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      There's a good diary by tin41 noting that Lake Mead is at its lowest level ever. I thought I'd do a follow-up to expand on some of the points raised.

        It's not just there's a water shortage, it's that we have a lot more people, more demands on the water, and collapsing infrastructure. Business as usual is failing to meet the challenge. We're already into the adaptation phase - those of us who can see the writing on the wall anyway.

        More below the Orange Omnilepticon.

   tin41 closes with this question:

So the question is: what do we do when there is no water?
The people of Wichita Falls, TX are finding out.
WICHITA FALLS, Texas—City officials began blending 5 million gallons a day of treated wastewater into their municipal water system this week, launching one of the biggest so-called direct reuse programs in the country.

While some residents in this city of about 105,000 are concerned about drinking water from a sewage treatment plant, city officials and business leaders say it was the only way to adapt to an unprecedented dry spell. The lakes that supply the city have dropped below 25 percent of their capacity.

      The Scientific American article by Mike Lee spells out the rationale: there's no water to be tapped for 200 miles; every community in the area is facing the same problem. Other Texas cities, including some large ones, are contemplating similar steps.(A complementary article behind a paywall suggests that Drinking from the Toilet is the 'wave' of the future.)

       The Wichita Falls story has some numbers that explain why.

At 60 cents per 1,000 gallons, it's far cheaper than any other source of water, [Wichita Falls' public works director Russell] Schreiber said.

He said there have been few complaints so far. A glass of the finished product, sampled at a downtown restaurant, tasted about average for West Texas.

Most cities in Texas draw their water from rivers and artificial lakes, which means they're generally drinking water that's been used upstream. Fort Worth and Dallas, for example, discharge their treated wastewater into the Trinity River, which supplies part of Houston.
      There's an old joke with some painful truth in it. "Remember to flush - the people downstream need the water."

        Without rain, water availability becomes a critical issue. Both the BBC and Scientific American have noted that Oklahoma is starting to see dust storms again. Is this the return of the Dust Bowl? We have a much better handle on how to manage the land these days - but we also have a Republican party fanatically opposed to using the government to solve any problems - and it took the Federal Government under FDR to institute the changes across the region that eventually got the first dust bowl under control.

      Drilling for water is only a limited solution. As tin41 notes, it can take a long time to recharge an aquifer. The NBC news report he linked to lays out the international concerns about regional water use in the midwest.

“This country became what it became largely because we had water security,” says Venki Uddameri, Ph.D., director of the Water Resources Center at Texas Tech. “That’s being threatened to a large degree now.”

With the world population increasing, and other critical global aquifers suffering equally dramatic declines, scientists acknowledge that if the American Breadbasket cannot help supply ever-growing food demands, billions could starve.

“The depletion of the Ogallala is an internationally important crisis,” says Burke Griggs, Ph.D., consulting professor at the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University. “How individual states manage the depletion of that aquifer will obviously have international consequences.”

     This is in some ways another legacy of Richard Nixon - his agriculture Secretary Earl Butz reversed FDR era land management policies, and encouraged farmers to "plant fencerow to fencerow." This made the U.S. a major exporter of food, and pushed food prices down. It also led to the rise of giant agribusinesses and made small family-owned farms economically unviable. We're now seeing that the industrialization of farming has turned agriculture into an extraction industry, with water as the key resource being depleted. It's the old Devil's bargain of maximize profits now, and don't worry about what happens down the road because IBGYBG thinking.

     It's not just the midwest either. NPR notes the continuing California drought has farmers desperately drilling for water, and hoping El Nino is on the way.

California's aquifers supply 40 percent of the state's water in normal years; but in this drought year, it could be as high as 65 percent.

State officials estimate that water tables in some parts of the Central Valley have dropped 100 feet below historical lows. Groundwater pumping could also put more stress on the San Andreas Fault, which has moving plates that can cause earthquakes.

And those aren't the only consequences.

"We're on a one-way trajectory toward depletion, toward running out of groundwater," says Jay Famiglietti, a University of California hydrologist and a leading expert on groundwater. He points out that California is the only Western state that doesn't really monitor or regulate how much groundwater is pumped.

"So it's not unlike having several straws in a glass, and everyone drinking at the same time, and no one really watching the level," Famiglietti says.

  To make things even more interesting, the oil industry in California has been selling off water extracted along with gas and oil to desperate farmers - but the question is, do the numbers add up to a net gain or net loss. (And this is water that, once pumped, is not going to be replenished any time soon. When it's gone, it's gone.)
...What is more, critics say, California must rely on industry figures for the amount and kind of water used in oil production. According to the Western States Petroleum Association, 323 acre-feet of water were used in fracking 830 wells in California in 2013, compared with 2.7 million acre-feet for agriculture here in Kern County, the heart of California’s oil industry. (An acre-foot is the volume of water that would cover an acre up to a foot high.) Figures and details on water use in conventional oil production were not available, according to the association.
       Charles P. Pierce has the skinny on an OOPS from fracking in North Dakota that brings up the inconvenient fact that not all water from the depths is usable.
Saltwater is a naturally occurring, unwanted byproduct of oil and natural gas production that is between 10 and 30 times saltier than sea water. The state considers it an environmental hazard.

The byproduct, also called brine, may contain petroleum and residue from hydraulic fracking operations.

Karolin Rockvoy, a Mackenzie County emergency manager, said it was apparent from looking at vegetation that the spill went undetected for some time.

The number of saltwater spills in North Dakota has grown with the state's soaring oil production. North Dakota produced 25.5 million barrels of brine in 2012, the latest figures available. A barrel is 42 gallons. There were 141 pipeline leaks reported in North Dakota in 2012, 99 of which spilled about 8,000 barrels of saltwater. About 6,150 barrels of the spilled saltwater was recovered, state regulators said.

