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(NPR)   Can you imagine the Colorado River running dry? It's happening. This is a big f*cking deal   (npr.org ) divider line
    More: Interesting, Colorado River, American Southwest, Sonoran Desert, farmland  
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17842 clicks; posted to Main » on 29 Jun 2012 at 10:10 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-06-30 02:18:41 AM  

About all I can say is

fark em all while they're still wet!

 
2012-06-30 02:29:57 AM  

StoneColdAtheist: I didn't read all the posts in this thread, so I may have missed some important points, but that said, here is the bottom line from the NPR broadcast (I actually listened to all of it when it aired the other day):

Of all the water captured from the Colorado River in the United States (which is to say virtually all of it), 80 percent of it is used by agriculture.

About 10% of it is used by businesses, industry and government agencies.

That leaves just 10% to be directly used by the 30 million citizens who rely on it...for drinking, washing, flushing the toilet, watering the lawn, etc.

Now, to be fair agriculture has invested billions in water-saving technologies, but there is still lots more that could be done (according to the program). In fact, by reducing agriculture's take from 80% to 70% we could double the number of people the river provides water to, from 30 million to 60 million.

IOW, quit whining to me about people watering their geraniums. We have a looooong way to go before we run out of water in the arid southwest.


IANAL but from what little I've read about water law I'm pretty certain there's no reducing agriculture's (or anyone else's) share; once it's theirs, it's theirs for good.

Also there will be no temporary 'lending' of water from other regions in wet years. Give 'em an acre-foot this year, it's theirs by right every year. Forever.
 
2012-06-30 02:35:03 AM  

Nadie_AZ: GAT_00: No place in the world is as terrible with water as the Western US.

India?


As I understand it, China is completely and utterly farked for water. Like, people-dying-by-the-millions-type scenarios in the next 50 years.
 
2012-06-30 02:50:49 AM  
Ya know, ya can certainly get by by showering only every 3 days. And even then, only washing the stinky bits.
 
2012-06-30 02:54:32 AM  
The major Federal agency responsible for the big dams on the Colorado and the West is the Bureau of Reclamation. Reclamation as in "we're going to reclaim this goddamn desert from nature and make it our biatch"
 
2012-06-30 05:38:16 AM  

aybara: Keep in mind that most (if not all) golf courses are watered with non-potable water (and waste water). Same with fountains in shows in Vegas.

My problem is when Nevada decided to make new subdivisions in an area that can't serve the current number of houses with water, and got it approved. Then they said, "We'll just take more water from the Colorado".

That planning is idiotic.

I live in AZ, and my landscaping is all rocks. The only green we grow are the weeds, and I don't water those.


You smoke 'em?

/don't lie, you know you do
 
2012-06-30 06:59:55 AM  

StreetlightInTheGhetto: Happy Hours: I remember reading in the mid-90s that the wars of the future will be fought over water - it has yet to happen, but it still seems like it eventually will


Meanwhile in Arizona they will keep watering their lawns as much as possible. It's the ONLY place I've ever lived where water conservation was not a regularly discussed topic, and why should it be? Arizona gets all its water from other people.

For now.

I was amazed when I saw all the green lawns and golf courses flying into Phoenix...

And no, other states, you can't have our water. Not yours.

/Michigander
//Great Lakes Compact and 22% of the world's fresh water ftw


When I was young, Phoenix was the place to move for people with hay fever. But, being used to lawns, they had to have them. A while later I heard that Phoenix had 16 different allergy seasons because of the grass. So people defeated their whole reason for moving there.

Phoenix will rise from the ashes.
 
2012-06-30 09:15:31 AM  

belhade: Reverend Monkeypants: fjnorton: belhade: I don't forsee any water problems any time soon.

Then again, I don't live in a farkin' desert.

Bear Mountain Bridge?

Anthony's Nose?

Yup. And, yup.

Although, riding the Hudson line high as a kite, seeing Anthony's Nose I envisioned it as the head of some giant sleeping dragon, the rail line and road tunnels going through its snout like piercings, and a giant oafish Muppet head asleep facing it on the other side of the river.


Triiiiippppyyyyy

Over here by The Gunks it would take a true catastrophe to run out of water.
 
2012-06-30 09:22:43 AM  
Along the way, it feeds over a dozen tributaries across the American Southwest.

Rivers don't work that way.
 
2012-06-30 10:21:54 AM  

Alonjar: The funny thing to me, is that we have the technology and means to solve these problems. We could easily pump water accross vast areas from other sources, but of course, no one will ever want to spend the money.


why should we encourage wasteful growth? If you don't have the resources on hand, you don't get to grow, this is a good thing. Maybe we shouldn't have mega suburbs in the desert with their pissant HOAs demanding green lawns.
 
