1. blood vessel; especially: any of the tubular branching vessels that carry blood from the capillaries toward the heart
  2. a : a narrow water channel in rock or earth or in ice

b: a bed of useful mineral matter

The inferior venae cava is the largest vein in the human body. It flows mightily from the lower body, up along the abdominal aorta and replenishes the heart with deoxygenized blood. It feeds the heart with more blood than any other vein and without it, the body would fail.

In one instance, that vein is slowly being shut off, and it eventually will no longer replenish the heart with tons and tons of blood. The scary part is that the heart seems to have no idea that this is happening and when it does, it will have no way of turning that blood flow back on.

Before you rush out to a CPR class in order to eventually save this unnamed no one, be sure you are first understanding what definition of a vein is being used.

This vein is not a blood vessel, and the heart is not the one that beats in one chest. This vein is the Colorado River which flows to the hearts of the cities of Southern California.

Now, I hope you understand the point I was driving hope because I know I’m not the best at “creative writing” and the analogy might not have hit. But the fact of the matter is that the Colorado River, the biggest river running to Southern California, is slowly drying up. Part of that is due to the divvying up of of the river’s water to various cities since the Colorado serves 30 million people in over seven states as well as Mexico. But climate change and drought is also playing a huge part.

Brad Udall of University of Colorado’s Western Water Assessment claims that climate change will likely decrease the river’s flow by 5 to 20 percent in the next 40 years, which will only heighten the effects of the torrid Southwestern droughts.

The water bound for Los Angeles flows through the Colorado River Aqueduct which has already faced many troubles and is far below emergency levels of water already. This aqueduct is one of the main sources for Southern California drinking water and anymore of a reduction of water leading into this will leave Los Angeles and the surrounding communities in an even more unthinkably dire situation.

A simple trip to the Grand Canyon or Lake Powell can show these effects. Bathtub rings can be seen along the walls and shores, showing where the water once ran and more depressingly, where it is now — some 130 feet lower in those areas. This may not paint a harrowing and shocking image to some, but to think that Lake Mead hasn’t been full since 1998 and is currently at 40% capacity should be eye-opening.

The Colorado was once a vein flowing full of liquid gold, but now it sadly flows like the arteries of Rosie O’Donnell.