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News => Current Severe Emergency Situations => Topic started by: Bonnieblue2A on January 17, 2014, 09:58:48 PM

Title: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: Bonnieblue2A on January 17, 2014, 09:58:48 PM
Gov. Brown declared a drought emergency describing this as potentially the worst drought in Californa's history.

Quote
The declaration comes during one of the driest winters on record in California, following two dry years that already have left many reservoirs depleted. The state is facing "perhaps the worst drought that California has ever seen" since records began, Brown said during the Friday morning announcement.

http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Governor-Brown-California-Drought-240821841.html
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: cmxterra on January 17, 2014, 10:00:08 PM
And I am sure we will see all sorts of press saying how shocked, SHOCKED I say, that this is happening.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: mountainmoma on January 17, 2014, 10:21:33 PM
It is all I can do to get things done, I am hoping my foray next week in to the gloom of portland will shock me out of this shaky pre-depression state. I am trying not to sucumb.

It is pretty freaky, and Im a CA native

Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: OutWestTX on January 19, 2014, 06:54:20 AM
I thought I read somewhere that Nevada gets their water from California, too.  If that is true, it is going to be affecting more than just California. 
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: mountainmoma on January 19, 2014, 07:20:45 AM
It is going to be affecting more than Ca for many reasons.

 I have never heard Nevada gets water from here. But, water rights are interconnected out west, so that a river may have water taken out by more than one state. So, yeah, Ca needing more water will affect other western states water availability-- as well as THEY are also in a drought.

Ca is a very big agricultural state, lots of fruits and veggies and nuts and wine and olive oil all come from california and are sold all over the country. So, food is affected all over too.

Firefighting resources are also shared intrastate, and this is going to be a very constrained resource this year. Ca usually has a rainy season, and we are half way thru it with no water (nov-end of march for the real stuff, although there is some dribbling in april and may). Then, we usually have a fire season, from about july-end of october. We have moved into no end of the fire season this year -- it has just gotten more and more dangerously dry.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: OutWestTX on January 19, 2014, 07:46:39 AM
Thanks for the info, MountainMoma.  So, living in the Land of Perpetual Drought, I mean Texas, we have learned to adapt.  Do you think Californians will change their habits?  Have they enacted water restrictions there?  Does the public seem to understand how dire the situation is? 
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: RitaRose1945 on January 19, 2014, 08:14:49 AM
I thought I read somewhere that Nevada gets their water from California, too.  If that is true, it is going to be affecting more than just California.

Nope, Southern California gets its water from Nevada.  They actually get more of it than we keep here in Nevada.  It has been an issue for quite some time because we're in a drought as well and we're still shipping most of our water out to California.  That wasn't an issue when we had 50,000 people, but now we're more than 2 million just in the Vegas area where the dam is.  Obviously smaller than SoCal, but not as small as we used to be.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: mountainmoma on January 19, 2014, 08:26:40 AM
I do not understand why you think Califonians havent already been doing these things. Wasteful habits are not more common here than Texas. In between bad droughts, it depends on the household to some degree, but there are legislated restrictions always in force. I guess it seems funny to me that from the outside it looks like we overall waste water ?

But even Silicon valley, which I was driving thru yesterday, I was struck by how dead the landscaping was on the sides of freeways and expressways and in the inexpensive business park area I was at, and brown lawns in the inexpensive housing bordering that area. And, we are not in a outdoor watering banned time -yet- I am sure you can find some green lawns and watered landscapes in another area.

My local town has about the lowest trash output and water useage there is. The citizens, before this year, do not want to build a desalinization water source, that the county officials have been pushing for, and have felt that conservation would be best and sufficient.

The thing is, already being low water usage means that further restrictions will hurt. I remember a few bad ones in my lifetime in this state where toilets werent flushed. Or, my grandmother taking water from her bathtub by buckets to flush toilets and to water a few plants. Never being allowed to water outside in the daytime by law.Nothing but dirt and dead grass in front yards and dirty cars. Everyone is so careful remembering how it was, that alot of this is done by alot of people routinely every year, memories arent that short.

You cant buy anything but very low flow household fixtures and appliances. There are rebates and such to replace old toilets and appliances with these newer models, this has been going on here for years. Basically, a very low flow toilet is free, the rebates are so high. If you are low income, a team will come to your house and replace all the faucet aerators, shower heads and toilet, for free, including labor. Water bills to homes are high, people do not want to waste water too as it is expensive.

Grey water systems are legal under building codes now. You dont ever see sprinklers, people use drip irrigation, alot of people have put in grey water from the house out to the yard.

Agriculture is this way too, at least in this county, water is saved, but lots of plastic used to grow those veggies and berries we export. plastic sheeting on the soil around the strawberries. plastic drip line tubes. plastic hoops over the raspberries.

Maybe what is on TV looks different than the usual Ca home or lifestyle


Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: OutWestTX on January 19, 2014, 08:58:12 AM
I do not understand why you think Califonians havent already been doing these things. Wasteful habits are not more common here than Texas. In between bad droughts, it depends on the household to some degree, but there are legislated restrictions always in force. I guess it seems funny to me that from the outside it looks like we overall waste water ?


I wasn't trying to insult you.  I was under the impression that this is a new issue in California, that's all. 
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: RitaRose1945 on January 19, 2014, 09:06:51 AM
I wasn't trying to insult you.  I was under the impression that this is a new issue in California, that's all.

I grew up there, and it was a hot topic even as much as 30 years ago.

If you look at a map of California (well, at least Southern California) the western edge is beach, then a few miles inland is reasonably capable of supporting grass, trees, flowers, etc.  But as you travel east it quickly becomes desert and stays that way until you hit Nevada and Arizona.  If you look at a satellite map, you can see a lot of brown.  Further north, you do have mountains and trees, but in the south they taper off pretty quickly.

We're kind of the same in Vegas.  Very small amounts of grass allowed in the front yard (most houses built now with rock in front and back), drip irrigation the norm, watering only on certain days of the week (by law), low flow shower heads and toilets mandated.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: mountainmoma on January 19, 2014, 09:19:57 AM
Oh, I wasnt insulted at all --

It just is kind of funny because I have always lived here and lack of water has always been an issue. And this is not the first comment, somewhere else on these forums a CA resident, of all people, made a comment that the increase of fires we are going to see in this state arent going to affect him ! So, maybe I was a teeny bit sensitive.

But, it is interesting the perceptions of places are different than what the realities may be.

I was in North Carolina 8 years or so ago and a guy there, who had traveled thru my county not long before, was complaining about it and the rich movie or hollywood people living here !! This is a 9 hour drive or more and more than 500 miles from LA !! In his mind, we are all LA, and all have alot of money, etc... even though he had been here !! So, I do think that the media in general, and movies -- and that is an industry in a small part of this state, and some rich celebrity people do live down there -- give a particular image that is in outside CA people subconconcious. And, maybe thinking we need to think about changing our water habits as a first thought may have come from there, that is what I was thinking. Not about you personally, but how perceptions of a place are out there
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: OutWestTX on January 19, 2014, 09:33:30 AM
I was in North Carolina 8 years or so ago and a guy there, who had traveled thru my county not long before, was complaining about it and the rich movie or hollywood people living here !! This is a 9 hour drive or more and more than 500 miles from LA !! In his mind, we are all LA, and all have alot of money, etc... even though he had been here !! So, I do think that the media in general, and movies -- and that is an industry in a small part of this state, and some rich celebrity people do live down there -- give a particular image that is in outside CA people subconconcious.

Funny!  People think that everyone in Texas has a pump jack in their backyard and longhorns out on the front lawn. 

I never realized that water was a long term issue there.  I agree that Americans need to change their mindset about water.  People think because it comes out of a pipe from some mysterious source that it will always be there. 
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: FreeLancer on January 19, 2014, 10:55:26 PM
Despite living on the edge of the desert, water is so cheap in my part of SoCal that conservation isn't a major concern for many of my neighbors.  It's embarrassing to see all that water running off lawns and out of pools without providing much benefit for anyone.  I will be curious to see if that behavior changes with this drought declaration.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: mountainmoma on January 19, 2014, 11:32:17 PM
Ironic that Northern CA does more water conservation than your part of southern CA for sure ! Maybe your area has somekind of water deal with locked in rates on high volumes of water....

But, I dont understand why anyone would have water running out of their pool ?

Maybe you should go to your city council meetings and find out what your communities plans are for the drought
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: FreeLancer on January 20, 2014, 01:37:24 AM
Ironic that Northern CA does more water conservation than your part of southern CA for sure ! Maybe your area has somekind of water deal with locked in rates on high volumes of water....

We're situated over one of the largest aquifers in the state and do not import water.  While it does provide a tremendous amount of water security for the municipalities in our area, thinking that it makes us invulnerable to drought isn't wise, in my opinion.

But, I dont understand why anyone would have water running out of their pool ?

I don't either, but a guy on my street manages to do it all the time.  A year ago I actually jumped his fence to find and shut off the fill valve when we couldn't track him down (I got the agreement of some fellow neighbors first).  Watching nearly 10 gallons a minute run into the storm drains for 3 days was too much.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: RitaRose1945 on January 20, 2014, 03:20:43 PM
A year ago I actually jumped his fence to find and shut off the fill valve when we couldn't track him down (I got the agreement of some fellow neighbors first).  Watching nearly 10 gallons a minute run into the storm drains for 3 days was too much.

We rent, and we've had a leak in the plumbing under the front walk for about 2 months now.  The landlords (via a management company) are taking their sweet time getting it fixed because it's probably going to cost them more than they want to pay.  Meanwhile, we're using an extra 11,000 or so gallons of water every month.

We did our part right away, reporting it to the management company.  And they did their part right away, informing the landlords and getting bids.  But we're still waiting for the landlords to approve the work.  Just ridiculous.  Not only has it wasted more than 30,000 gallons of water, it's most likely making some kind of pool under the foundation (we can't find any soft or greener spots between the meter and the house), and that's a little creepy all by itself.

I could say "No big deal, it's not MY house that could eventually fall into a sinkhole" but it's just so wasteful.  The bill is quadrupled because the amount leaking is 3X that of our normal water usage, since we do try to conserve.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: nelson96 on January 20, 2014, 05:53:12 PM
Speaking toward people from other States not knowing what's really going on in your State. . .  I offered to let the husband of a co-worker from Vermont join us on an elk hunt about 5 or 6 years ago.  He had never been to Oregon before, or been on an elk hunt.  On our drive out (7 hours) to camp I asked him what he thought of Oregon.  He said "my gosh, I had no idea you had so many tree's.  Our news stations have us all convinced your forests have all burned to the ground".

On a similar note, I was always under the influence that California got a good portion of its water from the Colorado River.  Given that it's shared and goes through a water hungry city like Vegas, I've wondered when something would be done to restrict usage.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: mountainmoma on January 20, 2014, 06:09:47 PM
Yeah, the thing about California is it is a realy big state, with alot of people and where the water comes from depends on what city/county you live in, if there is native water and if not, what water agreements have been made.

Overall, the more arid areas import water. There is a very big movement of water from Northern California rivers to the central valley agriculture and to southern California a bit too. Colorado river water does have guaranteed water rights to some southern california areas.

The city of Santa Cruz, by me, gets all of its water from a River that runs thru it. There are absolute environmental rules of how much they can take (how low the river is allowed to go), there is no imported water. The city wanted to build a desalination plant on the bay for drought years like this, but the citizens do not want it, it is extremely expensive and has some environmental costs. There are tons of local reservoirs all over California for the various cities. San Jose, over the hill has a large reservoir and some municipal wells. When I lived briefly in a north bay town, it only had a municipal well.

Sounds like Freelancers' particular southern California town has a very good municipal well on a very good aquifer. So, ironically, he and his neighbors have less water problems or restrictions than Northern California towns with surface water and more rainfall - go figure.

Overall though, California has water issues and has alot of rules about water usage and required restrictions on usages, appliances allowed, plumbing fixtures allowed etc...
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: FreeLancer on January 20, 2014, 08:43:08 PM
One of the few benefits provided to the San Bernardino Valley region by the fault lines are a handful of aquifers that form a massive granite bathtub, which locks in the ground water coming off the mountains and prevents it seeping out to the surrounding counties. 
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: Bonnieblue2A on January 23, 2014, 08:35:19 PM
UC Berkley Professor says California dry spell may be worst since 1500s

http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2014/01/22/uc-berkeley-professor-california-hasnt-been-this-dry-in-500-years   
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: Bonnieblue2A on January 28, 2014, 06:15:48 PM
California farmers in San Joaquin Valley are concerened Feds will seize  control of San Luis reservoir water if drought continues:

  http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2014/01/28/as-drought-continues-farmers-fear-feds-could-seize-water/
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: mountainmoma on January 28, 2014, 09:45:46 PM
Read the sacramento paper monday morning on the train, they are not allowed to water outside at all on weekdays, each house is assigned either sat or sun to do some watering in the yard. This is city of Sacramento
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: lochaber on January 29, 2014, 04:37:28 AM
Do these restrictions differentiate between lawns and food gardens?  Is rain collection allowed?
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: mountainmoma on January 29, 2014, 10:20:46 AM
I dont live in sacramento, but in general from what I have seen in past California droughts, it means you cant use a hose outside, cant use tap water, and does not matter if for food or lawn. There is no restrictions on using grey water in the gardens though, so in the past water would be carried out in a bucket or pot from sink or shower water (catch the cold water while shower warms up in a bucket, then carry it out to a favored plant or garden).