2012-06-30 10:25:57 AM  

phaseolus: StoneColdAtheist: Now, to be fair agriculture has invested billions in water-saving technologies, but there is still lots more that could be done (according to the program). In fact, by reducing agriculture's take from 80% to 70% we could double the number of people the river provides water to, from 30 million to 60 million.

IANAL but from what little I've read about water law I'm pretty certain there's no reducing agriculture's (or anyone else's) share; once it's theirs, it's theirs for good.

Also there will be no temporary 'lending' of water from other regions in wet years. Give 'em an acre-foot this year, it's theirs by right every year. Forever.


IANAL either, but at least here in Cali water rights have proved far more fungible than farmers and ranchers would have one believe.

newsbusters.org

The bottom line is that when push comes to shove there are many ways to free up water. That said, demographics are a funny business, and just because tens of millions of people poured into the arid SW in the second half of a last century, there are no guarantees that trend will continue. Time will tell, but the fact remains that with careful redistribution of water we could easily double our population without seriously disrupting established stakeholders in the Colorado River's runoff.
 
2012-06-30 10:31:45 AM  

Girion47: why should we encourage wasteful growth? If you don't have the resources on hand, you don't get to grow, this is a good thing. Maybe we shouldn't have mega suburbs in the desert with their pissant HOAs demanding green lawns.


There's a cure for that. One of my brothers had a home in Scottsdale (or Mesa?) for a few years. He faced a steeply graduated water bill that got real pricey beyond basic hygiene. And if one watered grass there was a $300/mo surcharge on top of the per gallon bill. Drip irrigation of individual plants was exempt from the surcharge.

Why yes...he and most of his neighbors had manicured rock garden "lawns".
 
2012-06-30 10:42:37 AM  
I'm mostly hoping that the Federal government steps in and declares HOA's as being hostile to the environment and now deed restrictions are null and void.
 
2012-06-30 10:50:15 AM  
in scottsdale AZ desert landscaping is the norm. here are some examples of typical frontyards.

i1172.photobucket.com

i1172.photobucket.com

i1172.photobucket.com
 
2012-06-30 10:51:01 AM  

Ringshadow: Not long ago California stated they were going to raid water from the Great Lakes. Michigan replied by saying they'd activate the State Militia. Basically "Come at me bro!" Nevermind that they'd just have to wait until, say, October to freeze the Californians out

/Michigan is in drought as well
//lake is way down, most crops never happened this year


I am pleased that, despite all of the things Ohio's new governor has done that I disagree with, he's also agreed that Lake Erie is not for sale.
 
2012-06-30 11:01:03 AM  
lazyguineapig33: in scottsdale AZ desert landscaping is the norm. here are some examples of typical frontyards.

[i1172.photobucket.com image 550x412]

[i1172.photobucket.com image 384x288]

[i1172.photobucket.com image 276x180]


I wouldn't say norm..... It's been the new thing, but you'll still get someone who somehow maintains a forest green lawn next to a desert rock garden. Plus the rich never will go for it, cause it's their god given American right to have grass.
 
2012-06-30 11:17:50 AM  
Just keep telling yourselves that Michigan sucks.
Maybe your smugness will quench your thirst.
 
2012-06-30 11:19:51 AM  
Begoggle: Just keep telling yourselves that Michigan sucks.
Maybe your smugness will quench your thirst.


I liked Michigan, everything was cheap and the summer weather on the lake was nice.

They really just need to work hard and diversify their economy.
 
2012-06-30 11:22:59 AM  

TyrantII: lazyguineapig33: in scottsdale AZ desert landscaping is the norm. here are some examples of typical frontyards.

[i1172.photobucket.com image 550x412]

[i1172.photobucket.com image 384x288]

[i1172.photobucket.com image 276x180]

I wouldn't say norm..... It's been the new thing, but you'll still get someone who somehow maintains a forest green lawn next to a desert rock garden. Plus the rich never will go for it, cause it's their god given American right to have grass.


well idk if you live here or not but i have lived here for 30 years. north scottsdale (rich people) has much more desert landscape than other areas. my neighborhood is probably 90% desert landscaping. But yeah there are some areas that are just solid grass. grass looks like shiat anyway.

i1172.photobucket.com
 
2012-06-30 12:46:06 PM  
John Wesley Powell, the guy who mapped the Grand Canyon made it very clear the Western US couldn't support the kinds of populations it does now due to a lack of water.

But who listens to experts. Certainly not developers and flippers.
 
2012-06-30 01:00:04 PM  
So how much of this will be resolved when California falls into the sea? Like if that happened tonight?
 
2012-06-30 01:14:06 PM  

GAT_00:
Yeah, but that's short term drought. That's not the problem. The problem is the Western US uses water like the Eastern US, and for most of the US past 100W, it barely rains. Plus you grow monsoon crops.


Problem could go a long way towards being solved if the U.S. government got its head out of its ass and legalized hemp growing. Multiple uses, needs no cultivation, no irrigation and grows just about anywhere.
 
