California out of water in 1 year?

Posted by johnpe1 4 years, 1 month ago to News
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such a wonderful place -- such a tragedy. -- j
SOURCE URL: http://www.newsweek.com/nasa-california-has-one-year-water-left-313647


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  • Posted by wiggys 4 years, 1 month ago
    snail darters and kangaroo mice are more important than people.
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    • Posted by scojohnson 4 years, 1 month ago
      That stuff makes news, but it's not really part of the problem. The buzzword is "Delta Smelt"... we push a ton of water down the Sacramento River and out into the Pacific to keep the brine out of the Bay Delta so it doesn't kill the minnows or ruin the crop land. It would probably be cheaper at this point to just buy the crop land and move the people somewhere else.
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      • Posted by khalling 4 years, 1 month ago
        it would be reasonable to move money from a 10 billion dollar train wreck to privatized de-desalinization plants and say that the EPA has to stay out of CA for-EVER. but the crystal unicorn butterfly worshipers and alfalfa eaters don't want that.
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        • Posted by scojohnson 4 years, 1 month ago
          So, actually, the US EPA doesn't really operate in California, we have our own, Cal EPA - one of 300'ish state departments and agencies when most states have maybe a dozen. We even have the "California Department of Aging"... and "The California Department of Rehabilitation" (and it's high-rise downtown for a lot of people that do...? - it's not prisons... we have that too... it's rehab... as in.. analyzing rehab for disabled people, and takes a cast of thousands to do that....)

          We even have a contractor registry for in-home television repairmen... when's the last time you called a repairman to fix your TV? I'm sure they don't exist, and the agency never noticed the lack of applicants...

          This is a great read...

          http://www.ca.gov/Apps/Agencies.aspx
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        • Posted by scojohnson 4 years, 1 month ago
          High Speed Rail is $60 Billion... not $10 billion. $10B only covers the link between Fresno & Bakersfield for the commuter line for migrant farm workers.
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          • Posted by jdg 4 years, 1 month ago
            Credible estimates put the cost of CA HSR at a minimum of $130 Billion. Even then, of course, it will draw no riders because flying is cheaper.
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            • Posted by scojohnson 4 years, 1 month ago
              The argument is that it will be "easier than going through security at the airport"... but if you are going from northern CA to southern CA, you fly from Sacramento to Burbank or something. I go through security at Sac in less than 5 minutes and about the same at Burbank coming home. I can do a day-commute to the LA area via Burbank, leave the house around 6 AM, and pretty much be at an office in LA by 8 am... that includes getting a rental car and the drive from the airport to wherever I'm going. It's just not a credible argument.
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      • Posted by gafisher 4 years, 1 month ago
        Exactly, scojohnson. While there are other factors involved, the real cause of the current situation is a foolish decision to sacrifice California's people and farms in favor of a rather useless little fish. In time the other problems could be dealt with, but in the near term the answer is to stop flushing California's water to the sea for a fish that got by just fine before the current insanity.
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      • Posted by jdg 4 years, 1 month ago
        Both of those are parts of the problem, and so is not building enough dams as the population grows. But the real root of the problem is price. Agribusiness pays 1% of the residential price for water in California, mostly because of federal rules that came with federal funding for dams and aqueducts.

        The right answer is to make them pay the full amount. Let food production move to Kansas or Nebraska, which suffer from periodic floods rather than droughts.
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  • Posted by  $  jbrenner 4 years, 1 month ago
    Can you imagine all those refugees from California seeking water coming to your area?!
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    • Posted by jdg 4 years, 1 month ago
      I don't see how they could possibly succeed. Northern California is just as short of water as Southern, while Arizona and southern Nevada get most of theirs from Hoover Dam, which also sends some to LA. 15-20 million refugees trying to leave LA will never survive to get to places that could supply them.

