Opinion: Can the Mississippi learn from the Colorado’s failure?
The entire Mississippi River basin is experiencing drought conditions that are being compared to the Dust Bowl days of the 1930s. The scenes — from exposed shipwrecks to sand dunes cropping up where the river used to flow — are surreal, and people from New Orleans to the Upper Midwest are getting nervous. I’m increasingly being asked: Is this the future of the Mississippi? And what would that mean for the world’s food supply — 92% of all U.S. agricultural exports are produced in the Mississippi River basin? Underpinning these questions is the same fear: Will the Mississippi turn into a new Colorado River—which is so oversubscribed it never reaches its historic delta anymore?
-Written by John Sabo, director of ByWater Institute at Tulane University, avid fly fisherman.