2012-06-30 01:41:12 PM  

StoneColdAtheist: Girion47: why should we encourage wasteful growth? If you don't have the resources on hand, you don't get to grow, this is a good thing. Maybe we shouldn't have mega suburbs in the desert with their pissant HOAs demanding green lawns.

There's a cure for that. One of my brothers had a home in Scottsdale (or Mesa?) for a few years. He faced a steeply graduated water bill that got real pricey beyond basic hygiene. And if one watered grass there was a $300/mo surcharge on top of the per gallon bill. Drip irrigation of individual plants was exempt from the surcharge.

Why yes...he and most of his neighbors had manicured rock garden "lawns".


My friend's family moved from MI to Arizona. Their new HOA let them pick one : a circle of grass ,(iirc about ten feet radius), a pool, or one small barnyard animal like a duck.

Her family picked pool. She lobbied for duck.
 
2012-06-30 02:33:27 PM  
god DAM

what you need is a Kwisatz Haderach
 
2012-06-30 02:34:47 PM  
On the upside, I now have a place to park my Escalade.
 
2012-06-30 04:01:53 PM  

inelegy: [4.bp.blogspot.com image 539x491]
The Aral Sea says, "Cry me a river. No, really: cry me a river. Please."


The water in the Aral Sea has started to return, and in 2012 it is about double what the 2008 picture shows.
just check it out via google maps.
 
2012-06-30 04:51:06 PM  

dugitman: RoyBatty: I never made it through the novel, but I felt the movie was wonderful, and had about the best cast imaginable (in my mind at least.) A lot of fun, and some terrific visuals.

Good to know. I'll check it out.

/endthreadjack


Thread jacker!

/Isn't that against the rules or something?
//[keeps poking you with a stick]
 
2012-06-30 05:13:42 PM  

lazyguineapig33: TyrantII: lazyguineapig33: in scottsdale AZ desert landscaping is the norm. here are some examples of typical frontyards.

[i1172.photobucket.com image 550x412]

[i1172.photobucket.com image 384x288]

[i1172.photobucket.com image 276x180]

I wouldn't say norm..... It's been the new thing, but you'll still get someone who somehow maintains a forest green lawn next to a desert rock garden. Plus the rich never will go for it, cause it's their god given American right to have grass.

well idk if you live here or not but i have lived here for 30 years. north scottsdale (rich people) has much more desert landscape than other areas. my neighborhood is probably 90% desert landscaping. But yeah there are some areas that are just solid grass. grass looks like shiat anyway.

[i1172.photobucket.com image 640x384]


The preferred nomenclature nowadays is "xeriscaping". Many HOAs, even highfalutin ones, now allow xeriscaping, which is pretty impressive given that 10 years ago many of them required crap like super-thirsty kentucky bluegrass(some of the more socially conscious ones allowed for buffalograss)
 
2012-07-01 12:56:00 AM  

Nadie_AZ: TDBoedy: *links sam kinison* MOVE WHERE THE WATER IS OH OH OHHHHHHHH

As much fun as it is, he's an idiot. Civilization in the West began in the desert.


yeah except is wasn't quite the desert then that it is now. Population density and water use was low among other things. Oh and they shat straight in the rivers.
 
2012-07-01 02:09:15 AM  

jigger: god DAM

what you need is a Kwisatz Haderach


Nah, just a half-decent stillsuit design.
 
2012-07-01 10:52:36 AM  

belhade: jigger: god DAM

what you need is a Kwisatz Haderach

Nah, just a half-decent stillsuit design.


Speaking of which...household grey water recyclers are a coming thing. Several important breakthroughs have happened in recent years that will make them much more affordable and practical.
 
2012-07-01 11:04:03 AM  
I'm excited for the moisture farms, then I too can become a jedi
 
2012-07-02 09:48:52 AM  
End of a long thread that probably nobody is reading any more, but quick question: Does a solar still make potable water out of waste water? I was thinking about this in relation to a different issue, but I figured somebody in here with all the talk about water recyclers and desalination ought to know enough basic water science to answer me.
 
2012-07-02 10:16:21 AM  

phyrkrakr: End of a long thread that probably nobody is reading any more, but quick question: Does a solar still make potable water out of waste water? I was thinking about this in relation to a different issue, but I figured somebody in here with all the talk about water recyclers and desalination ought to know enough basic water science to answer me.


Depends on the type of waste water. If it has any sort of hydrocarbons, generally no. Most hydrocarbons are too volatile and will get carried over with the distillate. But most anything else will be drinkable in the same way distilled water is drinkable (because that is what the solar still is doing: distilling the water). Of course, the amount of dissolved solids in the water will determine how much clean water you can produce. Don't expect a lot. But, in the right conditions, it should be enough to survive.
 
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