Now some house already have a real grey water system plumbed in, but of course most houses dont.

I have not heard of any restrictions on rainwater catchment. But, California does not get any rain at all for more than half the year(most places, there are a few exceptions, the sierra nevada mountains do get afternoon thunderstorms in summer, but that is above the tree lines...) There is no rain water to catch during the growing season. Usually I can count on rain starting November thru April for real rain storms. Sometimes we will get some rain in May, I have seen a small amount beginning of June. But, overall, the gardens need to be watered June-Oct.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: lochaber on January 29, 2014, 10:40:42 AM
You mentioned opposition to desal plants, what is that all about? I'd think California would be all over that, seeing how there is a darn near infinite amount of water right there, and the generally sunny condition might even be conducive to fairly renewable way of doing it.  To me it seems it would be a much smarter way to spend money then high speed rail.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: mountainmoma on January 29, 2014, 11:13:32 AM
Water is not a state government issue -- water is a county or city issue. De-sal can be done by a coastal city, on their own resources. The one here was voted down because we are also a university town, and the University of California is expanding ALOT at this location, and I guess they are allowed to and dont need public input, but they do use city water -- they also have some wells of their own -- SO, locally the thought of building a very, very expensive de-sal plant, out of local tax money, while UCSC expands, and a perception of young students not conserving as much as they could, etc.....

The local santa cruz residents conserve more than I have seen anywhere else. More household grey water. Way, way less lawns. A lawn is unusual. So, the residents decided that they would rather conserve than to build de-sal

Solar is not energy intensive enough to run the large pumps, so far as I know. I would be an a larger array than covering the footprint of the desal plant

here is a quote from a southern CA news paper as to why they are not wanting to do de-sal.

"......Ocean water desalination doesn’t pencil out. It’s far too expensive to produce potable water from seawater — about $2,000 an acre foot, compared to about $1,000 an acre foot for imported water. It requires a tremendous amount of energy to purify saltwater. And there are potentially serious environmental impacts from sucking in millions of gallons of ocean water and pumping the leftover brine back into the ocean.

That’s why Long Beach shelved plans for a desalination project with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. It’s a lot cheaper to conserve water or recycle it.

In fact, Orange County has a model water recycling operation down the road in Fountain Valley, where sewage water is purified in a treatment plant and then pumped to large ponds to percolate into the groundwater supply. This costs about $900 an acre foot and uses one-third the amount of electricity of a desalination plant, according to the Orange County Water District. And it reuses wastewater rather than sticking a straw in the ocean.

Climate change will affect the reliability of California’s water supply. Utilities throughout the state should be thinking about how to use less water imported from Northern California and the Colorado River, and developing “homegrown” water through recycling and conservation. Desalination should be a last resort....."
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: mountainmoma on January 29, 2014, 11:30:22 AM
Anyway, more desal will be built in some areas, I am sure. There is a small one across the bay here, in Sand City. I remember sand city growing up, it doesnt have any native water, and so realy had only a handful of residents living there. It has a desal plant that takes well water, not sea water, that is too salty, cleans it up with reverse osmosis, then puts it back into a discharge well where it filters out of the discharge well into the sea. It is a very environmentally benign system. But, it is also very, very small. And, $13million to build a plant in an area with a couple hundred residents (that is a population explosion there, there were only a handful of houses there when I grew up). I guess this is all being paid for by tax dollars from a new shopping area that was built there. It is kind of like target and home depot, etc... saw empty land with out water and paid to get water so they could set up shop. Which is fine, but the economics and environmental costs are very different for large cities. This $13million dollar system only produces 300 acre feet (98 million gallons) of water a year. And, the $13 million was just production costs. It takes a whole lot of expensive electricity to reverse osmosis 300 acre feet of water every year. Plus other maintanance costs.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: lochaber on January 29, 2014, 01:28:44 PM
Apparently the saudis have been building solar desal lately to keep costs down because doing it with oil and NG was too expensive. However consider the source, if they can make solar desal cheaper then oil or gas, given how they produce oil and gas, that has too be pretty cheap. Sure, they also probably have more sun, but it might a break even equation in California.

It can't be cheaper for ever to ship water in from the Colorado basin, when that area is drying up too.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: mountainmoma on January 29, 2014, 02:19:57 PM
The thing to consider with the saudis is that they have a ton of wealth to play with to build these things. We dont. What do you pay for water ?  Notice that the LA times quote above says they think they could get de-sal water at $2000/acre ft. And, at that price, they would rather conserve. Other places are building de-sal plants.

When water is prohibitively expensive, people cannot afford to have a watered yard or wash cars.

With agriculture, there is also a point of economics. IF you cant sell the produce for a high enough price to pay for the new de-sal produced water -- then what was the point ?

So, that is why the percolation ponds of recycled water mentioned in the article, coupled with yet more conservation make more sense for most locations
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: mountainmoma on January 29, 2014, 02:29:47 PM
That was an interesting link from Bonnieblue, doesnt say why the fed's may not let it go to the farmers, but I bet it has to do with the issues mentioned in the next article linked there. People/towns that need it. It is our perrenial California water tug of war between farms and households.

This linked  article mentions how some of our smaller areas only have a few months of water left, one of them, Lompico, right here in my area. ANd, my personal well, along with many, many more will not make it without water. Some are paying to have water delivered already.

If this is a 500 year drought, then this water may need to be trucked to cities and households. It is a shame to lose central valley crops and trees, and we will see prices go up if this happens, but people do need water to drink.

I wonder if we will make a more equitable way to get water for those of us low income households who's wells will likely go dry.....
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: yodal on January 29, 2014, 03:27:53 PM
Thats my concern. I'm worried that my well will dry up!
I live in a high fire danger area as well. That above all is my first worry.
I finally got the neighbor/landlord to agree on a second path out of the property. We'll have to cut some barbed wire and 4 wheel it, but it's a second escape route!
As it is. there was only one way out...
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: mountainmoma on January 29, 2014, 03:42:19 PM
I know mine will, how can it not without rain ? And, if that happens, mine will be one of many, so existing water hauling isnt set up for it.

The present california system has been about following the money, to some degree, which is why some areas have traditionally bought there way out of water issues, paying to make pipelines to import water from northern CA rivers and the colorado river.

If municipalities and households have to truck in water, and the water is in limited supply, the price will be high, and baring any government action, households and cities with money will have it, and others will not. Now, I dont mind and expect I will have to pay for water when/if my well dries up. But, as water is a basic need, I can only hope that the distribution is able to be kept somewhat fair without gouging.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: lochaber on January 29, 2014, 04:18:01 PM
I'll confess that this is one of those good things about living on the east coast. Over here in NJ we actually have too much water, I don't want to make you guys hate me but my water bill from the town owned water fields and pumping station averages $80 a quarter. Oh, that includes the sewer bill too.

As you can imagine, I have zero idea what it is like to live in your world when it comes to water.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: FreeLancer on January 29, 2014, 06:27:45 PM
I drove into the mountains today and hiked up the Mill Creek wash, which is a significant water input into our basin, and there was barely a pathetic trickle coming down in places that would be nearly impossible to cross this time of year.  Actually, I've had to use snowshoes to get that far in the past and today it was like October.

There were several farm operations on the drive up with vegetable crops being planted and sprinklers going like mad.  It will be interesting to see if those guys will be allowed to keep that up with this drought. 
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: Cedar on July 29, 2014, 07:21:59 PM
Over 10 million gallons of water lost due to massive water main break in LA near UCLA. California suffering one of its worst droughts.

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BtwEwvPCMAAS18L.jpg:large)

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BtwJk2cCAAELCEw.jpg:large)

Cedar
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: cosmostrator on July 29, 2014, 08:06:29 PM
I'm at UCLA right now, across the street from the water leak, and it is crazy.  The whole field outside looks like The Everglades and there is a waterfall going down the stairs.  We were all joking that they had found a solution for the drought.  There are a bunch of firefighters walking around just looking kinda lost for what to do.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: Cedar on July 29, 2014, 08:41:24 PM
I'm at UCLA right now, across the street from the water leak, and it is crazy.  The whole field outside looks like The Everglades and there is a waterfall going down the stairs.  We were all joking that they had found a solution for the drought.  There are a bunch of firefighters walking around just looking kinda lost for what to do.

OMG Take pictures and post them. Or video!! How on earth did it get this far without someone shutting something off somewhere?

Can they pump it up into non-potable water trucks and haul it where it is needed?

WHOA.. found video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RQSpGRF4Mo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iepez0MibBg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKg-kePQfH4

Cedar
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: JerseyVince on July 29, 2014, 09:31:54 PM
I saw students Belly Boarding down the stairs on NBC4 NY just a few mins ago. That must be some serious sized main
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: cosmostrator on July 29, 2014, 10:01:32 PM
I should have taken some pictures before it got dark, but I've been stuck inside, apparently since the fire marshal was here and had nothing better to do he came over and "inspected" our setup and made us change stuff.  The volume of water is so much more than even a fleet of water trucks could pick up, firemen were up to their knees in running water.  Will get and post pics of the aftermath tomorrow afternoon.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: mountainmoma on July 30, 2014, 07:35:42 PM
so, according to this, my area is using the threat of fines to educate on conservation- for the most part - and we have cur water useage by 21% in this area -- which is realy great, considering that there was extreme conservation here to begin with and that California state as a whole has Increased water usage by a teeny bit

http://www.ksbw.com/news/central-california/santa-cruz/santa-cruz-man-sloshed-with-3000-penalty-for-running-toilet/27235596#!bry5eE
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: Cedar on July 30, 2014, 10:38:01 PM
Z heard.. and I have not verified, that this whole thing started due to a cherry bomb.

Cedar
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: cosmostrator on July 31, 2014, 02:33:56 PM
Sorry Cedar that was a joke someone played on the local news
http://deadspin.com/louis-slungpue-pranks-news-on-ucla-flood-cause-a-re-1613060017
I went to take pictures of the aftermath on the field and steps outside, but everything was totally dry.  Students were playing games and walking around like nothing happened.  On the other hand Sunset Blvd is still closed.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: sdcharger on August 15, 2014, 06:07:15 PM
If you examine rainfall patterns in the southwest for 1000 years it brings in perspective that this level of moisture is typical for these areas.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: nelson96 on August 15, 2014, 06:53:29 PM
If you examine rainfall patterns in the southwest for 1000 years it brings in perspective that this level of moisture is typical for these areas.

WHAT??. . . . .  Nooooo, say it isn't so.  ;)
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: sdcharger on August 15, 2014, 07:17:53 PM
...and that when decisions about water allotments were made it was the during the wettest century ;)
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: chickchoc on August 22, 2014, 11:20:15 AM
This is EXACTLY the same situation that led to the Dust Bowl in the 1930s.  People assumed that the wet cycle was permanent and acted accordingly.  As Santayana once said (more or less), they who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it.   
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: PorcupineKate on September 01, 2014, 07:13:20 AM
The Los Angeles Times article has compiled images of California's drought maps.  These maps show the spread and severity of the drought in California.   It is basically an graphic of what Cedar has been telling us for years. (Thank you for the Ag reports Cedar.)

This is a video of the progression of the drought.
http://www.latimes.com/la-me-g-california-drought-map-gif-htmlstory.html

Here are the monthly images of the spread of the drought.
http://www.latimes.com/science/la-me-g-california-drought-map-htmlstory.html
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: The Dark Unicorn on September 01, 2014, 09:38:50 AM
I live in TX and we are a bit low on water as well.... But yet people STILL water the grass! I live in a RV park, mainly older residents, and they still water the grass......

It actually irritates me. I can understand watering our little vegetable gardens, the community garden (which we have a spoiled brat that takes everything!) and keeping the 4 bird baths full but the grass which is half dead even with the water?

The unfortunate truth is that 98% of the people that see those maps either don't understand or don't care. They won't care until the water STOPS flowing and then they will start screaming! Look at Detroit.... they didn't pay their bills and they screamed until the water was turned back on.... what happens when there just IS NO water and what's left MUST be rationed? I don't want to see the results of that!
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: Chemsoldier on November 16, 2014, 10:13:24 AM
Story on California drought includes a farm where the well has gone dry causing all water to be trucked in.

