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Sun Aug 3, 2014, 08:05 AM

Doomsday Trigger for Megadrought?

http://smirkingchimp.com/thread/thom-hartmann/57295/doomsday-trigger-for-megadrought

Doomsday Trigger for Megadrought?
by Thom Hartmann | August 1, 2014 - 9:21am

One of the worst North American droughts in history could be getting a whole lot worse.

According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor Map released on Tuesday, more than 58 percent of California is in an "exceptional drought" stage. That's up a staggering 22 percent from last week's report.

And, in its latest drought report released earlier today, the National Drought Mitigation Center warned that "bone-dry" conditions are overtaking much of the Golden State, and noted that, overall, California is "short more than one year's worth of reservoir water, or 11.6 million acre-feet, for this time of year."

All across California, streams are drying up, crops are dying off, and local communities are struggling to maintain access to water, thanks to three years of persistent drought conditions.

--

Perhaps it's time we should think about building some desalinization plants. Australia built one in 2010 for around $2.5 billion dollars --> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurnell_Desalination_Plant .

Where would the money come from?



That big blue slice o pie.

Obviously we are going to need to downsize our military, and projects like this would provide very good job opportunities. Another win win situation.

22 replies, 2888 views

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 22 replies Author Time Post
Reply Doomsday Trigger for Megadrought? (Original post)
unhappycamper Aug 2014 OP
CanonRay Aug 2014 #1
Danascot Aug 2014 #2
WinkyDink Aug 2014 #8
Jackpine Radical Aug 2014 #9
n2doc Aug 2014 #3
Live and Learn Aug 2014 #5
n2doc Aug 2014 #10
raouldukelives Aug 2014 #20
n2doc Aug 2014 #21
hedgehog Aug 2014 #12
L0oniX Aug 2014 #4
jwirr Aug 2014 #6
WinkyDink Aug 2014 #7
malthaussen Aug 2014 #11
WinkyDink Aug 2014 #18
hedgehog Aug 2014 #13
Shadowflash Aug 2014 #14
bananas Aug 2014 #15
Shadowflash Aug 2014 #16
Shadowflash Aug 2014 #17
NYC_SKP Aug 2014 #19
NickB79 Aug 2014 #22

Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 08:48 AM

1. Another win-win situation that we won't take advantage of

So with the Veterans benefits, the Military is 63% of our budget. Ridiculous. Our infrastructure and society is getting too crappy to be worth protecting, especially with that price tag.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 09:34 AM

2. Which is the greater sin?

Sending our children to die in pointless wars?

or destroying our beautiful world?

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Response to Danascot (Reply #2)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 10:25 AM

8. Umm....both?

 

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Response to Danascot (Reply #2)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 10:30 AM

9. The two seem to be highly correlated.

Beyond that, I don't think I understand the question.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 09:43 AM

3. There is a huge amount of waste in the California water system

Fix that first.

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Response to n2doc (Reply #3)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 10:15 AM

5. Ahh yes, that damn food! nt

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Response to Live and Learn (Reply #5)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 10:38 AM

10. Like Almonds! And wine grapes!

Not all ag is the same, and perhaps one might think a bit about what sorts of ag are appropriate for a low water environment. Or one can just lowbrow it with mindless snark.

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Response to n2doc (Reply #10)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 01:06 PM

20. The wineries. So hideous. Watching them chop down old Redwoods

Shooting and poisoning the local wildlife. Used to have a lot of wildlife around here before they moved in. To top it all off they drain huge amounts of water for tasty drinks for the 1% and the sycophants who wish to emulate them.
They illegally pump water from streams to irrigate and protect the grapes from frost because if they do get caught, the fine they have to pay is lower than it would cost them to purchase the water legally.
Nobody who cares about California, about Redwoods & Sequoia, about wild life and animals and hospitable ecosystems, consumes it. Only those too ignorant to be bothered or too jaded to care.

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Response to raouldukelives (Reply #20)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 01:08 PM

21. I was amazed at the expansion of wineries in northern California

Went through there last month, I swear they have put vines on every available hill slope.