      So, while cities and farmers are fighting for water, the energy industry is producing some, using a lot more, and also producing some pretty nasty brine that has to be disposed of. None of this is good news in areas where usable water is in short supply.

      At the same time, there are other regions of the country where water is too much of a good thing.

Several towns along the Mississippi River are hoping heavy rains hold off, as flood waters are expected to rise over the next week.

Low-lying areas around Iowa City, Iowa and in river-hugging cities along the swollen Mississippi River have already flooded, and flood barriers have been erected in most of those areas.

The National Weather Service reported that the Mississippi River crested in Davenport, Iowa at 20.89 feet Friday — well above flood stage of 15 feet but nearly two feet below the record set in 1993. The high waters caused flooding of low-lying areas along the river, such as River Drive in Davenport.

The level is expected to drop starting Saturday and settle below 18 feet by Thursday.

Coralville Lake, a reservoir built north of Iowa City to control flooding on the Iowa River, is projected to crest next week about a foot below its emergency spillway.

But heavy rains in the coming days would lead to more serious flooding.

        It's hard to believe it wasn't that long ago that the Mississippi was going dry. It's not just about the earth heating up - it's about the increasing range of climate fluctuations.

         In upstate New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo has taken official notice that there is something up with the weather.

"The property damage that you see in Madison County is explosive in its effect," he said. "It looks like a literally a bomb went off in a house. You see those pictures on TV. You don't normally see them in the state of New York."

Cuomo offered condolences to the loved ones of the four people who died in the tornado.

"There was a tragic loss of life in this totally random event, he said. "You have a house on one side of the street that is there, you have a house on the other side of the street that is just gone. That was the path that the tornado happened to take."

In response to the tornado, he said state officials would continue to hold citizen preparedness trainings across the state.

      Indeed, the increasing variability of the climate is making the need for government action to deal with it more imperative every day. Whether it is not enough water or too much water, or some other extreme manifestation of weather, the response has got to be comparable. One of the reasons we need government is to invest in and maintain the physical infrastructure of civilization. The NRDC points out just one example where we are falling short.
The bottom line is this: the tap water in some cities might pose health risks to vulnerable consumers -- people who have serious immune system problems, pregnant women, parents of infants, those with chronic illnesses and the elderly should consult with their health care providers about the safety of tap water. (See this fact sheet from the Campaign for Safe and Affordable Drinking Water for more information on protecting the vulnerable.) And our nation must make a major commitment to upgrading and modernizing water systems and protection of drinking water sources.
      We have an aging infrastructure that was A) built for a smaller population, B) that is under stress from a multitude of new directions, C) is based on assumptions about climate that no longer apply, and D) is increasingly obsolete and inefficient. Interest rates have never been lower, employment levels are not where they should be, the economy is lagging far behind where it could be. Global warming demands action in any case. There is a LOT we need to do ASAP - but the Reign of Morons is killing us by slow degrees and allowing our country to crumble.

      Politicians can tell lies about the science, they can legislate away rising sea levels, they can refuse to act while ignoring the cost of inaction, they can tell themselves soothing stories and deny the problem

But -

When people turn on the tap and there's no water, when there's no food because the crops have dried up, that's not something that can be ignored. What's happening in Wichita Falls and elsewhere only seems extreme by contrast with earlier, simpler times. Civil unrest, even war is not outside the range of possibilities when there's not enough water.

        The Reign of Morons may continue for a while yet, but  Katie McKissick's Symbiartic Blog over at Scientific American calls people to Don't Be A Water Jerk, and has some great art work she did on that theme. We don't have to wait for our political system to recover from the damage being done to it by Republicans to take action on our own.

UPDATE:  Hat tip to Atrios for linking to this NY Times article on how to manage a water supply to control losses from leakage.

Imagine that you run a company that sells bottled water. You spend lots of money, and use lots of energy, pumping the water out of the ground, purifying it and transporting it for sale. Then, one day, you discover that a large number of bottles never make it to the stores. They are falling through holes in the trucks.

Wouldn’t you want to know what could be done about it? Wouldn’t you be crazy to allow the situation to continue?

Well, that’s what’s happening with many water utilities in the United States. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates (pdf) that public water systems lose, on average, one-sixth of their water — mainly from leaks in pipes. The E.P.A. asserts that 75 percent of that water is recoverable. (In truth, the volume of leakage in the nation’s 55,000 drinking-water systems is unknown, because few conduct water audits using the standards established by the International Water Association and the American Water Works Association.)

Read the whole thing.

Update 2: In comments, julesrules39 makes the important point that it's not just about having water to drink or grow food; it's also about energy.

...96% of our electricity in the US requires vast amounts of water.  In fact, according to the USGS, the power sector is the largest consumer of US groundwater, ever more so than agriculture.  Some is thermoelectric (like coal, gas, nuclear, concentrated solar, etc.) that use water for cooling and such.  In Vegas, they are concerned about the lake getting too low as the Hoover Dam provides power to three states (Vegas, parts of LA and Phoenix).  I just saw an article about how they are screwed.

So, it's not just food and water at risk, it's an energy security issue as well.  This is why introducing more wind, geothermal and solar PV into the mix is important.  They don't need water for electricity production.  But, the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity, ALEC and now the utilities are all trying to slow the growth of renewables.  In my opinion, this is a huge mistake given this coming water crisis.

Read the whole comment.

Originally posted to Climate Change SOS on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 09:19 AM PDT.

Also republished by DK GreenRoots and Community Spotlight.


Would you be okay with your community reusing waste water in the drinking water supply?

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Comment Preferences

    •  Good follow-ups and add-ons (9+ / 0-)

      to what I posted earlier. Thanks!

