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(NBC News)   That giant sucking sound you hear is Texas water going south. They took our dihydrogen monoxide   (nbcnews.com) divider line 86
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13170 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 Jul 2014 at 8:04 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-07-15 08:16:47 PM  
19 votes:
"Only after the last tree has been cut down. Only after the last river has been poisoned. Only after the last fish has been caught. Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten."

― Cree Indian Prophecy
2014-07-15 10:50:20 PM  
10 votes:
It's ironic, but everything I have been yelling and ranting about caused by over population, for years, is starting to show up.

And I still get told I'm nuts or got too many onions on my belt.

I first took note in Florida, where, as a kid, we mostly ran off individual water wells in my rural area and the water table was so high that digging three feet down often brought seepage. Only one house that I knew of in the city had a real basement -- due to the water table -- and it was on the barrier island in a high spot.

When the population tripled, people found they had to drive their wells deeper and the water was not as good. So, naturally, water softeners were coming into their own and nearly everybody had one.

Each one dumped 80 lbs of salt brine onto the ground a week from the back flushing process. Consider the average rural block had 20 houses on it. That's 6400 lbs of salt a month. Salt does not go away. Rains wash it into the ground, where it begins to infiltrate the water table.

Consider also that those 20 houses have 20 below ground septic systems, each pumping X-number of gallons of effluent into the soil daily. The effluent needs some place to go and the more that gets dumped in a concentrated area, the more space it needs and the more condensed it becomes.

Eventually it starts to get into the water supply and drain off into ditches, which drain into the local lagoon and, suddenly, during the summer, the waters there carry a dangerous load of human fecal bacteria, forcing the city to close it down.

By the 80's commercial fishing in the lagoon had to be stopped by the government because they were stripping the place clean of everything. In the 60's, you could go fishing there for a day and bring home enough fresh seafood, crabs, clams and oysters to feed a family of five for a week.

By the middle 80's -- you were lucky to catch enough for one meal. Plus, the city warned you when it was wise to leave shellfish alone due to fecal pollution levels.

By the late 70's, the city extended water lines out into rural areas, closing the majority of the individual wells. So many homes were sucking water out of the ground that the water levels had dropped drastically and pollutants had started showing up.

Of course, when the housing boom hit, darn near every square foot of the county wound up being plowed under for even more homes, with the city's blessings. Over 2000 homes and apartments went up, and most of those with lawns which require much water. They also added several hundred miles of paved roads and parking areas, which cut off acres of wild woods which used to soak up rain water like a sponge and replenish the aquifer.

So, it became mandatory for developments and businesses to build salvage ponds, which channeled drainage into them to reabsorb into the ground. Problem is, they also channel in all of the pollutants caused by the thousands of cars which had been added and the increase in delivery truck traffic.

That in turn, provided homes for the ever expanding and protected gator population, meaning the toothy critters lurked in every pond and stream -- especially on golf courses.

Since the over population had driven out the majority of wild animals, the gators started looking towards the nearby and stupid humans for food.

Now, we have water shortages. You need to have a license to fish in the lagoon but even the millions of bait fish -- Mullet -- have become so scarce that they're regulated. The cops patrol the lagoon now, checking licenses. You better have the right stamps on it for the fish you catch or face a stiff fine.

In the low waters along the shore, you can't hardly move since professional crabbers have covered the area with hundreds of traps, meaning you can no longer get those huge, delicious Blue Crabs with a chicken neck and a string. They've harvested the majority of the big, old crabs and mainly you now get the smaller, young ones.

Huge oyster beds that people harvested from for years are gone. Dug out for high end development harbors. Clam beds have been over harvested and are gone, many plowed under by new development.

One of the best ones, in a huge, shallow tidal pool is now buried under a boat ramp, tennis court, jogging trail complex.

And still, people pour into my city yearly. Traffic has become a nightmare. Decades old citrus groves have been sold and turned into housing complexes. Drainage ditches which used to run with shallow, clear water, like creeks and streams, now run with murky, dark waters, deeper and more foul.

Now people are discovering what I had been yelling about for decades.

The majority of my graduating class from High School packed up and left the state for greener pastures.

The environmental damage is obvious, yet there is no mention of limiting populations, even by banning further new housing developments.

One of the things which bothers me the most is the lagoon. As a kid I fished and swam there, camped on the banks and explored the interesting waters along the shores. The wind from the waters was fresh and salty. The surface a deep, muddy blue and nice.

Now, so many boats use the waters that on hot days the surface shimmers with coats of oil from exhaust systems and the lagoon reeks of a sour, distinctive oil and dirty water smell.

The water looks, well, sick -- in a bad way.

I rarely go to the lagoon anymore. I don't like what has happened to it.

I don't like what several thousand new residents have done to my town.

Too many people in a limited space with limited resources can cause a major disaster, yet politicians, bribed by wealthy land owners and businessmen, encourage more and more people to settle in because they bring in big profits.

BTW. 40 years back, Florida did not have the huge amount of sinkholes it now has -- caused by the lowering of the underground water levels. Folks fill them in and keep building and keep sucking water out of the ground.

Now, Texas has begun to recognize it's own stupidity, after it got too late. Folks there have been yelling for decades over water abuse and also been ignored.

We had better get into space soon and start bleeding off large amounts of the population before there is no one left.
2014-07-15 08:21:48 PM  
7 votes:
"We got our faith in the Good Lord," says Schur. "He's the one who provides. He's the one who determines what we're going to make ... But, you know, he's certainly testing our patience."