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Response to Live and Learn (Reply #5)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 10:44 AM

12. California adopts $500 criminal penalty for water waste



Californians as a whole have failed to conserve water during the worst drought in a generation, according to data reviewed by the board at its meeting Tuesday in Sacramento.

Residential and business water use in California rose 1 percent in May compared to a three-year average of the same month from 2011 to 2013, according to a recent survey of 276 water agencies. Those agencies represent about two-thirds of all urban water users in the state.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2014/07/15/6558982/california-used-more-water-in.html#storylink=cpy


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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 09:56 AM

4. Military and corporate vampires sucking the life out of this country.

 

Mean while the basics like food, water and health care go to hell. You can live without food for a month but you can't live without water for a week. g0d bless ammeddicca

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 10:22 AM

6. We will get a fight in cutting the military funding even for something as needed as this but IF we

could con them into letting the Corps of Engineers build it they would have to use military money and in the end it would be government owned.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 10:23 AM

7. It's really not sinking into the American consciousness yet. Assuredly, the 1% are fully aware.

 

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #7)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 10:44 AM

11. Of course they are, that's why they're buying all the water.

I liked the article that popped up on DU recently about the town that couldn't draw water from their own spring. It is amazing what we let those people get away with.

-- Mal

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #11)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 05:50 PM

18. Yup. "Because one day we'll win the lottery."

 

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 10:45 AM

13. I think the Pentagon has already issued a report stating that water shortages

will be a major threat to national security. it was pretty much ignored because, you know, there is no global climate change because it snowed someplace last winter!

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 10:50 AM

14. I'm not an enigineer by ANY stretch of the imagination

But how hard could it be to set up 2 or 3 desalinization plats along the coast? Then you'd have an unlimited supply of water, I would think.

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Response to Shadowflash (Reply #14)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 11:55 AM

15. desal water is expensive and causes environmental problems

There have been many proposals for decades, but almost all were abandoned because the water from them is so expensive, efficiency and conservation have been much more cost-effective.

2 or 3 plants wouldn't give you anywhere near an "unlimited" supply of water, they'd be a drop in the bucket compared to how much water is used.

There's a desal plant being built in Carlsbad, it'll supply about 7% of San Diego's drinking water. So you'd need about 14 plants to fully provide just San Diego with drinking water. To provide the whole west coast would require hundreds of plants.

They suck in ocean water, killing marine life. And where does the salt go? A lot of it goes back into the ocean, making the water extremely salty, harming marine life.

It takes a lot of energy to run these plants. Solar and wind would be ideal, but often they are powered by thermal plants - coal, gas, or fission. Thermal plants suck in ocean water, killing marine life, and release hot water into the ocean, harming marine life.

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Response to bananas (Reply #15)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 03:14 PM

16. Makes perfect sense.

Thanks!

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Response to bananas (Reply #15)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 03:18 PM

17. Though

You could kill two birds with one stone by selling the Sea Salt to yuppies instead of putting it back into the ocean. At least until the fad is over, anyway. And you could use the money from selling all that overpriced trendy salt to run the plant. Win/win.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 09:42 PM

19. I'm very much against building desalination plants.

 

We need to end water waste, required grey water systems, zero smart landscaping.

Desal plants will give developers excuses to keep building, especially along the coast.

I'm all for using the defense budget for water efficiency upgrades, however.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Mon Aug 4, 2014, 01:40 PM

22. You'd need hundreds of desal. plants to make a dent

Direct human consumption of water is small potatoes; the real water needs come from manufacturing and agriculture and dwarf what few million people drinking/flushing/washing in an average year use.

And without water for manufacturing and agriculture, California can kiss most of it's economy goodbye.

Without a strong economy, the populace of the state just moves (well, those that can afford to).

Frankly, if the drought that California is currently experiencing turns out to be a sign of the future and not just a one-off event, the money would be better spent in planning for a state that has fewer people overall, and assisting people and industries who want to in migrating to new areas of the country or even just more water-stable parts of the state.

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