    •  I run a number of septic systems (my own 'sewer (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xaxnar, FloridaSNMOM

      systems'), they are all (with other people's) directly above the rural aquifer that supplies our water and close to the aquifer co-op well's pumping and filtration plant.
      Granted the aquifer is something like 6,000 feet down, the septic leach fields drain down through mostly sand and limestone towards that aquifer (don't really know if it reaches it, nor how long it takes).
      I've been places with better water, and places with much worse.

      "The church of life is not in a building, it is the open sky, the surrounding ocean, the beautiful soil"...George Helm, 1/1977

      by Bluefin on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 12:05:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I worked with Metcalf and Eddy (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xaxnar, TomFromNJ

        On a little project in New York where something like 35 million gallons a day were supplied to New York city through the Croton Aqueduct originally built in 1837 as an eliptical tube made of Brick running from the dammed Croton river in upstate New York south to the city.

        . In connection with this work on the Jerome Park resevoir the Croton system was taken offline and the reservoir emptied in December, 2008. It was refilled and returned to service in early 2014
        The aqueduct was originally designed because in 1830 New York water was filthy.
        The unsanitary conditions caused an increase in disease. Epidemics like cholera and yellow fever ravaged the city. A polluted aquifer, overcrowded housing, the lack of sewers, public ignorance of basic sanitary conditions, and the existence of polluting industries near wells and residential areas contributed to an unprecedented mortality rate of 2.6% (1 death per 39 inhabitants) in 1830.
        I Imagine thats one reason why brewery's became popular in the cities of that period, you simply couldn't drink the water without dying.
        The need for a new supply of fresh water was crucial and was prompted by the Great Fire of New York in 1835. In 1837 construction began on a massive engineering project, to divert it from sources upstate, following a route surveyed by Major David Bates Douglass, engineering professor at West Point Military Academy,[4] and supervised by Douglas' successor, Chief Engineer John B. Jervis.[5] The Croton River was dammed, aqueducts were built, tunnels dug, piping laid and reservoirs created. The gravity-fed aqueduct dropped 13 inches per mile. An elliptical tube, 8.5 feet high by 7.5 feet wide, of iron piping encased in brick masonry was laid, sometimes in cuts, with conical ventilating towers every mile or so, to relieve pressure and keep the water fresh. Hydraulic cement was added where the aqueduct crossed rivers. It extended from the Croton Dam in northern Westchester County to the Harlem River, where it continued over the High Bridge at 173rd Street and down the West Side of Manhattan and finally into a Receiving Reservoir located between 79th and 86th streets and Sixth and Seventh Avenues that is now the site of the Great Lawn and Turtle Pond in Central Park.[6] The Receiving Reservoir was a rectangular tank within fortress-like rusticated retaining walls, 1,826 feet (557 m) long and 836 feet (255 m) wide; it held up to 180,000,000 US gallons (680,000 m3) of water. 35,000,000 US gallons (130,000 m3) flowed into it daily from northern Westchester.
        Today it runs most of the route under the cities cemeteries where ground water that leaches through the coffins of the dead adds 25 million gallons a day to the supply.

        The so called New Croton Aqueduct was built in 1890

        The New Croton aqueduct, built roughly parallel to the Old Croton aqueduct was constructed to provide a large steady water supply for New York City. The aqueduct opened on July 15, 1890.[1] It runs from the New Croton reservoir in Westchester County to the Jerome Park Reservoir in The Bronx, from which it distributes water to certain areas of the Bronx and Manhattan before emptying into Tunnel 1 of the Catskill/Delaware System. Due to numerous water quality issues, a filtration plant, the Croton filter plant, is being constructed within Van Cortlandt Park to improve water quality. Because of these quality problems, the Croton system is often bypassed or mixed with water from the Catskill Aqueduct and/or Delaware Aqueduct.

        "la vida no vale nada un lugar solita" "The Limits of Control Jim Jarmusch

        by rktect on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 08:21:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Urk..blork...interesting system, but not much in (0+ / 0-)

          common with a ~6000' deep aquifer in a rural area.

          More like the mostly gravity-fed (with lots of pumps too) irrigation system I used when I lived in the RG Valley to flood-irrigate citrus, corn and lawn (with bonus fertilizer in the form of many small fish, heheh).
          A lot of people did use the canals as a household water source, may still, but the irrigation districts try to discourage that (the RGV is about the most poverty-stricken area in US).
          The pic of the vent stack looks a lot like the irrigation system standpipes we have all over (a combination of canals and pipes), you climb up and reach in to operate a gate valve which sends water into another buried line or outlet.

          "The church of life is not in a building, it is the open sky, the surrounding ocean, the beautiful soil"...George Helm, 1/1977

          by Bluefin on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 12:54:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I was wondering how much leaching does (0+ / 0-)

            to filter ground water before it enters the water supply and how deep the surface of the 6000' deep aquifer actually is.

            In my experience most people drilling wells for water can find it within the first fifty feet and then go down another 75 or 100 feet to create a reservoir.

            The dug wells on my property probably weren't dug more than five feet deep, then they were lined with stone as a foundation and built up like a chimney stack with the ground bermed around them in a cone shaped tower until their total depth was maybe twenty feet, then they were graded off to fair into the foundations of the house and barn which were treated the same way, built on the existing ground level and then bermed.

            In terms of water traveling through fissures or cracks in rock I'm not sure how much different that is from a stream which has an oil spill. Most of the oil gets carried as many miles as it takes to reach a point where there is less than an eighth of an inch to a foot pitch and then it functions like the contents of a Gas Oil Separation Pond (GOSP).

            "la vida no vale nada un lugar solita" "The Limits of Control Jim Jarmusch

            by rktect on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 06:52:56 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  we reuse it for landscaping... (22+ / 0-)

    partially because it was too clean to dump in the SF bay...but I sure would not be excited about drinking it...even though it is said to be clean enough...I enjoy the taste of our tap water.

    also wonder if it would push more people to drink bottled water...which I don't believe is helpful.

    currently our 'perc' ponds that replenish our aquifer are mostly empty...I wish we were pumping it up to fill them.

