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Politics Are Water Wars in the Near Future?

southernhybrid

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I realized that there are serious shortages of water globally, but until I read the recent article from the NYTimes, I was not aware of the severity of the problem in our neighbor to the South. It also made me aware how much of the Western US may be within a decade or less of suffering from severe water shortages. I will try to link an editorial that discusses that, when I have time.

This is a gifted link.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/03/...H69U16jWYe5HC18PchQReC2rc6sQ8w&smid=url-share

The numbers underlining the crisis are startling: In July, eight of Mexico’s 32 states were experiencing extreme to moderate drought, resulting in 1,546 of the country’s 2,463 municipalities confronting water shortages, according to the National Water Commission.

By mid-July, about 48 percent of Mexico’s territory was suffering drought, according to the commission, compared with about 28 percent of the country’s territory during the same period last year.
While tying a single drought to human-caused climate change requires analysis, scientists have no doubt that global warming can alter rainfall patterns around the world and is increasing the likelihood of droughts.
Across the border in recent years, most of the Western half of the United States has been in drought, with conditions ranging from moderate to severe.For the region, this period is now the driest two decades in 1,200 years.

“Here you have to chase the water,” said Claudia Muñiz, 38, whose household is often without running water for up to a week. “In a moment of desperation, people explode,” she said about the violence that has flared as people fight over what water there is.

Imagine trying to put on the tap, and it's totally dry, so you have to wait in line for the government to allow you to fill your buckets, assuming you can even find buckets.

The crisis is particularly acute in Monterrey, one of Mexico’s most important economic hubs and where the entire metropolitan area of about five million people is affected by drought, according to officials. Some neighborhoods in Monterrey have been without water for 75 days, leading many schools to close before the scheduled summer break.

The situation in the city has gotten so dire, a visiting journalist could not find any drinking water for sale at several stores, including a Walmart.
Buckets, too, are scarce at local stores — or being sold at astronomically high prices — as Monterrey’s residents scrape together containers to collect water supplied by government trucks sent to the driest neighborhoods. Some residents clean out trash cans to ferry water home, children struggling to help carry what can amount to 450 pounds of water.
While Monterrey’s poorest neighborhoods are the hardest hit, the crisis is affecting everyone, including the wealthy.

It's effecting even the wealthy. Wow!
 

southernhybrid

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Here's another gifted piece that explains the water shortages in the Western US, assuming anyone is interested.

nytimes.com/2022/08/04/opinion/drought-climate-colorado-river.html?unlocked_article_code=AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACEIPuomT1JKd6J17Vw1cRCfTTMQmqxCdw_PIxftm3iWka3DFDm4eiOMNAo6B_EGKabBketQzw3GQQN5EOaMiAfd1yuhFNkBqDhOpvJae3pQ

About 40 million people rely on the Colorado River as it flows from Colorado to Mexico. But overuse and climate change have contributed to its reservoirs drying up at such a rapid rate that the probability of disastrous disruptions to the deliveries of water and hydroelectric power across the Southwest have become increasingly likely. Now the seven states that depend on the river must negotiate major cuts in water use by mid-August or have them imposed by the federal government.

Those cuts are merely the beginning as the region struggles to adapt to an increasingly arid West. The rules for operating the river’s shrinking reservoirs expire in 2026, and those seven states must forge a new agreement on water use for farmers, businesses and cities.

What’s worse, all of this is happening in a region that is one of the fastest growing in the United States, even as the signs of an impending crisis become more pronounced. Outside of Las Vegas, Lake Mead, the nation’s largest reservoir by volume, fed by the Colorado and three smaller tributaries, is nearly three-quarters empty and at its lowest level since April 1937, when it was first being filled. The 22-year downward trend is “a stark illustration of climate change and a long-term drought that may be the worst in the U.S. West in 12 centuries,” according to NASA’s Earth Observatory program.

Does anyone who lives in the Western US have any concerns about not having enough water, in the coming years?
 

Jimmy Higgins

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Water will be available, they need to adjust their sources. Desalination and reclaimed wastewater will likely be two of the bigger ones. It'll cost money, but honestly, let's make one thing clear, the Government spent a fortune on water works projects in the SW to making living there possible for the last 80 or so years. Time is due for the next investment.

Personally, my favorite plan is the one from people who think it is hydraulically possible to send Mississippi River water to the SW.
 

