DailyDirt: Water, Water, Not Quite Everywhere…

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

California hasn’t seen much rain over the past few years, and this drought is really serious now. Culprits of high water usage are popping up in various news stories: almond growers, farmers in general, swimming pools, golf courses, fracking, green lawns, car washes, wineries, etc, etc… Multiple billion-dollar infrastructure plans are underway to try to distribute water more efficiently or make more water available to major cities and key locations. However, the environmental impact studies for some of these huge water projects aren’t complete — and the requirements for them are being relaxed. Will Californians regret spending billions on some giant water tunnels?

After you’ve finished checking out those links, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.

Filed Under: , , , , ,
Companies: indiegogo

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “DailyDirt: Water, Water, Not Quite Everywhere…”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
eye sea ewe says:

Re: desalination consumes energy

So desalination is, in most cases, not exactly “green.”

Are you completely nuts and totally ignorant.

Most if not all drinkable water sources rely on desalination for the water and relies on solar energy for the process to take place. Long before humans got into the game, the natural solar cycle was providing all of the clean water by desalination.

Mayhaps, what you were trying to intimate was that for human technological efforts at desalination, these efforts are mostly not green

JP Jones (profile) says:

Out of curiosity, what’s wrong with pipes? We can make 2,500 mile oil pipelines, which is enough to distance to make a water pipe from San Diego to the Great Lakes and still have a couple hundred miles left over. I hear there’s a couple of gallons of water up there (in fact, the lakes and surrounding rivers are flood hazards). And I imagine there’d be less concern over a water pipe’s potential environmental hazards versus an oil pipe.

Just a thought.

art guerrilla (profile) says:

Re: Re:

someone intervenes below, but all you have to do is see chinatown, and that will give an overview of a controversial ‘solution’ to LA’s water problems…

making it other people’s water problem, which played out in operatic style in real life, not just the movie… i think pbs or somebody had a teevee show on it recently, pretty wild stuff that would be unbelievable as fiction…

needless to say, who is giving whose water to whom is mostly decided by state power in service to big bidness interests, not decided by equity…

DB (profile) says:

Why can’t we build a water pipeline?

Well, California already has a state water system that transports water from northern California to the south. It’s not a pipeline. That wouldn’t move nearly enough water to make a difference. It’s mostly canals with a few tunnels.

And pumping that water is already a significant consumer of energy in the state.

Desalinization plants are even energy hungry — they would be massive energy users. And none of that energy would come from renewable sources. New energy consumption is always from fossil fuels.

ow says:

Reality check

80% of the water consumption in California is agriculture. Of that, 45% is lost to evaporation. Much of that is crop that is not suited to California’s arid/drought-prone climate and is mostly exported (almonds, and especially alfalfa).

I’m not anti-farming, but people need to get over their nostalgic/sentimental views of farming and realize they are multi billion dollar profitable businesses, so treat them like other businesses — charge them the same rate for the water. Build public works projects to pipe the water, and incentivize farmers to do less wasteful irrigation. Enough is enough.

The state administration needs to stop symbolically punishing residential use while ignoring 80% of the problem, which also gets billed at a lower rate. Enough is enough.

Anonymous Coward says:

Cloud Towers

California has wind coming off the ocean most days, so building large offshore solar towers would cause increased evaporation under the affected areas basically causing large vertical columns of warm humid air. These heavy water laden cloud factories will cool and form giant rain bearing clouds as they move inland.

Figuring out how large to build and where to place them is a potentially large issue, but having essentially on demand monsoon rains is a really big carrot.

Rekrul says:

I just found this site last night;


Other articles I’ve read say that California and some other regions have exhausted underground water supplies that should have lasted until at least 2030. They’re predicting that water shortages will be a major problem in the near future. And by “near” I mean within a year or two, not 20 years down the road.

One article made the observation that humans never want to acknowledge a problem until they’re being directly affected by it. They will deny it outright or claim that it’s not serious right up until the day people start dying. Only then will they grudgingly admit that there’s a problem and make plans to study it so that they can then commission a report on what they should do, which will then be debated and discussed for a few years while some half-assed stopgap measure is put in place rather than coming up with a real solution.

In other news, apparently Nestle has been illegally pumping millions of gallons of water out of the San Bernardino National Forest under a permit that expired 27 years ago. Anyone want to bet how small the fine for this will be? Or how quickly the permit will be renewed, even though California is having a water crisis?

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

So I’m curious, assuming the above wasn’t a Poe, is it fun being a puppet? Do the strings get in the way of your everyday life, or are they mostly fairly easy to ignore?

Anyone paying the least bit of attention to party affiliation(whether democrat, republicam, or other), or the rubbish that is ‘conservative’ vs ‘liberal’ rather than what people do, have fallen prey to one of the greatest tricks of politics, ‘My tribe vs Your tribe’, where you get people so worked up over meaningless labels, they completely miss how similar the different ‘tribes’ really are, blaming all the woes on ‘those other guys’, instead of realizing that more often than not both are to blame.

Anonymous Coward says:

We don’t have a water problem, we have a people problem. There are too many people living in an area that historically could not support that many people. The supply of water has always been low in California.

The answer might be to not increase the water supply, but to reduce the population. Don’t grow crops in areas that are not conducive to those crops.

Anonymous Coward says:

“The supply of water has always been low in California.”

Which is why California has always built and maintained infrastructure to deliver water where it is needed. There’s nothing particularly difficult about it. It’s just that the single party state running California for last few decades has preferred to divert money and water away from where it’s needed and toward where their own interests lie.

Desalination is easy. All you need is cheap electrical power. Fortunately we know how to generate cheap electrical power, if you want.

Zomby Poet (user link) says:

Solving the Water Crisis

Stop all new construction in California. Require builders to come up with an independent source of water in order to be able to build. They can purify polluted water or desalinate seawater or get water by whatever legal means necessary but they cannot tap into existing fresh water supplies.

The builders will solve it to make money.

All government installations in California–especially military bases–should be required to retrofit their waste water systems to collect gray water, filter it and use it to flush toilets and water the landscape. No fresh water should ever be used by any government agency to flush toilets or water lawns.

Builders should also be required to institute gray water collection and recycling into their designs.

There should be no such thing as agricultural runoff. All farmers should be required to capture and recycle all water used in farming.

No rain water should ever be allowed to reach the sea. It should all be captured, filtered and used for agriculture, to flush toilets or if it can be purified enough to augment the water supply.

California’s wealthy should live off salt water alone. They have the wealth to pay for the desalination. They need to impress us with their wealth and their concern for others.

–California Water: Better Drunk than Wasted!

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...