Author Topic: Drought emergency declared in California  (Read 50113 times)

endurance

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #60 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... :-\

Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #61 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.

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #62 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

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #63 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

Offline TexDaddy

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #64 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.  ;)

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #65 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?

Offline chad

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #66 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.

Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #67 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.

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #68 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. ;)

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #69 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?

endurance

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #70 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.

Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #71 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

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.

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #72 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.

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #73 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] ..."
« Last Edit: March 22, 2015, 05:07:22 PM by mountainmoma »

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #74 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)



Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #75 on: March 22, 2015, 06:57:12 PM »
Looking at a satellite view of Bakersfield is a real eye opener.

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #76 on: March 22, 2015, 11:38:16 PM »
But, you were joking, right ?

Mostly.

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #77 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







« Last Edit: March 23, 2015, 12:55:30 AM by mountainmoma »

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #78 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.


endurance

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #79 on: March 23, 2015, 06:15:33 AM »
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

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #80 on: March 23, 2015, 07:34:15 AM »
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 )

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #81 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.



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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #82 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.

endurance

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #83 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.

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #84 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.

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #85 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.


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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #86 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.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #87 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.

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #88 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.


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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #89 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.