Hey, maybe he did provide, and expected us to care for what he provided - as with responsible use it could last a very long time.... But then we let the proudly ignorant (and let's face it, mostly "right-wing") among us actually turn people who want to use our natural resources responsibly (and not fark up every square inch of land we can see) in to a farking slur against one another.  And let them set economic policies up which encourages irresponsible, damaging behavior.
2014-07-15 05:54:57 PM  
7 votes:
The Tragedy of the Commons is a story we will play out repeatedly until we are all dead.
2014-07-15 05:12:34 PM  
7 votes:
The EPA should come down on bottled water companies like a ton of bricks for wasting resources, both water and vast amounts of fuel.

Yes, the story is about farming, but damn we waste a lot of water in other ways.
2014-07-15 08:20:20 PM  
6 votes:
If only someone had pointed out decades ago that natural resources are not infinite.
2014-07-15 08:15:19 PM  
6 votes:
And yet we are sucking millions if gallons of water from the ground and injecting it back into wells for natural gas. Too bad we can't drink dollar bills.
2014-07-15 06:53:08 PM  
6 votes:

Dancin_In_Anson: The article mentioned pivot irrigation which is a HUGE waste.


Better than flood irrigation, that they do out here in California despite the drought.  Something like 80% of the water use in California goes to agriculture, and because the water is subsidized, its so cheap that they'd rather flood a grove of trees than use drip or other more efficient irrigation methods.  Of course, it would also help if they didn't plant water hungry plants like Almond Trees or rice as well, but that's apparently where the money is.
2014-07-15 06:37:10 PM  
6 votes:
The article mentioned pivot irrigation which is a HUGE waste. A lot of the (cotton) farmers on the South Plains are transitioning to underground drip systems. The water usage drops dramatically and any applications such as fertilizer or systemic pest control are done through the piping. It's not cheap by any stretch but the yields are nothing short of phenomenal. In all honesty I am not sure how this type of irrigation would work for other row crops like corn ( a big culprit) and I am pretty positive that it would not work for something like sugar beets but folks best start paying attention.
2014-07-15 09:59:11 PM  
5 votes:
This is the best part of the whole article. ""We got our faith in the Good Lord," says Schur. "He's the one who provides. He's the one who determines what we're going to make ... But, you know, he's certainly testing our patience."  "
Yep, so bootstrappy. It took God 50,000 years to put that water in place, 100 years for you to pig it all, now he won't refill it and it "tests you patience" Just standing there waiting for your entitlement handout. good luck with that.
2014-07-15 05:53:27 PM  
5 votes:

Marcus Aurelius: Brontes: The EPA should come down on bottled water companies like a ton of bricks for wasting resources, both water and vast amounts of fuel.

The bottled water market is a drop in the bucket compared to the demand coming from cities in the southwest.  Bottled water itself is retarded, but it comes from places where water is cheap and plentiful.


Not in California is doesn't.  Nestle's Arrowhead is pumping water from aquifers out in the desert, and because the land is owned by Native American tribes, there's zero oversight as to how much water they are taking.

http://www.desertsun.com/story/news/environment/2014/07/12/nestle-ar ro whead-tapping-water/12589267/
2014-07-15 05:43:14 PM  
5 votes:

Brontes: The EPA should come down on bottled water companies like a ton of bricks for wasting resources, both water and vast amounts of fuel.


The bottled water market is a drop in the bucket compared to the demand coming from cities in the southwest.  Bottled water itself is retarded, but it comes from places where water is cheap and plentiful.
2014-07-15 07:41:54 PM  
4 votes:
Looks like they done freedomed themselves real good
2014-07-15 10:23:12 PM  
3 votes:

DoctorWhat: rustypouch: I've been assured by Fark Independents that the free market guarantees the best outcomes.

Why would this be any different?

Free market only works well when the costs are borne by the producers at about the same time and place as the product is made.  Then they pass the costs on to the consumer, and if another producer finds a better way or place, the free market selects them.  But if the costs aren't part of the initial process, then the market is skewed towards those that would use resources and produce as quickly and cheaply as possible, even if everyone ends up paying more (for federal disaster aid, etc.) as a result.


It's called the Tragedy of the Commons (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons ) and is hardly a new idea.  If there is a common shared resource, people will tend to over-use that resource for personal gain to the detriment of the general good.
2014-07-15 09:50:56 PM  
3 votes:
Meanwhile, (also) in Texas...

s.newsweek.com
2014-07-15 08:40:24 PM  
3 votes:

Raider_dad: So we have had an underground version of the Aral Sea.


FTFY.

A lot of Texas' prosperity over the last couple decades has been possible due to plentiful, nearly-free water. Which is basically gone now.

Anyone here visit Lake Travis in the last, say, half-decade or so? Not quite as horrific as Lake Mead yet, but heading there. The water level is down by almost 40 feet, and unlike previous droughts, this one isn't short-lived, it's been decreasing steadily for almost a decade, and despite fairly drastic measures, shows little hope of returning to the levels seen over the last 50 years.
2014-07-15 08:29:45 PM  
3 votes:
So we have an underground version of the Aral Sea.
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-07-15 06:44:32 PM  
3 votes:
The farmers remind me of the fishermen in my area. Apparently the lobster industry used to be good at conservation, but the fish industry is all about what can be caught this trip.  And so the commercial fishing industry in New England is dead. Still twitching, but dead.
2014-07-16 02:07:22 AM  
2 votes:
Disclaimer: I live in the desert. No, not Texas - think drier, more juniper.

