Can Domino Droughts Be Stopped At Their Source?

The Domino Drought of 2012 [1] could have been avoided and will reoccur if nothing is done to fix the root cause.

What is a Domino Drought?

A Droughts occur when a lack of precipitation causes a water shortage. A Domino Drought is a series of droughts which occur in succession across a landscape. The lack of precipitation in the genesis drought reduces precipitation from transport downwind from the genesis drought. This can reduce precipitation in the successive regions by over 50% triggering the domino drought effect.

So how can they be stopped?

By locating the genesis drought location and making suitable corrections to that local environment. The Stanford Study focused on the 2012 Domino Drought [2], so let’s use that as our example.

What was the originating location of the 2012 Domino Drought?

California. The California drought was distributed across the state but is really made up of two pieces.

The first piece…

This most obvious piece was the part caused by changing ocean currents with reduced rainfall along the Pacific coastline. I agree that this may have had some effect on the Domino Drought, but I think its effect was minimal because almost all the eastbound moisture from the Pacific Ocean is pulled from the air as it travels over the Rocky Mountains.

The second piece…

The less obvious piece is found in southwest California, and northwest Mexico. The root cause of this local drought is the over extraction of water from the Colorado River [3]. I do not expect that the excessive diversion of water from the Colorado River will cease, but something can be done to fix the unintended result of those extractions.

The Colorado River is totally used up.

There is so much water being redirected from the flow of the Colorado River that it runs dry before it reaches the ocean [4]. This maybe viewed as a good thing because humans are getting maximum usage of the naturally fresh water before it commingles with saltwater. However, so much water is being extracted that the flow could dry before the Colorado River even reaches the Mexican border; which is bad for the residents of Mexicali, MX whom depend on that water for their life. Still, Mexico uses the balance of the Colorado River water and there is no water left for downstream flow, leaving a dry riverbed south of Mexicali.

Colorado River Watershed Water Cycle.

What is the unintended result?

The unintended result is that the Water Cycle has been broken. Most simply stated; the Colorado River Basin Water Cycle is: Laguna Salada > Salton Sea > Death Valley > The Great Salt Lake > Colorado River > > Laguna Salada. With the water being all used, Laguna Salada receives no refilling water [5] from the Colorado River. A dry Laguna Salada has no water to evaporate for rain/snow/mist for the surrounding area and Southwest California, and also none to send north to the Salton Sea. Just like that the Water Cycle is broken and a drought commences in southwest California and northwest Mexico. This drought dominos up through Salton Sea; Death Valley, The Great Salt Lake, and places less water in the Colorado River; which creates a water shortage in the Colorado River Watershed.

Can we fix this?

It is unlikely that we can stop using water from the Colorado River, but we can refill Laguna Salada with water. Laguna Salada translation to English is Salt Lagoon. Laguna Salada covers a large land area and at its deepest it is 30 meters below sea-level in its lowest place. The calculated evaporation rate from Laguna Salada is considered to be very large, which points to its vital contribution to the Hydrologic Cycle. Laguna Salada has a dry stream bed leading from it to the Sea of Cortex (Gulf of California). By reversing the flow of the dry stream bed to allow ocean water to flood Laguna Salada, the water cycle can be repaired.

Is that a lot of digging/dredging?

The dry riverbed from Laguna salads to the sea of Cortez is about 81km (60mi) long. Half a century ago it was widened and straightened. The length, while it sounds like a lot, is considerably less than the California Canals: All-American Canal = 130km (80mi) long; Colorado River Aqueduct = 329km (242mi). One other thing to consider is that the amount of effort to reverse the flow of an existing stream is much less than that which was needed to transport the water from the Colorado River over/around/through the Rocky Mountains to California.

Conclusion:

By filing Laguna Salada with ocean water we can repair the Colorado River Water Cycle, avoid future Domino Droughts, and help reduce the problems of Climate Change.

Climate Change?

How did I get to reducing the problems related to Climate Change? One of those concerns is the increased level of oceans. By removing water from the ocean and placing it in Laguna Salada the ocean level will be reduced. It is just that simple.

[1] http://waterinthewest.stanford.edu/news-events/news-insights/domino-droughts
[2] https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1029/2019GL082475
[3] https://www.watereducation.org/aquapedia/colorado-river-timeline
[4] https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/the-colorado-river-runs-dry-61427169/
[5] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmJOh34OWO0&t=125s

Help Reverse Climate Change

Your small donation to Active Climate Rescue Initiative will help reverse Global Warming. Reversing Global Warming and stopping Climate Change is our only goal, and we know how to do it. Your support will allow us to broadcast our message and save the world. Someone must do it. Be part of the someone. Donate today.