      It might be more productive to ship truckloads of bottled water from the central states. And I hear it's begun to happen (though for some reason Arrowhead is still being allowed to bottle water in CA and ship it elsewhere -- go figure). I'll bet Wal-Mart saves the day, just as it did after Katrina.
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  • Posted by  $  nickursis 4 years, 1 month ago
    I think the guy nailed it in the article: "He criticized Californian officials for their lack of long-term planning for how to cope with this drought, and future droughts, beyond "staying in emergency mode and praying for rain."
    This is what happens when you have air headed politicians who look to their own re-election, manipulate the voters, bring in millions of unauthorized people, just to stay on top and continue to be the idiotic gasbags they are.
    I am waiting for the wagon trains to start showing up in Oregon, or California to try to annex us.
    As pointed out, this is not a one size fits all problem, but the idiots we elect can only think in one size metrics. Add to that their arrogance and total living in their fantasy world, and you have disaster. First of many to come...
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  • Posted by  $  rockymountainpirate 4 years, 1 month ago
    I have heard rumors and speculation that when the Water Compact is passed here, a lot of the water is slated to be (or has been) sold to Kalifornia. Whether true or not, the Compact is a huge land grab.
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  • Posted by scojohnson 4 years, 1 month ago
    I live here in the People's Republic... I'm happy to share some factual information on the issue:

    1.) $1 billion state bailout.. not a penny for desalinization. Why? The "shortage" is in southern California, which is a desert, we ship water from northern CA to southern via the California aqueduct 24x7x365. San Francisco gets its water from Hetch Hetchy (larger than Yosemite) and is fine, Sacramento has the confluence of the Sacramento and American rivers and is fine.

    The elephant in the room is California agriculture, which uses 80% of the water, but is 2% of the state's economy, but is unfortunately the lion's share of fresh produce for the entire country. However, I've never seen them use a hose.. only open-ditch irrigation with a wastefulness of at least 50% to ground & air loss compared to what gets to the crop.

    2.) The ground water has been depleted so greatly by the ag industry, that the 'ground' in the Central Valley has subsided, as much as 7 feet in some places (it has dropped). In Sacramento, we pump water down into the aquifer from the river to try and recharge it some times of the year, but it seems like pumping desalinated water from the Pacific into the aquifer would work just peachy too I would think...

    3.) They like to say its "climate change" - no, there is a ton of rain coming on from the coast, we have just had a high pressure zone hovering off the coast for a couple of years and its diverting rainfall north & south of California . Not a lack of rain, just not falling on us.. interestingly, we got a ton of rain, tornadoes, hail and snow yesterday - more than we had all winter I would think. If the high pressure zone subsides, we might get the tail end of the pineapple express in the jet stream for a month or so and make up for the dry winter.

    4.) The last reservoir was built in the 60's, the population has gone from under 20 million to over 40 million in the same period of time. 'Buff said.

    Nonetheless, my pool is green from all the dry air/wind & pollen. I'll need to drain & pressure wash it. Oh well on the drought.
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  • Posted by Riftsrunner 4 years, 1 month ago
    Let's see. Let's build a huge human habitat in the desert of So. California and we will pipe in water to keep it green and flourishing. After a while we will become the biggest welfare state and attract every moocher to come live there. Eventually we will create a environmental catastrophe that will sink the rest of the country because we didn't have the forethought to plan for the eventual return of the desert. It isn't like Southern California was a desert because of a mistake climatically, it was a desert because that was what the environment supported there. So what did they expect? That miraculously the rain that never fell before would fall in the future? Or that the desert wouldn't be spread towards the areas where the water was stolen to maintain this false utopia. Looters and moochers are so short-sighted.
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  • Posted by NealS 4 years, 1 month ago
    Very interesting. We in the Pacific Northwest, usually have summer water shortages. But please don't jump to any conclusions on that statement, it still rains every day up here, it‘s still always mostly miserable and wet. We usually have a water shortage because some years we get less snow, but mostly because they let the water out of the dam’s too early supposedly to prevent possible flooding and to make room for all the coming snow melt. Last year, one of a few, they finally made the right decision and did not release most of the water in anticipation of a large snow fall. We’re actually expected to have sufficient water all summer. Hopefully they’ll continue to get it right.
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  • Posted by  $  blarman 4 years, 1 month ago
    The saddest part is that if they had undertaken any serious efforts to provide for themselves over the past thirty years, they could have avoided this whole mess. It isn't as if their own water agencies haven't been warning them about this for more than a decade.
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  • Posted by DrZarkov99 4 years, 1 month ago
    After the Dust Bowl disaster, Oklahoma set about to better manage its agriculture and water management. OK has had an ongoing drought for about as long as CA, but there's nowhere near the concern about water shortage for the Okies. Of course, most of their water management infrastructure was established before the existence of the EPA, including the largest artificial reservoir in the U.S. (Lake Eufaula). Governor Moonbeam is stuck with what he and others of his ilk have sown, and instead of trying to improve things, the solution is to punish the people who had little or nothing to do with creating the problem.
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    • Posted by scojohnson 4 years, 1 month ago
      While there is an obvious population differential between Oklahoma and California... maybe 20 to 1, I otherwise completely agree. Ag is 80% of our water usage in California, and it's a very wasteful industry. The farmers here love those high-value cash crops, like almonds, but it takes 2000 gallons to grow a pound of almonds. It may be time to change...
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      • Posted by DrZarkov99 4 years, 1 month ago
        The difference is that California does have the potential for quite a few different sources of water, but chose not to expand their reservoir or water transport systems as the population grew. Oklahoma had to face the fact that its water sources were always sparse, so they make an effort to capture as much as possible. There's still some degree of waste they need to address. They've also migrated to more drought-resistant crops, and the sorghum and canola crops seem to be providing a pretty fair revenue stream.