What this story, and several others like it (like, say,  Rik01's) point to is that, no, we can't live like it's 1950's coastal Pennsylvania everywhere in the country, even if we have the technology to fake it from time to time like we did from the '60s to the '80s. Sure, we have the technology to "smooth out the consumption curve", if you will - we can irrigate when it's dry, like they did in Texas and like they do near where I live (curiously, the Newlands Project was named after a guy, not because it's eponymous with its primary function), but at some point, we have to make sure that, when it's wetter, we're putting some of the water  back. No amount of concrete or technology will change the fact that, at a certain point, there are limits to what a local environment will support. It's taking us a while to learn that lesson, but we're getting there.

To be fair, it doesn't help that we thought we had a lot more water than we really do - the Colorado River Compact, for example, was drawn up after a particularly wet period that just happened to correspond to the arrival of American immigrants into the West (this also led to the disastrous "Rain follows the plow" policy that decimated Oklahoma and Texas in the '30s), and it wasn't the only body of water rights legislation that was drawn up during that time period. It also doesn't help that, until the Green Revolution came along, our willingness and ability to grow anything anywhere, damn the cost, made it possible for us to stave off starvation and provide diet variety for a large chunk of the world. We still have that role, of course, but it's nowhere near as urgent as it was before South America's political situation stabilized (that's where a lot of your winter fruits and veggies come from now) and India and China became more or less self-sufficient. We're also getting smarter about water - fewer lawns and planted trees in the Southwest, lower flow toilets and showers, less water intensive crops (Arizona and Nevada both used to grow a lot more cotton than they do now). There's still a long ways to go; Americans still use more water per capita than anyone else, but we're getting better.
2014-07-16 01:43:54 AM  
2 votes:

Rik01: It's ironic, but everything I have been yelling and ranting about caused by over population, for years, is starting to show up.


The problem isn't overpopulation, the problem is lack of foresight and unwillingness to invest in efficiency.
In theory there is more than enough water and food for a few billion people more.

Most people have no idea how hopelessly inefficiently our food is being produced and our resources are being used. The technology is quite simply already there to do it differently, we're just not doing it yet.

Probably the most advanced country in the world when it comes to food production is the Netherlands. The country is about the size of New Hampshire, very densily populated, and still manages to be the world's third largest exporter of vegetables and fruit after the USA and France.  For a large part thanks to an area the size of manhattan covered completely with the highest technology greenhouses.

Feeding the world is no problem at all, if you produce the right products in the right places with the right technology, eat a little meat and fish, and rely on potatoes as a staple (needs less water) instead of rice and wheat.
2014-07-16 01:40:07 AM  
2 votes:
A 2013 study published in Environmental Science and Technology looked at past and projected water use for fracking in the Barnett, Eagle Ford, and Haynesville shale plays in Texas, and found that fracking in 2011 was using more than twice as much water in the state as it was three years earlier. In Dimmit County, home to the Eagle Ford shale development in South Texas, fracking accounted for nearly a quarter of overall water consumption in 2011 and is expected to grow to a third in a few years, according to the study

"Each drill site requires between 3 and 5 million gallons of water per frack"

"Generally, 2-8 million gallons of water may be used to frack a well."

So 4-5 million gallons of water per well. Texas has at least 1600 wells and counting in Dimmit County.

That's seven billion two hundred million gallons of water for one county.


You are letting corporations and the wealthy take your water supplies from you.
cdn.memegenerator.net
2014-07-16 12:14:28 AM  
2 votes:

jst3p: Colorado here, we are OK too.


Bite your tongue!

More people keep trickling in.  The HOA's mandate luxurious lawns of thirsty grass that doesn't belong here.  And barring the most fortuitous and unlikely form of climate change, the amount of precipitation isn't going to increase.
2014-07-15 11:45:01 PM  
2 votes:

Rik01: It's ironic, but everything I have been yelling and ranting about caused by over population, for years, is starting to show up.

And I still get told I'm nuts or got too many onions on my belt.....

Too many people in a limited space with limited resources can cause a major disaster, yet politicians, bribed by wealthy land owners and businessmen, encourage more and more people to settle in because they bring in big profits.

BTW. 40 years back, Florida did not have the huge amount of sinkholes it now has -- caused by the lowering of the underground water levels. Folks fill them in and keep building and keep sucking water out of the ground.

Now, Texas has begun to recognize it's own stupidity, after it got too late. Folks there have been yelling for decades over water abuse and also been ignored.

We had better get into space soon and start bleeding off large amounts of the population before there is no one left.


I just want to tell you that I always enjoy your posts, even if they are about depressing things.
2014-07-15 11:26:07 PM  
2 votes:
Hi, Texas... Michigan here, `Just wanted to say you can't have our water. Enjoy your big state.
2014-07-15 11:03:48 PM  
2 votes:
Rik01: It's ironic, but everything I have been yelling and ranting about caused by over population, for years, is starting to show up.

Rik, I could have written your post.
I moved out of SoFla as soon as I could, and made a vow to use no chemicals in whatever agricultural enterprise I worked.
Well, that didn't last. You can't produce squat anymore without some help from ADM or Monsanto.