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/California-drought-hits-San-Mateo-County-coast-5896053.php
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: FreeLancer on March 20, 2015, 02:50:21 AM
Depressing story on how badly my part of the state is performing at conservation. 

http://www.sbsun.com/environment-and-nature/20150318/rialto-apple-valley-colton-redlands-cucamonga-agencies-cut-water-use-the-least (http://www.sbsun.com/environment-and-nature/20150318/rialto-apple-valley-colton-redlands-cucamonga-agencies-cut-water-use-the-least)

My city has put almost zero effort into educating about the restrictions that have been enacted, let alone enforce them.  They've been telling us for years that we've got this giant aquifer providing virtually unlimited water security, but they need to get with the program and make what's still down there last.  There is no change in the amount of water pouring down the storm drains from lawn runoff, or my neighbor letting his pool overflow every other month.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: mountainmoma on March 20, 2015, 06:52:26 AM
It is true that citry residents need to not waste, but 80% of all our water is used by agriculture, and the almond crop alone takes water that would provide water for 75% of Ca residents.

We need to stop growing some of our export crops.

We are exporting water to sll the other states via food.

Not that I expect this to happen, but it is where the water is going, it is exported out of state in foods, or lost to evaporation watering crops (and lawns)
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: FreeLancer on March 20, 2015, 12:49:36 PM
I read somewhere recently that many California farmers will find it more profitable to sell their water allotments to SoCal this year, rather than to grow crops with it.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: RitaRose1945 on March 20, 2015, 07:08:43 PM
We don't have a lot of agriculture here in the Las Vegas valley, so it's mostly resident use.  From the water district's website:

Quote
According to consolidated data provided by SNWA member agencies, residents account for approximately 59 percent of water use. Most of that water is used consumptively for outdoor landscaping.

But we're odd because we're a really awful soil and an even worse climate for farming.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: nelson96 on March 20, 2015, 07:19:47 PM
On my local news tonight they were saying that an expert says if conservation is not improved and the drought continues, California's aquifer will be empty in a years time.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: Cedar on March 20, 2015, 07:24:30 PM
I am glad it is raining here today.

Cedar
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: mountainmoma on March 20, 2015, 10:04:40 PM
On my local news tonight they were saying that an expert says if conservation is not improved and the drought continues, California's aquifer will be empty in a years time.

hm, so, is the rest of the nation going to start their gardens ?
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: nelson96 on March 20, 2015, 10:08:20 PM
hm, so, is the rest of the nation going to start their gardens ?

I doubt it, but I don't believe CA will be out of water in a year either.  That's not to say they shouldn't be discovering ways to conserve.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: mountainmoma on March 20, 2015, 10:34:30 PM
I doubt it, but I don't believe CA will be out of water in a year either.  That's not to say they shouldn't be discovering ways to conserve.

each water district is its own thing, the state doesnt run them, huge state, lots of water districts. In my county alone there are more than 6 or 7 discrete water districts, and then people like me not on water mains with our own wells, it is a heavy agriculture county, where you all are getting your berries and brussels sprouts and other stuff, Driscoll Berries ? EarthBound Organic ? etc..... Alot to most of these are on wells, and when overdrafted, the sea water seeps inland into that aquifer. On the other hand , since agriculture is the water user, that may be a state level problem, except that it is a large business here in CA, and the rest of the country relies on it. So, hm, dont realy see anyone daring to make any real change.....I certainly dont see governers or other leaders outside of CA doing stuff to promote their own ag. to take the load off.....

I predict it will keep following the money. Agriculture is big business in CA the last 100 years or so causing great upheavals and movements of water in the state.

Until it fails.

And, until then, some farmers/ranchers will fail, likely smaller and less well connected, Northern CA will fall under strict rationing in the towns and cities. The uber -rich will somehow be magically able to buy trucked in water for their yards and pools.

I think you guys should try and get local farmers incentives or whatever to get fruit/nut/vegetable food growing more dispersed.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: iam4liberty on March 21, 2015, 12:17:14 AM
Funny how this works.   In Indiana we are saturated with aquifers at near records.   We got lucky that February was the coldest month in history North of us so that we didn't receive all of the winter melt at once.   Still we are facing spring floods for the eighth year in a row. The same thing happened during the dust bowl years culminating in a huge flood in 1937.   The local historians are using it as a learning experience for the public: http://www.courierpress.com/news/local-news/willard-library-presenting-flood-program_46153382 (http://www.courierpress.com/news/local-news/willard-library-presenting-flood-program_46153382)

On the plus side, you can't drive 75 miles in any direction without passing a major water bottler.  The water business is booming bringing lots of jobs with it: https://www.insideindianabusiness.com/newsitem.asp?ID=25251 (https://www.insideindianabusiness.com/newsitem.asp?ID=25251)  Even our glacial springs are being tapped by the entrepreneurial: http://www.indystar.com/story/entertainment/2015/02/20/academy-award-attendees-receive-indiana-bottled-water/23754733/ (http://www.indystar.com/story/entertainment/2015/02/20/academy-award-attendees-receive-indiana-bottled-water/23754733/)

Makes me wonder how the Western drought will effect the balance of agriculture across the regions...
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: mountainmoma on March 21, 2015, 09:42:48 AM
The California county I live in has the lowest household water usages in the state (so, discounting off grid homes in the desert, possibly the country ? ) In any case, education is constant and ongoing and sometimes fun, here is one event today, in the little soquel water district. This water district is right on the bay and gets its water from wells, which means they cant over-draft those wells without ruining their little aquifer with sea water. Todays educational event has 4 different groups leaving the starting point on bicycles and touring the well sites and such, with ice cream.

http://www.soquelcreekwater.org/events/groundwater-awareness-tour

There is ALOT of awareness in this county, and Monterey count right south of here and also on this Bay(home of the Salinas Valley and most of our exported lettuce and salad greens)

I have never seen anything but drip irrigation on farms in this county, and the household useages are likely getting close to the lower limit. We have to keep up the education as people see a little rain this winter and then "forget" we are in a drought. So, reminders to keep up the good work have to be constant.

The farms in this county and next county down are not served by any state wide pipeline initiatives, and never will be. Our agriculture depends on local resources and has been forced to conserve as their wells are monitored for sea water intrusion and the large rivers that also supply are monitored to keep flowing at least to some degree.

I realy would love to see out of state educational efforts or something to start to disperse the farming back out from here, as much as it is our largest industry. I know you all are gardening at home and putting food by for our potential crash and burn, ( not this year, but possible later ) but look into getting agriculture to start back up in your areas !!

I can tell you this, I have NO INTENTION to vote YES on taxing myself and my neighbors even more to build yet more pipelines or desalination to support EXPORTING PRODUCE -- I do not understand why I and my neighbors should be subsidizing nuts, grapes, berry, avacado etc... prices and availability to the rest of the nation. So, try to get your local areas to think about that.

Most of the geographical area of California thinks the same as me on this. Most of the geographical areas of California are on their own small water districts and pay taxes for large projects that not only do not benefit them but often take their water.

However, it is likely that the Big Money donated by Corporate farms in Central and southern Valleys and the HUGE mass of population of the state that lives in the greater LA basin will out vote us yet again and the can will get kicked down the road a little further. And, so, the great central Valley will continue to SINK (yes, land has dropped many FEET as water is pumped from them in this drought) and the environmental degradation, land getting ruined, aquifers drying up, rivers taken -- and you will get your nuts and produce a few more yers

Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: endurance on March 21, 2015, 01:30:19 PM
I think it's time all states stop exporting everything. I think we should dam the Colorado River at the state line and keep it all for Colorado. Use it to grow corn and wheat and peaches and apples and plums and barley and live happily ever after. But dang, we'll have to start making our own cars and mine our own steel...  Or I guess states could use their resources as efficiently and effectively as possible and let the free market forces determine how things play out. Hmmm... :-\
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: RitaRose1945 on March 21, 2015, 01:48:07 PM
I think it's time all states stop exporting everything. I think we should dam the Colorado River at the state line and keep it all for Colorado. Use it to grow corn and wheat and peaches and apples and plums and barley and live happily ever after. But dang, we'll have to start making our own cars and mine our own steel...  Or I guess states could use their resources as efficiently and effectively as possible and let the free market forces determine how things play out. Hmmm... :-\

We already dammed it in Nevada, but we hardly get to actually keep any of it.  Most of it still goes to Southern California.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: mountainmoma on March 21, 2015, 01:56:52 PM
I think it's time all states stop exporting everything. I think we should dam the Colorado River at the state line and keep it all for Colorado. Use it to grow corn and wheat and peaches and apples and plums and barley and live happily ever after. But dang, we'll have to start making our own cars and mine our own steel...  Or I guess states could use their resources as efficiently and effectively as possible and let the free market forces determine how things play out. Hmmm... :-\

the reason I was saying all that is that I constantly hear people wondering why Ca doesnt do this that or the other thing to make sure they have water. But, all the water goes to Agricultural products that are exported. 80% of the states water usage. And, we have separate water systems, not one state wide system. ANd, I realy should not be paying yet more taxes to subsidize the cost of export food -- yes, let's let it be free market !! That would be great and the problem would soon resolve itself as the price skyrocketed, people would start growing crops elsewhere. But, it is NOT free market at all. The statewide VERY high taxes are used for water systems to deliver the nations food. Yes, have the free market pay for desalination plants for their berries  -- but, the big farms dont do that, they demand taxpayer help
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: mountainmoma on March 21, 2015, 02:01:20 PM
I think it's time all states stop exporting everything. I think we should dam the Colorado River at the state line and keep it all for Colorado. Use it to grow corn and wheat and peaches and apples and plums and barley and live happily ever after. But dang, we'll have to start making our own cars and mine our own steel...  Or I guess states could use their resources as efficiently and effectively as possible and let the free market forces determine how things play out. Hmmm... :-\

The other point I was making is that what we are doing in CA is not sustainable, so it is just in the nations best interests for food security to start to encourage farming this stuff in other states too. Going true free market on water costs would be a big help in letting out of state truck farmers be competitive
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: TexDaddy on March 21, 2015, 02:28:43 PM
I think it's time all states stop exporting everything...
I all for it. Now, if we only had our own mountain to ski on, we wouldn't have to keep on spending all that money in Colorado.  ;)
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: FreeLancer on March 21, 2015, 03:07:14 PM
The statewide VERY high taxes are used for water systems to deliver the nations food.

What percentage of our state taxes goes to water?  I honestly have no idea.

My water is so cheap, $1.61/hundred cubic feet (748 gallons), that there is almost no incentive to conserve from a financial point of view.  The price hasn't budged for three years.  My mom lives in suburban Portland and pays twice that, despite all the ground water in the area.  It doesn't make sense.  To be fair, LA pays 4x what I do, but they don't have our aquifer and rely more on the Colorado and the California Aqueduct.

What is the rest of the country paying per hundred cubic feet?
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: chad on March 21, 2015, 03:16:42 PM
Quote
What is the rest of the country paying per hundred cubic feet?

Detroit suburbs
2.89 per 748 gallons.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: RitaRose1945 on March 21, 2015, 03:38:56 PM
What percentage of our state taxes goes to water?  I honestly have no idea.

My water is so cheap, $1.61/hundred cubic feet (748 gallons), that there is almost no incentive to conserve from a financial point of view.  The price hasn't budged for three years.  My mom lives in suburban Portland and pays twice that, despite all the ground water in the area.  It doesn't make sense.  To be fair, LA pays 4x what I do, but they don't have our aquifer and rely more on the Colorado and the California Aqueduct.

What is the rest of the country paying per hundred cubic feet?

For residential, we're paying $1.16 per 1,000 gallons plus a base fee of about $10 per month ($0.3355 per day) in Vegas.

If you go over 5,000 gallons, then it goes up to $2.08 per 1,000 gallons.  And if your water pipe is 1" or larger, the monthly charge goes up drastically, anywhere from $21.79 to $696.89 per month.  But both of those are unusual for residential service.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: endurance on March 21, 2015, 04:48:01 PM
Our neighborhood's water is produced from a dozen community wells and costs $34 for the first 3,000 gallons (whether you use a drop of all of it), then $34 for every 1,000 over that.  I can't complain.  We've gone over maybe a half-dozen times in four years and never more than 5,000 gallons.  If we use 2,600 gallons one month, I'll put 400 into the tank for next month.  Cheat to win. ;)
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: FreeLancer on March 22, 2015, 04:48:27 AM
So it's cheaper to buy water from the Colorado than in Colorado?  How does Vegas manage to get such a sweet deal on water?
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: endurance on March 22, 2015, 06:26:14 AM
So it's cheaper to buy water from the Colorado than in Colorado?  How does Vegas manage to get such a sweet deal on water?
Some of this is based on agreements that date back to the 1930s regarding water rights, some of it is simple logistics and topography. For me, I'm 65 miles on the wrong side of the continental divide to get Colorado river water access.  However, if I lived in Denver, many decades ago they negotiated for Colorado river water rights and built their own tunnels to bring it to this side of the divide. The people in Denver pay for those investments with every gallon they buy.  For me, well water is too expensive to have a lawn, for my brother in the city, he barely notices the cost of his 28,000 a month watering habit in the summer.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: RitaRose1945 on March 22, 2015, 07:37:24 AM
So it's cheaper to buy water from the Colorado than in Colorado?  How does Vegas manage to get such a sweet deal on water?

