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post #12 of Old 02-07-2008
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Yah, Mead is at about 50% full pool. Reclamation is sticking a new 'soda straw' in because the existing one is nearly out of the water, preventing diversion to the Imperial Valley and California municipalities. We're having a good snowpack year in the central Rockies (for a change); problem is, all that runoff and more is spoken for by the senior rights holders. So unless a new compact is ratified, Mead won't get to keep any of it. Negotiations continue.

Likewise, we on the Atlantic side of the Divide are faring okay for snowpack. But our reservoirs, which serve the Platte Rivers, will have to release what they impound -- probably by midsummer. Some of them are below 25% capacity. It may take years of heavy mountain snows to discharge our water debts; we can't hold any water until those obligations are met. Sadly, the allotments were fixed during a period of historically heavy streamflows; the mountain states are left with quotas they can't fill.

Lowest of all on the water-rights totem pole, our local lake is deeply screwed. EVERYBODY get their crack at North Platte water before it does. That's why the concrete boat ramp ends twenty vertical feet above high tide. What's interesting, tho, is the ranchette development going in on the lake's north side. The land brokers use Lake Hattie access as a selling point -- but that lake is on a fast track to "not there no more." I'm wondering if the developer will plunk down some cash and buy back some downstream shares from Nebraska farmers. Doubt it, given the price of corn and how many thousands of acre feet it would take to raise the lake level.

Buccaneer18, Grainnia
SJ21, Diarmuid
Albin Ballad 30, Fionn
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