GRAND JUNCTION SENTINEL - 10/19/12 Extreme drought conditions

Oct 19, 2012

Extreme drought conditions should be taken seriously

I am a senior in the environmental science department at Colorado Mesa University and have spent the last year learning about this incredible drought that the Colorado River Basin is experiencing. Crops are dry, there are high tensions revolving around water rights, and streams are dramatically low, if they have any water left at all. How come nature and so many people are suffering, yet I feel so little effects in my little bubble within the city limits of Grand Junction?

My landlord waters my yard on a regular basis, clean water still pours out of my faucets at fast rates, and I still take my dog to swim at Canyon View Park. I understand the luxury of living in the “city,” but I have not been encouraged whatsoever to reduce my water usage or to take into consideration the struggles around me involving water.

I was fortunate enough this past week to take part in Flight Across America 2012, a program through Eco-Flight (a pro-active non-profit based in Aspen) in which we explored conservation issues with water in the Upper Colorado River Basin in five states, and I was shocked at what I saw and learned.

We flew in small planes to gain an aerial perspective of the land, and the extremity of our current drought situation was more shocking than I had realized. I ask that everyone who may not feel the direct effects of this drought be a little more considerate of those around you and to use a little less water the next time you wash the dishes, rinse off the patio or take a shower.

Grand Junction is actually a high desert, and water use must be monitored to ensure a sustainable future.

Grand Junction