Because Vegas (well, Boulder City really) built the dam.

But we have a contract that gives the majority of it to Southern California (58.7%) and a good chunk to Arizona too (37.3%).  That leaves us with 4%.

The contract was put into place when we had a population that was almost nothing, about 5,000 people.  Now metropolitan Las Vegas is more than 2 million people, but we still only keep 4% and send the rest on to California and Arizona.

Interesting Wikipedia article about the whole thing:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorado_River_Compact (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorado_River_Compact)

From the article:
Since the development of the Colorado River Compact, California has been using the surplus water that has been left over from other states. With increasing population growth in the Southwest there is concern that this surplus soon will not exist for California’s use. In 2001, Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt signed an interim agreement, determining how water surplus from the Colorado River will be allocated between the states, and creating a fifteen-year period to allow California time to put conservation methods in place to reduce the state’s water usage and dependence on Colorado River water.
There is also concern regarding Nevada’s increasing population and the state’s water usage. Nevada, with the smallest water allocation in the lower river basin, may find in the near future that the water supplied by the Colorado River will not meet the state’s growing needs. In 2008 Southern Nevada Water Authority General Manager Pat Mulroy said that she does not support a water reallocation. This is because all of the states in the river basin have experienced growth she says that it is unlikely that Nevada’s allocation would increase, and it could even decrease. Instead Nevada, like California, may have to work on conservation methods as well as finding other water sources to support the state’s growing population.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: FreeLancer on March 22, 2015, 03:06:53 PM
Western water rights is definitely a Byzantine collection of back room deals made well before today's population boom was even a glimmer in the imagination.

I wonder when California will make a deal with Oregon and divert water south from the Columbia. That would free up the Colorado for the other SW states.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: mountainmoma on March 22, 2015, 05:00:04 PM
Western water rights is definitely a Byzantine collection of back room deals made well before today's population boom was even a glimmer in the imagination.

I wonder when California will make a deal with Oregon and divert water south from the Columbia. That would free up the Colorado for the other SW states.

never happen, We originally wanted to divert quite a few Northern CA rivers south too, in stage 2 of the California Water Project, but sine the rest of CA was by then already regretting the original diversions, it did not happen and is not gonna happen.  Not too mention the costs involved. You may not know it, but the cost of getting the present diversion from Northern CA up over the mountains and into LA uses a HUGE amount of power daily, not just the costs of production.

"....The California State Water Project, commonly known as the SWP, ... is one of the largest publicly built and operated, water and power development and conveyance systems in the world, providing drinking water for more than 23 million people and generating an average of 6500 GWh of hydroelectricity annually. However, as it is the largest single consumer of power in the state itself, it has a net usage of 5100 GWh.[2]....To reach Southern California, the water must be pumped 2,000 feet (610 m) over the Tehachapi Mountains – the highest single water lift in the world....The original purpose of the project was to provide water for arid Southern California, whose local water resources and share of the Colorado River were insufficient to sustain the region's growth.....The Klamath and Dos Rios diversions were heavily opposed by local towns and Native American tribes, whose land would have been flooded under the reservoirs. Fishermen expressed concerns over the impact of the dams on the salmon runs of North Coast rivers, especially the Klamath – the largest Pacific coast salmon river south of the Columbia River. The project would have eliminated 98 percent of the salmon spawning grounds on the Klamath.[50] California Governor Ronald Reagan refused to approve the Dos Rios project, citing economic insensibility and fraudulent claims made by project proponents....." From wikipedia. believe me, if REAGAN opposed messing with the Klamath, and the Klamath is much closer than the columbia ! But, you were joking, right ?

more ..." The existing SWP facilities are collectively known as Stage I. Stage II, which includes such works as the Peripheral Canal and Sites Reservoir, was to have been built beginning in the late 1970s and 1980s – but due to concerted opposition from Northern Californians....as well as the state's increasing debt, attempts to begin construction have all met with failure. Parties currently receiving SWP water are also opposed to its expansion, because water rates could be raised up to 300 percent to help pay for the cost...." which may be the biggest reason, money, as otherwise they have more votes. Obviously I am a Northern Californian.

And, as to one of many ways the exported food is subsidized, ".....The disparity of costs to the project's various constituents has been a frequent source of controversy.... agricultural users pay far less than their urban counterparts for SWP water. The Kern County Water Agency .... pays around $45–50 per acre-foot....., which is mostly used for irrigation. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (the largest entitlement holder) pays $298 per acre-foot ... This basically means that cities are subsidizing the cost of farm water, even though the cities also provided primary funding for the construction of the SWP.[63] ..."
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: mountainmoma on March 22, 2015, 06:48:12 PM
The other huge water diversion for agriculture in California is the central valley project, CVP , which is a Federal Government project, managed by the Federal bureau of Reclamation. So, in this one the taxpayers in the whole nation are subsidizing keeping the California farm products artificially being produced and at artificially low prices.


"....The Central Valley Project (CVP) is the largest federal water supply project in the country. First authorized in 1936, the CVP now encompasses 20 dams and reservoirs, 1,437 miles of canals, 192 miles of drains, and an array of pumping and power generating facilities.

...it was constructed mainly to provide water for irrigation of the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys. Today, agriculture uses about 90 percent of the 7 to 8 million acre-feet†1 of water carried by the CVP each year to irrigate roughly 3 million acres of cropland. (An acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover an acre of land one foot deep, or 325,851 gallons.) [1,2] Major crops grown in the CVP include cotton, rice, and alfalfa hay. Extending nearly 500 miles from north to south, the CVP transformed millions of acres of land that was essentially desert into fertile farmland. At the same time, the CVP dramatically altered the natural flows, water quality and ecology of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers, their watersheds, and the San Francisco Bay and Delta. [1]

This massive project carried an equally massive price tag: The CVP cost the federal government $3.6 billion to construct. Part of the original deal was that farmers would pay back over $1 billion of this cost within 50 years of project completion. [1] But in 2002 — more than 60 years since the water began flowing — irrigators had only paid back 11 percent of the tab. The reason? CVP recipients had signed 40-year contracts that granted farmers water at rates far below what was necessary to pay back the construction costs.

....In fact, some of the water rates stipulated in these 40-year contracts were so low that they don't even cover the costs to the government of delivering the water. In 2002, for example, the contract rate for 17 CVP water districts, that together paid for almost 300,000 acre-feet of water, was just $2 per acre-foot. [11] Yet the cost for delivering this water to these districts was more than $10 per acre-foot. As a result, by 2002, 19 districts had repaid none of their share of the costs. Two districts did better than that: They had repaid $2 and $1...."

that was from here http://www.ewg.org/research/california-water-subsidies/about-central-valley-project

You may notice that it is often used to grow some very water intensive crops, rice, cotton and alfalfa, that otherwise no-one would ever grow in such an arid region. Even more interesting is that some of these large farmers with these lucrative water rights in drought years will buy their allocation form the Bureau at $2 and acre ft, not plant crops, and resell the water to other places that want it in California, often to California tax payers to put BACK into the river so that the river doesnt totally die. They resell this water to the State of California for about  8 times what they bought it for. (same source as for above quote)


Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: RitaRose1945 on March 22, 2015, 06:57:12 PM
Looking at a satellite view of Bakersfield is a real eye opener.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: FreeLancer on March 22, 2015, 11:38:16 PM
But, you were joking, right ?

Mostly.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: mountainmoma on March 23, 2015, 12:40:52 AM
This is timely, LA times article on how agriculture uses all the water, but never gets any limits in drought years, only the cities http://touch.latimes.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-83122851/

".....This is what the Brown administration isn't talking about as it tightens the spigot on landscaping: Urban use accounts for only 20% of California's developed water. Agriculture sucks up 80%....

Yet, no one in Sacramento wants to tell farmers how to use water — what they can and cannot plant and irrigate.

No edicts equivalent to "lawn-watering only twice a week" or "hosing down the driveway is forbidden."

No such directives as "tomatoes are OK because they're not water guzzlers and can be fallowed in a dry year," but "hold off planting more gulping almond orchards in the desert."

Maybe, however, it's time....


After all, we think nothing of telling other landowners what they can put on their property....

Yet, a farmer can plant whatever he pleases, even if surface water is flowing at a trickle and the aquifer is collapsing....

In one area of the San Joaquin Valley, Boxall reported, the "land has been sinking at the staggering rate of a foot a year." And the groundwater table has plunged 150 feet in the last 15 years.....

Crop production and food processing, incidentally, account for only about 2% of California's gross product....."

Big Agriculture does not do much for Californians, it doesnt supply much GDP, it doesnt employ, and its costs are high to the rest of the population due to water, environmental degradation, and increased social service and public education costs.

The article notes that last years groundwater law is to be eased in over 25 YEARS !! So, no help there

one last quote, "..."Growing a walnut or an almond takes water," the governor noted. (No kidding: One gallon is needed to grow one almond, it's generally agreed.)..."

One gallon of water for one almond. Guys, I love almods, but we all need to be planting appropriate nut trees in the various regions. You can see, even if our Governments are now to inneffective to lead and make decisions, that one gallon of water per nut from California farms is not sustainable. If we dont ease off of it, it will collapse on its own at some point, and that wont be pretty.

Politically, this is interesting to me. I wonder if this sentiment will catch on in LA ? Having the 2 large monied political spheres facing off could be interesting. If I were you, Id keep getting those gardens in and supporting your local farmers. If LA wakes up more about this, it would be the best scenario, Northern Ca would also be about stopping aquifers from collapsing, together then that might force change over the agri-business clout, so that would be best for Ca long term future and would be better for the rest of the nation as it would allow a phased in response over time, giving opportunity to adapt and plant in other US regions. Otherwise, the governers response so far, with a 25 year plan to regulate wells could lead to a business as usual until it collapses all at once, leaving shortages nationwide and a wasteland in the middle of CA







Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: mountainmoma on March 23, 2015, 01:11:26 AM
Looking at a satellite view of Bakersfield is a real eye opener.

yeah, what is sad is that the central valley of california wasnt originally an arid environment, it was almost all wetlands. I was amazed to find this out, as I have driven thru it many times and it is so not that now ! And, I dont men the drought. We just changed the hydrology so much with all the dams and river diversions, we made it an arid desert like area, Think about this description below and the picture you just saw of Bakersfield. We blew it.

(http://s25.postimg.org/qwl8e2u1b/fig09.gif)
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: endurance on March 23, 2015, 06:15:33 AM
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_California (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_California)

Wow,talk about an economic house of cards.

The government accounts for 12% of the economy.  Real Estate, 17% .  Finance, 6%.  Construction, 4%.  It's an economy built on optimism.  When 27% of your economy is based on people continuing to want to live there and 12% is taken at the barrel of a gun, what could possibly go wrong? :o
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: mountainmoma on March 23, 2015, 07:34:15 AM
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_California (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_California)

Wow,talk about an economic house of cards.

The government accounts for 12% of the economy.  Real Estate, 17% .  Finance, 6%.  Construction, 4%.  It's an economy built on optimism.  When 27% of your economy is based on people continuing to want to live there and 12% is taken at the barrel of a gun, what could possibly go wrong? :o

I think this applies to the country, and yeah, a total house of cards, but that's a topic for another thread.... (Isnt when that stops is what is happening to countries in Europe ? -- But we get to collapse our major food growing region at the same time )
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: mountainmoma on March 23, 2015, 07:46:16 AM
We already dammed it in Nevada, but we hardly get to actually keep any of it.  Most of it still goes to Southern California.

And Boulder City did not build it, the Federal Government built it and Boulder city sprang up to serve the construction workers and their families, it wasnt there until the project started.

The Hoover dam and Lake Mead was a Federal government project, the site was chosen by the federal engineers and built with federal government financing. the river forms the border between Nevada and Arizona along that stretch of the river, so the dam touches both states but was built for the benefit of the 3 lower Colorado Basin states, Nevada, California, Arizona by the Federal Government.