    I have a question...maybe a stupid one...but if we pump an aquifer too it possible it could compress...fill with silt or somehow lose capacity..??

    more questions...does anybody know a good rain dance..??..did gov. perry's praying work..??..I'll try anything...we are heading for disaster..!!

    We are not broke, we are being robbed. ~Shop Kos Katalogue~

    by Glen The Plumber on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 09:35:53 AM PDT

    •  Aquifers do compress when pumped out (23+ / 0-)

      They are already seeing it in California.

      The rush to drill is driven not just by historically dry conditions, but by a host of other factors that promote short-term consumption over long-term survival -- new, more moisture-demanding crops; improved drilling technologies; and a surge of corporate investors seeking profits for agricultural ventures.

      Now those forces are renewing an age-old problem of environmental degradation: Decades ago, overpumping sunk half of the entire San Joaquin Valley, in one area as much as 28 feet. Today new areas are subsiding, some almost a foot each year, damaging bridges and vital canals.

      emphasis added

      I've also seen it noted that the compressed soil doesn't recharge with water because it has been compacted.

      "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

      by xaxnar on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 09:58:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It can take thousands of years (13+ / 0-)

      for water to filter back down into some aquifers.  So even if you're using the water for irrigation, it's not really reusable in any reasonable time frame.

      No matter how cynical you become, you can never keep up.--Lily Tomlin

      by MadScientist on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 10:06:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Some aquifers, yes (12+ / 0-)

        Others can be recharged on relatively short time frames.  We need to distinguish between mining 'fossil' groundwater, overdraft of rechargeable aquifers, and sustainable groundwater use.

        Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

        by benamery21 on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 08:53:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  In Saudi Arabia (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          xaxnar, Sunspots, mightymouse

          they depleted their aquifer using it to wash the Ghwar oilfields, essentially put them on rinse cycle to get the last drop of oil out of what was once thought to be an inexhaustible sea of oil.

          They then used desalination plants with 5' diameter pipelines to provide water to bottling companies for drinking.

          Just as the Eskimo have about 25 different words for snow, the Saudi water has a number of different classifications ranging from raw water which is essentially sewage, through potable water which is pure enough to mix concrete but not potable enough to actually drink, to bottled water which often as not is illegal alcohol produced in the bottling plants and sold on the black market in a dry country.

          "la vida no vale nada un lugar solita" "The Limits of Control Jim Jarmusch

          by rktect on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 08:33:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  this is really simple: graywater. (11+ / 0-)

      Cold purge water from the shower, into laundry.

      Used laundry water, into toilet.

      I've been doing this for years.

      I've designed a few inventions based on it.

      We can do this.  No need to drink recycled sewage with trace levels of antibiotics and prions in it.

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 08:36:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I fully support addition of greywater (6+ / 0-)

        systems to residential building codes in most areas.  Where not included in building construction, most folks can get significant mileage out of cheap, below-sink, sink to toilet systems.  You can buy a package system for a few hundred bucks.  If you're on a water meter, your water bill will go down, in most places your sewer bill will go down, you will reduce demand on the local water treatment and water distribution facilities, you will reduce demand on the local wastewater treatment plant, and, except where wastewater is recycled or makes up supply to a downstream water supply system, you will free up water supply for others.

        I also support use of reclaimed water to displace water demand.  In most places I think we can re-use all effluent without toilet-to-tap.  Groundwater recharge is a potential use for areas where use in non-potable and environmental applications is not sufficient to use all effluent.  Toilet to tap is OK, where it is needed.  It's not a first choice for me.

        Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

        by benamery21 on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 09:02:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  sinks are technically blackwater... (4+ / 0-)

          ... last time I checked.  Biologically active material.  At least kitchen sinks.  Maybe bathroom sinks qualify as graywater.

          There is a clever toilet that has a sink built into the top of the tank so the "drain" goes to the toilet tank.  Wash your hands after using the toilet and before flushing.  Useful but still only a partial solution.  The system I designed is user-transparent.

          Recycled sewage to groundwater is OK because percolation through subsoil should clean out everything.  Or we may discover that's just a new way of breeding lethal anaerobic bacteria.  

          Toilet to tap, No.  Medical drug residues notably antibiotics.  Prions (mad cow).  

          Nuclear power plants along coastlines, with desalination of seawater from the secondary cooling loop, OK.   Any stray radionuclides that get into that water can be easily detected.  Much more easily than prions.

          Bloody hell.  The root cause of this is overpopulation.

          We need a 1-child policy in the US for a few generations, and reduce immigration to a level that adds up to the equivalent of a 1.5-child policy.  That will reduce population while maintaining a 30% ratio of immigrants to ensure cultural vitality and humanitarian access.

          We got the future back. Uh-oh.

          by G2geek on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 01:50:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This is what I'm talking about (3+ / 0-)


            Not a comprehensive solution, but cheap and easy.  With a dual-flush toilet it should save significant domestic water with relatively limited expense.

            My usage of 'OK' and 'needed' should be read conservatively.  On the space station, this is clearly needed.

            Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

            by benamery21 on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 02:30:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  space station, and interestellar space liners. (3+ / 0-)

              Graywater: Aqus got a bunch of stuff that's also in my design.  Interesting.

              Space travel thus far has not had to worry about antibiotics or prions ending up in the water supply.

              Where it becomes a problem is in more ambitious missions such as colonies on the Moon, Mars, and outer planets, and on many-generational space liners to other star systems.

              The whole set of issues around infectious diseases from bacteria down to prions, is going to have to be dealt with along the way to the more ambitious space missions.  I foresee a 10,000 year timeframe to going interstellar, so we have all the time we need to deal with this.  Assuming we don't trash the climate and crash the ecosystems in the next couple of centuries.

