Water Wars

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Desertrat, Apr 25, 2007.

  1. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    Terlingua, Texas
    #1
    The subject of Peak Oil has pretty well been beaten to death. From what I read, here and there, not too many folks seem aware of the problems about potable water supplies. Call this an update, I guess.

    Any Californians here acquainted with the All American Canal?

    http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N20413891.htm

    The 22 bilion gallons of leakage is 67,515 acre-feet. In that climatological area, that's sufficient to irrigate only some 23,000 acres. A stated, it's drinking water for a half-million people.

    Water woes are everywhere:

    http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/fromthefield/477686/117707448673.htm

    I found this particular article of interest in part because of who is leading this effort. Many posts here at this website have been quite hostile toward both religion in general and Christianity in particular. The water problems date back for over thirty-five years--insofar as news items about it--with the still-ongoing desertification of the Sahel. (the Sahel is the transition zone between the Sahara and the fertile/wet lands to its south.)

    Other areas in the US besides LA are in trouble. Las Vegas is one example. Even in the wetter parts of the nation, arguments abound: Atlanta vs Birmingham vs Chattanooga. Some Texas cities have problems, including the El Paso and Juarez, Mexico twin cities.

    And the water table of the Ogalalla Formation of the Great Plains is dropping.

    Water arguments are also ongoing in the Middle East. The Tigris and Euphrates don't just serve Iraq. The Palestinians have serious problems.

    And every now and then the news from China and India isn't all that happifying.

    I dunno. Too many people, too many demands? Looks like it.

    'Rat
     
  2. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

    Joined:
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    #2
    Now here's a topic where I can give those in the Middle East some props. They do a heck of a job with water desalination plants and with all the water available in the oceans and the seas, there's no reason this problem should exist for long anywhere. Even a land locked country can have it piped inland.
     
  3. Desertrat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Sure. Nothing new about "desalt". The cost aspect isn't a great problem from the standpoint of drinking water. It's a very large problem when you think of industrial process water, or any cooling water for condensers.

    Forget desalt insofar as irrigation. The economic value of irrigation water is roughly $60 for a million gallons. (About $20 per acre-foot.)

    Our little local water supply corporation uses reverse osmosis on lousy water from a deep well. Coalinga, California, has (had?) a dual water system with three taps in the kitchen and bathroom: "Hot and cold, and potable". Boron in the groundwater; desalt only for drinking water.

    'Rat
     
  4. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #4
    Sure. This plumbing system (California's three aqueducts) was constructed at a time when water was abundant, but located in the "wrong" places to supply the growing urban and agricultural areas. The main task was to transport the water -- efficiency and waste wasn't an issue. In fact, when the Owens Valley Aqueduct was completed, the City of Los Angeles hadn't even constructed adequate reservoirs to store the flows in Southern California. The excess was simply dumped into the ocean. Much of the Southwest shares the runoff of the Colorado River basin. California, Nevada and Arizona are all drawing off of this dwindling supply.
     
  5. Desertrat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    Yeah, figure out a way to provide water, and get a tunnel named after you. Anyhow, I just hope a bunch of 9/11ers don't figure out a way to do serious hurt by turning off the water...

    We're an interesting society: Less and less farming in areas where rainfall exceeds evaporation, and more and more irrigated farming in areas where evaporation rates exceed five and even ten feet per year.

    'Rat
     
  6. princealfie macrumors 68030

    princealfie

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    #6
    That's alright as long as Utah can siphon its water from Houston! :p
     
  7. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

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    #7
    Or worse still do some very serious harm by dropping some nasty chemicals into it.
     
  8. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #8
    If you're referring to William Mulholland, he left his office in shame. Not much got named after him, considering his importance.
     
  9. Desertrat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    Jaffa, chemicals have been tried; too much dilution factor.

    Regardless, people focus so much on political issues, and pay little or no attention to those things upon which their very lives depend.