The Colorado river forms the state boundary line between Nevada and Arizona and between California and Arizona.  Great map of the Colorado RIver course and basin. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Course_of_the_Colorado_River#/media/File:Coloradorivermapnew1.jpg

The reason of course that someone in Colorado may not be able to access the water from it is mostly the Rocky Mountains. The headwaters of the Colorado river is on the West side of the Rocky Mountains. So, only people by it would be accessing it.

Water rights were settled at the Federal Government level, so all 7 states that the Colorado river goes thru have rights to a certain amount : Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California all have rights to the water in varying amounts.

"...There is also concern regarding Nevada’s increasing population and the state’s water usage. Nevada, with the smallest water allocation in the lower river basin, may find in the near future that the water supplied by the Colorado River will not meet the state’s growing needs. In 2008 Southern Nevada Water Authority General Manager Pat Mulroy said that she does not support a water reallocation. This is because all of the states in the river basin have experienced growth she says that it is unlikely that Nevada’s allocation would increase, and it could even decrease.[7] Instead Nevada, like California, may have to work on conservation methods as well as finding other water sources to support the state’s growing population...." This is from here, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorado_River_Compact   It has to do with each states contribution to the watershed and needs. Nevada has very low rainfall. I dont see how CA contributes any either, although it still has rights due to the river running thru it and need. Arizona has the most Grievance with CA use of the water, both historically and now, and looking at the Colorado Basin map I linked above, I can see why, Arizona does have alot of drainage into the river.

The latest re-negotiated agreement among the 3 lower basin states ( CA, Nevada, Arizona) was negotiated and signed by US secretary of the interior in 2007, these are supposed to be interim until 2026.


Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: endurance on March 23, 2015, 08:22:45 AM
I guess I'm just of the mind that food is far more important than lawns.  While agriculture may only account for 2% of the California economy, it's a half-billion dollar contributor to the largest economy in the US.  Most of our state's water melts off the ski slopes and ends up in corn fields, but it doesn't bother me.  The thread started on the topic of drought, which impacts a lot of things besides lawns and agriculture.  If the water doesn't come it has broad impacts from the economy to the life-safety of individual home owners and firefighters.  Personally, I'd rather have the moisture in the forests, but nobody irrigates them.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: endurance on March 23, 2015, 08:35:22 AM
Oh, and it takes four gallons of water per week to grow a single corn plant and that plant may produce one or two ears of corn after 100-120 days.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: mountainmoma on March 23, 2015, 08:52:44 AM
I guess I'm just of the mind that food is far more important than lawns.  While agriculture may only account for 2% of the California economy, it's a half-billion dollar contributor to the largest economy in the US.  Most of our state's water melts off the ski slopes and ends up in corn fields, but it doesn't bother me.  The thread started on the topic of drought, which impacts a lot of things besides lawns and agriculture.  If the water doesn't come it has broad impacts from the economy to the life-safety of individual home owners and firefighters.  Personally, I'd rather have the moisture in the forests, but nobody irrigates them.

I guess I am not communicating it effectively ? I also believe in food not lawns, that is the name of an educational effort out here even, and you see more vegetables and gardens in front yards in the town by me than lawns. But, that isnt the point.

You could take all the outdoor household irrigation water used in California and wave your magic wand and have it stop, and that is only 10% of state water use. If you could magically cut that entire 10%, it would not be enough.

Agriculture uses all of the water -- 80%

It has to reduce so that the rest of CA can have water to survive

CA agriculture reducing, either in a slow measured way or an all at once collapse is inevitable to some degree. QUestion of when not if.

That is a problem for the country if we stay overly relient on it for that much food

This is why the CA drought is an emergency for everyone

Since household usages and other industry is 20% of water, we are not going to have people leaving like the dustbowl,  we have more than enough water for everyone to live.

We even have water for many small and medium farms that use local water in sustainable ways. We will not be able to continue the export corporate farms long term

Is there something about this that I havent explained well ?

I have driven thru the untold acres of almond orchards, for one example, in the central valley. One gallon of water used per nut. Cannot continue long term -- has nothing to do with lawns. The central valley is collapsing and turning into desert. The food we are sending you is now uptaking arsenic in too high levels, look that up yourselves, due to over pumping of ground water due to this drought.

This drought emergency is part of a long term problem and killing every CA lawn, what ones are even left, who has a lawn ? will not solve it.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: mountainmoma on March 23, 2015, 08:54:14 AM
Oh, and it takes four gallons of water per week to grow a single corn plant and that plant may produce one or two ears of corn after 100-120 days.

Not sure what that has to do with the CA drought ?

All that is fine if the water is there, but it isnt here, for sure.

Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: nelson96 on March 23, 2015, 09:58:24 AM
I wonder when California will make a deal with Oregon and divert water south from the Columbia. That would free up the Colorado for the other SW states.

I realize you were "mostly" joking, but there are many rivers that would make more sense than the Columbia.  The Trinity and Sacramento come to mind first, since they flow in to California.  Next would be the many rivers that flow to the ocean in Oregon, between California and the Columbia.  The problem with accessing any of the rivers in Oregon would be the Siskiyou Mountains, among many other issues such as the fact that California could never afford it.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: Smurf Hunter on March 23, 2015, 10:10:11 AM
This may sound rather insensitive, but CA basically has too large of a population.   It's not sustainable for so many people to be there.  After the public works projects of the 1920-30s that brought enough water to allow Los Angeles and surrounding areas to boom, there was no turning back.

I admit I'm rather ignorant on water science, but back in school I remember learning about the "Water Cycle".  Basically water is never really created or destroyed from the earth's perspective.  It may be locked up in frozen ice, or in the tissues of plants and animals. 

The point is, the stuff isn't evaporating into space, it's just in an inconvenient state given our needs. 

Until there changes to either the ecology or consumption patterns, I would expect this to become the "new normal".

Then again, what the heck do I know.  Where I live we worry about seasonal floods, and I never water my lawn because it stays green year round except for the very hottest of summers.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: FreeLancer on March 23, 2015, 10:17:44 AM
I realize you were "mostly" joking, but there are many rivers that would make more sense than the Columbia.  The Trinity and Sacramento come to mind first, since they flow in to California.  Next would be the many rivers that flow to the ocean in Oregon, between California and the Columbia.  The problem with accessing any of the rivers in Oregon would be the Siskiyou Mountains, among many other issues such as the fact that California could never afford it.

I saw something about an undersea pipeline from the mouth of the Columbia to recharge Shasta for $140 billion.  It was a Kevlar pipe 300 feet below the surface that would only last a decade, give or take.  So, yeah, pretty much pie in the sky thinking.

Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: FreeLancer on March 23, 2015, 10:29:49 AM
This may sound rather insensitive, but CA basically has too large of a population.   It's not sustainable for so many people to be there.

That's what I've always thought, too.

But, based on MM's posts, I'm starting to think it is the agriculture in the state that's not sustainable, at least with the present crops and methods. Especially if it's not that big of a contributor to the economy and farms can use water for pennies on the dollar.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: Smurf Hunter on March 23, 2015, 10:53:49 AM
That's what I've always thought, too.

But, based on MM's posts, I'm starting to think it is the agriculture in the state that's not sustainable, at least with the present crops and methods. Especially if it's not that big of a contributor to the economy and farms can use water for pennies on the dollar.

According to google, in 2014 CA had a population of 38.3 million.  So just to sustain human life, let's say each resident consume 1 gallon per day.  In reality the agricultural and economic patterns result in many more gallons per person per day. 

You can do all sorts of math, and swap in a more sustainable AG practice that uses less water per capita.  No matter what is done, they really are more mitigation and not full solutions.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: nelson96 on March 23, 2015, 11:25:15 AM
But, based on MM's posts, I'm starting to think it is the agriculture in the state that's not sustainable, at least with the present crops and methods. Especially if it's not that big of a contributor to the economy and farms can use water for pennies on the dollar.

I'd say they are a contributor that would be hard to adjust for if we were to lose Califonia's ag capability.

http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/Statistics/

Quote
California Agricultural Exports:
In 2013, California's agricultural exports amounted to $21.24 billion in value, representing a 15 percent increase over the previous year. In terms of value, California's top three agricultural exports are almonds, dairy and dairy products, and wine. California's share of total US Agricultural exports for 2013 was 14.7 percent or slightly more than the 13.1 percent share reported the previous year.

Quote
USDA/NASS Crop Year Report:
 In 2013, the most recent year for which a full crop year report is available, California's 76,400 farms and ranches received $46.4 billion for their output.

California's agricultural abundance includes more than 400 commodities. The state produces nearly half of US-grown fruits, nuts and vegetables. Across the nation, US consumers regularly purchase several crops produced solely in California.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: mountainmoma on March 23, 2015, 11:34:42 AM
I'd say they are a contributor that would be hard to adjust for if we were to lose Califonia's ag capability.

http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/Statistics/

For sure.

But, it is inevitable. There can still be some exports, but the percentage now is too high.

Hopefully wont lose it all, which is why it would be better to see changes start now. Unfortunatelly, I dont see changes happening in the ag area here or in the other states to reduce this load.

If you magically kicked all the people out of CA, you would buy some time, but big ag is utterally destroying the central valley. So, long term, it cant keep up no matter what. It was a mess before this drought. Most people are going to stay, look up the clip I posted earlier on what the central valley was right before the gold rush. Look at it now, think about it. We are creating the great central California desert, I would think plus or minus the 200 year mark of messing with it will be it for the present scale of extraction.

We have to grow more food everywhere in sustainable ways, get started. Be an exmple. Learn what works in your areas, for your water/climate.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: FreeLancer on March 23, 2015, 11:42:43 AM
According to google, in 2014 CA had a population of 38.3 million.  So just to sustain human life, let's say each resident consume 1 gallon per day.  In reality the agricultural and economic patterns result in many more gallons per person per day. 

You can do all sorts of math, and swap in a more sustainable AG practice that uses less water per capita.  No matter what is done, they really are more mitigation and not full solutions.

You could kill off 32 million people in CA (10% of US population) and the current farming operations here are still going to deplete all the available water growing food for export.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: mountainmoma on March 23, 2015, 11:45:05 AM
You could kill off 32 million people in CA (10% of US population) and the current farming operations here are still going to deplete all the available water growing food for export.

Exactly

Thank you Freelancer
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: Smurf Hunter on March 23, 2015, 11:55:32 AM
Unless CA is willing to radically change or stop it's AG exports, I don't see this changing.

This sounds like the old engineering joke:

The customer wants it done fast, done well, and done cheap. Now choose 2 of those 3.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: FreeLancer on March 23, 2015, 12:27:42 PM
Weaning agriculture off the government dole isn't easy anywhere.  Whether it's ridiculously cheap water, tariffs on imports, or subsidies for not growing crops, farm welfare programs are hard to get rid of.  I don't think California is unique in that regard. It's almost unpatriotic to challenge "farmers" in this county.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: RitaRose1945 on March 23, 2015, 07:27:26 PM
Weaning agriculture off the government dole isn't easy anywhere.  Whether it's ridiculously cheap water, tariffs on imports, or subsidies for not growing crops, farm welfare programs are hard to get rid of.  I don't think California is unique in that regard. It's almost unpatriotic to challenge "farmers" in this county.

There are a few occupations that society has decided we are not allowed to speak ill of.  Farmers are one category that is basically protected, and if you say anything bad, you're basically considered unpatriotic.  Doesn't matter much that the independent farmer (whom I generally DO respect) is almost nonexistent now.  We still have to honor the simple farmer and his family, despite the fact that most are really just corporate employees these days.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: lettuceman on March 24, 2015, 05:57:14 AM
There are a few occupations that society has decided we are not allowed to speak ill of.  Farmers are one category that is basically protected, and if you say anything bad, you're basically considered unpatriotic.  Doesn't matter much that the independent farmer (whom I generally DO respect) is almost nonexistent now.  We still have to honor the simple farmer and his family, despite the fact that most are really just corporate employees these days.


Well Stated.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: Black November on March 24, 2015, 04:14:31 PM
(http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/ce/71/37/ce71370c624a2dff2c8d934c2b77aa4d.jpg)
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: Bonnieblue2A on April 01, 2015, 02:00:34 PM
Gov. Brown uses executive orders for mandatory water restrictions.  The current order presently extends to February 28, 2016.

Executive order link:  http://documents.latimes.com/gov-jerry-browns-executive-order-drought/

LA Times article:
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-snowpack-20150331-story.html#page=1

Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: Black November on April 01, 2015, 04:43:12 PM
I highly doubt that the California gov will be able do anything short term to remedy the lack of water. However I'm willing to bet that they impose some sort of water tax to swindle people out of more money. If you can't fix a bad situation, you might as well find a way to make money off of it.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: FreeLancer on April 01, 2015, 05:08:31 PM
It will be interesting to see if my water rates finally go up with this new mandate.