              We got the future back. Uh-oh.

              by G2geek on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 05:40:43 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  G2geek - M P cubed, or M*(P**3) (4+ / 0-)

            term from C. West Churchman, systems philosopher at UC Berkeley in the 80's ( or maybe the 70's) summarized the world's challenges (problems?)

            M = militarism

            P = population

            P = pollution

            P = poverty

            right now 1/2 world's population lives on less than $3 per day

            As the Canadian Environmentalist, David Suzuki notes, we don't understand nor can control the biosphere, but what man has created, governments, economies, religions are taken to be hard to change.

            Mother earth will force humanity's hand.

            •  all of the above. (2+ / 0-)

              We are barely infants compared to the history of life on Earth, and life itself is barely in its infancy compared to the estimated lifespan of our universe (20 trillion years if I recall correctly).  

              If we blow it at this stage, that's the equivalent of a baby committing suicide, and it's also failing the cosmic darwin test.  For which reason we should consider it the equivalent of a religious mission, to achieve sustainability and world peace, to enable ourselves to move forward into what should be the normal process of development of an infant into a mature person, or as it were, an infant civilization into a mature interstellar civilization.

              We got the future back. Uh-oh.

              by G2geek on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 05:44:25 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Free birth control (0+ / 0-)

            gets you much of the way there, without being authoritarian.


            Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

            by benamery21 on Wed Jul 16, 2014 at 01:53:49 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Bermuda (0+ / 0-)

          check out their water managment.

          In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted." Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)

          by lippythelion69 on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 01:11:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Fully agree! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Glen The Plumber, xaxnar

        These are very simple, easy to implement ideas that can save a huge amount of water. Using the same water for 2 or 3 purposes before it heads to the treatment plant makes so much sense.

    •  Bottled water is terrible for the communities (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      reflectionsv37, Glen The Plumber

      they take the water from, particularly in places like India, where groundwater falls so far (sucked up by Coca-Cola) that the locals' wells don't work.

      Luckily, some communities in the U.S. have told companies like Nestle, looking to steal, ahem, buy their water, to take a hike.

      © cai Visit to join the fight against global warming.

      by cai on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 11:03:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Only Important Reason We Need Government (28+ / 0-)

    is to contain the excesses of businesses and their markets. That's after all the foundational purpose of nations, though back then the functions of modern businesses were done by lords and warlords. The reasons though were identical.

    Markets, opposite to all living organisms and all human cultures, have no way to reward for restraint and inactivity. They can only reward activity, so they must always naturally respond to all circumstances with action regardless of whether the circumstances are growth or shrinkage, surplus or scarcity, war or peace.

    Without government restraint, markets are like humans with no inhibitions whatever, purely manic. Humans that functioned even slightly the way markets and businesses do naturally would be judged psychotic and locked away for the protection of themselves and society.

    That's why we need government to restrain business. It's national, global security. Everything else government does is decimal points.

    Unfortunately we're 50 years into flipping the role of government to protect businesses and markets by restraining nations and their people and cultures.

    There's no way for this to work out well for anyone but a few of the biggest owners. The fact that they're doubling down on resource extraction and waste dumping shows that they seek the consequences.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 09:41:16 AM PDT

  •  Reusing waste water can lead to diseases (8+ / 0-)

    that are resistant to sterilization such as the "prions" that cause Mad Cow Disease.

    Also, the toxic blend of all sorts of chemicals, such as that used to unclog toilets, are not likely to be eliminated by any "treatment".

    It's time to get a reverse osmosis water filter.

    A million Arcosantis.

    by Villabolo on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 10:08:09 AM PDT

    •  Even without reusing water... (20+ / 0-)

      It's an unfortunate fact that water quality testing in a lot of places is probably not as thorough as it should be. It may meet legal standards, but the laws in many places have not been updated in years, and we now have instruments capable of detecting quite a bit more in the water down to levels that were unattainable before.

      I suspect in many places the authorities don't want to know, because then they'd have to do something about it. We also have the problem of thousands of chemicals 'out there' for which there is no real test data on exposure limits - and a chemical industry that is determined to keep us from finding out, lest it interfere with their profit margins.

      That's why I'm getting my water by combining hydrogen and oxygen in the fuel cell that powers my house and charges my car. Solar panels and wind turbines use electricity to split hydrogen out of untreated water, so I don't have to worry about the quality of the original supply and can store hydrogen for times when the sun is down or the air is calm. (I wish I had all that, actually. Maybe one of these days…)

      "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

      by xaxnar on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 10:22:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  most interesting. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        julesrules39, freshwater dan

        Sunlight to PVs to electricity.

        Electricity to hydrolyze water into H2 and O2.

        This gets you pure water, better than distillation.

        Burn the H2 and you get H2O plus electricity back into the cycle, reducing the amount of electricity needed from the PVs.

        (This can't be done with zero energy input from outside, that would be a perpetual motion machine, there are entropic losses as heat that have to be made up from outside the system such as with some amount of solar electricity input.)

        The only problem is that the recombined water lacks minerals that are essential to your body.  Drinking distilled or recombined water will leach minerals out of your body and is dangerous for more than a very short period of time.

        So you still have to add minerals back into that water, in some proportion that is based on the empirical mineral content of known-safe water sources.

        You can't add in the sludge from your water cracking & recombining system because that sludge contains all the toxic shit and prions you were trying to avoid in the first place.  

        Question is: what minerals and from what sources?

        We got the future back. Uh-oh.

        by G2geek on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 08:45:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  not to mention antibiotics. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      julesrules39, kurt, cai, reflectionsv37

      Medicines taken by humans end up in their sewage.  There are already published papers showing trace levels of all of these in treated sewage.

      This is right-off-the-charts dangerous in terms of breeding antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 08:39:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The water in Houston is so foul (13+ / 0-)

    everyone has taken to using bottled for drinking and cooking.  