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I was going to mention the Colorado River.
 

TV and credit cards

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I remember San Diego got it's act together after a water shortage in the mid-nineties. I believe they were reliant on a single source then. They diversified sources, spent $1B on a desalination plant, and provided incentives to rip out lawns. They claim to be good to go until 2045. The precious stuff cost a bit more, like 25% more but hey, what price water, right?
 

Elixir

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My back yard last evening. This is a super dry hillside. We got almost 2” of rain in less than an hour. That water is flowing at dangerous speeds.
1659707304605.jpeg
 

Harry Bosch

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Here's another gifted piece that explains the water shortages in the Western US, assuming anyone is interested.

nytimes.com/2022/08/04/opinion/drought-climate-colorado-river.html?unlocked_article_code=AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACEIPuomT1JKd6J17Vw1cRCfTTMQmqxCdw_PIxftm3iWka3DFDm4eiOMNAo6B_EGKabBketQzw3GQQN5EOaMiAfd1yuhFNkBqDhOpvJae3pQ

About 40 million people rely on the Colorado River as it flows from Colorado to Mexico. But overuse and climate change have contributed to its reservoirs drying up at such a rapid rate that the probability of disastrous disruptions to the deliveries of water and hydroelectric power across the Southwest have become increasingly likely. Now the seven states that depend on the river must negotiate major cuts in water use by mid-August or have them imposed by the federal government.

Those cuts are merely the beginning as the region struggles to adapt to an increasingly arid West. The rules for operating the river’s shrinking reservoirs expire in 2026, and those seven states must forge a new agreement on water use for farmers, businesses and cities.

What’s worse, all of this is happening in a region that is one of the fastest growing in the United States, even as the signs of an impending crisis become more pronounced. Outside of Las Vegas, Lake Mead, the nation’s largest reservoir by volume, fed by the Colorado and three smaller tributaries, is nearly three-quarters empty and at its lowest level since April 1937, when it was first being filled. The 22-year downward trend is “a stark illustration of climate change and a long-term drought that may be the worst in the U.S. West in 12 centuries,” according to NASA’s Earth Observatory program.

Does anyone who lives in the Western US have any concerns about not having enough water, in the coming years?

My back yard last evening. This is a super dry hillside. We got almost 2” of rain in less than an hour. That water is flowing at dangerous speeds.
View attachment 39731
Dang. Hope that you and home are safe. But this ironically highlights the real bad issue regarding droughts: the heavy rains after. The droughts cause very dry land. When land is dry, it doesn't absorb water as easily. It pours rain, causing flash floods, that rips out all the vegetation and natural water barriers, making the drought even worse after the heavy rains. Secondly, the drought damaged land which can't contain heavy rain as easily, prevents underground natural aquifers from filling up. It's a vicious circle.
 
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southernhybrid

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Water will be available, they need to adjust their sources. Desalination and reclaimed wastewater will likely be two of the bigger ones. It'll cost money, but honestly, let's make one thing clear, the Government spent a fortune on water works projects in the SW to making living there possible for the last 80 or so years. Time is due for the next investment.

Personally, my favorite plan is the one from people who think it is hydraulically possible to send Mississippi River water to the SW.
I agree that the government will do everything possible to improve the water supply, but is anything being done as of now? Hoe long does it take to build a desalination plant?

I knew that waters shortages will be a problem in the future, but until I read about what's going on in about 2/3rds of Mexico, I didn't give it that much thought. And, considering the disarray in our own country right now, it's hard to be optimistic about the future.
 

southernhybrid

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https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2020/04/28/uniting-combat-water-shortages-across-country

A clean and reliable water supply is critical to our nation’s future, but freshwater is a finite resource.

Through innovation, science and proven conservation practices, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is working to develop new tools and technologies to help farmers, ranchers and private forest landowners conserve and protect our natural resources, like our freshwater supply.

Water reuse has become a rapidly expanding tool in our conservation toolbox. It reclaims water from a variety of sources then treats it, allowing that water to be reused for agriculture and irrigation, potable water supplies, groundwater replenishment, industrial processes, and other uses. Water reuse can provide alternatives to tapping into precious water supplies, helping to enhance water security, sustainability and resilience.