/still use no chems on the vegetables
//hand clean the veggie plants, takes about three hours a day during the season to groom them
///but dayum, citrus is chemical and water intensive
2014-07-15 10:40:18 PM  
2 votes:

SacriliciousBeerSwiller: I'm sure they will pick themselves up by the bootstraps. Let's not worry.


They'll just go on planting weeds, collecting on their federally subsidized crop insurance and railing against the big government that gives it to them.
2014-07-15 10:33:35 PM  
2 votes:
When you consider the amount of energy required to desalinate and pipe water several thousand miles, it really makes you appreciate the hydrologic cycle all the more.
2014-07-15 10:12:43 PM  
2 votes:
Why does everyone hate the job creators?  All the people using water and draining the entire region are obviously job creators.  Leave them alone.

Isn't it true that ALL conservatives think the conservation is the same as Communism?  I've heard that over and over again from every person claiming they are true Conservatives.  Personally, I hope they all die.

God hates stupid people, that why they should be allowed to die.

I've got an idea!  Why don't you idiots in Texas pray for water?  That always works.
2014-07-15 09:24:00 PM  
2 votes:
I do find it amusing to see teabagger Texans who rallied against environmental regulations discover that their business depends on the environment.
2014-07-15 09:18:58 PM  
2 votes:
This has been known for a while, and too few were willing to take corrective action until things got bad.  Sounds like our current climate change policy issues.
2014-07-15 09:00:10 PM  
2 votes:
I've been assured by Fark Independents that the free market guarantees the best outcomes.

Why would this be any different?
2014-07-15 08:36:45 PM  
2 votes:
so in the end they'll just have sand?

www.inpapasbasement.com
2014-07-15 08:36:10 PM  
2 votes:
Here is an idea, Don't farm a farking desert!
2014-07-15 08:33:55 PM  
2 votes:

Lsherm: Or we could encourage people to move out of the farking desert.

/just a thought.


That's true for say, Las Vegas, but the people eating the food aren't just in Texas.  From a purely economic point of view, as long as it's cheaper to produce in Texas than New York, you produce in Texas.  When Texas dries up, you move on to states with more rain (maybe the Pacific Northwest?).  Of course, it may be more expensive there, and the companies that dried the plains out may not have to pay for any side effects like dust bowl conditions, except their land values dropping, but in the long run, smarter, and regulated use of the aquifer is still probably easier than moving the entire farming industry.  Yes, that may well include GMOs.
2014-07-15 08:12:01 PM  
2 votes:
Isn't the planned route of the Keystone XL pipeline right over this aquifer?
2014-07-15 07:41:47 PM  
2 votes:

Dancin_In_Anson: The article mentioned pivot irrigation which is a HUGE waste. A lot of the (cotton) farmers on the South Plains are transitioning to underground drip systems. The water usage drops dramatically and any applications such as fertilizer or systemic pest control are done through the piping. It's not cheap by any stretch but the yields are nothing short of phenomenal. In all honesty I am not sure how this type of irrigation would work for other row crops like corn ( a big culprit) and I am pretty positive that it would not work for something like sugar beets but folks best start paying attention.


It doesn't work well for corn... partly due to volume, and partly because it's much more effective on minimum and no-till crops.

Also, I know most of the people in that article, including T. Boone McClownstick. The guy from Vega is just a dirt farmer who grows as much for insurance as for forage. He has a bitty little farm.
2014-07-15 07:39:24 PM  
2 votes:
Looks like somebody's been neglecting the moisture farm again.

philosophyforchange.files.wordpress.com
2014-07-15 06:17:12 PM  
2 votes:

Brontes: The EPA should come down on bottled water companies like a ton of bricks for wasting resources, both water and vast amounts of fuel.

Yes, the story is about farming, but damn we waste a lot of water in other ways.


Or we could encourage people to move out of the farking desert.

/just a thought.
2014-07-15 05:49:23 PM  
2 votes:
Fort Hood shut down yesterday, because they didn't have any water.  This ain't good.
2014-07-16 01:46:34 PM  
1 votes:
Pickens is way ahead of you. He's way ahead of the guys who are at the head of the line you're in.

Not only is he planting windmill farms now to benefit from peak fossil fuel later, but he's also farming the one thing you can farm without water:  electricity.

Crazy like a fox farm.
2014-07-16 12:36:05 PM  
1 votes:

HeadLever: People_are_Idiots: There is an idea my father actually came up with, that'd solve the entire problem of drought in one place, flood in another. It involves building a network of irrigation pipes from flood-prone areas to the drought-stricken areas

And what is going to power the massive pump stations needed to get this water up and over the Continental Divide?  Do you know how expensive it would make this water?

Want to know how I know you are not a water resources engineer?


Want to know how I know you don't know the Romans did this?
2014-07-16 12:22:35 PM  
1 votes:

liam76: Stone Meadow: The canal that brings water from the Colorado River carries more than the city needs during the rainy seasons, but less than it needs during the dry seasons (two each per year). The water has to flow continuously, though and cannot be "surged", so the water department continuously manages where the water is sent as it arrives in Tucson, either into the mains or into the aquifer, from where it is later repumped to the surface as needed.

Look closer. It isn't sent "into" the aquifer, as in pumped. It is directed to streams or basins.

The Ogallala Aquifer is mostly covered by an impermeable layer which makes just having it sit there not feasible.


Stone Meadow: This is not to suggest pumping water from the Mississippi River to the high planes to recharge aquifers for grow grass for range cattle is a good idea, but it is certainly technically feasible.


