In 1934, Harold Ickes, the US Secretary of the Interior issued a proclamation few are aware of today:  halting the construction of the Parker Dam.  Why would he do a thing like that?

He had little choice after the Governor of Arizona declared a de facto war on California and mobilized the National Guard to halt construction of the dam intended to divert Colorado River water towards Southern California.

This is my review of Tio Rodrigo Churro Stout:

While stories about an Arizona governor mobilizing the guard to achieve political aims is nothing new around here, this time around its more than just a cute story because the fight continues to this day. Since joining the Arizona LP, this is one of those issues that come up because quite frankly Arizona is a desert and that fact is a lot more apparent to residents than other states in the west.  The other issue is how often LP candidates get tied up when speaking to the press, who tend to highlight the fact the LP has nothing for the “free sh—” crowd American politics is often pandering to.  The other reason is in conversations with others throughout the state, a potential untapped source of recruits to the LP can be brought on board should any party take a coherent position on the issue.  Both major parties play lip service to this issue and maintain the status quo out of convenience and here is an opportunity for the LP to appeal to voters by taking a radical position.

This will be a two part feature, the first outlining the problem and next week attempting to come up with a solution.  This is intended as a policy proposal of sorts for an insurgent movement within the LP in an effort to build more grassroots support.  Having an answer or at least an understanding of to the issue is certainly better than looking confused, and asking “what’s Aleppo?” on national television.

What is the issue?

The Colorado River is the main source of water for nearly 40 million Americans in seven states in the mountain west.  It is divided into the Upper Basin (CO, WY, UT, NM) and the Lower Basin (CA, AZ, NV).  The Colorado River Compact was signed in 1922 by the aforementioned states and is regarded as  the “Law of the River” that appropriates 7.5 million acre feet of water per year…until the end of time, apparently.

Unfortunately for those that live in those seven states, particularly in the Lower Basin, the amount of water stored in existing infrastructure is becoming alarmingly low.  With the increase in population migrations to these arid states, the dependency on this limited infrastructure will only be exasperated.

This is all climate change, right?

Not really.

Seriously? This has to be happening because of climate change.

Nope. Just ask the far right, chronic science denying outfit, Mother Jones, who reported in 2014 on NOAA studies suggesting the most recent drought in California was not caused by man made climate change:

But according to new research by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, California’s drought was primarily produced by a lack of precipitation driven by natural atmospheric cycles that are unrelated to man-made climate change. In other words, climate change may have worsened the impacts of the drought, but it isn’t the underlying cause.

…although assuming the climate data models are in any way correct, it probably doesn’t help.  The west is dominated by a desert climate, and this is not a new development that occurred due to industrialization.   This problem was caused primarily by government mismanagement of natural resources.

This shouldn’t be surprising for anyone with access to a history book.  The best example is the Aral Sea in the former Soviet Union.  There the region around what was then the world’s fourth largest freshwater lake was viewed as an ideal location to grow cotton.  So irrigation canals were built along the the two rivers feeding the lake.  Naturally, with no water going into the lake, it eventually dried up and is now 10% of its former volume.  Not to mention the environmental impact to the region.

Delusions of American Exceptionalism cannot overcome F.A. Hayek’s knowledge problem, and thus our government is no less capable of erring on a catastrophic scale.  When the Colorado River Compact was signed by those seven states in 1922 they overlooked one very big detail:  the total water to allocate was significantly less than they anticipated.

This is all California’s fault?

Californians moving in? We have a solution!

Its more complicated.  Going back to the the 1934 Parker Dam Water War, California noticed the population in the southern half of the state was growing at a rate beyond existing resources within the state, and sought to build the dam and an an aqueduct towards the population centers in Southern California.  Arizona mobilized the guard because the perception then was California was simply taking a bigger share of the Colorado River than they previously agreed.  The hostilities ended in short time after a few embarrassing incidents…for Arizona, and eventually the Parker Dam was built with aqueducts going both east and west.  Gov. Moeur was vindicated to a degree in the ensuing decades:

The Central Arizona Project, the longest and most expensive aqueduct in U.S. history, originated at the Parker Dam and transported water southeastward. Congress approved the project in 1968 and it was finally completed in 1993. California protested the endeavor, however, since it depended on consuming the surplus left over by the unused allotments of other states. As late as 1997, the Colorado River still provided more than 60 percent of the water consumed in Southern California, constituting 20 percent more than the state’s allotment.


Compounding the issue was the problem that the 1922 compact was based on erroneously high estimates of river flow. Thus, states were promised between 15 and 25 percent more than the true long-term average flow, later deduced from tree-ring studies and other geologic proxies.

Simply put, laying this problem at the feet of Californians is as productive as insisting this can be fixed by forcing the entire world to drive electric cars.  The truth is even if they are using more than half of the available resources, they are not the only ones in the Lower Basin is using more than what is available.

? ?  ? White Girl Beer Alert ? ?  ?White Girl Beer Alert

A churro, for those who are unaware, is a deep fried Mexican pastry covered in cinnamon and sugar.  Often served with melted chocolate or a white icing for dipping.  This pastry is unbelievably sweet and is downright dangerous for Sugarfree to be around.  Same as this beer. Its a 7.5% abv “pastry stout” that goes heavy on the cinnamon and vanilla.  If not for the alcohol it would be sold at Starbucks. Tio Rodrigo Churro Stout: 2.4/5