Water reuse sounds like a good idea, but is it being done yet anywhere? Does anyone know much about any plans for reusing water? I think I saw something about this a few years ago on a science tv show, but I don't think it's being done on a large scale, at least not yet.
 

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The second water inlet is now visible at hoover dam. The third inlet is at the bottom, but once the water level at lake mead gets below 895 feet water won't flow through the dam anymore. It is currently at 1050 feet.

Yes, I'm worried. We're installing artificial turf and local water heaters near the sinks and showers. I am hopeful for desalinization plants but haven't heard about any plans recently.

aa
 

southernhybrid

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I found an article about what England is trying to do in order to prevent huge water shortages, as this is a global problem. It mentions that desalinization is extremely expensive and it causes a huge carbon output. I'm not at all knowledgable about these things, which is why I've been looking for information. Excuse me for posting so many links. I feel certain that if global water shortages should be come severe, it could cause chaos between countries and a huge rise in immigrants trying to escape the countries that are impacted the worst.

https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-17600062

The above article discusses some "radical" plans to reduce water usage and improve water availability.

Desalination remains a "very expensive, very power hungry" process, according to Jacob Tompkins, managing director of Waterwise, an organisation focused on decreasing water consumption.
"We can always engineer water, we can build desalination plants all around the coast, but the cost and carbon impact would be huge."
Water is "heavy and incompressible, so if you start pumping it uphill, you pay lots of money", Green adds.
Even after the water has been purified there's the remaining challenge of what to do with the leftover salt.
"We'd have to get rid of all the salt, would it be dropped back into the sea?" Tompkins says.
The WWF also warns large-scale seawater desalination could endanger marine life and is calling for further research into the tolerance of marine organisms and ecosystems to higher-salinity and brine waste.
 

southernhybrid

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Almost every article I've read mentions that people who live in areas where water shortages are likely in the near future, need to reduce their own water consumption by at least 25%. Lawns need to be replaced for starters, as AA has already done.

We never have had to water our lawn but I know that those in the Western part of the country usually need to water the lawn to keep it from dying. No? I'd let my lawn die before I considered watering it. Would most people be willing to do that without being forced. One doesn't need to use artificial turf, as there are many plants that grow naturally in desert like conditions.
 

Alcoholic Actuary

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Almost every article I've read mentions that people who live in areas where water shortages are likely in the near future, need to reduce their own water consumption by at least 25%. Lawns need to be replaced for starters, as AA has already done.

We never have had to water our lawn but I know that those in the Western part of the country usually need to water the lawn to keep it from dying. No? I'd let my lawn die before I considered watering it. Would most people be willing to do that without being forced. One doesn't need to use artificial turf, as there are many plants that grow naturally in desert like conditions.
We considered succulents, but then your yard just becomes a big decoration. You can at least use artificial turf for activities.

aa
 

bilby

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It'll cost money, but honestly, let's make one thing clear, the Government spent a fortune on water works projects in the SW to making living there possible for the last 80 or so years. Time is due for the next investment.
^ This.

There's no shortage of water. There's a shortage of infrastructure, and a shortage of the will to spend money on public works.

The only reason most of these places are inhabited and inhabitable in the first place is that a shitload of infrastructure was put in place, at great expense, by governments that wanted to encourage the development of these regions as viable places to live.

The lack of political will to maintain, repair, replace or upgrade that infrastructure isn't due to atmospheric changes, it's due to the rightward drift of the political climate in the USA, and the failure by right wing anti-government loons to recognise that the vast majority of their life support systems came from government in the first place, and not from god, nature, or the unaided toil of their parents and grandparents.
 

Jimmy Higgins

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https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2020/04/28/uniting-combat-water-shortages-across-country

A clean and reliable water supply is critical to our nation’s future, but freshwater is a finite resource.

Through innovation, science and proven conservation practices, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is working to develop new tools and technologies to help farmers, ranchers and private forest landowners conserve and protect our natural resources, like our freshwater supply.

Water reuse has become a rapidly expanding tool in our conservation toolbox. It reclaims water from a variety of sources then treats it, allowing that water to be reused for agriculture and irrigation, potable water supplies, groundwater replenishment, industrial processes, and other uses. Water reuse can provide alternatives to tapping into precious water supplies, helping to enhance water security, sustainability and resilience.

