Friday, March 13, 2015
California Down to Its Last Year of Water
A report in the LA Times claims that California has freshwater reserves for but one more year.
As our “wet” season draws to a close, it is clear that the paltry rain and snowfall have done almost nothing to alleviate epic drought conditions. January was the driest in California since record-keeping began in 1895. Groundwater and snowpack levels are at all-time lows. We're not just up a creek without a paddle in California, we're losing the creek too.
...As difficult as it may be to face, the simple fact is that California is running out of water — and the problem started before our current drought. NASA data reveal that total water storage in California has been in steady decline since at least 2002, when satellite-based monitoring began, although groundwater depletion has been going on since the early 20th century.
Right now the state has only about one year of water supply left in its reservoirs, and our strategic backup supply, groundwater, is rapidly disappearing. California has no contingency plan for a persistent drought like this one (let alone a 20-plus-year mega-drought), except, apparently, staying in emergency mode and praying for rain.
In short, we have no paddle to navigate this crisis.
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Well, now that the LNG job miracle has gone up in smoke, as it were, maybe Crusty can convince BC that we should all work for water exporters instead.
In 1963 my Father supplemented the water supply at our summer cabin on Gambier Island, BC, by providing two sources, One for Drinking; One for flushing with salt water. 3/4 of the planet is covered in salt water. He used salt water piping/fittings to stop corrosion, today it would be plastic.
Time for Los Angeles to make the 'movement' to conserving fresh water for drinking
PS The bonus is No Reservoirs to build.
Dana, I've stumbled across a couple of articles recently advocating the supply of Canadian freshwater to America's parched south. I still think conservation and desal is a lot cheaper but we can't afford to let our guard down.
@ NVG. Did your dad flush straight into the water? Your remark got me wondering whether saltwater can work in a septic field.
No, same Septic Field for both.
There were two water tanks up behind the cabin for gravity feed; one fresh, one salt. The source for both waters was at sea level where the fresh water well was at the bottom of a small ravine with the hand dug well twenty feet back from the high tide mark. One gas lawn motor engine ran the two pumps in separate lines up to the tanks to avoid contamination of the Fresh.
For a modern day system, pressure demand pump would work rather than a reservoir.
PS gas powered engine?? on an island without a local supply of constant electricity
This is actually the issue that will lead to Canada's annexation in about 50 years time - altho could be less given the accelerated pace we're starting to see now.
That sounds really neat, NVG. I wonder if modern renewables would let one dispense with the gas engine? I've been looking into micro-hydro generation. Quite promising.
@ Dana - I don't know if annexation will be an option for anyone in 50-years. By then the term might be "conquest."
Yup. Could be much sooner too...
A North American Anschluss, Dana? Presumably led by a Judas goat of the sort we seem to have in abundance these days.
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