Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Pity the Poor Marina Owner on Lake Powell

This does not look to be a good time to own a marina on Lake Powell:

Lake Powell Low Despite Spring Snow

And this chart of the Lake's inflows and storage isn't encouraging:

Lake Powell Low Despite Spring Snow

If you look carefully you can see a tiny blip for 2012.

Here's one more view, no less astonishing:


Here's a local view of impacts from someone who regularly uses the Lake.

4 comments:

Jack said...

Other than investment advice, was there some point to this article, other than telling us that the inflows to the Lake vary from year to year?
Are you expecting them to be the same every year?
Please don't tell me that we are supposed to spot some kind of trend and extrapolate it into a future in which the Lake has no water in it. That would be silly.

Paul S said...

Jack,

Did you not notice the graph showing storage and inflow since 1980, with a clear decreasing trend?

Interesting apparent cyclical imprint on that graph, which seems to have quite a bit in common with the 11-year solar cycle. Doesn't explain the overall trend though, which is probably part climatic, part due to increasing demand for water downstream.

Jack said...

If the "trend" were going in the other direction would you regard that as "encouraging"...or would that also somehow be interpreted as trouble in store for the future, floods, hurricanoes etc...?
I have noticed that there seems to be a standard template in alarmism....pick a trend..(and such is the inconstancy of nature that there always IS a trend)...and then extend it into the future until disaster is upon us.
I have watched this for 40 of my 62 years..and the disaster never seems to arrive, somehow.
Still, I am sure it will one day. Or perhaps it has, somewhere, and I did not notice it.

Paul S said...

Jack,

Whether a particular trend is potentially "a problem" or "encouraging" depends entirely on context. In this case the context is storage and inflow of a reservoir which is a major source of water for millions of people. Unless there has been a deliberate attempt to lower the lake water level I think this is clearly a tick in the "a problem" column: demand for water from the reservoir (outflow) is outstripping inflow.

Will the lower inflow rate persist, or even decline further, or will there be a move to a higher rate? Naively (i.e. with literally zero information about local and regional conditions) you'd have to call it 50/50. Any sane planner would call this a potential problem.