Cause of USA Mega-Drought

We broke the Hydrologic cycle! We did it by greedily taking what nature offered for free, without giving back. It is time to give back and help nature restore itself.

Cause of USA Mega-Drought

There is no one cause for the Southwest USA Mega-Drought, just as there is no one cause for to Global Warming and Climate Change, but just go with me for a minute on this one. The draining of the Colorado River water for human use is the major factor causing this 23-year mega-drought in the southwest USA. This is greatly simplified but follow my logic on this…

Water Moves in a Cycle

Water moves in a cycle greater than local watersheds. Again, greatly simplified, some of the water for the southwest USA begins in Mexico, in the Colorado River delta. The water in the river’s delta evaporates into the atmosphere and creates precipitation (fog, mist, rain, and snow). This moisture is moved by wind patterns into the southwest USA. It comes to earth in the Colorado River watershed where it creates the Colorado River and flows into Mexico. On arrival in Mexico, it spreads out across the Colorado River delta. The water in the Colorado River delta evaporates into the atmosphere and creates precipitation.  The cycle is perpetual until something breaks the circle…

A water cycle: Colorado River delta > Laguna Salada > Salton Sea > Death Valley > Great Basin > Great Salt Lake > Colorado River headwaters > Colorado River > Colorado River delta.

Water Being Diverted

In a closed terrarium water just keeps being recycled. There is no reason to add more. In real life, there is no closed loop. The Colorado River delta has gone dry. The water used to refill it is syphoned off to other places outside of the watershed. The escaping water must be replaced for the system to continue to function. In this case, that replacement water can most easily be replaced by repairing the water cycle. How can this be done? Can humans control the weather?

Here Is What Happened.

Let’s begin at the Colorado River Delta, which in the early 1900’s was once a lush, verdant, 3,000-sq-mi green oasis in the Sonoran Desert. Beginning in the 1930’s the “wise” humans saw the pure freshwater of the Colorado River and decided not to let it escape into the sea and become ruined. They put the water to human use by removing the water from the river about 90 miles before its delta. On the surface this was a smart plan, but they got greedy and drained the river dry. The water no longer flowed into the delta and the delta is now a dead, dusty, 3,000-sq-mi brown desert wasteland. Gone is the lush green space and most of the life associated with it. All that is left is brown sand and the limited, hardy life suited for dry conditions. Humans created this is manmade ecological disaster, a critical link in this water cycle has been broken. This is Climate Change on a micro level, which has had the domino effect of exacerbating Climate Change in the southwest USA.

Laguna Salada is dry beginning in 1999 through present. The Water Cycle broken for 23+years.
Laguna Salada, Baja, MX

Just northwest of the Colorado River delta is Laguna Salada. This salt marsh, only 33 feet below sea-level at its deepest point, was kept full in three ways:

1) Tidal Flow.

Occasionally there is inflow from tidal flow from the Sea of Cortez. This is still occurring today, but it is so infrequent and such a small amount of water that it cannot keep Laguna Salada filled, or even constantly wet.

2) Local Precipitation.

The Laguna Salada watershed received just a little rain and receives less now than it did in years past. The decrease in precipitation is a result of the change in the Colorado River delta from green to brown.

3) Coyote Canal.

Overflow from Colorado River ran through the Coyote Canal which was the prime water infusion path for Laguna Salada. It entered Laguna Salada via the Coyote Canal when river flow allowed. The effectiveness of this water path has dwindled to nothing in the last half of the 1900s. The water diversions from the Colorado River have caused the Colorado River to be dry before it reaches the Coyote Canal. Because the water of the Colorado River stopped flowing in the Coyote Canal, in 1999 Laguna Salada became fully dry. The Colorado River no longer feeds Laguna Salada or the Gulf of California.

Salton Sea, CA, USA.