Water reuse sounds like a good idea, but is it being done yet anywhere? Does anyone know much about any plans for reusing water? I think I saw something about this a few years ago on a science tv show, but I don't think it's being done on a large scale, at least not yet.
It is stepping up. I think the bigger issue would be hydraulics to get the treated water back to the top of the system.
 

TSwizzle

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We may have a shortage of water in SoCal right now but on the bright side, we do have a multi billion dollar high speed train that goes nowhere. :thumbsup: Thanks governor Newsom.
 

bilby

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We may have a shortage of water in SoCal right now but on the bright side, we do have a multi billion dollar high speed train that goes nowhere. :thumbsup: Thanks governor Newsom.
"Don't blame me, I only do everything possible to block spending on infrastructure!"

:rolleyesa:

You fucking deserve the crapstorm you are about to endure. You are so blissfully unaware of your dependence on critical systems that you feel smugly gleeful at seeing them deteriorate, because it gives you an excuse to deride those who are desperately trying to save you from your own ignorance and arrogance.

If you were on the Titanic, you would be walking around with a sledgehammer, smashing holes in the lifeboats, to demonstrate to everyone how they wouldn't stand up to an iceberg either, and that they should therefore blame the White Star Line for their predicament.

You are not a part of the solution; You are a part of the problem. And you are proud of that fact, which makes you a serious danger to everyone around you.
 

Oleg

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We may have a shortage of water in SoCal right now but on the bright side, we do have a multi billion dollar high speed train that goes nowhere. :thumbsup: Thanks governor Newsom.
"Don't blame me, I only do everything possible to block spending on infrastructure!"

:rolleyesa:

You fucking deserve the crapstorm you are about to endure. You are so blissfully unaware of your dependence on critical systems that you feel smugly gleeful at seeing them deteriorate, because it gives you an excuse to deride those who are desperately trying to save you from your own ignorance and arrogance.

If you were on the Titanic, you would be walking around with a sledgehammer, smashing holes in the lifeboats, to demonstrate to everyone how they wouldn't stand up to an iceberg either, and that they should therefore blame the White Star Line for their predicament.

You are not a part of the solution; You are a part of the problem. And you are proud of that fact, which makes you a serious danger to everyone around you.
Isn’t the problem in CA that those in authority are incompetent? Not really about the amount spent on infrastructure? ‘cause that’s been a lot.
 

Loren Pechtel

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My back yard last evening. This is a super dry hillside. We got almost 2” of rain in less than an hour. That water is flowing at dangerous speeds.
View attachment 39731

For the last month we have been getting flash flood warnings at least once a week. We sure need the water, but please, not so continuously!
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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Almost every article I've read mentions that people who live in areas where water shortages are likely in the near future, need to reduce their own water consumption by at least 25%. Lawns need to be replaced for starters, as AA has already done.

We never have had to water our lawn but I know that those in the Western part of the country usually need to water the lawn to keep it from dying. No? I'd let my lawn die before I considered watering it. Would most people be willing to do that without being forced. One doesn't need to use artificial turf, as there are many plants that grow naturally in desert like conditions.
We considered succulents, but then your yard just becomes a big decoration. You can at least use artificial turf for activities.

aa
I'm curious if it is a permeable turf. If it isn't, shame on you.
 

bilby

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We may have a shortage of water in SoCal right now but on the bright side, we do have a multi billion dollar high speed train that goes nowhere. :thumbsup: Thanks governor Newsom.
"Don't blame me, I only do everything possible to block spending on infrastructure!"

:rolleyesa:

You fucking deserve the crapstorm you are about to endure. You are so blissfully unaware of your dependence on critical systems that you feel smugly gleeful at seeing them deteriorate, because it gives you an excuse to deride those who are desperately trying to save you from your own ignorance and arrogance.

If you were on the Titanic, you would be walking around with a sledgehammer, smashing holes in the lifeboats, to demonstrate to everyone how they wouldn't stand up to an iceberg either, and that they should therefore blame the White Star Line for their predicament.

You are not a part of the solution; You are a part of the problem. And you are proud of that fact, which makes you a serious danger to everyone around you.
Isn’t the problem in CA that those in authority are incompetent?
It seems unlikely. I mean, their political opponents make that claim, but unless you have evidence that people without an axe to grind also make it, it seems more likely that those in authority in CA are roughly as incompetent as those in authority elsewhere.
Not really about the amount spent on infrastructure? ‘cause that’s been a lot.
Has it? What constitutes "a lot"?