        California, on the other hand, has neglected responsible water resource management, and as you point out, haven't paid attention to crop management adjustments. The Santa Clara valley used to be one of the nation's best sources of fruits, but now it's become "Silicon Valley", with zero agricultural industry.

        I suspect we'll see some kind of Federal bailout for California, with a near-permanent FEMA-managed "Drought Disaster" team in place. Be prepared for "smart" water meters that will cut off your supply when you've exceeded your monthly allotment.
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        • Posted by scojohnson 4 years, 1 month ago
          The other challenge is that the expensive crops in terms of water, is what grows best in a mediterranean climate. I actually experimented with corn, couldn't get it to grow at all in my backyard garden. Grape vines grow like weeds and I pretty much need my chainsaw to cut them back every year. Tomatoes, no problem, San Marzano's no problem... We have very rocky soil, not much nutrient in it, if you dig 12 inches down you hit solid granite and the only way you are going farther is with dynamite or heavy equipment..

          I suspect the heat in the summer, we usually have about 30-40 days that are over 115 here.
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  • Posted by DaveM49 4 years, 1 month ago
    Much of California's (and Arizona's) water supply is piped in, largely from the Colorado River. A fantastic feat of engineering, to be sure. But even a river is not inexhaustible, and relying on a remote watershed leads to one's water supply not only relying on rain locally, but on rain falling in every area that feeds into the aquifer. Basically, California has steadily made itself more dependent on the local weather in a growing part of the nation for quite some time.

    And Is strongly suspect that management of the water supply has come under the "it'll last until tomorrow" school of thought. One cannot help but recall Dagny's question in AS: "but what about the day after tomorrow?"

    Perhaps it is approaching, or already here.

    On the other side of the coin, there is an astonishing business opportunity here for anyone with the means to build large scale desalination plants.
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    • Posted by  $  ObjectiveAnalyst 4 years, 1 month ago
      Hello DaveM49,
      Yes. Desalination plants. Residents would have to pay, but a market would be created and provide a solution. The major cities are near the ocean they have 840+/- miles of coastline. Of course the government has no foresight, will probably regulate the profit out of the investment and they would apparently rather ration and fine people for taking showers than provide incentive for a permanent solution to living in what was naturally more of a desert... Of course governor moonbeam will call the drought a result of global warming geologic history notwithstanding. http://www.monolake.org/mlc/outsidebox
      And yet they see no conflict with putting out the welcome mat, including issuing drivers license to untold thousands of illegal immigrants to share what little water they have remaining... http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/imm...
      Respectfully,
      O.A.
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  • Posted by Herb7734 4 years, 1 month ago
    It isn't Mother Nature that's to blame, it is environmental mismanagement. When disputes over territory and taxation become more important than managing the water supply, this is the sad result. California, arguably the most beautiful of the 50 states is turning into the example set by Detroit.
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