Last month I used 748 gallons per day and it only cost me $1.61 per day + $23 monthly utility fee. I basically use the my pool's volume of water every month and it costs me less than $70. That's not much financial motivation to conserve.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: Ms. Albatross on April 01, 2015, 07:52:39 PM
I highly doubt that the California gov will be able do anything short term to remedy the lack of water. However I'm willing to bet that they impose some sort of water tax to swindle people out of more money. If you can't fix a bad situation, you might as well find a way to make money off of it.

THIS^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: David in MN on April 02, 2015, 08:05:50 AM
They've still got golf courses out there, no?

I don't know to what extent agriculture controls the state politics but it seems to me from top to bottom there's a massive denial of this problem. But as long as the big money don't want change none will occur.

Maybe the state would be better off split into 2 or 3 states. It seems like different regions face different challenges.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: mountainmoma on April 02, 2015, 08:55:55 AM
They've still got golf courses out there, no?

I don't know to what extent agriculture controls the state politics but it seems to me from top to bottom there's a massive denial of this problem. But as long as the big money don't want change none will occur.

Maybe the state would be better off split into 2 or 3 states. It seems like different regions face different challenges.

Division into separate states wont happen, the other regions take Northern CA water, but have a higher population density and out vote us.

Ag. and golf courses obviously have political clout. I don't understand why we hear nothing on the federal level about this, as you would think we should be encouraging more fruit and veggie production in other regions -- you would think that our farms bills would try to do this, but no. And, most of CA almonds, alfalfa (which use alot of water, not sure how much of the rice exports) is exported out of the country, to the far East, China.

By declaring an emergency, I think it means they can suspend other protections we insisted upon without regular due process  - but this is the part in his declaration that cant be interpreted without looking up a bunch of other laws. If you were to click on the link sited in a previous post by Gov. Brown and read the whole thing (I did) it does say that part of this suspension of process etc... is for "salt water intrusion barriers" in the Delta. This is East of San Francisco Bay, so Northern CA. I looked elsewhere to look up what this means. They are going to build quite a few little earthen/rock temporary dams here, where the fresh water meets the brackish, that they think will keep salt water intrusion from spreading too far back. This means they are going to just keep sending the River water south -- and hope this band aid holds from too much salt intrusion for local agriculture and household water -- both of which take local water from the Delta.

So, business as usual for ag. The only thing mentioned is that big Ag. now has to report water use to the state, and that the ground water stuff passed last year, which had a 25 year gradual implementation scheduale, is now bumped up and the local water districts get to take this new data the farms have to supply and come up with a plan by the end of THIS year, end of 2015. Maybe legally it just cant go any faster at this point as they have no data ? It is plausible that to suspend certain crops and exports they have to prove they are the ones using the ground water ?

But, I would think, if you can suspend all environmental protections to take more water than we all legally agreed to -- you would think that kind of emergency would also mean they could say no potable water at all to golf courses, and no out of country exportation of water hungery crops -- but no

When we talk of environmental damage, this isnt a delta smelt over people argument at all. The delta smelt is an indicator species. They are small and susceptible to salt levels etc.... so they were picked to indicate how badly we are messing up the entire SF bay ecosystem. They are easy to count and monitor, and the are a food source for many other bigger critters. But it isnt about them. If they are gone, the rest will die. That is the problem. When we kill entire large regional ecosystems, if/when we collapse them further, the systems we use for our own survival will follow. So, look at a map, the 2 largest CA rivers, Sacramento and SanJoaquin, going into the combined delta system into our largest bay, San Francisco Bay, is a huge thing we are killing. It provides, and provided even more in the past, a ton of human benefit and food. But, corporate farms need that water, to provide lower quality food for a relatively short amount of time, and then leave a desert. It hasnt even been 200 years we have farmed it, it will be fairly untenable by 200 years. So, we let and are letting corporations basically mine, like a strip mine, the soil and water. 200 years, done, and they will move on to destroy another area of the world.

My DIL, who works for a local water conservation nonprofit, just told me we are either the only California county, or one of very few, that doesn't either import or export water. And, agriculture is also a super large industry here. And, we use way, way less water per capita than elsewhere, even the lowest in the state. Maybe since we have no state or federal water subsidies and have to live within our means, we chose to conserve and not build our own desalintion plant (for home use). Agriculture has to be very careful as our farm land is right by the ocean and salt water intrusion happens and will ruin land if you pump out too much ground water, so if they want to keep farming it, they have to watch what they do.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: Russkie on April 02, 2015, 09:09:55 AM
Does anyone have any experience or insight into how this affects firefighting in the state?

For wildfires, I can imagine that little to no rainfall makes the vegetation and forest a tinderbox, and the water levels would affect the air-dropped loads of liquid retardant.

For municipal firefighting, I'd think they'd be in a tight spot. You cant put it out without water, but the enormous amount needed probably isn't appreciated.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: mountainmoma on April 02, 2015, 09:11:35 AM
from wikipedia

"...Alfalfa uses about 20% of California irrigation water, most of which is used as livestock feed. In 2012, California exported 575,000 tons of alfalfa to China, for $586 million.[14] Other common crop water use, if using all irrigated water - rice (despite its lack of water, California grows 550 billion pounds of rice per year, and is the second largest rice-growing state [15][16]);head of broccoli: 5.4 gallons; one walnut: 4.9 gallons; head of lettuce: 3.5 gallons; one tomato: 3.3 gallons; one almond 1.1 gallon; one pistachio: 0.75 gallon; one strawberry 0.4 gallon; one grape: 0.3 gallon. [17]..."

here, actually a good, short overview http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_in_California
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: mountainmoma on April 02, 2015, 09:13:43 AM
Does anyone have any experience or insight into how this affects firefighting in the state?

For wildfires, I can imagine that little to no rainfall makes the vegetation and forest a tinderbox, and the water levels would affect the air-dropped loads of liquid retardant.

For municipal firefighting, I'd think they'd be in a tight spot. You cant put it out without water, but the enormous amount needed probably isn't appreciated.

yeah, it is a dangerous fire year coming up/

Also, the drought kills and stresses trees.

The governer adressed this in his emergency stuff by saying that cal fire gets XX amount of money to educate the public about this
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: FreeLancer on April 03, 2015, 03:27:00 AM
Often our worst fire seasons come after unusually wet winters.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: mountainmoma on April 03, 2015, 06:41:11 AM
Often our worst fire seasons come after unusually wet winters.

well, what is the fuel base in your area for them ? Is it quicker growing grass/bushes/shrubs ?

Up here, you can see the stress and dying of large forest trees. Our fuel loads ae absolutely drier and worse after the years of drought
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: endurance on April 03, 2015, 09:17:55 AM
Last summer was ridiculously wet, but that left us with knee high dry grasses everywhere. Until we get to greenup, we're in trouble.  So far we've been lucky and had snow every 2-3 weeks, but if that pattern falls apart, we'll be burning. True, the trees are back to healthy fuel moistures, but that doesn't fix the carrier fuel speed and intensity.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: 16onRockandRoll on April 03, 2015, 12:49:26 PM
yeah, it is a dangerous fire year coming up/

Also, the drought kills and stresses trees.

The governer adressed this in his emergency stuff by saying that cal fire gets XX amount of money to educate the public about this
The scary part is that the huge King Fire last year was set on purpose.  No amount of education on the dangers can stop the madness of an individual.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: Cedar on April 03, 2015, 01:05:34 PM
My neighbor who hauls a semi load of bees down to the California almond orchards each year for decades, is not going this year. The almond farmer lost half his trees. And he is not watering the rest.

Cedar
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: FreeLancer on April 03, 2015, 01:57:30 PM
well, what is the fuel base in your area for them ? Is it quicker growing grass/bushes/shrubs ?

Our forested areas are between 5-10,000ft, but the majority of the wild land area is below that elevation and covered with fast growing vegetation.  Regardless of how much winter rain we get, everything is dry by the end of summer when the Santa Ana's start to blow.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: Cedar on April 04, 2015, 09:06:35 AM
"California's oil and gas industry uses more than 2 million gallons of fresh water a day to produce oil through fracking, acidizing, and steam injections, according to environmental estimates. In 2014, California oil producers used up nearly 70 million gallons of water on fracking alone, state officials told Reuters on Thursday."

Fracking has not been on the mandatory water restrictions.

Cedar
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: mountainmoma on April 04, 2015, 11:39:01 AM
"California's oil and gas industry uses more than 2 million gallons of fresh water a day to produce oil through fracking, acidizing, and steam injections, according to environmental estimates. In 2014, California oil producers used up nearly 70 million gallons of water on fracking alone, state officials told Reuters on Thursday."

Fracking has not been on the mandatory water restrictions.

Cedar

I was just reading a local newspaper article about this yesterday. The takeaway is that 70million gallons a years is minimal percentage of the states use (according to the fracking industry) and that they would feel we make more money on it than food and it is just as important -- that is the industry view, and the politicians must agree. I live in a very anti-fracking area, so local viewpoints differ.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: David in MN on April 05, 2015, 07:36:27 AM
Stephan Molyneux did a show about this on his freedomainradio feed. I don't always agree with him but found his argument on the reduced cost of water compelling. He claimed fresh water in CA was 1/5 the cost of water in Amsterdam letting Californians be rather wasteful. In addition the laws prevent the trade of water rights so the market is further distorted.

To be fair, as a liberty person I'm an easy sell that "the government fiddled with pricing so the market isn't working right". But it seems off that one can have a shortage on something that stays relatively inexpensive.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: RitaRose1945 on April 05, 2015, 08:44:18 AM
Interesting article with great pictures:

California Drought Tests History of Endless Growth - NY Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/05/us/california-drought-tests-history-of-endless-growth.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=span-ab-lede-package-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0 (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/05/us/california-drought-tests-history-of-endless-growth.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=span-ab-lede-package-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0)
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: Bonnieblue2A on April 05, 2015, 01:41:08 PM
Yet the pillaging by Nestle of water from aquifers near Sacramento continues:

Quote
Nestlé is draining California aquifers, from Sacramento alone taking 80 million gallons annually. Nestlé then sells the people's water back to them at great profit under many dozen brand names. 

Quote
Meanwhile, Governor Jerry Brown continues to fast-track his Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the peripheral tunnels to ship Sacramento River water to corporate agribusiness, Southern California water agencies, and oil companies conducting fracking operations. The $67 billion plan won’t create one single drop of new water, but it will take vast tracts of Delta farm land out of production under the guise of “habitat restoration” in order to irrigate drainage-impaired soil owned by corporate mega-growers on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley.

http://www.mintpressnews.com/nestle-continues-stealing-worlds-water-during-drought/203544/
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: mountainmoma on April 05, 2015, 10:13:54 PM
Yet the pillaging by Nestle of water from aquifers near Sacramento continues:

http://www.mintpressnews.com/nestle-continues-stealing-worlds-water-during-drought/203544/

Yeah, we do not need any more canals destroying this ecosystem just to send ti somewhwere else -- but they have more money.

ANd, yes, Nestle bottled water takes more water than Fracking.....
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: mountainmoma on April 06, 2015, 01:02:49 AM
This map is interesting as you can roll over a water district to see water usages, and for those who say it depends on location, you can see circles in the same area with vastly different usages, so it is not a climatic reason. Usually it is amount of landscaping (ie., money).

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/04/01/us/water-use-in-california.html?smid=fb-share&_r=0

The usual gripe by me would be that Hollywood usages more than 3x as much water per capita, and does so on water sent down from the San Francisco Bay Delta region. I live outside of but close to Santa Cruz.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: FreeLancer on April 06, 2015, 03:49:42 AM
Only 12% of CA water usage is residential, according to that NYT map. That's a really tiny piece of pie.

Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: bcksknr on April 06, 2015, 07:37:03 AM
     According to this mornings CBS News, CA agriculture is 2% of that states economy, yet uses 80% of the water. Apparently they have one year of reservoir water left, at current usage. Agriculture depends on draining the fresh water aquifer through pumping, which causes salt water to rise and poison the soil. As of now, growers have been given a pass on water restrictions imposed by Governor Brown. Still many acres have been left fallow because of water shortage and price. CA produces the majority of our fresh fruits and vegetables. If the drought continues, they won't be able to and we will have to look elsewhere for produce.
     Of course this has nothing to do with climate change, and we have been assured that even if the climate patterns are changing (which is undeniable), human activity isn't responsible, so we have nothing to worry about. Also, the corporations who own the politicians who make the decisions that could start to halt the environmental destruction (that might keep food on the table in the future), need to maintain their bottom line. Right up to the end.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: nkawtg on April 06, 2015, 08:35:32 AM
The usual gripe by me would be that Hollywood usages more than 3x as much water per capita, and does so on water sent down from the San Francisco Bay Delta region.