How many big water infrastructure projects have there been in the recent past - say, the last couple of decades - compared to the number and size of such projects in the more distant past - say, the nineteen fifties and sixties? Or earlier?
 

Alcoholic Actuary

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Almost every article I've read mentions that people who live in areas where water shortages are likely in the near future, need to reduce their own water consumption by at least 25%. Lawns need to be replaced for starters, as AA has already done.

We never have had to water our lawn but I know that those in the Western part of the country usually need to water the lawn to keep it from dying. No? I'd let my lawn die before I considered watering it. Would most people be willing to do that without being forced. One doesn't need to use artificial turf, as there are many plants that grow naturally in desert like conditions.
We considered succulents, but then your yard just becomes a big decoration. You can at least use artificial turf for activities.

aa
I'm curious if it is a permeable turf. If it isn't, shame on you.
It is

aa
 

Alcoholic Actuary

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It'll cost money, but honestly, let's make one thing clear, the Government spent a fortune on water works projects in the SW to making living there possible for the last 80 or so years. Time is due for the next investment.
^ This.

There's no shortage of water. There's a shortage of infrastructure, and a shortage of the will to spend money on public works.

The only reason most of these places are inhabited and inhabitable in the first place is that a shitload of infrastructure was put in place, at great expense, by governments that wanted to encourage the development of these regions as viable places to live.

The lack of political will to maintain, repair, replace or upgrade that infrastructure isn't due to atmospheric changes, it's due to the rightward drift of the political climate in the USA, and the failure by right wing anti-government loons to recognise that the vast majority of their life support systems came from government in the first place, and not from god, nature, or the unaided toil of their parents and grandparents.
Also, the primary thing causing the draught also can create energy. Both Solar and Wind are gradually replacing non-renewables so desalinization shouldn't be so expensive for long.

aa
 

Jimmy Higgins

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It'll cost money, but honestly, let's make one thing clear, the Government spent a fortune on water works projects in the SW to making living there possible for the last 80 or so years. Time is due for the next investment.
^ This.

There's no shortage of water. There's a shortage of infrastructure, and a shortage of the will to spend money on public works.

The only reason most of these places are inhabited and inhabitable in the first place is that a shitload of infrastructure was put in place, at great expense, by governments that wanted to encourage the development of these regions as viable places to live.

The lack of political will to maintain, repair, replace or upgrade that infrastructure isn't due to atmospheric changes, it's due to the rightward drift of the political climate in the USA, and the failure by right wing anti-government loons to recognise that the vast majority of their life support systems came from government in the first place, and not from god, nature, or the unaided toil of their parents and grandparents.
Also, the primary thing causing the draught also can create energy. Both Solar and Wind are gradually replacing non-renewables so desalinization shouldn't be so expensive for long.

aa
You be trollin' bilby now. :D
 

Elixir

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My back yard last evening. This is a super dry hillside. We got almost 2” of rain in less than an hour. That water is flowing at dangerous speeds.
View attachment 39731
Neighbor’s rain gauge registered 3” in under an hour. It was pretty incredible. Something like it happened about 20 years ago, but not since. No big damage … a couple inches in the garage, dried out today. Greenhouse water line was10”, but it drained too and will be okay if I can dry it out before mold and mushrooms take over.
Here’s the dog yard mid storm
1659747859726.png
 

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I guess it depends where you live. We don't have water shortages here in my area of Florida.
 

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nytimes.com/2022/08/04/opinion/drought-climate-colorado-river.html?unlocked_article_code=AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACEIPuomT1JKd6J17Vw1cRCfTTMQmqxCdw_PIxftm3iWka3DFDm4eiOMNAo6B_EGKabBketQzw3GQQN5EOaMiAfd1yuhFNkBqDhOpvJae3pQ

Miscellaneous remarks:
  • The Colorado River is (was?) one of the great rivers of North America. Here you can see part of this great river gushing to its mouth in the Golfo de California:
    oecoloradodelta_06_03_daleturner-tnc_lg-_march2014_v1_current_ds_1200x450.jpg


    Usage of the river's water is often treated as a family squabble among U.S. states. If I were Mexico and had nuclear weapons, I might demand a better seat at the table! :cool:

  • The Board has Pollyannas who, in other threads, insist that depletion of rivers and aquifers due to overpopulation is NOT an issue — just desalinate some salt water. (Or move California's agriculture industry to the Yukon — I can't keep up with Pollyanna's solutions.) Yet the articles about water shortage generally overlook such simple solutions. What gives?

