Author Topic: Drought emergency declared in California  (Read 50404 times)

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #150 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

is it going to help, or is it too much at one time on an already too-parched ground?

Offline Cedar

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #151 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

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #152 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.

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #153 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.

Online FreeLancer

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #154 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.

Offline Cedar

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #155 on: July 20, 2015, 02:39:20 PM »

Offline 16onRockandRoll

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #156 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.

Online FreeLancer

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #157 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.

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #158 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

Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #159 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.

Offline Cedar

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #160 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

Offline Chemsoldier

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #161 on: August 12, 2015, 03:38:05 PM »
a barreling barrage of black balls

+1

Offline Cedar

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #162 on: August 12, 2015, 03:47:32 PM »
+1

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

CEdar

Offline Chemsoldier

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #163 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.

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #164 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?

endurance

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #165 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.

Offline Cedar

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #166 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

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #167 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.

Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #168 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?


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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #169 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.

Offline Cedar

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #170 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

Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #171 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.

Offline bcksknr

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #172 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?

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #173 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....

nkawtg

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #174 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

Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #175 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


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!


Offline PorcupineKate

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #176 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. 


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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #177 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?

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #178 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

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. ...

Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: Drought emergency declared in California
« Reply #179 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.