California Water Woes

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Desertrat, Jun 15, 2004.

  1. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #1
    From a WND link:

    http://www.sacbee.com/content/news/projects/flood/story/9650876p-10574233c.html

    Water which is released from the Oroville reservoir is pumped from the Delta to southern Cali via the Delta-Mendota canal and the California Acqueduct. The fragility of the system is becoming more obvious...

    Looks like some serious problems for prorities in the state's budgeting process.

    'Rat
     
  2. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #2
    Water is introduced into the delta from as far north as Lake Shasta, I believe. Southern California's reliance on this source has been a tricky political business for decades and never was especially wise from a long term water resources planning standpoint. But with the reduction of water availability from the Colorado River, weaning the southland off northern water is well nigh impossible now. Looking at the bigger picture, though, all of California, and the south especially, has been historically dependent on exotic and fragile plumbing, and that's not going to change.
     
  3. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #3
    There are areas around me right now where you aren't allowed to build unless you tear down an existing place and get their water. There's been a moratorium in Cambria now for several years. No new building allowed. And it's only gonna get worse as the population grows.

    Didn't I just read something about the city of LA finally getting around to restoring the Owens Valley? river?
     
  4. wwworry macrumors regular

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    #4
    time for everyone to move back to the great lakes. They really are great.
     
  5. Frohickey macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    If I were a terrorist, I would be extremely simple to really harm the Southern California economy.

    Just go and destroy several water pipelines feeding Southern California and business there would go into a standstill. The only problem with doing this is that it would certainly piss off all the Hollywood liberal elites that are critical of the GWBush administration.

    I doubt Islamic terrorists would do this, because it would turn away an ally.

    On the other hand, this might just be right up some environmental terrorists alley.
     
  6. Taft macrumors 65816

    Taft

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    #6
    Ah, but they might not be great forever.

    Link

    Taft
     
  7. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #7
    Ignoring your flame-bait -- no, destroying a few pipelines would not bring Southern California to a standstill. The region has a number of huge reservoirs for just this very reason. The system is fragile, but it is not idiotic.
     
  8. Taft macrumors 65816

    Taft

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    #8
    Also, I wonder if technology will eventually help all of these problems.

    I read an article some time back by a person who thought future wars would be fought over water. She thought that because the amount of freshwater is limited, and we are consuming so much of it and polluting the rest, its only a matter of time before we ran out. She pointed to some interesting examples, as well. Las Vegas, for instance, was built in the middle of the desert. Though they use irrigation to get water, it is extremely costly in terms of water usage. Golf courses in the area are crazy-bad offenders in these regards.

    But then I think about Isreal's desalination efforts and the moderate success they've had. Eventually, I'd imagine this will become cost effective. And if not, we can, as a society, always just throw money at the problem. With enough money, you could just pay to distill all of our water. Inefficient? Sure, but it'd work.

    Taft
     
  9. Taft macrumors 65816

    Taft

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    #9
    Liberals = terrorist's ally.

    Glad to see someone has finally seen the light and accepted all of Grand Wizard Coulter's gospel.

    You want to start a flame war? You got it.

    Taft
     
  10. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #10
    During the last extended drought, the City of Santa Barbara built a desalination plant at great expense. Then the next few winters were wet, so they decommissioned the plant. It's in mothballs now, awaiting the next drought I suppose. (Incidentally, the Santa Barbara area is not tied into the state water projects.)

    In terms of problems with water usage and supply, everybody tends to think of the arid West, but in reality, the wetter parts of the country can run short too. I lived through one severe drought in the Northeast, where I grew up, when the reservoirs ran dry and we weren't allowed to water the lawn. (Some people had the dead grass spray-painted green!) Last year was also critically dry in the Northeast, IIRC.

    Water is the next critical world-wide shortage item, after oil.
     
  11. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #11
    Not sure where you get your water from 'Rat, but doesn't the Ogalala aquifer supply most of Texas, OK and surrounding states? I'm pretty sure that it is in great danger from depletion as well. While it may not be as dramatic as CA's water crisis, it is serious in its own right.

    Up here in Humboldt County there is rarely a serious shortage of water and due to a number of pulp mills shutting down, there is unused capacity of sorts. A company floated a plan to pump the excess into huge bags and tow it to SoCal. Unfortunately, due to NAFTA and WTO rules it would essentially mean local loss of control of the water. In other words, once you open the floodgates you can't close 'em. So, the local authorities chose not to allow the company to do this even though it meant a loss of jobs and revenue. That is one of the biggest threats to water around the world, the loss of local control as water works are being sold to multinationals like Thames water works.

    On a more global note, water shortages are not limited to the arid parts of North America. The BBC has an article highlighting last year's UN conference in Kobe, JP. The article is here

    It's been said that water is one of the main reasons that Israel is not interested in providing Palestinian autonomy. Water has the potential to be the next oil crisis and you can bet your booties that there will be the watery equivalent of OPEC before long.
     