If you are only looking at flood water? No it isn't.

It works where you are because the water is there anyway, they are just diverting it to local basins where it will eventually soak back to the aquifer.


The articel mentions that pumping is possible, but I have never seenit first hand, and you woudl be very limited into how much you could pump into one well at one time. If you are dealing with cyclical flood water (which is next to impossible to get there) you are going to have to have a means to store it on the surface in the interim.


Let's not bog down in the specifics of one particular instance of aquifer recharging. Tucson diverts the water to surface-exposed aquifer, but that is no reason to presume water cannot be actively pumped into aquifers. Otherwise, fracking wouldn't be possible. As it is TFA mentions some county in Texas with 1500 wells that had 4-8 million gallons pumped into each one. Moreover, while parts of the Ogallala are under impermeable layers, other parts are only 3-4 feet under sand.

Point being that no only is aquifer recharging possible, it probably has a bright future. After all, we humans aren't going anywhere soon, and we aren't going to settle for "move somewhere there's water" answers, either. On the contrary, we're going to alter the environment to suit our needs, even if that eventually means near-continent-wide hydrology management. We're already doing it, however imperfectly, in the dry southwest, and it will only spread.
2014-07-16 10:57:07 AM  
1 votes:

Dancin_In_Anson: Angela Lansbury's Merkin: Something like 80% of the water use in California goes to agriculture, and because the water is subsidized, its so cheap that they'd rather flood a grove of trees than use drip or other more efficient irrigation methods.

Insane. I don't know that I have seen much (if any) row watering in this region in years.

ElLoco: The guy from Vega is just a dirt farmer who grows as much for insurance as for forage.

Insurance farmers...I know a few of them too.

nyseattitude: You are letting corporations and the wealthy take your water supplies from you

You might be surprised to learn how much of that is recycled for reuse. Farming has about a 0% reclamation rate.



No, the volume of water recycled from fracking isn't surprising at all. The industry made recycling claims in 2013 that have yet to come to fruition. Also, considering they will not disclose all the chemicals used in the fracking process, it's impossible to determine if they have been removed from recycled water.

In the meantime water limits and bans are imposed on people due to droughts.

February 4, 2014,
Study: In Midst of Drought, Fracking Industry Does Little to Recycle Water


Unlike fracking we need food to exist. A simple cost-benefit analysis would indicate the cost of water consumption is a beneficial requirement for farming.
2014-07-16 10:36:41 AM  
1 votes:
The really sad part is that all this water is used to irrigate commodity crops. The US now has 200 acres under cultivation for commodity crops (corn, wheat, soybeans, etc) for every one acre under cultivation for all fruits and vegetables. Agricultural scientists have been warning for years that this is not sustainable, even without global warming. Worse, the US is becoming increasingly dependent of other countries for our non-commodity foods. But corporate agribusiness (primarily Monstano, ADM, and Cargill), which now writes almost all of our agricultural policy, doesn't care about anything but mega-profits. Unfortunately, we cannot thrive on HFCS, soy lecithin, and wheat flour.
2014-07-16 10:00:11 AM  
1 votes:

liam76: kvinesknows: they are essentially holes waiting to be filled.. yes.....

No. Do you think oil sits in big undeground lakes too?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquifer

An aquifer is an underground layer of water-bearing permeable rock or unconsolidated materials (gravel, sand, or silt) from which groundwater can be extracted using a water well.

What you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.


Crude as it may have been put, kvinesknows has a point...water CAN be diverted into aquifers for storage until it is needed, and in fact this is done on an industrial scale in numerous places in the USA. I lived in Tucson some 20 years ago, where the water department routinely pumps excess water into the Avra Valley and Santa Cruz River aquifers for later retrieval and use. The canal that brings water from the Colorado River carries more than the city needs during the rainy seasons, but less than it needs during the dry seasons (two each per year). The water has to flow continuously, though and cannot be "surged", so the water department continuously manages where the water is sent as it arrives in Tucson, either into the mains or into the aquifer, from where it is later repumped to the surface as needed.

This is not to suggest pumping water from the Mississippi River to the high planes to recharge aquifers for grow grass for range cattle is a good idea, but it is certainly technically feasible. In the end it all boils down to how valuable the end product is.
2014-07-16 07:44:32 AM  
1 votes:
If the American Breadbasket cannot help supply ever-growing food demands, billions could starve.

Exaggerate much?
2014-07-16 01:07:11 AM  
1 votes:

MisterTweak: Raider_dad: So we have had an underground version of the Aral Sea.

FTFY.

A lot of Texas' prosperity over the last couple decades has been possible due to plentiful, nearly-free water. Which is basically gone now.

Anyone here visit Lake Travis in the last, say, half-decade or so? Not quite as horrific as Lake Mead yet, but heading there. The water level is down by almost 40 feet, and unlike previous droughts, this one isn't short-lived, it's been decreasing steadily for almost a decade, and despite fairly drastic measures, shows little hope of returning to the levels seen over the last 50 years.


Lake Travis is actually a pretty good measuring stick for how the Colorado River is doing. We won't see it full again until Lake Austin (or whatever they call it now) doesn't need any, and Lake Marble Falls has too much. In my 26 years I've seen it flood Hwy 1431 three times at the Cow Creek inlet, but last summer I waded all the way to the south bank without getting my knees wet. Good to see another Travis Co. Farker. I live in Aggieland, but my family has land on the "peninsula" across from the Pedernales River inlet.
2014-07-16 01:05:28 AM  
1 votes:
They will figure a way:


3.bp.blogspot.com
2014-07-16 12:40:46 AM  
1 votes:

DrunkWithImpotence: DoctorWhat: rustypouch: I've been assured by Fark Independents that the free market guarantees the best outcomes.