Just north of Laguna Salada, in the Imperial Valley, is the Salton Sea. The Imperial Valley once was part of the Colorado River’s path in time long gone when Lake Cahuilla existed. If Lake Cahuilla, with its surface level just above sea level, were there now, 19 communities would be flooded and gone. Lake Cahuilla has been gone for centuries because of a change in the Colorado River’s path. In the late 1800’s and early 1900s the area in the Imperial Valley was known as the Salton Flats. The Salton Flats were the bottom of Lake Cahuilla and full of its salty residue. In the 1910s the residents of Imperial Valley began to farm with water obtained from the Colorado River via canals. The Salton Sea, often referred to as an accidental lake, originated when an irrigation canal escaped its boundaries and carried Colorado River water into the Salton flats. The Salton Sea has been present in the Imperial Valley since the 1920s and hit a popularity heyday in the 1950s as a vacation spot. The Salton Sea level varies and is approximately 236-feet-below-sea-level and has a depth in the deepest point of 51-feet. The Salton Sea is evaporating rapidly and may soon be fully dry. Moisture is added in two ways:

1) Local Precipitation.

The precipitation for the Salton Sea is brought up from the south from and over Laguna Salada. With the Colorado River delta a desert since 1940, and Laguna Salada dry since 1999, the rainfall in the Salton Sea watershed has diminished.

2) Agricultural Runoff.

Agricultural runoff was the primary water supply for Laguna Salada. Unfortunately, that water was highly polluted with fertilizer and salt, causing the lake to have an unpleasant aroma. The drought beginning in 2000, necessitating conservation of irrigation water, has decreased the inflow from the farms. Beginning in 2020 the farm runoff is being diverted westward to meet California coastal water needs. The Salton see is rapidly returning to the Salton Falts.

Broken Hydrologic Cycle.

We now have a broken water cycle. The Colorado river delta no longer sends moisture north to Laguna Salada. The dry Laguna Salada has no moisture to send to the Salton Sea. The lack of moisture in the Imperial Valley leaves little to blow north into the Great Basin. The Great Salt Lake, which obtains its moisture within the Great Basin, is at its lowest level in recorded history. The Great Salt Lake and the Great Basin have no water to send to the headwaters of the Colorado River. While the Colorado River is fed by multiple water cycles, all of them functioning at normal levels are needed to have the full flow in the river. With the measured flow of the Colorado River below optimum, the reservoirs are not staying full. This is not a short-term problem, but a result of permeant ecological damage to the environment resulting in a new-normal flow for the Colorado River. Here is where human activity has damaged the environment and caused local climate change.

Humans Must Fix This.

Humans broke the Hydrologic cycle! In our wisdom we did it by greedily taking what nature offered for free, without giving back. It is time to give back and help nature restore itself. There are three ways which we can remedy this problem:

1) Stop Draining the River Dry.

The simplest option is to stop raping nature and let the Colorado River’s flow return to its natural state, but this cannot happen. This freshwater is being used for life and livelihood by millions of people who would complain loudly if it were no longer available to them.

2) Let Some Water Through.

Don’t take all the water. Let some of it flow to the delta. This sounds like a good idea, but it will not be enough. The Colorado River has a diminished flow which has created a strain on the existing water demand. Calls for conservation have been going on for years, and yet there is still not enough water to fill the current need. How can some be allowed to escape into the delta? Yes, this should be done, but any that is allowed to flow into the delta will be a minuscule amount compared to its original state. Yet some is better than none, but it would not be enough to break the mega-drought and refill the river.

3) Restore the Water Cycle.

The ultimate solution would be to discover a new source of water which is unencumbered and easily available to insert into the water cycle. That source is the ocean. The Sea of California is close at hand.

Move The Water!

The “Move the Water!” initiative proposes to refill Laguna Salada with seawater. The flow of the Coyote Canal can be reversed, and the saltwater can be allowed to flow through the delta and into Laguna Salada. In Spanish Laguna Salada translates into Salt Marsh, so it is already salted and adding saltwater will do no harm. By doing this some moisture will be returned into the delta, and Laguna Salada can be filled up to sea-level. The restored Lagna Salada will once again pump huge amounts of water vapor into the atmosphere, which will blow north toward the Salton Sea. Social justice will occur as the local indigenous peoples will again be able to fish in their ancestral lake. This will begin to fix the now broken water cycle and move toward eventually ending the mega-drought.

Mexico’s Commitment to End Climate Change.

Mexico made it clear in Paris that they wanted to do their part in reversing Climate Change. The loss of water within the Colorado River delta and watershed is one of the causes of Climate Change. The removal of that water allows the area to become warmer. This is their opportunity, and it is a low-cost project to undertake. The work in Mexico could be done in a surprisingly short time frame, easily less than a year. Once completed the drought can begin to end and climate Change can be mitigated.

Move the Water! Again.

