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View Diary: Colorado is smoking with Wind Power (128 comments)

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  •  Small dams have gotten a good name (6+ / 0-)

    internationally in lieu of large projects which benefit only the builder.

    We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

    by occupystephanie on Tue May 06, 2014 at 09:44:26 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, but they're incredibly expensive. (3+ / 0-)

      I know, I was on the water board in Colorado that built the most expensive dam per acre feet of storage in Colorado history.

    •  all dams disrupt river ecosystems (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Thinking Fella, occupystephanie

      If you're going to do hydropower, do water wheels ... or pipe a minimum of water through a turbine sized to meet the needs of a farm.

      Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

      by Visceral on Tue May 06, 2014 at 10:37:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, we're not (9+ / 0-)

        talking about river water per se. Here in my County(and many others), irrigation for crops & livestock is accomplished through a man-made lake/reservoir that feeds an incredible amount of small ditches that run throughout the County, mostly via gravity. Water rights & water 'shares' are a huge deal...
         It does, in fact, divert water from the watershed, but doesn't directly affect river flows--this area is so dry a lot of that water would never make it to a river... And these micro-dams are located in & using the water in the ditches as it flows by, not using anything in or from a river. The ditches are no wider than 3', usually more like 1.5', and have maybe 12" max in water in them--which becomes less & less water as the season wears on.

        The better I know people, the more I like my dog.

        by Thinking Fella on Tue May 06, 2014 at 10:52:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  ditch irrigation is a terrible idea (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Thinking Fella

          Ditches (and open reservoirs) waste an incredible amount of water through evaporation.  Get that water underground.

          Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

          by Visceral on Tue May 06, 2014 at 10:56:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Of course! (8+ / 0-)

            I speak for my entire County when I say we await your check to pay for burying several thousand miles of ditches.

            They were built & in use before most of us were alive. I agree that they are an ancient way to irrigate, but they are what is here. Our teabagger Congresscritter, Scott Tipton, will be of no help, so, we await your generous check to accomplish burial.

            The better I know people, the more I like my dog.

            by Thinking Fella on Tue May 06, 2014 at 11:04:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Much like the acequias in New Mexico... (4+ / 0-)

              ...but without, I suspect, the byzantine customary rules.

              Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

              by Meteor Blades on Tue May 06, 2014 at 11:22:39 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  how much does pvc pipe cost at home depot? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ColoTim

              You're talking about installing what is just a very large sprinkler system, not moving mountains.  Farmers here in Southern California used to do everything with ditches; now they use sprinklers because it saved them the cost of water.  Water conservation legislation helped.

              The ditches are already dug so farmers can basically just lay pipe and attach sprinkler heads as directed - or better yet, switch to drip - then fill the ditches in.  Everybody does their own land and cities and counties pay to install the larger pipes that feed the farms.

              Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

              by Visceral on Tue May 06, 2014 at 11:29:38 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Ok, so (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ColoTim, BYw

                what is my argument to get a hay farmer to spend money they don't have to do something they don't see as necessary? Remember, I'm in a red area, so no tax money will be allotted, ever. "It's been working for a hundred years just fine!".

                Look, I know ditches are primitive, and using flooding the fields as a form of irrigation is older than the Romans & about as poor a system as exists. But the political & financial constraints are great. I don't have the time to fight against fracking, the GOP, gun issues, water issues, coal pollution issues...I just don't have the time or inclination.
                My neighbor just a few months ago began a trash pick up service. Prior to that, they simply burned all their trash. He is literally a toothless hay farmer who wouldn't be able to afford to eat if not for the royalties he gets from gas wells on the extended family's land. If he just now stopped burning trash after 3 generations have lived there--how in the world can I convince him to install pipes he can't afford & doesn't think he needs? He believes his grand daddy dug those ditches(and he did literally hand dig MILES of ditches) so that he would have irrigation for his hay & livestock. How do I convince him to change his beliefs? And legislative resolutions are a non-starter here, so no law will be passed to make him do it. No Federal law will ever be passed, and most certainly no State law will ever direct him to do it. So how then?

                The better I know people, the more I like my dog.

                by Thinking Fella on Tue May 06, 2014 at 12:08:57 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I could care less what he thinks or wants (0+ / 0-)

                  He's wrong.  Period.  We need to find a way to make it happen.  Maybe California can be convinced to pay for it; we always need more water.

                  Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

                  by Visceral on Tue May 06, 2014 at 12:14:27 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  AgWater in California travels through open ditches (0+ / 0-)

                    before it gets to the field, the PVC pipe and the drip irrigation tubing.  From what I've seen there's more benefit to lining the bottom of an irrigation ditch with a non-porous fabric, than covering it over against evaporation.

                    “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
                    he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

                    by jjohnjj on Tue May 06, 2014 at 07:32:38 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

      •  Closed loop hydro storage (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ColoTim

        Proposal in NJ is to use an old mine.

        .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Tue May 06, 2014 at 11:31:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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