  • I don't have to fly all the way to USA to hear about rivers running out of potable water. Long-term drought and upstream dams have hit the Mekong with a double-whammy: "The Mekong River ecosystem is on the verge of irreversible collapse due to the accumulative effects of climate change and increased numbers of upstream dams as well as other human-made activities such as deforestation, sand mining, extensive irrigation for agriculture and wetland conversion." "In some places in the north, the mighty Mekong has slowed almost to a trickle. The water has changed to an ominous color and begun filling with globs of algae. Catches from the world’s largest inland fishery have dwindled, and the fish that are being caught are so emaciated that they can only be used to feed other fish." China controls the upstream Mekong and is building massive dams and reservoirs. But again, the downstream countries dependent on that River do not have nuclear weapons.

    The Ganges — holiest of all rivers, according to some — is another river in trouble. Again this may be partly a geopolitical crisis: China has some control over headwaters in Tibet and the glaciers which feed the Ganges.

  • Finally I'll mention that southernhybrid's link didn't work for me (I got the usual "free articles used up" message). Does that mean the gifting was used up by the time I clicked?

    I was able to use the URL (with the '?' and everything after stripped off) without problem on Chrome, where I have Javascript disabled. This gives easy access to NYTimes, though it doesn't work for Washington Post IIRC.

    (To get Chrome to load nicely and promptly I first had to KILL the "Google Chrome Installer"; I killed an Adobe Flash Installer for good measure. Have I mentioned that I think my laptop may be riddled with malware? It doesn't bother me much, in part because I regard Microsoft- and Google-ware as the paragons of malware themselves!)
 

Politesse

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The Board has Pollyannas who, in other threads, insist that depletion of rivers and aquifers due to overpopulation is NOT an issue — just desalinate some salt water. (Or move California's agriculture industry to the Yukon — I can't keep up with Pollyanna's solutions.) Yet the articles about water shortage generally overlook such simple solutions. What gives?

Both "solutions" would create more problems than they solved, though we make further advances in desalinization technology every year, so that may yet prove to become a larger portion of the solution in coming years.

The idea of "moving" all of California's farms and Republicans up to the Yukon is charming in a comic book sort of way, but I hope you aren't suggesting that this would solve any water related problems. No, almonds wouldn't grow up there anyway. The solutions to ag overuse must be found here, and as with the other case, we have not been idle. California umiversities like UC Davis and UC Riverside have pushed water efficiency technology ahead to monumental effect over the last few decades, and will continue.
 

southernhybrid

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Finally I'll mention that southernhybrid's link didn't work for me (I got the usual "free articles used up" message). Does that mean the gifting was used up by the time I clicked?

Sorry about that. Gifted articles are supposed to be available for two weeks, but for some reason, they don't always work.

I missed a few posts. Has anyone mentioned the problems with desalinization, regarding the excessive carbon output and the possible damage to sea life, etc. Does anyone know if research is being done to make desalinization less harmful to the environment? I admit I am trying to learn more about the ways to solve these water shortages, which is why I'm adding so many links.

I did see a list of states most impacted and much to my delight, Georgia is one of about 5 states that isn't expected to be negatively impacted by water shortages. Still, we do sometimes have droughts here, so nothing is certain.
 

southernhybrid

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No. People are more likely to fight over that their little god told them.
Perhaps, but there has been some fighting in Mexico due to the severe water shortage there. Government workers who deliver water have been attacked for not providing as much water as residents want. Plus, there are a lot of articles that use the term "water wars", which is why I chose that term. Regardless, water shortages are going to cause a lot of misery.

Here's another article about the European water shortage. Hope this one will be available for anyone who wants to read it.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/05/...w8GxrO4kL68n3v8dr5hh-ASGvxuU9g&smid=url-share

France declared Friday that it was in the grip of its “most severe” drought, one that has also desiccated large areas of Europe this summer, causing wildfires and imperiling crops astemperature records shatter across the continent.

“This drought is the most severe recorded in our country,” Élisabeth Borne, the French prime minister, said in a statement on Friday.