That reminded me of a line from LA Story..
"Sara: Roland thinks L.A. is a place for the brain-dead. He says, if you turned off the sprinklers, it would turn into a desert."

Of course that's because Southern California is a desert.

LA also gets their water from the Owens Valley.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: Cedar on April 06, 2015, 09:01:30 AM
If the drought continues, they won't be able to and we will have to look elsewhere for produce.

Why do you think I have been putting in commercial greenhouses? I have seen this coming for 3-4years now?

Cedar
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: Bonnieblue2A on April 06, 2015, 09:20:29 AM
The tragedy of the California water shortages is that the drought conditions have been largely aggravated by California and Federal policies that have halted the building of reservoirs and water viaduct systems x 20 yrs. and dictated who gets the water.  I've heard estimates that up to 70% of California's rainwater is washed out to sea.

During that same period of time the population of the state has approximately doubled.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: mountainmoma on April 06, 2015, 10:26:15 AM
The tragedy of the California water shortages is that the drought conditions have been largely aggravated by California and Federal policies that have halted the building of reservoirs and water viaduct systems x 20 yrs. and dictated who gets the water.  I've heard estimates that up to 70% of California's rainwater is washed out to sea.

During that same period of time the population of the state has approximately doubled.

It is not a tragedy, we do not want more aquaducts taking water south ---

If you saw what it has  done up here you would realy know why

The tragedy is that we thouhgt we could engineer the system this much to begin with

the solution is to spread out the people and agricuture more

Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: bcksknr on April 06, 2015, 10:33:29 AM
     I live in the Great Lakes Area and am thankful that the states bordering the Great Lakes have compacts to limit the exploitation of our fresh water resources. I'm sure that Las Vegas and Los Angeles would love to have a pipeline to Lake Michigan. As a comedian once said, "We have deserts, we just don't f_____g live in them". I guess he was wrong. Let the water wars begin.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: David in MN on April 06, 2015, 11:09:24 AM
     I live in the Great Lakes Area and am thankful that the states bordering the Great Lakes have compacts to limit the exploitation of our fresh water resources. I'm sure that Las Vegas and Los Angeles would love to have a pipeline to Lake Michigan. As a comedian once said, "We have deserts, we just don't f_____g live in them". I guess he was wrong. Let the water wars begin.

We're forecast for a dry year too, though. I will admit the states up here have acted better in preserving our water. Maybe CA just needs the iron fist of MN's DNR? I'm pretty sure once your land is declared a wetland you can't even look at it cross-eyed.

But comparing the LA River to our beloved lakes and streams smacks a little unfair. Just look at what our runoff has done to the Mississippi. Maybe we're better or maybe we have a little more slack in the line.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: Bonnieblue2A on April 06, 2015, 11:43:45 AM
It is not a tragedy, we do not want more aquaducts taking water south ---

If you saw what it has  done up here you would realy know why

The tragedy is that we thouhgt we could engineer the system this much to begin with

the solution is to spread out the people and agricuture more

So you don't think it is a tragedy that state and federal policies have had a hand in creating this water disaster in California?  Ok.........

As for California's aquaduct system, yes, I have seen it.  ( I had a brainfart and typed viaduct.) Just as I have seen the concreted systems that take the rainfall out of the cities to the ocean instead of diverting them for landscape and reservoir absorption.

There are many solutions that can be implemented both large and small scale.  In no way did my previous post suggest that Californian or federal government policies continue on perpetrating more of the same practices that have brought the water resources to this point of depletion.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: nkawtg on April 06, 2015, 12:13:44 PM
Just as I have seen the concreted systems that take the rainfall out of the cities to the ocean instead of diverting them for landscape and reservoir absorption.

All of Las Vegas's storm drains flow to several washes which flow to Lake Mead. Nearly all of our waste water, once treated, flows to Lake Mead. Some treated waste water is piped to our golf courses and roadway landscape irrigation.
So we give back a large portion of the water we take out of the lake.
Unfortunately the water that is slated to be pumped from Central Nevada will also find its way into Lake Mead rather than back to Central Nevada.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: mountainmoma on April 06, 2015, 02:36:53 PM
So you don't think it is a tragedy that state and federal policies have had a hand in creating this water disaster in California?  Ok.........

As for California's aquaduct system, yes, I have seen it.  ( I had a brainfart and typed viaduct.) Just as I have seen the concreted systems that take the rainfall out of the cities to the ocean instead of diverting them for landscape and reservoir absorption.

There are many solutions that can be implemented both large and small scale.  In no way did my previous post suggest that Californian or federal government policies continue on perpetrating more of the same practices that have brought the water resources to this point of depletion.

There are some things that can be done, but you said that the policies of not building more aquaducts has caused this -- and it IS true that Californians decided NOT to build phase II of the california water project. But, most of California did not want this to happen. Most areas (not most of the population) does not think we can build our way out of a problem that was caused by overbuilding. So, the state government did want to build more reservoirs and canals to bring more water to central valley and southern California, but a consortum of Native Americans, Northern Ca fishermen (commercial fishermen), Northern Ca commercial farmers and environmentalists all worked together to get it NOT to happen. There are alot of areas that would suffer to build more and send more south.

It is not seeing the aquaducts that shows the problem, it is seeing what the land that now is no longer getting its own water has been reduced to that shows the problem. The central valley of California was not a desert before we started, it was a huge natural wet land, most of it. Tulare Lake was larger than Lake Tahoe. We destroyed alot of fisheries and farmland to move this water.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: RitaRose1945 on April 06, 2015, 06:28:33 PM
All of Las Vegas's storm drains flow to several washes which flow to Lake Mead. Nearly all of our waste water, once treated, flows to Lake Mead. Some treated waste water is piped to our golf courses and roadway landscape irrigation.
So we give back a large portion of the water we take out of the lake.
Unfortunately the water that is slated to be pumped from Central Nevada will also find its way into Lake Mead rather than back to Central Nevada.

Not only that, but Vegas has and always will know that it is first and foremost a desert.  With a few exceptions, we've never really pretended to be anything else.  So we've developed a culture that includes being careful with water from the very beginning.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: 16onRockandRoll on April 08, 2015, 02:08:28 PM
The BDCP aquaducts are not entirely a bad idea.  The idea isn't just to pipe more water to SoCal, but to do it in a way that would have less negative impact to the Delta.  My problem with it is not so much the building of it, but the sizing of it.  It is sized quite a bit larger than current demands ( It has been a while since I researched it, but I seem to remember it could flow something like 50% more than the current system). I don't like what it signifies to LA about their water usage.  That we will just keep sending more and more to them, so stay the course.  The water now is being drawn by MASSIVE pumps on the south end of the Delta, which pulls saline water up from the ocean, and salts the Delta area farms, and wetlands that used to be freshwater dominated.  That said, I think we have just hit a point of too many people placing demands on the natural system.  Anything we do at this point is just a bandaid.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: Cedar on May 03, 2015, 09:08:24 AM
California only has around a year's worth of water left
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/03/opinion/sunday/the-end-of-california.html?_r=0

Cedar
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: endurance on May 03, 2015, 10:52:30 AM
I was watching something on TV about the Hoover Dam and right now Lake Mead is only 34' above losing the upper intakes.  If it goes below that point, so goes power production and the intakes for diverting water to Las Vegas.  I didn't watch the whole show, so I don't know how much credibility there is to that, but the very idea of it is frightening.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: Bonnieblue2A on May 03, 2015, 11:33:58 AM
I was watching something on TV about the Hoover Dam and right now Lake Mead is only 34' above losing the upper intakes.  If it goes below that point, so goes power production and the intakes for diverting water to Las Vegas.  I didn't watch the whole show, so I don't know how much credibility there is to that, but the very idea of it is frightening.

Some info. here:  http://www.utilitydive.com/news/hoover-dam-the-drought-and-a-looming-energy-crisis/281133/

Quote
  It was previously necessary for Lake Mead to have at least a 1,050 foot water level for Hoover Dam to generate but new, higher-efficiency turbines and controls that make the dam "more efficient than any time in its history” will soon make it possible to revise the minimum water level to 950 feet.     


 http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/planetpolicy/posts/2015/05/02-water-crisis-lake-mead-mulroy
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: endurance on May 03, 2015, 11:46:45 AM
So it hit a new record low this weekend and is expected to continue to drop until June, when Lake Powell releases are expected to help until next year.  The critical level is 1050', below which it appears Las Vegas, which gets 90% of its water from Lake Mead, will cease getting water.  It is currently at 1080' and dropping about one foot per week and is expected to reach 1073' this year.

http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/water-environment/lake-mead-water-levels-records-continue-fall (http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/water-environment/lake-mead-water-levels-records-continue-fall)
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: RitaRose1945 on May 03, 2015, 03:51:59 PM
So it hit a new record low this weekend and is expected to continue to drop until June, when Lake Powell releases are expected to help until next year.  The critical level is 1050', below which it appears Las Vegas, which gets 90% of its water from Lake Mead, will cease getting water.  It is currently at 1080' and dropping about one foot per week and is expected to reach 1073' this year.

http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/water-environment/lake-mead-water-levels-records-continue-fall (http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/water-environment/lake-mead-water-levels-records-continue-fall)

Yeah, it's pretty serious.  This has been in the works for quite a while.

Quote
The Southern Nevada Water Authority hopes to have its new, $817 million deep-water intake on line by the end of September.

Vegas has already reduced its water use to levels well below what they're expected to require in California.  We've always known we lived in the desert, but apparently that's not the case everywhere.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: FreeLancer on May 08, 2015, 02:44:44 AM
Freak storm blew in today from Canada.  It's pouring out there right now, and should leave some snow in the mountains, but we'll be back to 90 degrees by Monday.  Weird.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: endurance on May 08, 2015, 05:23:52 AM
Freak storm blew in today from Canada.  It's pouring out there right now, and should leave some snow in the mountains, but we'll be back to 90 degrees by Monday.  Weird.
If I could hook up a long enough hose to my sump pump right now I could singlehandedly refill your state's reserviors right now. ::)
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: Ms. Albatross on May 08, 2015, 08:20:44 AM
Freak storm blew in today from Canada.  It's pouring out there right now,

The rain woke me up at 3:30 this morning.  It's funny - I used to live under an airport flight path, then I moved and now I live under a freeway overpass.  None of that noise has ever bothered me.  It's just part of the usual background.  But when it rains, it wakes me up.  It's because it is so rare!  (San Diego)

The rain stopped for my morning commute this morning.  But the further west I drove, the darker it got.  I pulled into the parking lot and quickly gathered my stuff and it started sprinkling as I approached my door.  It's pounding the metal roof now.  I just missed it.  So this should probably go on The Good Thread!   :)
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: FreeLancer on May 08, 2015, 05:29:43 PM
If I could hook up a long enough hose to my sump pump right now I could singlehandedly refill your state's reserviors right now. ::)

We'd probably even pay you for it.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: endurance on May 08, 2015, 06:27:45 PM
We'd probably even pay you for it.
It rained most of the day today.  Now we're expecting 10-20" of wet spring snow on Saturday night, followed by a week in the 60s with afternoon thunderstorms.  I suspect we're going to see some pretty significant flooding across the Front Range.  Good news for our fire danger, bad news for California, Nevada, et al.  The Front Range water flows east, not west.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: endurance on July 06, 2015, 08:39:13 AM
Las Vegas' last straw is nearly complete.

http://news.yahoo.com/las-vegas-completing-last-straw-draw-lake-mead-051409517.html (http://news.yahoo.com/las-vegas-completing-last-straw-draw-lake-mead-051409517.html)

In inflation-adjusted dollars, this one tunnel cost as much as the original dam.  Of course when the dam was built gasoline was also $0.17, minimum wage was $0.25, and worker safety wasn't exactly a priority. 

Now all they need is record snowfall in the Rockies and Wind Rivers for the next five or ten years so they don't have to impose the cuts mandated if the water level drops below 1075'. :o
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: RitaRose1945 on July 06, 2015, 06:28:22 PM
What kills me is that the lowered use being required of other states, the ones they find so traumatizing, are still usually way above what we've been doing for years.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: FreeLancer on July 16, 2015, 06:22:15 PM
Bad day to be a California almond farmer:  http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/state-irrigation-district-violated-2015-drought-order-32499606 (http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/state-irrigation-district-violated-2015-drought-order-32499606)
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: FreeLancer on July 20, 2015, 01:06:57 AM
Well, it's not just me who thought two days in row of rain was weird.  This has now been declared the wettest July in SoCal history.

http://www.weather.com/storms/hurricane/news/southwest-flood-threat-july-2015-tropical-storm-hurricane-dolores (http://www.weather.com/storms/hurricane/news/southwest-flood-threat-july-2015-tropical-storm-hurricane-dolores)
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: Bonnieblue2A on July 20, 2015, 05:31:29 AM
Bridge along I-10 near Desert Center collapses from heavy rain.