    We have been told (cough, cough) that there is nothing wrong in response to the high number of comlaints.

    Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

    by DRo on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 10:20:03 AM PDT

  •  Working on post about massive wire tapping (11+ / 0-)

    Part of government procedure to evaluate behaviors which will ensue as climate induced crises further impact larger. And larger areas in country.

    If you're not terrified into action by the IPCC's 5th Assessment , you're not human.

    by boatsie on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 10:32:11 AM PDT

    •  gov? nah. Google and Facebook. (0+ / 0-)

      Goo and Face collect & analyze the data.

      Sell the output to data brokers.

      Data brokers sell it to other Bigs.

      "Predict and control."

      All with zero regulation or oversight.

      And all packaged up with lots of consumer baubles to make people "want it."

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 08:47:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  More cisterns and recharge wells would (12+ / 0-)

    help, but they're too costly for the average person to install on their own. Less water use has to be a major part of the answer, and lawns are an easy starting place.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 11:10:25 AM PDT

  •  Global warming, climate change, tomato, tomahto (6+ / 0-)
    It's not just about the earth heating up - it's about the increasing range of climate fluctuations.
    We broke the weather. It's as simple as that. Expect broken weather from now on. Carry on.

    Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

    by kamarvt on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 01:14:11 PM PDT

  •  Upper Colorad River Basin: Mead and Powell (12+ / 0-)

    Mead and Powell represent abut 84% of the storage available on the Upper Colorado River Basin. The other 16% are distributed among a couple of dozen smaller reservoirs.

    The storage in Mead and Powell, combined, is at currently at 40% of maximum. Chart available here:

    So it's not just one reservoir. It's the whole river system.

    •  51% last week per USBR (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      julesrules39, kurt, cai

      This is a part of supply for 7 states, part of Mexico, and some endangered habitat.

      A majority of consumptive use on the entire river is for hay and pasture.

      Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

      by benamery21 on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 09:09:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  First of all, thank you so much for raising this (13+ / 0-)

    important issue.  The other reason it is important is that 96% of our electricity in the US requires vast amounts of water.  In fact, according to the USGS, the power sector is the largest consumer of US groundwater, ever more so than agriculture.  Some is thermoelectric (like coal, gas, nuclear, concentrated solar, etc.) that use water for cooling and such.  In Vegas, they are concerned about the lake getting too low as the Hoover Dam provides power to three states (Vegas, parts of LA and Phoenix).  I just saw an article about how they are screwed.

    So, it's not just food and water at risk, it's an energy security issue as well.  This is why introducing more wind, geothermal and solar PV into the mix is important.  They don't need water for electricity production.  But, the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity, ALEC and now the utilities are all trying to slow the growth of renewables.  In my opinion, this is a huge mistake given this coming water crisis.

    In my state, Illinois, the nuclear industry is trying to use the new carbon rules from the EPA to undermine our already broken Renewable Portfolio Standard, which would be a critical mistake.  And worse, this same logic will surely be used in other states as well to slow the growth of renewables.  Exelon (ComEd's parent) is lobbying to change the Renewable Energy/Portfolio Standard to the "Clean Energy Act".  They want to include nuclear along with solar and wind as "clean energy" based on its low carbon emissions.  They also want to be able to get "clean energy credits", currently reserved for renewables, which would canibalize funding and investment for renewables.  Unfortunately, a recent Forbes article indicates that this move is coming from the Obama administration.  As you know, he's from Illinois.  I have not confirmed this;  but, I have heard that he has ties to the company from back when he was a Senator here. The article has confirmation from Gina McCarthy at the EPA.  This issue combined with the recently expired PTC for wind, which the Republican congress won't pass could stagnate renewable growth and investment.

    Getting back to water, another funny thing about Illinois is that because of climate change, we are suffering from both too little and too much water.  Flash flooding is devastating communities like mine, more severely and frequently than ever before.  We've had two hundred year storms in the last three years.  Just this morning, the city of Chicago was flooded again.  But; we also use too much water and Lake Michigan is being depleted faster than it is being replenished, which is a problem for three states that use it to source water.  Also, our farmers downstate have been hit hard by the droughts, which are also getting more frequent and severe.

    I agree with you that we should invest in infrastructure.  Why couldn't we use pipelines or a water channel to redirect some of our floodwater to lakes downstate or even to replenish the Ogallala instead of letting it flood the Mississippi River?

    •  nuclear is clearly viable along the coasts... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      julesrules39, Fox Ringo

      ... where it can use seawater and also provide desalination as an ancillary benefit.  Problem with the West Coast is earthquake hazard, but that could probably be solved with sufficient quantities of reinforced concrete.

      There are also "nuclear batteries," tiny micro-nukes that don't require external cooling water.  There was a company a few years ago developing one version of this.

      Northern & inland areas of the US really only have wind and possibly geothermal to rely on.  

      What we really need is a national power grid, but NOT the "smart" grid with its internet connections that WILL be used for a cyberattack.

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 08:53:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The 96% number is high (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      julesrules39, kurt, cai

      Particularly if only interested in freshwater consumptive use.  Wind, PV, and simple cycle gas turbines typically use basically no water, steam plants with dry cooling use very little comparatively.  Hydro and thermal plants with once-thru cooling withdraw a lot of water but put it back.  Only thermal plants with wet cooling towers actually consume massive amounts of water.   Power is an important part of the picture, however.

      Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

      by benamery21 on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 09:17:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, benamery21, thank you for pointing that out. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kurt, cai

        Some power plants do try to put some of the water they use back into the system after they use it.  So, unlike fracking, it's not gone for good.  But, the issue is that with climate change, water will be even more scarce in large portions of the country.  Also, the population and power usage is expected to grow.  As such, there will be more contention for existing water.   So, part of adapting to climate change means that we must increase wind and solar in the mix.  Doing so will hopefully prevent us from having to be left with recycled water.