The “Move the Water!” initiative proposes to refill the Salton Sea to its 1950s level by allowing seawater to flow through Laguna Salada. Here the Coyote Canal must be extended so that it terminates in the Salton Sea. This is a little more difficult project because there is a 150-foot hill in the way. This is not unsurmountable. Look at the rock cuts along our major highways. Brining the ocean water into the Salton Sea has multiple benefits, the largest being the work it will do against the mega-drought. The moisture evaporated from the Salton Sea will enter the Great Basin and work to refill the Great Salt Lake and also replenish the headwaters of the Colorado River.

Help Reverse Climate Change

Your small donation to Active Climate Rescue Initiative will help reverse Global Warming. Reversing Global Warming and stopping Climate Change is our only goal, and we know how to do it. Your support will allow us to broadcast our message and save the world. Someone must do it. Be part of the someone. Donate today.

Why Active Climate Rescue Initiative?

(Non-Christians should not read this. You would just not understand it.)

Active Climate Rescue Initiative exists because I believe that God led me to do this work. I believe that He has made known to me how to help reverse Climate Change and encouraged me to publish this information to any who will listen.

Here is how God called me to do this; using the foundation of the book: God Told Me by Jim Samara; Baker Books, 2012

God’s Voice, pages 96 & 100

The premise of this section is that “… God does indeed have a distinguishable ‘voice’ which he intends for us to be able to recognize, … The key to recognizing [God’s] distinctive voice is to train our minds using his known patterns of communication.”

I believe that I know God’s voice because for many years I have been listening to him. I have come to know Him through: Attending church since youth; Personal Bible study; Participating in group Bible studies; and Taking seminary classes. I can see and understand God’s will, and I believe that I can spot a counterfeit when it presents itself.

I believe that this effort of Active Climate Rescue Initiative is God inspired in me; all its missions fit within the will of God and His desires for the people of this earth; and that all its actions will be honoring to Him.

God Calls Us to Trust Him More, pages 103-106

“It is helpful to recognize that God usually encourages us down paths that require us to rely on him more and less on ourselves or others. … God’s guidance often defies human wisdom. To put it bluntly, if we follow God’s leading someone should think we are crazy.”

This is truly the case here. How can I, one person of no importance, so clearly see this one simple thing which can have such great impact on Climate Change; while so many billions of other people do not recognize its potential for good?

God Tells Us to Humbly and Sacrificially Love Others, page 106-107

“God is love…. God demonstrated what true love looks like; it is not all about warm, fuzzy feelings, but concrete, sacrificial service done in humility, even for one’s enemy.”

The service I put into conducting the business of Active Climate Rescue Initiative are sacrificial.

First; as of this moment I am not receiving remuneration for my efforts and there are other things which are not getting done while I expend the efforts needed to ‘save the world’.

Second; the effects of my efforts will be most received by people living in desert areas of our earth, while I likely will only receive tangential benefits because I live in a moist region.

Third; the effects of my efforts will be received gradually with possible benefits to me received years after my efforts have been expended, and possibly after I have expired.

The efforts I put into conducting the business of Active Climate Rescue Initiative are done in humility. My name will never be praised because of this effort. This work is being done by the organization: Active Climate Rescue Initiative; of which I hope to be only one worker-bee.

The benefits received from my efforts conducting the business of Active Climate Rescue Initiative are for all humanity, not just my friends and certainly not excluding any enemies. I do not think I have any enemies. I suppose that “enemy” status need not be reciprocal. There may be some who may consider me an enemy, without even knowing me, based on some aspect of my physical being, or religious/political affiliations. The efforts of Active Climate Rescue Initiative will benefit all people around the world as it mitigates the effects of Climate Change.

God Supports His Social Structures, pages 107-109

“… one of the distinguishing characteristics of God’s voice is that he directs us in ways that strengthen the socials structures he has ordained.”

The goals of Active climate Rescue Initiative are too large to be conducted outside of local governmental units, and in many cases will require the cooperation of multiple governments to complete any one project.

God Does Not Work in Confusion, pages 109-110

“God does not work in confusion, dissension, miscommunication, misunderstanding, disloyalty, or doubt … to speak words of guidance to us.”

All through this process I have sensed only clear understanding of what God desires of me. I have seen where others have had similar ideas; all with alternate motives. I am assured that God wishes this work to commence for the general benefit of mankind. There has been no confusion in my mind or in what I have observed.

God Tells Us Not to Fear, pages 110-112

“… God does not use … fear or discouragement to guide us. … that panic that can arise as we think about the daunting nature of a task; that fear of failure, or the thought that we are not good enough. [If] Something or someone is trying to discourage us from embracing this path, … it is not God.”