Why would this be any different?

Free market only works well when the costs are borne by the producers at about the same time and place as the product is made.  Then they pass the costs on to the consumer, and if another producer finds a better way or place, the free market selects them.  But if the costs aren't part of the initial process, then the market is skewed towards those that would use resources and produce as quickly and cheaply as possible, even if everyone ends up paying more (for federal disaster aid, etc.) as a result.

It's called the Tragedy of the Commons (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons ) and is hardly a new idea.  If there is a common shared resource, people will tend to over-use that resource for personal gain to the detriment of the general good.


Interestingly, it doesn't always work that way. The original example - Everyone puts so many sheep on the land that they destroy it - was used by landowners at the time to justify closing the Commons and throwing the peasants out of their homes. It turned out the lairds were LESS productive over the long term. The traditional system had strict, sometimes deadly enforcement mechanisms to make sure nobody would sacrifice the productivity of the land for personal gain.
2014-07-16 12:23:45 AM  
1 votes:
I remember hearing back in the 80's how we were sucking the midwest aquifers dry. Thirty years later I have no sympathy. They knew it was coming. They knew how to mitigate or avoid it.
2014-07-16 12:19:35 AM  
1 votes:

Stone Meadow: Meanwhile, folks who claim we are somehow "stealing" other State's water are full of shiat.


Mexico, on the other hand.......
2014-07-15 11:38:47 PM  
1 votes:

Colour_out_of_Space: Meanwhile, (also) in Texas...

[s.newsweek.com image 240x167]


OMFGs I want to see a Mark XXXIII Bolo run that thing over and smush it flat.
2014-07-15 11:24:53 PM  
1 votes:
I was having this discussion with a friend the other day: while water prices here in the Cleveland area increase above a certain level of consumption and vary based on how high above Lake Erie you live (pumping costs), they're still ridiculously cheap.  We did the math and the highest possible rate for 2015 comes out to 8/10 of a cent per gallon.  That's less than a penny per gallon to water your lawn or wash your car with  drinkable water that the rest of world is willing to kill each other over.

/just another thing to be very thankful for
//LeBron gets it
2014-07-15 11:22:54 PM  
1 votes:

Rik01: It's ironic, but everything I have been yelling and ranting about caused by over population, for years, is starting to show up.

And I still get told I'm nuts or got too many onions on my belt.

I first took note in Florida, where, as a kid, we mostly ran off individual water wells in my rural area and the water table was so high that digging three feet down often brought seepage. Only one house that I knew of in the city had a real basement -- due to the water table -- and it was on the barrier island in a high spot.

When the population tripled, people found they had to drive their wells deeper and the water was not as good. So, naturally, water softeners were coming into their own and nearly everybody had one.

Each one dumped 80 lbs of salt brine onto the ground a week from the back flushing process. Consider the average rural block had 20 houses on it. That's 6400 lbs of salt a month. Salt does not go away. Rains wash it into the ground, where it begins to infiltrate the water table.

Consider also that those 20 houses have 20 below ground septic systems, each pumping X-number of gallons of effluent into the soil daily. The effluent needs some place to go and the more that gets dumped in a concentrated area, the more space it needs and the more condensed it becomes.

Eventually it starts to get into the water supply and drain off into ditches, which drain into the local lagoon and, suddenly, during the summer, the waters there carry a dangerous load of human fecal bacteria, forcing the city to close it down.

By the 80's commercial fishing in the lagoon had to be stopped by the government because they were stripping the place clean of everything. In the 60's, you could go fishing there for a day and bring home enough fresh seafood, crabs, clams and oysters to feed a family of five for a week.

By the middle 80's -- you were lucky to catch enough for one meal. Plus, the city warned you when it was wise to leave shellfish alone due to fecal pollution levels.

By ...


Your post is awesome read in this voice:

img3.wikia.nocookie.net
2014-07-15 11:08:51 PM  
1 votes:

Stone Meadow: HeadLever: Stone Meadow: Of that, only 4.4 MAF...or about 5% comes from the Colorado River,

True, but that 4.4MAF is about 27% of the total appropriated water for this river.  California has the largest 'right' of any single state for Colorado River water.

Of course we do, but of the 7 states sharing the Colorado River drainage California has 38 million people, versus Colorado (5.2 million), Utah (2.9m), Wyoming (0.6m), Arizona (6.6m) and Nevada (2.8m) for a total of 18 million non-Californians sharing the USA's share of the water, so I figure we're getting screwed out of half our share.

Screwed or not, them's the cards dealt at the Colorado River Compact of 1922, and it will take an Act of God to change it.

Meanwhile, folks who claim we are somehow "stealing" other State's water are full of shiat.



Not to mention the complete screwing that Mexico gets in that whole thing.  Mexicali gets the driest, nubbliest sip off the bled-out aquifers down near the delta where it supposedly reaches the Sea of Cortez.
2014-07-15 10:53:21 PM  
1 votes:

Rik01: It's ironic, but everything I have been yelling and ranting about caused by over population, for years, is starting to show up.

And I still get told I'm nuts or got too many onions on my belt.

