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: california, desalination, desolenator, drought, food, water
Companies: indiegogo


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2015 @ 5:54pm

    Water is gold.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 17 Apr 2015 @ 6:28pm

    Desalination Already Supplies The Needs of 300 Million People Worldwide

    But yes, it is expensive.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Paraquat (profile), 17 Apr 2015 @ 7:47pm

    desalination consumes energy

    It takes energy to desalinate sea water. It would be nice to think that we're always going to use alternative energy sources like solar to do the job, but in the real world it's more likely to be coal or natural gas. So desalination is, in most cases, not exactly "green."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      eye sea ewe, 20 Apr 2015 @ 1:32am

      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

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    JP Jones (profile), 17 Apr 2015 @ 8:43pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Agonistes, 17 Apr 2015 @ 8:54pm

    I'm in WA and half the state just declared they're in drought this afternoon. 24% of normal snowpack, worst in 64 years.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DB (profile), 17 Apr 2015 @ 11:03pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    jim, 18 Apr 2015 @ 6:01am

    but?

    This isn't a new thing, there have been droughts since California, became part of the west coast. Scientists, have said so. So what's different, electronic news, on a 24 hour cycle. Got to be agetated and taxed for something...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Gwiz (profile), 18 Apr 2015 @ 6:56am

      Re: but?

      ...since California, became part of the west coast...


      Wait. California was a part of a different coast? I always figured there was something a bit off with them Californians.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ZEROJR, 18 Apr 2015 @ 7:21am

    Next you will charge YOU FOR THE AIT YOU BREATH

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ow, 18 Apr 2015 @ 7:37am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Apr 2015 @ 9:30am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Apr 2015 @ 9:51am

      Re: Cloud Towers

      What has California done to you, that you would propose to wash the state away to fix its drought problems. The ecological, and landscape changes created by monsoon level rain in an arid area would be dramatic.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 18 Apr 2015 @ 11:24am

        Re: Re: Cloud Towers

        If you have controllable baffles at the top, you control how much goes straight up and becomes clouds downwind, and how much flows through wind generators. It doesn't have to have an always on mode of operation.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rekrul, 19 Apr 2015 @ 7:15am

    I just found this site last night;

    http://distractify.com/mark-pygas/watch-california-dry-up/

    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?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Apr 2015 @ 8:28am

      Re:

      Only then will they grudgingly admit that it's the liberals that are to blame and then make plans to study it so that they can accept money from pacs to decide what laws to change in order to stop the liberals.

      ftfy

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 20 Apr 2015 @ 3:34am

        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.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Apr 2015 @ 8:37am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Apr 2015 @ 11:18am

    "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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Zomby Poet, 2 May 2015 @ 2:51pm

    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!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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