  12. Desertrat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
    IJ, unless you're talking about reservoirs of some one-million acre-feet or larger, they're just--literally--a drop in the bucket.

    One acre-foot = 325, 851 gallons.

    The capability of flow of the California Acqueduct is some 10,000 cubic feet per second (cfs). One cfs = 449 gallons per minute.

    Ugg, the Oglala (or Ogalallah) Aquifer supplies the great Plains from up in Nebraska (possibly further north) on down through the Texas Panhandle. It's pretty well played out by near Odessa. The recharge is from seepage from the west. It's covered by a well-nigh impervious formation, so there's no recharge from rainfall. It's being mined, just as oil or gold. In the heavily irrigated areas, the water table can drop as much as ten feet per year, although with trickle irrigation replacing flood or sprinkler, it's now much less.

    Water wars? Yeah, probable, in the mid-East; check where are the headwaters of the Tigris and Euphrates. There are water-squabbles between Atlanta, Chattanooga and Birmingham over the Tennessee River; Florida, Alabama and Georgia are in a constant turmoil over the Chattahoochee/Appalachicola (the name changes at the Florida border).

    Were terrorists to take out the Tehachapi Pump Station, and/or a pump station on the All-American Canal, the LA Basin would be in deep doo-doo.

    Texas is overloading its demands on its various rivers, and San Antonio is in trouble with competition for groundwater from farming. El Paso/Juarez is getting ready to spend a ton of money for that couple of million or so people.

    My own water? Underflow of Terlingua Creek, from its saturated sands/gravels. I dug my well with my backhoe. From a household and home-garden standpoint, I have unlimited water.

    I worked for eleven years in the water resource development business. In the late '60s I was fortunate to work with Harvey Banks and some of his people in San Francisco. Harvey had been head of the Cal. DWR during the development phase of the Cal. Water Project. In '69 I got a guided tour of the entire project, from Oroville to LA. It's one of the world's greatest engineering feats. I did the design and cost estimating for a similar project in Texas, but the pumping costs made it way too prohibitive to ever build. In the world of water, "Uphill is bad."

    'Rat
     
  13. wwworry macrumors regular

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    #13
    One thing I like about the great lakes is
    am I trolling?
     
  14. Frohickey macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    How long before the huge reservoirs are empty?
    Think of the reservoirs as gas tanks, and the pipelines as the gas pump that is connected directly to the gas refinery that is connected directed to an oil well. (Bad analogy, I know.)

    As to the troll-bait equating liberals to supporters of terrorists, if it isn't true, why not just ignore it. :p
     
  15. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #15
    Not really, no. Local (Southern California) water storage capacity for the SWP is around a half million acre feet, and this is only one of the three large aqueduct and reservoir systems serving the region.
     
  16. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #16
    The City of Los Angeles (Owens Valley) system was designed to hold one year's worth of supply. The others, I don't know for a fact.
     
  17. krimson macrumors 65816

    krimson

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    #17
    if more people eat from the same roach coach i ate at today, there's no way it'll last more than 6 months. :p
     
  18. Taft macrumors 65816

    Taft

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    #18
    Tricky question. Let's say there was a vicious voice on the left who was smearing figures on the right, and no-one was speaking out against what he was saying. How popular would you let this person get before you said, "enough!" How far do you let people go before the public needs a reminder that they aren't necessarily telling it to you straight?

    I'd love to just ignore every ignoramous who spouts half-truths in pithy format to unsuspecting listeners. Problem is, those unsuspecting listeners might just get the wrong idea after being drilled by those pithy comments for the umpteenth time.

    When should a person start defending their beliefs rather than just let it go? (These are serious questions, BTW, which I thought might be appropriate to discuss in this forum. Voltron comes to mind...)

    Taft
     
  19. Frohickey macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    One year's worth of supply? For when? Back in the 50s demand?
     
  20. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #20
    If you think I'm an ally of Islamic terrorists, then there is no point in further discussion. Goodbye.
     
  21. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #21
    Probably the 1930s, when it was more or less completed. But again, this was also before the construction of either the State Water Project or the Colorado River Aqueduct. I'd guess it's quite a bit less than a year now, but then again, it would be pretty difficult to shut down any one of these systems for more than a few months, let alone, all of them. Back in the mid-20s ranchers in the Owens Valley tried pretty hard to shut down that aqueduct, but couldn't manage more than few breaks that were quickly repaired.
     
  22. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #22
    Yeah here it is. LA will finally make some amends for what they've taken over the years...

    L.A. soon may atone to valley it left high and dry
     
  23. Frohickey macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    How many residents live in the Los Angeles basin compared to how many residents live in the Owens Valley?
     
  24. wwworry macrumors regular

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  25. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #25
    You mean now, or in 1904?
     

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