I first took note in Florida, where, as a kid, we mostly ran off individual water wells in my rural area and the water table was so high that digging three feet down often brought seepage. Only one house that I knew of in the city had a real basement -- due to the water table -- and it was on the barrier island in a high spot.

When the population tripled, people found they had to drive their wells deeper and the water was not as good. So, naturally, water softeners were coming into their own and nearly everybody had one.

Each one dumped 80 lbs of salt brine onto the ground a week from the back flushing process. Consider the average rural block had 20 houses on it. That's 6400 lbs of salt a month. Salt does not go away. Rains wash it into the ground, where it begins to infiltrate the water table.

Consider also that those 20 houses have 20 below ground septic systems, each pumping X-number of gallons of effluent into the soil daily. The effluent needs some place to go and the more that gets dumped in a concentrated area, the more space it needs and the more condensed it becomes.

Eventually it starts to get into the water supply and drain off into ditches, which drain into the local lagoon and, suddenly, during the summer, the waters there carry a dangerous load of human fecal bacteria, forcing the city to close it down.

By the 80's commercial fishing in the lagoon had to be stopped by the government because they were stripping the place clean of everything. In the 60's, you could go fishing there for a day and bring home enough fresh seafood, crabs, clams and oysters to feed a family of five for a week.

By the middle 80's -- you were lucky to catch enough for one meal. Plus, the city warned you when it was wise to leave shellfish alone due to fecal pollution levels.

By ...

img2.wikia.nocookie.net
2014-07-15 10:51:56 PM  
1 votes:

Bit'O'Gristle: Wait a minute, they are blaming the watering pivots that water crops from man dug wells. Wouldn't any water sprayed on the surface, at least in part, trickle back down to the aquifer?


I would guess that when spraying water on a hot, dry day 99% of the water that the plants don't suck up would evaporate rather than make it's way back to the aquifer.
2014-07-15 10:23:18 PM  
1 votes:

HeadLever: Stone Meadow: Of that, only 4.4 MAF...or about 5% comes from the Colorado River,

True, but that 4.4MAF is about 27% of the total appropriated water for this river.  California has the largest 'right' of any single state for Colorado River water.


Of course we do, but of the 7 states sharing the Colorado River drainage California has 38 million people, versus Colorado (5.2 million), Utah (2.9m), Wyoming (0.6m), Arizona (6.6m) and Nevada (2.8m) for a total of 18 million non-Californians sharing the USA's share of the water, so I figure we're getting screwed out of half our share.

Screwed or not, them's the cards dealt at the Colorado River Compact of 1922, and it will take an Act of God to change it.

Meanwhile, folks who claim we are somehow "stealing" other State's water are full of shiat.
2014-07-15 10:10:12 PM  
1 votes:

TravelingFreakshow: CruJones: TedCruz'sCrazyDad: KarmicDisaster: I like the way that they are "pumping the last drops". Then they can try shootin the ground.

Everyone in Texas is against conservation of water, because it would cost jobs.

Hey, here in San Antonio we do really well actually. I think the same amount of water as when the city was half the size, ever since they found the blind salamander we have to be gentle with our aquifer. Really.

/we are building a new desalination plant too

SA Represent! Brushing my teeth with tequila was only hard the first time.




Last time I lived in SA, the citizens voted against building a water reservoir, because taxes.
2014-07-15 10:05:37 PM  
1 votes:

HeadLever: Calm: How can I make money from this? Assume that things will keep getting worse, what is a good investment for long term profits?

Buy farmland with a reliable source of water.  Beef and Pork prices are already at or near all-time highs.  Agriculture may end up coming back 'in style' it this keeps up.


Unfortunately most the best farmland is real expensive, contaminated or covered with strip malls and townhouses.
2014-07-15 09:54:26 PM  
1 votes:

Stone Meadow: Of that, only 4.4 MAF...or about 5% comes from the Colorado River,


True, but that 4.4MAF is about 27% of the total appropriated water for this river.  California has the largest 'right' of any single state for Colorado River water.
2014-07-15 09:46:28 PM  
1 votes:

Angela Lansbury's Merkin: Dancin_In_Anson: The article mentioned pivot irrigation which is a HUGE waste.

Better than flood irrigation, that they do out here in California despite the drought.  Something like 80% of the water use in California goes to agriculture, and because the water is subsidized, its so cheap that they'd rather flood a grove of trees than use drip or other more efficient irrigation methods.  Of course, it would also help if they didn't plant water hungry plants like Almond Trees or rice as well, but that's apparently where the money is.


Yeah, but water can't be readily shipped anywhere very far at affordable cost, so it really doesn't matter. It's not like farmers are pouring it on the ground while little kids die of thirst and hunger.

[insert Pulitzer winning photo here...you know the one I mean]

Adolf Oliver Nipples: Californians would rather steal it from everyone else. And if it keeps them away from me I'd call that a fair exchange.


Another old wife's tale. According to the Sierra Club, California uses about 82 MAF of water each year for all purposes, from keeping salmon fry happy to flushing my toilet. Of that, only 4.4 MAF...or about 5% comes from the Colorado River, the ONLY arguably out-of-state source of California water. Every drop of the rest is from in-State. Even the Colorado River water is obviously at least partially "California" water, since the river flows through California for a couple hundred miles forming our border with Aridzona.
2014-07-15 09:29:53 PM  
1 votes:

rustypouch: I've been assured by Fark Independents that the free market guarantees the best outcomes.

Why would this be any different?


