Lack of California Irrigation May Hurt Southwest!

Lack of California Irrigation May Hurt Southwest!

February 25, 2014

Lack of Irrigation in California May Hurt Southwest

Could this be true...even more collateral damage from a drought and environmental restrictions??

IRVINE, Calif., Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Irrigation in California's Central Valley doubles the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere, increasing rainfall across the U.S. Southwest, researchers say.

Scientists at the University of California, Irving, report when moisture on the vast farm fields evaporates, the vapor is blown over the Sierra Nevada mountains and dumps 15 percent more than average summer rain in numerous other states.

While the additional water falling on adjacent states can be beneficial, they said, it can also increase the strength of storms and other potentially destructive seasonal weather events.

"If we stop irrigating in the Valley, we'll see a decrease in stream flow in the Colorado River basin," which provides water for about 35 million people and the cities of Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Phoenix, climate hydrologist Jay Famiglietti said.

But the extra water vapor also accelerates normal atmospheric circulation, "firing up" the annual storm cycle and drawing in more water vapor from the Gulf of Mexico, the researchers wrote in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

When the additional amounts of moisture are fed into developing storms, Famiglietti said, "it's like throwing fuel on a fire."

Understanding irrigation's impact on changing climate and water availability could improve emergency planning in parched or flooded areas, the researchers said.

Read more:

More California Ag News

BIG WATER RALLY SCHEDULED FOR JAN. 16! Thousands Needed To Participate In Big Water Rally on Jan. 16  
Solano County 4-H Clubs Win Big at Skills Day When Life Gives you Lemons, Make Lemon Curd! Showmanship winner Tyler Scott of the Wolfskill 4-H Club DIXON--Tyler Scott of the...
California Ag News UC To Help Ranchers UC to Help Ranchers Survive Winter 2013-14 The first agricultural operations to feel the impact of a drought are dryland ranchers, many of whom r...
MONTEREY FARM BUREAU WARNS CPUC ON WATER ISSUES Desalination Plant Could Jeopardize Groundwater Supply California American Water could threaten the ground water supply of the Salinas Valley where u...