        What concerns me is that some states, like mine, don't even consider this when passing energy legislation.  40% of the country is already in drought and we've only seen less than one degree C of warming.  

        The fact that the EPA seems willing to allow the nuclear industry canibalize renewable incentives is short-sighted.  Water management and conservation, where possible, as in the power sector, needs to be part of the conversation.

        The other discussion that needs to take place, as xaxnar aptly alluded to above, is that industrialized agriculture is totally unsustainable as well as poisoning our water.  A recent study found RoundUp in 75% of rain samples! GMO crops require a lot more water for all of those chemical applications (herbacides, pesticides and fertilizers).  But, Monsanto and others are so powerful;  the only real weapon we have is our food budget.  I try to encourage people to support local, organic farmers and eat less meat and dairy (especially if it's not sustainably produced).

        Prince Charles has spoken out against industrialized agriculture a lot -- and taken heat for it.  He is very passionate about it as he's seen what GMO seed companies did in India and Australia.

    •  Aside from everything else, nuclear power (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      julesrules39, mightymouse

      plants don't work when the intake water is too hot -- and that's already happened in some places.  Including, IIRC, Illinois.

      Not a viable global warming solution.

      © cai Visit to join the fight against global warming.

      by cai on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 11:19:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They work, they just have to be derated (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        This is true of all thermal plants that use once-thru cooling.  Typically the limitation is permitting to minimize environmental impact (i.e. no more than X degrees max discharge temperature, and/or no more than Y degrees rise, and/or no more than Z gallons or % volume withdrawn and returned, and/or no more than z lbs of fish/eggs/etc killed).

        When the intake temperature is above the permitted output temperature, the plant has to shut down.  Low water and high temperature can make this happen.  This is not an essential technology for nuclear or other thermal plants, which can use dry cooling, it's an efficiency improvement and capital reduction to be allowed to build.  Typically this is disallowed for new plants anyway, due to environmental impact.  All of the coastal once-thru plants in CA (most of the state's thermal capacity) are being shut down or retrofitted at the insistence of the Coastal Commission, for instance.

        Plants that use air cooling (gas turbines) or dry cooling, may also be de-rated or uprated for changes in air ambient temperature.  They don't have the permitting issue.

        Plants that use wet cooling towers, may have water supply issues that could be a vulnerability in drought as well.

        Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

        by benamery21 on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 12:37:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Vegas is screwed (0+ / 0-)

      Not so much by water levels in Lake Mead, but by their 2% share of the U.S. share of the river, 4% of the lower basin  allotment.  Maybe they should petition the state and federal government to let them rejoin AZ (they're in what used to be Pah-Ute County, AZ before the Feds gave it to Nevada so they'd have river access).  

      Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

      by benamery21 on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 01:00:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm assuming when they talk about Vegas's water (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      julesrules39, benamery21

      profligacy, they include the tourists in the number of people?  (Because it seems to me that Vegas may have a uniquely high tourist:resident ratio.)

      © cai Visit to join the fight against global warming.

      by cai on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 10:11:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Treated waste water (7+ / 0-)

    Is probably safe enough to drink as long as it is properly treated and tested. With Texas, I wouldn't expect that to last too long. Then there can be all kinds of contaminants from coliforms to heavy metals to pesticides that will make their way into the drinking water supply. That could be a disaster in the making, if enough people, including children, become seriously ill from poorly treated water. If (when) that happens, it could be the start of depopulating Texas, as people move north toward better climates and water supplies.

    Do Pavlov's dogs chase Schroedinger's cat?

    by corwin on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 03:26:42 PM PDT

  •  I've long said Canadians should be nervous. (8+ / 0-)

    We in the U.S. need water and you have it.  We want oil but we NEED and Must Have water, and you have it.  Take a look at our history, we do not suffer well in silence.  If you have something we need, we take it.  I'd be very nervous if I were you.

    You will note that the Bill of Rights is now apparently a Bill of Concerns. Charles Pierce, Esquire Magazine Feb 2014

    by spritegeezer on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 06:00:24 PM PDT

  •  imagine Al Qaeda with a profit motive: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NoMoreLies, Don midwest, mkor7

    Imagine this (fictional scenario to make the point):

    Bin Laden plans the 9/11 attack and says "we can make money from this."

    So AQ works through a front corporation to buy up all the scrap metal dealers in New York City.

    Then after the WTC comes down, he earns the big bucks brokering the scrap metal.

    Now consider this:

    During the course of the 20th century, we, America, built up a huge public infrastructure: water supply, sewers, roads, telecoms, power grid, the internet, modern medicine, public safety, etc:  All of it involves huge flows of money through the economy.

    That money is the latest target of corporate rapacity.  And the infrastructure that it's bound up with is the target of corporate rapacity.

    If the natural economy has hit the limits to growth, the only place left to "grow" is to parasitize and prey upon big targets such as infrastructure.

    A number of global corporations in the water biz, and in the bottled beverages biz, are looking at the public water infrastructure and seeing dollar signs.  

    If they can succeed at degrading the quality of public drinking water, they will reap enormous profits.

    Just like Al Qaeda bringing down the WTC to sell off the scrap metal.

    The general paradigm is:

    Find something big and complex.  Smash it.  Make money catching some of the pieces as they fall.

    Mark my words.

    We got the future back. Uh-oh.

    by G2geek on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 08:33:04 PM PDT

  •  A majority of water consumption in the U.S. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fox Ringo, julesrules39, kurt, cai

    in water-stressed areas is for agriculture.  We invest massive amounts of money in supply and distribution infrastructure, although as xaxnar points out, not enough in places.  We mandate significant efficiency improvement in residential building codes.  We do very little to improve agricultural water efficiency, except indirectly.