Even though this is a large undertaking; there has been none of this in my mind during the process which God has used to bring me to the point of creating Active Climate Rescue Initiative.

God Says Unexpected and Mysterious Things, pages 112-114

“When we hear a voice tell us to do something that we have never considered, … there is a strong possibility that God is speaking to us. … God’s ways and thoughts are far beyond our ways and thoughts. Therefore, it makes sense that when God speaks to us, some of what he will say will never have even occurred to us before.”

Imagine my surprise (about 20 years ago) when I began to have the thought that the Dead Sea needed to have infusion of ocean water. Why should I care? I have no connection to the Dead Sea; yet the thought was pervasive and prevalent in my mind.

Chapter 3, The Inner Prompting of the Spirit; page 76

“The inner prompting of the Spirit is an indefinable sense that God is telling you which way to go and what to do, usually at a completely unexpected time.”

This is what it was like for me. The thought that the Dead Sea needed an infusion of water. Why do I care? What can I do about this thought? But I continued to experience the thought, it was pervasive.

Circumstances; page 85

“Most of us can look back on a number of days that were marked by a chance meeting, a phone call, an accident of circumstances, a penetrating insight, a conversation, or another of a myriad of seemingly small events that today holds special significance for us…When we recognize the influence of these occurrences, it makes us wonder if under the veil of the ordinary God isn’t whispering a word in our ears.”

That best explains my movement toward creating Active Climate Rescue Initiative.

The first piece of this puzzle came in High School where I learned one simple fact in Earth Science Class: As air passes across the windward side of the mountain, most of the moisture is drawn out of it. This is because the air cools as it rises up the slope of the mountain and condenses, leading to clouds and rain. On the leeward side of the mountain, the climate is warmer and drier; as the air moves down the opposite side of the mountain, it loses its moisture and warms up. Scientists call this the rain shadow effect.

As with all single pieces of a puzzle; it made no sense to me. Learning that was a beacon of light to me. It was an astounding piece of data for which I had no use, but which caused me much interest.

The second puzzle piece is my pervasive compulsion to ‘help’ water in puddles drain out. Digging small ditches between puddles to connect them, and then just watch the water flow into its new home.

The third puzzle piece was in ≈2000 when I had the odd thought that the Dead Sea should be filled with sea water. I began to study this did research as to how this could be accomplished. While having dinner with a Grand Rapids Theological Seminary Professor one evening; I mentioned my thought and he was enthused to pull out his topographical maps of the middle east and we looked to see that a 200 km canal dug only 200 m deep would make the connection between the Gulf of Aqaba and the Dead Sea.

I then started to wonder why the Dead Sea was evaporating to nothing and realized that the rain shadow effect was at work here. This then expanded to my mind that the rain shadow effect was likely the cause of most of the below sea level dry areas on the globe.

Could the thought of filling the Dead Sea be expanded to other places around the world? I tool a look around and found seven major places where water could be moved to fill a dry (or diminishing) depression.

But what good is gained by taking this action? I realized that if any one of these locations were able to have an open channel to the ocean, it would create a very large surface area of water in a hot dry environment, which would result in evaporation and subsequent rain for the desert dwellers.

With the advent of Global Warming, now called Climate Change; a bible verse came to my mind. The LORD God took the man and placed him in the orchard in Eden to care for it and to maintain it. Genesis 2:15 (NET)

To me this was telling me that it is our job to maintain God’s creation as best we can, and that means to help solve Climate Change.

I began to see that in all these hot dry areas, where there is a dry depression caused by the rain shadow effect, there is also desert. So, if there is a way to move water into these dry depressions, then the water will be past the mountain, and the transpiration cycle can begin anew in that dry place which will revitalize the area. I could see how this would change the world and reduce the effects of Climate Change.

The progress of this thought covered about 20 years. During that time, I was not in any position to undertake the goal placed in my mind. Today, I am convinced that these thoughts were God inspired, which is further confirmed by the realization that he has placed me in a position where I can fully commit to their execution. That is why I am doing this instead of so many other things which could fill my retirement years.

Help Reverse Climate Change

Your small donation to Active Climate Rescue Initiative will help reverse Global Warming. Reversing Global Warming and stopping Climate Change is our only goal, and we know how to do it. Your support will allow us to broadcast our message and save the world. Someone must do it. Be part of the someone. Donate today!