Of all the interesting things in this week's issue--and there are a lot of interesting things contained herein--the item that stood out the most to me is the lead item in Jim Nintzel's The Range:

The scientists over at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography delivered some bad news: Lake Mead is going dry! The gloom-and-doom Scripps gang predict a 10 percent chance of the Nevada/Arizona lake going dry by 2014, and a 50-50 chance that the reservoir won't have enough water to generate any electric juice by 2021.

Of course, others--like Central Arizona Project representatives--are dismissing the Scripps claim, saying that things aren't that bad.

Let's face facts: Nobody knows for sure how long the West's water supply is going to hold up, considering ever-continuing growth, global warming, etc. The one thing we do know is that barring something cataclysmic, there will come a day when the West will run out of water, just like Atlanta is right now.

And then what will we do?

Western communities need to start addressing the water situation more so than they are now--and by "addressing," I am talking about coming up with comprehensive, legitimate regional solutions, not cockamamie, solve-nothing plans like John Kromko's city Proposition 200 from last year.

What's the answer? Desalinization? Bringing in water from somewhere else? Growth limits? I don't have the tools or expertise to say; all I know is that if we don't come up with the answer soon, those of us in the Southwest are one day going to find ourselves in big, big trouble.

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