Ms. Borne said France had received insufficient rainfall and had been hit in recent weeks by an “accumulation of successive heat waves,” increasing demand for water even as precious reserves evaporated in seemingly endless days of sweltering heat. She urged the French to be “very vigilant” about their water usage.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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We're not unlike the Kaibab deer. You overpopulate and overconsume, you suffer. You forget you're a piece of a natural balanced framework, you weaken and collapse. Let's just keep kicking the can down the road. Oh, eventually you run out of road. Maybe we already have.
 

TomC

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We're not unlike the Kaibab deer. You overpopulate and overconsume, you suffer. You forget you're a piece of a natural balanced framework, you weaken and collapse. Let's just keep kicking the can down the road. Oh, eventually you run out of road. Maybe we already have.
I don't know who, but someone once described man as "The rational animal".

Yeah, right.
Tom
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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We're not unlike the Kaibab deer. You overpopulate and overconsume, you suffer. You forget you're a piece of a natural balanced framework, you weaken and collapse. Let's just keep kicking the can down the road. Oh, eventually you run out of road. Maybe we already have.
I don't know who, but someone once described man as "The rational animal".

Yeah, right.
Tom
Even idiots can do things rational.

We lived in El Paso for two years in an upstairs apartment with a swamp cooler. Are swamp coolers still the thing? Pretty cheap way to cool I thought when the humidity is low. Wouldn't work around here but the AC gets used sparingly. Wouldn't need it at all except for the heat island effect. Friends living in the boonies cool off at night au naturale.
 

Rhea

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One thing I would like to see is much MUCH more regulation of factories that bottle water.

I believe there is one in California that has nearly completey dried up a lake, because the original permit had no limits on it. I believe those should be rescinded and re-written.

Bottled water is a huge cause of water being wasted. When I see them after an event, with many of them half full and about to be dumped, I can only cringe at the community whose source was used to fill them - perhaps california - only to be dumped half-used in an area with so much water that we don’t even get forest fires. We should be using our own tapwater and not makig these wasteful cases of bottled water an expectation at every event.


Anecdote: I remember one of my California cousins visiting and as we drove on the interstate (80 in PA) someone in the ca ahead of us flicked a cigarette out the window. He freaked out. Called out what he saw and expected us to stop and make sure the flame was out and call the police. Different for California Boy than for us, where it is just nasty litter. He couldn’t believe we would see that and just keep driving.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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Bottled water is a huge cause of water being wasted.
Personally, I see single use plastic bottles as the bigger problem.
Tom
That's the point. She isn't talking about the five gallon or larger bottles you see at water stations. When I see people leaving stores with five cases of plastic water I just shake my head. Where I worked the staff went through cases. I think I drank one bottle of plastic water there in 30 years.
 

TSwizzle

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We're not unlike the Kaibab deer. You overpopulate and overconsume, you suffer.
Unlike deer, we humans have technology to overcome natural constraints. But here in California, our incompetent and corrupt government can’t or won’t address our water shortage problem.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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We're not unlike the Kaibab deer. You overpopulate and overconsume, you suffer.
Unlike deer, we humans have technology to overcome natural constraints. But here in California, our incompetent and corrupt government can’t or won’t address our water shortage problem.
Start that high tech rain dance. The world is watching.
 

Loren Pechtel

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  • The Board has Pollyannas who, in other threads, insist that depletion of rivers and aquifers due to overpopulation is NOT an issue — just desalinate some salt water. (Or move California's agriculture industry to the Yukon — I can't keep up with Pollyanna's solutions.) Yet the articles about water shortage generally overlook such simple solutions. What gives?
In the long run the only solution is going to be desalinization, but that's going to be expensive and everyone wants to resolve the situation by taking more for themselves and making someone else bear the burden.
 

bilby

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The Board has Pollyannas who, in other threads, insist that depletion of rivers and aquifers due to overpopulation is NOT an issue — just desalinate some salt water. (Or move California's agriculture industry to the Yukon — I can't keep up with Pollyanna's solutions.) Yet the articles about water shortage generally overlook such simple solutions. What gives?
Well, for a start "overpopulation" isn't a thing. ;)

Depletion of rivers and aquifers is due to locally inadequate infrastructure. People cannot live in deserts without water supply infrastructure, so they are left with two options: Move to non-desert locations, or pay the price of the necessary infrastructure.