Quote
"Interstate 10 is closed completely and indefinitely," said Terri Kasinga, spokeswoman for the California Department of Transportation


http://news.yahoo.com/storms-close-beaches-causes-power-outages-california-074424024.html#

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4jhh1z_Ewo

Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: Morning Sunshine on July 20, 2015, 06:34:45 AM
Well, it's not just me who thought two days in row of rain was weird.  This has now been declared the wettest July in SoCal history.

http://www.weather.com/storms/hurricane/news/southwest-flood-threat-july-2015-tropical-storm-hurricane-dolores (http://www.weather.com/storms/hurricane/news/southwest-flood-threat-july-2015-tropical-storm-hurricane-dolores)

is it going to help, or is it too much at one time on an already too-parched ground?
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: Cedar on July 20, 2015, 08:51:20 AM
My guess is the ground is too dry, and too much rain at a time for the soil to suck it up... is it all running off?

Cedar
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: mountainmoma on July 20, 2015, 09:06:33 AM
My guess is the ground is too dry, and too much rain at a time for the soil to suck it up... is it all running off?

Cedar

pretty much.

Where I live, you get that much rain at once. In that semi-desert area, it all runs to one spot and causes flooding.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: endurance on July 20, 2015, 10:43:00 AM
It should help the wildfires for a few days to weeks, as a system like this brings up the fuel moistures and relative humidity, which lowers the ignition component and rate of spread. It's not going to soak in enough to make the vegetation healthy again.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: FreeLancer on July 20, 2015, 02:15:55 PM
In my local area it hasn't caused much flooding or erosion and what doesn't evaporate or flow to the sea via the Santa Ana river recharges our aquifer.  Obviously two days of rain doesn't resolve a drought, but it appears to be a net positive for the San Bernardino Valley Basin, where we are much more likely to hang on to our precipitation than LA or OC. I will be interested to see if the hills green up like they do after two days of rain in the winter.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: Cedar on July 20, 2015, 02:39:20 PM
Drought update July 15, 2015
http://ca.gov/drought/pdf/Weekly-Drought-Update.pdf

http://www.cadrought.com/

Cedar
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: 16onRockandRoll on July 22, 2015, 05:42:21 PM
I just got my water bill, and there was an insert in it reminding us that we had a goal set to reduce usage by 35%.  That would come out to an average of 140 gallons per person/day.  We have been in water saving mode for well over a year, and only my productive outdoor plants get water. Granted, my daughter is one, but between the three of us we averaged 108 gallons/day total.  Same as this year last month.  Stupid part is, my bill has been within like $8 on the extreme spread since we moved here in 2008.  There is no monetary incentive to conserve, even with this nasty drought. 
At that level of usage, I almost feel like I should use a little more in my garden, it won't hardly change my bill.  There is a base service fee that makes up most of it, and then a couple dollars on top for usage.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: FreeLancer on July 22, 2015, 06:02:30 PM
My guess is the ground is too dry, and too much rain at a time for the soil to suck it up... is it all running off?

Hiked my local badlands yesterday, the ground was still wet and no erosion of the trails and fire roads.  This was a weird summer rainstorm, similar to a mild two day winter rainstorm, not like the crazy deluge that flooded my backyard and caused that big mudslide in Forest Falls a year ago.  There was so much humidity in the air that I couldn't see the mountains in any direction, just a hot steamy mess across the whole valley, with visibility like the bad old days of horrible smog.

There is no monetary incentive to conserve, even with this nasty drought. 

Same situation as me, my water costs remain ridiculously cheap.  But it's variable, depending on what municipality you get your water from, as a friend who lives twenty miles west of me had her rates triple and she's let her lawn die to avoid the extra $500/month.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: mountainmoma on July 22, 2015, 06:50:45 PM
Drought update July 15, 2015
http://ca.gov/drought/pdf/Weekly-Drought-Update.pdf

http://www.cadrought.com/

Cedar

I looked at the report, They have No Idea how many wells have run dry. I have not heard of any uptick here compared to last year, but no-one reports them when they run dry, why would they ? And, who would they call ? There is no program to help regular homeowners on a well in any case, you have to call a private water truck and pay to have some delivered into your water tank -- If they wanted to keep better numbers, they would need to publicied a number to call and some incentive or reason to do so, even if the incentive is just a good person with reasonable or low prices to call to fill your water tank
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: RitaRose1945 on July 22, 2015, 06:54:52 PM
I just got my water bill, and there was an insert in it reminding us that we had a goal set to reduce usage by 35%.  That would come out to an average of 140 gallons per person/day.  We have been in water saving mode for well over a year, and only my productive outdoor plants get water. Granted, my daughter is one, but between the three of us we averaged 108 gallons/day total.


Yes, but this is why your neighbor states are annoyed as heck.  We're already way below that, so when we hear people complain about how much they're having to reduce, it's hard to have a lot of sympathy.


I had Jay check our water bill just now.  We're incredibly average for Vegas, have 3 people in our household (including a 21 yo athlete and me, both of whom take long showers) and we only use 55 gallons per person per day.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: Cedar on August 12, 2015, 02:18:02 PM
Shade balls.. somehow I see an issue happening with this.. During the past couple years, cities across the state have dumped millions of “shade balls” — black, plastic balls weighted down with water — into their reservoirs. The result is a terrifyingly hypnotic scene: a barreling barrage of black balls that just never seems to end.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqhF2JpZBVs
http://abcnews.go.com/US/los-angeles-reservoir-covered-96-million-shade-balls/story?id=33038319

Cedar
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: Chemsoldier on August 12, 2015, 03:38:05 PM
a barreling barrage of black balls

+1
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: Cedar on August 12, 2015, 03:47:32 PM
+1

I don't think I ought to take credit for that one..

CEdar
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: Chemsoldier on August 12, 2015, 03:51:21 PM
I don't think I ought to take credit for that one..

CEdar
I still like it.  Let me know if a forum member coined it and I will give them karma also.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: nkawtg on August 12, 2015, 03:58:20 PM
So what will the unintended consequences be of all those black balls in reservoirs?
I'm guessing the intent is to reduce evaporation.
They're also going to heat the water considerably.

Are they food safe?
More surface area for bacteria to grow on.

Any others I can't think of?
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: endurance on August 12, 2015, 04:05:11 PM
So what will the unintended consequences be of all those black balls in reservoirs?
I'm guessing the intent is to reduce evaporation.
They're also going to heat the water considerably.

Are they food safe?
More surface area for bacteria to grow on.

Any others I can't think of?
Are they flammable?  Leave it to California to find a way to make their lakes burn.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: Cedar on August 12, 2015, 04:10:12 PM
Any others I can't think of?

There must be wildlife of some kind who use that water too. Is it going to push even more waterbirds to rice fields? Waterfowl die? Birds land and get entangled and not get back out? Other wildlife stuck in them? People getting stuck in them and cannot get out? Create nasty pathogens in the water? How are you going to get them all back out? Leeching from the plastics? Will heating the water make it evaporate faster?

Cedar
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: endurance on August 12, 2015, 04:38:13 PM
There must be wildlife of some kind who use that water too. Is it going to push even more waterbirds to rice fields? Waterfowl die? Birds land and get entangled and not get back out? Other wildlife stuck in them? People getting stuck in them and cannot get out? Create nasty pathogens in the water? How are you going to get them all back out? Leeching from the plastics? Will heating the water make it evaporate faster?

Cedar
I suspect the problem will be the opposite.  Plastic and air are excellent insulators, so I be the water will be colder.  Warmer water carries more air for fish.  With colder water you'll likely kill the current fish and get more anaerobic bacteria breaking down the dead fish.  Or not... It's all a great big experiment that might be ok, or it might end horribly... but I still want to see Cali burn a lake.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: RitaRose1945 on August 12, 2015, 06:56:00 PM
It actually sounds like a decent enough idea.  Low cost, simple, no energy required.


The only things that confuses me is the color.  Won't black heat up more than a lighter color?  And won't that cause some harm to the area's ecosystem if the temperature rises?

Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: FreeLancer on August 12, 2015, 07:30:05 PM
Lala lala lala la.....  Notice this is an LA City Department of Water and Power thing.

Some say it may actually increase surface area and evaporation.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: Cedar on August 12, 2015, 07:34:23 PM
It actually sounds like a decent enough idea.  Low cost, simple, no energy required.

How much energy and water was used to make those balls?

Cedar
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: RitaRose1945 on August 12, 2015, 07:44:20 PM
How much energy and water was used to make those balls?

Cedar


Probably a decent amount.  But they looked pretty simple - just black plastic balls with no frills - and it's a one time cost.  Evaporation in hot places, like here at the Hoover Dam, is really huge.  According to the dam's website, we lose 800,000 acre feet per year just at the reservoir.
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: bcksknr on August 12, 2015, 07:49:02 PM
     Wouldn't you think white balls would reflect more of the sun's energy, keeping the water beneath at a lower temperature and thus even less evaporation?
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: mountainmoma on August 12, 2015, 08:02:33 PM

Probably a decent amount.  But they looked pretty simple - just black plastic balls with no frills - and it's a one time cost.  Evaporation in hot places, like here at the Hoover Dam, is really huge.  According to the dam's website, we lose 800,000 acre feet per year just at the reservoir.

They will be an environmental nightmare because the sun will cause them to degrade -- think of the plastic floatng in the pacific ocean and washing on shore and hte animals eating the little pieces and starving. hink of the cost of trying to scop these all up again, one thing to release, quite another to pick back up, like dandelion fluff let loose. Sounds like something LA would do....
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: nkawtg on August 19, 2015, 08:35:19 PM
So what will the unintended consequences be of all those black balls in reservoirs?

More surface area for bacteria to grow on.

Looks like I called it.
LA 'black ball' reservoir rollout potential 'disaster' in the making, say experts
http://www.foxnews.com/science/2015/08/19/la-black-ball-scheme-disaster-in-making-say-experts/?intcmp=hpbt2
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: RitaRose1945 on August 20, 2015, 07:09:29 PM
Looks like I called it.
LA 'black ball' reservoir rollout potential 'disaster' in the making, say experts
http://www.foxnews.com/science/2015/08/19/la-black-ball-scheme-disaster-in-making-say-experts/?intcmp=hpbt2 (http://www.foxnews.com/science/2015/08/19/la-black-ball-scheme-disaster-in-making-say-experts/?intcmp=hpbt2)


Aha!  Me too!


If there's one thing we know here in Vegas, it's what things get brutally and tortuously hot in the sun.


Score!

Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: PorcupineKate on August 23, 2015, 07:14:32 PM
The balls are black because they add a carbon filler to the plastic to make it resistant to UV damage. 

Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: endurance on August 24, 2015, 04:09:53 PM
Apparently it has been done before without dire consequences in other places. While the balls may get hot, that doesn't necessarily mean the water underneath them will. After all, the shaded water below the balls will be receiving substantially less solar heating.  I don't see the balls constantly rolling since they're fairly tightly packed and imperfections in manufacturing is sure to give them a heavier side.

Is is a sure thing? Nope, but there's sure a lot of experts outside their field up in arms about it. Love the article quoting a biologist talking about evaporation. What?
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: Mr. Bill on September 21, 2015, 05:05:36 PM
The winter/spring 2015 snowpack in California may have been the lowest in the past 500 years, if not longer:

Arstechnica: California’s low snowpack truly exceptional (http://arstechnica.com/science/2015/09/californias-low-snowpack-truly-exceptional/)

Quote
...Records of snowpacks show that this year's low was exceptional, but the records only go back to 1930. ... So a group of US-based researchers put together two pieces of proxy records that were published previously. One involves a species of tree called the blue oak, where a study showed that "Annual ring-width chronologies of blue oak are strongly correlated with cool season precipitation totals." A second paper used other tree rings to determine the likely winter temperatures in the region. ...

They found there were no winters since 1500 where the estimated snowpack was as low as this past year's. The remaining uncertainty allows that there were a few years in the 1500s where it could have gotten this bad. But based on their analysis, the authors suggest that the winter of 2015 is so severe that it's likely to recur only once every 3,100 years. ...

As it melts in the spring, the snowpack provides approximately 30 percent of California's water needs. ...
Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: RitaRose1945 on September 21, 2015, 08:06:12 PM
As it melts in the spring, the snowpack provides approximately 30 percent of California's water needs. ...


That's what I was always told - that the rain was nice and meant people could stop watering their plants for a day or two, but it was the snowpack that really made a difference in the overall water supply.

Title: Re: Drought emergency declared in California
Post by: FreeLancer on October 15, 2015, 03:00:23 AM
Tonight I feel like I teleported to the Gulf Coast. Thunder, lightning, and rain like hell. This is the third time it woke me up. Craziness!