Free market only works well when the costs are borne by the producers at about the same time and place as the product is made.  Then they pass the costs on to the consumer, and if another producer finds a better way or place, the free market selects them.  But if the costs aren't part of the initial process, then the market is skewed towards those that would use resources and produce as quickly and cheaply as possible, even if everyone ends up paying more (for federal disaster aid, etc.) as a result.
2014-07-15 09:29:05 PM  
1 votes:

ScaryBottles: Well I'll grab my spears and buckler.....



I will also be offering unconditional protection for any Texas residents skilled in blacksmithing who want it.


May you always find water and shade
2014-07-15 09:23:37 PM  
1 votes:
Usul, tell me of your home world...
2014-07-15 09:23:01 PM  
1 votes:

HeadLever: dangelder: Cite the comment ? Oh wait, it never happened, did it?

Same place as RP found the comments by the Fark Independents.  Poking the strawmen is fun, isn't it?


I've been hanging around here for a while and I have seen the appeals to the free market, but I haven't seen anyone seriously contend the government will take care of us all, and I don't know what it means or why it would be fun to poke a strawman.
2014-07-15 09:21:32 PM  
1 votes:
It's just as well. DHMO is a dangerous chemical that has been implicated in the deaths of millions of Americans.
2014-07-15 09:18:40 PM  
1 votes:

HeadLever:  I have been assured by Fark Libs that the government would take care of us all.


Cite the comment ? Oh wait, it never happened, did it?
2014-07-15 09:10:06 PM  
1 votes:
Why can't farmers just make more water?
2014-07-15 09:05:48 PM  
1 votes:
Just want to point out that there is not enough hate for Texas in this thread.

/I love escaped Texans
//Let Texas bake away
///you Texans took a wrong turn somewares
2014-07-15 09:05:31 PM  
1 votes:
Sadly, the world is going to have to start getting by without being fed by the U.S.  I've never been entirely convinced that trying to long-distance-support populations of billions that were otherwise unsustainable is really a good thing to do, long term.   At least China can feed themselves now, which helps. It won't hurt the U.S. economy because we've been giving the food away for free anyway.
2014-07-15 08:50:19 PM  
1 votes:
Well I'll grab my spears and buckler.....

www.grey-tower.net

I will also be offering unconditional protection for any Texas residents skilled in blacksmithing who want it.
2014-07-15 08:50:11 PM  
1 votes:

Angela Lansbury's Merkin: Better than flood irrigation, that they do out here in California despite the drought.


Actually, flood irrigation is much better in many cases.  Much less loss to evaporation.  What is mostly lost via flood irrigation is through infiltration into the ground.  However, this infiltration oftentimes is a huge recharge source for aquifers.
2014-07-15 08:49:18 PM  
1 votes:
Pray harder Texans.
2014-07-15 08:44:39 PM  
1 votes:

jst3p: vudukungfu: Mentat: It seems like only days ago some Farker was mocking the idea of running out of water...

did he live in Vermont?
'cause we're good

Colorado here, we are OK too.


Yeah?

http://cwcb.state.co.us/water-management/water-supply-planning/Pages/ T heWaterSupplyGap.aspx
2014-07-15 08:42:51 PM  
1 votes:
I keep saying that Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Texas should pool resources and build several massive desalination plants on the Gulf of Mexico and pipe in water. But, it won't happen till the Oglala is tapped out.
2014-07-15 08:42:13 PM  
1 votes:
I don't want to live in that area because it rains and snows, but I want their water...

I'll gladly sell my house where there is ungodly amounts of fresh water readily available. For double what I paid. And I'm keeping the snow blower.
2014-07-15 08:40:35 PM  
1 votes:

TedCruz'sCrazyDad: KarmicDisaster: I like the way that they are "pumping the last drops". Then they can try shootin the ground.

Everyone in Texas is against conservation of water, because it would cost jobs.


Hey, here in San Antonio we do really well actually. I think the same amount of water as when the city was half the size, ever since they found the blind salamander we have to be gentle with our aquifer. Really.

/we are building a new desalination plant too
2014-07-15 08:34:02 PM  
1 votes:
Ogallala is my second favorite word to repeat endlessly.

My favorite is Zoltán Kodály

We have farked this thing up completely. Salinization, over pumping, every kind of herbicide and pesticide, industrial chemicals. You name we farked it. What a country.
2014-07-15 08:31:05 PM  
1 votes:

MemeSlave: Move where the water is.


Californians would rather steal it from everyone else. And if it keeps them away from me I'd call that a fair exchange.
2014-07-15 08:24:52 PM  
1 votes:
Move where the water is.
2014-07-15 08:24:30 PM  
1 votes:

KarmicDisaster: I like the way that they are "pumping the last drops". Then they can try shootin the ground.




Everyone in Texas is against conservation of water, because it would cost jobs.
2014-07-15 08:12:07 PM  
1 votes:
This sentiment is also reflected in the state's water law, based on the concept of "right to capture." In short, if you own the land, you and only you own the water.

Ah yes, that corollary of the sacred "I got mine, f*ck you." rule.
2014-07-15 08:09:00 PM  
1 votes:
jaypgreene.files.wordpress.com
2014-07-15 08:08:20 PM  
1 votes:
www.betterlivingthroughbeowulf.com
Frowns on your modern dust bowl.
2014-07-15 07:44:29 PM  
1 votes:
It seems like only days ago some Farker was mocking the idea of running out of water...
 
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