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Forget about asteroids; the coming drought will do us in!
Old 03-17-2014, 11:45 PM   #1
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Forget about asteroids; the coming drought will do us in!

Forget about asteroids; the coming drought will do us in! Well, at least it may be for those of us in the West. But Easterners should not feel so smug because a lot of food is grown out here.

In my recent drive through California in an RV trek almost 2 years ago, I was astounded that so much of California land has been cultivated into orchards and vineyards, compared to my memory of the state from roadtrips of 20+years ago. But without water, we are all toastally doomed!

See: Warmest Winter on Record Worsens California Drought - NBC News.
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Old 03-18-2014, 12:01 AM   #2
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Sadly saw a news article recently that it was boom times for tree removal services. Some farmers are simply uprooting their orchards, since there wont be any water for them to survive the summer. These tree removal businesses are experiencing boom times now but worry their wont be much work in the future. I guess different from the rice fields, they can lie fallow for a while, but trees can't. I worry we will have water rationing and higher rates here this summer. But at least it looks good for Carlsbad, in north San Diego County. They are putting in the largest desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere. During the last long drought Santa Barbara did that, but shuttered it because it started raining again and the water was cheaper elsewhere. This one I hear is costing a billion dollars.
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Old 03-18-2014, 12:10 AM   #3
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DH and I saw lots of dead orchards and vineyards a week ago on our way down I-5 from the Bay Area. We were surprised at the loss.
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Old 03-18-2014, 08:38 AM   #4
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From everything I've read, I believe there will be serious water issues in parts of the USA during most of our lifetimes. The Southwest seems most susceptible in general, but other large metro areas may have problems as well. We certainly consider water one of the primary factors when we consider relocation. Though we hate winter in Chicagoland, if water ever becomes an issue where we are (close to Lake Michigan), no place will be water secure.

These 11 Cities May Completely Run Out Of Water Sooner Than You Think
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Old 03-18-2014, 11:48 AM   #5
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Good link! It shows that a few cities east of the Mississippi also face the peril of not having enough water. I did not imagine that.

But, Cleveland is included. Whoa! What's wrong with water from Lake Erie?

I found this site by the EPA: Great Lakes Monitoring. It has the following excerpt: "In Canada, the Lake Erie fishery represents nearly two-thirds of the country's total Great Lakes harvest." If people can eat fish from the lake, then the water is fine and not polluted. Right?
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Old 03-18-2014, 12:28 PM   #6
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At least in my city all you would have to do is outlaw sprinkled lawns and there would be plenty of water to go around.
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Old 03-18-2014, 01:53 PM   #7
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At least in my city all you would have to do is outlaw sprinkled lawns and there would be plenty of water to go around.
I saw a program a few years back, purporting to show the "green" things celebrities were doing. One snippet was about Alice Cooper, who recycled golf balls he fetched from water hazards, etc. Problem was the golf course was in Arizona, where I'm fairly certain lots and lots of water is required to grow a lawn the size of a golf course...
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Old 03-18-2014, 03:32 PM   #8
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Water is wasted in many ways (like using drinking water to clean up streets and sidewalks). Much can be done to reduce water consumption, but it probably won't happen until the faucets run dry.
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Old 03-18-2014, 03:35 PM   #9
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Arizona ===> Arid Zone

That's where they got the name. :-)
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Old 03-18-2014, 03:55 PM   #10
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I'm sure the folks in the UK would like to share some of their excess.

BBC News - UK weather: Winter wettest ever, says Met Office

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The UK has had wettest winter on record - 486.8mm of rain - beating the previous 1995 record, Met Office says.
Figures for 1 December to 19 February show the country had the wettest winter since records dating back to 1910.
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Old 03-18-2014, 04:50 PM   #11
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Here in San Diego something like 70% of potable tap water is used for yard irrigation and pools.
The trend towards xeroscaping is starting to catch on - but most people are too in love with their lawns.
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Old 03-18-2014, 05:16 PM   #12
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It certainly does not rain often in Phoenix, a metropolitan area with a population of more than 4 million. Yet, it is not listed in the Web article linked by Midpack earlier. We get our water from the Colorado River as well as from the watershed of the eastern part of the state. There has never been a water rationing system or a limit on lawn watering, but I wonder how long that will last.

A few years ago, I read about the amount of water used for agriculture in AZ: an astounding 80%. While some of that is used down in Yuma which supplies something like 90% of winter veggie for the US, a big portion of the water is used to grow cotton, something critics have said is better imported from elsewhere in the world.

As always, allocation of natural resources is controversial and subject to heated debate.
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Old 03-18-2014, 05:33 PM   #13
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Well it has been dry around our county but the reservoirs around are at 50 to 70% of capacity. Not a disaster yet. We are being asked to voluntarily cut consumption by 20% which I can do by putting the lawn on life support.

Droughts come and go like other natural disasters.
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:29 PM   #14
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The drought is not coming. It is here and has been for years. As far as conservation goes, 80% of CA's water goes to ag. Then there is industry. So, if we all run our sprinklers 27/4 it is meaningless. Why do we grow cotton and rice? We live in a semi-arid part of the world. Make ag figure it out.
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Old 03-18-2014, 08:20 PM   #15
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California drought has increased food price already - per news I've heard on my way home from work.
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:23 AM   #16
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But Easterners should not feel so smug because a lot of food is grown out here.
That's why I do pay attention to the issue especially when, as now, I sit here munching on an apple. Those are not in season in WV.
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:37 AM   #17
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....... I guess different from the rice fields, they can lie fallow for a while,..........
I wonder if rice might be better grown elsewhere.
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:41 AM   #18
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I live in the NE, but in the summer when I have a garden and potted plants on my deck, I save "Get ready" water.......the water that runs down the drain while you're waiting for it to get hot or cold or any time you're just rinsing things off....which is a LOT I found out..( hands in particular)...

I use two jugs from the 14 pound cat litter that I buy...cut off the tops, leave the handles, and place under the faucet.....use it to water the plants in the early morning which is a very peaceful activity in itself!

You'd be amazed how much water goes down the drain !!!!
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:56 AM   #19
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Last I checked we were surrounded by water ... just need a facility to convert the salt water to drinkable water ( the Navy has been doing this for decades ... the ships make their own water).

Fear not!
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:14 AM   #20
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Last I checked we were surrounded by water ... just need a facility to convert the salt water to drinkable water ( the Navy has been doing this for decades ... the ships make their own water).

Fear not!
Wow, who knew?



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....... But at least it looks good for Carlsbad, in north San Diego County. They are putting in the largest desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere. During the last long drought Santa Barbara did that, but shuttered it because it started raining again and the water was cheaper elsewhere. This one I hear is costing a billion dollars.
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