Nevada Quake

An update on the situation has been posted on Zero Hedge. Apparently there was an ‘error’ in reporting on the government’s side and it has now been corrected. The correction created a miracle recovery that you can compare with the chart below.

 

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A 4.8 magnitude earthquake (originally reported 5.4) shook Las Vegas and surrounding areas Friday morning causing roads and bridges to be closed. The quake went little-reported outside of local news (since there was at first glance minimum damage caused) but, since the quake’s occurrence, something considerably more worrisome has occurred.

In the 36 hours since the quake’s occurrence, water levels at Lake Mead have plunged precipitously. While we know correlation is not causation, the ‘coincidence’ of an extreme loss in water levels occurring in the aftermath of one of the largest quakes in recent Vegas history does raise a suspicious eyebrow – especially when there has been no official word on the precipitous decline. Continue reading

The Greatest Water Crisis In The History Of The United States

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What are we going to do once all the water is gone?  Thanks to the worst drought in more than 1,000 years, the western third of the country is facing the greatest water crisis that the United States has ever seen.  Lake Mead is now the lowest that it has ever been since the Hoover Dam was finished in the 1930s, mandatory water restrictions have already been implemented in the state of California, and there are already widespread reports of people stealing water in some of the worst hit areas.  But this is just the beginning.  Right now, in a desperate attempt to maintain somewhat “normal” levels of activity, water is being pumped out of the ground in the western half of the nation at an absolutely staggering pace.  Once that irreplaceable groundwater is gone, that is when the real crisis will begin.  If this multi-year drought stretches on and becomes the “megadrought” that a lot of scientists are now warning about, life as we know it in much of the country is going to be fundamentally transformed and millions of Americans may be forced to find somewhere else to live. Continue reading

Dry Heat

As Lake Mead hits record lows and water shortages loom, Arizona prepares for the worst.

Last week, Lake Mead, which sits on the border of Nevada and Arizona, set a new record low—the first time since the construction of the Hoover Dam in the 1930s that the lake’s surface has dipped below 1,080 feet above sea level. The West’s drought is so bad that official plans for water rationing have now begun—with Arizona’s farmers first on the chopping block. Yes, despite the drought’s epicenter in California, it’s Arizona that will bear the brunt of the West’s epic dry spell.

The huge Lake Mead—which used to be the nation’s largest reservoir—serves as the main water storage facility on the Colorado River. Amid one of the worst droughts in millennia, record lows at Lake Mead are becoming an annual event—last year’s low was 7 feet higher than this year’s expected June nadir, 1,073 feet.

Continue reading

Is Las Vegas in danger of running out of water?

AFTER years of drought Lake Mead, the source of fresh water for the holiday hotspot, has hit its lowest level and Sin City is facing its biggest crisis.

But take a trip 25 miles southeast to Lake Mead, the massive reservoir created when the Hoover Dam was built across the Colorado River, and you get a striking visual wake-up call.

All around its 760 miles of rocky shoreline is a clearly defined line that locals call the “bathtub ring”.

Above it the rocks are brown and jagged but below they are shiny white. This is where the calcium in the water has stained the rocks – and the widening band of white is a powerful sign of how fast the level is dropping.

The lake, which supplies 90 per cent of the water to the two million residents of Las Vegas and its 43 million annual visitors, has been reduced by drought to the lowest level since it was filled in 1937 and is now at 39 per cent capacity. The surface reached a record high of 1,225ft above sea level in 1983 but is now at about 1,080ft. If the level drops below 1,050ft one of the two intakes that feed water to the city will become useless. Another 50ft and the other one would fail. Continue reading