Western U.S. Lakes Drying Up

Published by DonDavidson on

The Colorado River begins its 1,450-mile journey in the mountains of central Colorado, winds its way through Arizona’s Grand Canyon, and finally empties into the Gulf of California in northwestern Mexico. Along the way it flows through Glen Canyon in southern Colorado and northern Arizona.

In 1963, the federal government constructed the Glen Canyon Dam, about 135 miles north of Flagstaff. This created Lake Powell, which provides water and hydroelectricity for the area’s residents, as well as recreational opportunities for about two million people annually.

But Lake Powell is drying up. Lake Powell is down to only 32% of its normal capacity. And it’s not alone. California’s Lake Oroville, 80 miles north of Sacramento, is at 28% of capacity. Utah’s Great Salt Lake has been shrinking in size since 1986. Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the United States, is 157 feet below the peak level it reached in 1983.

Part of the reason these and many other western lakes and reservoirs are drying up is because of population growth in the southwestern and western United States, which has taken some of this water for human consumption. But climate change is also playing a role. Increasing amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are causing extreme heat and exceptional drought in many areas of the western and southwestern United States, resulting in less rainfall to fill the lakes and more evaporation to dry them out.

This was confirmed by researchers from the University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, who studied meteorological data from more than 300 long-term weather stations in the western United States. They found that since the 1970s average temperatures in the west and southwest have risen, while average annual rainfall has decreased, and the average dry intervals—that is, the number of days between rain events—increased from 31 to 48 days. That is a recipe for drought, which is exactly what the western United States is experiencing now.

Could climate change be bringing the beginning of the “birth pains” Jesus talked about in Matthew 24:4-8, Mark 13:3-8, and Luke 21:9-11? I believe so. I discuss this in chapter 11 of my book, Beyond Blind Faith, entitled “Apocalypse Soon,” which you can read in its entirety on this website by clicking here. You can also find excerpts from that book and my other books by going here.


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