    I'm sensitized on the water issue because my family went broke in a small farm/ranch operation, due to the onset of the drouth of the 1950s in central Texas. I later worked for a water resource agency in Texas. I got a guided tour of the entire California Water Project, among other experiences. So, I pay attention to "water stuff" in the US as well as around the world.

    Too many folks seem to thing that water is somehow made by that faucet. You don't need dams and reservoirs, or treatment plants and pipelines...

    'Rat
     
  10. MACDRIVE macrumors 68000

    MACDRIVE

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    #10
    The future wars will be fought over water rights, yes.
     
  11. princealfie macrumors 68030

    princealfie

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    #11
    Second Civil War... SO it's East versus West now? :rolleyes:
     
  12. Desertrat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
    "Second Civil War... SO it's East versus West now?"

    No, no, no!

    Wet vs. dry. :D

    Just for chuckles, look up "NAWAPA" as one idea for a solution to future water problems.

    'Rat
     
  13. pdham macrumors member

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    #13
    I know you weren't indorsing NAWAPA Rat...
    But, I am not a fan of the idea. Damming causing extensive environmental damage, and to me, it is not acceptable to drastically alter the natural landscape of Canada and Alaska to provide water to development that was built in locations that never should have seen build-up. And, because of poor growth management and planning, those areas have developed into the lease resource efficient in the country.

    Providing water to Mexico is a good idea though; seeing as it is those very US cities that have caused the coloroado river to dry up before it enters Mexico.
     
  14. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #14
    Ah, thanks for the Lewis Mumford quote. I've always liked the remark he made when Penn Station was demolished and the railroad concourses squeezed under the PanAm building (somewhat paraphrased probably): "New Yorkers used to enter the city like kings. Now they scuttle in like rats."
     
  15. Desertrat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #15
    pdham, I've long had the rather jaundiced view that a helluva lot of people have moved into the wrong place. Some get harvested by hurricanes; others overuse a resource base such as water.

    But people vote and politicians want to be re-elected, and so they attempt to give the voters what's asked for. Trouble is, political power can't make it rain, so you wind up with dams and reservoirs and canals. "Rain falls upon us, free; water comes expensively."

    My guess is that the only reason that grandiose schemes like NAWAPA aren't more popular is the raw dollar cost. In the late 1960s when it was dreamed up, the estimate was some $50 billion. Most of the right-of-way was $50/acre, and diesel was 19¢ a gallon. And, I'd bet, the time for construction would run way more than twenty years--after 20 years of court squabbles. So, ain't gonna happen. (Which is what I told my bosses at the Texas Water Development Board, back around 1970-ish.)

    Odds are that the Cal. Water Project is the last of its kind.

    'Rat
     
  16. 2jaded2care macrumors 6502

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    Atlanta
    #16
    And yet, we keep inviting even more people in, without making the sacrifices needed to accommodate them.

    I fear my suburban county will soon be in the same straits as the city of Atlanta -- they didn't spend enough to maintain the sewer system for decades, now they are having to impose onerous taxes to meet court-mandated standards. (I'll bet they didn't give taxpayers a break during those decades of infrastructure neglect, however.) Anyway, no one likes to pay higher taxes, and not many politicians like to impose them, but sometimes you've gotta do what you've gotta do. And soon we're gonna have to invest in gray water systems as well, just to provide water to all the people crowding in.

    Hope this doesn't ramble too much. Sometimes I just have to vent.
     
  17. Desertrat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #17
    The greater Hotlanta area has as many people now as the whole state of Jawgia did, back around 1989. I re-married, to a Thomasville lady, and started reading the Atlanta unConstitutional about that time. Not only sewer problems, up there, but they're getting tight on raw water supplies, as well...

    Stop by Johnny's Hideaway, okay? :)

    'Rat
     
  18. pdham macrumors member

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    #18

    Out of curiosity; are you served by the same sewer district as the city of Atlanta?

    Rat', I completely agree with your previous post.
     

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