As climate changes, they may well find that that price goes up. When it does, they can choose to pay the extra, or leave. But they generally don't want to leave (fair enough), and they don't really grasp that they need to pay more, because they've acquired the habit of taking the infrastructure for granted (because people are dumb).

So they demand that 'somebody' do something about it. While claiming that spending money on a solution is somehow unacceptable. Did I mention people are dumb?

People live, and even farm, in arid regions by the application of technologies (often cheap and simple technologies) to the problem of insufficient rainfall, or of insufficient standing water, or both. When cheap and simple technologies are inadequate, they can use more expensive and complex ones, or leave.

The technologies aren't particularly difficult to implement. They just cost money. Saying "Americans don't need to worry too much because they are wealthy enough to bear the additional costs" isn't pollyannaish. It's a simple fact.

It's a different issue for somewhere like, say, Sudan, where the local economy cannot support the additional costs of such infrastructure - and in such cases the options are either to obtain the money (by growing the economy, or as aid from countries that can afford to pay, or as debt forgiveness from the former colonial powers that are bleeding them white, or something else, or a combination of these); Or to move off the drought affected land; Or to die.

But in California or Arizona, it's easy. Pay to fix the issue, or stop using the land. Nobody has a god given right to grow almonds at somebody else's expense. Any Californian can have as much fresh water as they could possibly want, delivered to any location in the state that they want it, at a few months notice. But it may well be very expensive by comparison to what they've been in the habit of paying.

Desalinated seawater might easily cost five or six dollars per cubic metre*, once you pay for the whole system of plant, pipes, pumps, (and some components that don't start with "p") that is needed to get that water reliably supplied to an inland location at high elevation.

That's likely too expensive to make almond farming profitable. It's certainly not a particularly significant expense by the standards of a Californian cost of living, though. Even a profligate family that uses far more water than average would not see their water costing anywhere close to what they spend on other essentials such as food and clothing.

Pointing out these facts may be uncomfortable for almond farmers who have been in the habit of getting their water for next to nothing, and of believing that the resulting profits are solely derived from the sweat of their own brow. But there's nothing pollyannaish about them. California can (and eventually must) afford to pay for the necessary infrastructure. It's not particularly expensive by Californian standards, and it's not optional.

I doubt that even Californians are dumb enough to die of thirst because they refuse to pay a few cents in additional taxes for the provision of essential infrastructure. But if they are, I am struggling to see how that would be a major loss to humanity.






*Real world data suggests that actual costs are likely about half of this; I am deliberately erring on the side of caution
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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  • The Board has Pollyannas who, in other threads, insist that depletion of rivers and aquifers due to overpopulation is NOT an issue — just desalinate some salt water. (Or move California's agriculture industry to the Yukon — I can't keep up with Pollyanna's solutions.) Yet the articles about water shortage generally overlook such simple solutions. What gives?
In the long run the only solution is going to be desalinization, but that's going to be expensive and everyone wants to resolve the situation by taking more for themselves and making someone else bear the burden.
Or we could get all that extra carbon out of the atmosphere.
 

Rhea

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Bottled water is a huge cause of water being wasted.
Personally, I see single use plastic bottles as the bigger problem.
Tom
That's the point. She isn't talking about the five gallon or larger bottles you see at water stations. When I see people leaving stores with five cases of plastic water I just shake my head. Where I worked the staff went through cases. I think I drank one bottle of plastic water there in 30 years.

It’s not only single serving ones, though. I also see those 2-gallon ones purchased and tossed half full.
 

Swammerdami

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The Board has Pollyannas who, in other threads, insist that depletion of rivers and aquifers due to overpopulation is NOT an issue — just desalinate some salt water. (Or move California's agriculture industry to the Yukon — I can't keep up with Pollyanna's solutions.) Yet the articles about water shortage generally overlook such simple solutions. What gives?
Well, for a start "overpopulation" isn't a thing. ;)

Depletion of rivers and aquifers is due to locally inadequate infrastructure. People cannot live in deserts without water supply infrastructure, so they are left with two options: Move to non-desert locations, or pay the price of the necessary infrastructure.

Okay! So the Ganges Basin and the jungles through which the Mekong River flows are "deserts." Live and learn.
 
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