    More public funding for infrastructure to reduce demand by improving agricultural efficiency, in much the same way we provide funding for energy efficiency and renewable energy production, would have a very salutary effect, and can be done without upsetting any constituencies except the extreme right wing taxed enough already folks (even RW farmers typically like free money).  I would push the partisan balance of such measures left a bit, by requiring recipients who have water rights to limit their consumption by a fixed (say half of savings) percentage over a fixed time period (say 5-10 years depending on cost of assistance provided), without surrendering rights.  This means the farmer still gets free money, via reduced water bill or pumping cost, as well as additional water available to improve yield, while the public gets access to the water not used, and bends the demand curve.

    Also, all groundwater withdrawal over a low threshold, and all water system consumption needs to be metered, even where not billable or taxable.  The data is needed to set policy.

    Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

    by benamery21 on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 09:40:08 PM PDT

  •  Peak water and peak oil are both a threat to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Van Buren, julesrules39


    And, well, you to have ask, what's gonna happen as the world goes over the top peak and petroleum starts its inevitable decline, production decline, towards zero?  Modern agriculture is the use of land to convert petroleum into food.  This isn't high level mathematics.  This isn't rocket science.  This is just plain common sense, and it's universally rejected by the business community, the commercial community, the political communities.
    -- Albert Bartlett in the documentary Blind Spot (2008)

    Some believe that the surveillance state is being developed to deal with uprisings caused by the effects of climate chaos.

    In other words, we can't keep going as we are.  Whether we're willing to look or not, there are multiple walls in front of us, which we will crash into if we do not change course.

    © cai Visit to join the fight against global warming.

    by cai on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 11:02:11 PM PDT

    •  Nah (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Oil use in ag is actually fairly limited, and can be easily reduced (substitute biodiesel and electricity for diesel and propane).  Nitrogen fertilizer (which is a big part of the energy input to modern ag) is typically made with natural gas (China uses coal), and can be made with electricity, air, and water (there have been a couple hydro plants synthesizing ammonia, and new solid-state ammonia synthesis could make renewable electricity competitive with gas again, particularly if carbon taxes were introduced).  Not a deal-breaker for industrial ag, just a gradual shift as renewables become more available and cost-competitive (policy issue, not existential crisis).  There are plenty of reasons to make huge changes in industrial ag, but running out of energy needn't be one of them.

      Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

      by benamery21 on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 12:45:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have long been a proponent (6+ / 0-)

    of direct reuse. I was the Chief Engineer of a So Cal water/waste-water agency for 25 years. It has been clear to the many talented professionals in this industry that:
       a) we live in a desert, and
       b) supply is finite. And
    that several things are inevitable to-wit:
       a) direct reuse,
       b) desal, and
       c) a defined limit to growth.  
    The barriers are obvious, the benefits less so to many participants including:
       a) the vast growth industry, and
       b) construction and labor.
    Finally, I'll provide a small example of what is at stake for all Americans: Like you some Guacamole on Cinco de Mayo? I know I do! But you see, about 40% of US avocado production comes from groves my agency provides irrigation to.
    Phew! Guess I'll have me a cerveza!    

    "the northern lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see. Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee". - Robert Service, Bard of the Yukon

    by Joe Jackson on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 04:30:00 AM PDT

  •  It really isn't necessary to have flush toilets (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    julesrules39, mightymouse

    anyway. Compost toilets are a simple, well know technology.
       A switch to compost toilets would get rid of the ickiness factor in water recycling, as well as reduce the amount of water needed in the first place.
       Of course, there is a multi-billion dollar sewage processing industry that would be affected.
       Another water saving easure: Get rid of the whole chemically treated, heavy watering dependent lawn and replace it with natural local foliage.
       Obviously, switching to rooftop solar and industrial scale wind energy would save most of the water now used in generating electricity for the grid.
       There would still be a problem with water availability for farming and industry, but, if we adopted the above measures, the impact of a severe drought on households would be minimal.


  •  No worries here: 2 springs and a one 600' well. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    All have been running fine even in the worst drought be conditions over the past 25 years.  Cannot afford to "water short" when you have livestock.

    “My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that, and I intend to end up there." - Rumi

    by LamontCranston on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 05:42:56 AM PDT

  •  The great privatization has begun. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, julesrules39
    Help us, help Detroit!!!  Save the Great Lakes from the unprecedented stealing of the United States largest fresh water supply.  Privatization of this greatest resource will be the biggest robbery of our time.  Wake up, it's coming to your town soon.

    Change is a process, not an event. ~ Joellen Killion

    by sabathiel on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 09:18:16 AM PDT

  •  Estimated Water Shortfall by 2030 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, jrooth

    Last Friday, I heard Jim Matheson of Oasys Water, a new water purification company, say that a 40% shortfall in water needs is expected by 2030.

  •  It's frustrating in CA to see a lack (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    of a State water plan that includes water conservation, desalination, and significant alterations in the type of crops being grown in the State. In addition, although access to clean drinking water can be considered a right, pricing water according to expected availability is an obvious use of supply & demand economics. Here we have a successful Governor and a big Democratic majority in the legislature, but we can't seem to get a cogent water plan underway that takes into account global warming and population growth.

    Voting is the means by which the public is distracted from the realities of power and its exercise.

    by Anne Elk on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 01:46:42 PM PDT

  •  Resource wars (0+ / 0-)

    will be the story of the second half of this century and much of the next one.

    It has the potential to make the 20th century look peaceful by comparison.

    "Turns out I'm really good at killing people." - President Obama

    by jrooth on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 02:12:42 PM PDT

  •  One more reason San Francisco is changing... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Becoming the city of the wealthy.

    It has its own water supply, the hetch hetchy valley of Yosemite, flooded long ago to supply the city with what is now the cleanest water you can find almost anywhere...

    And its a supply that traditionally ensured San Francisco a 'pass' on the water politics of the rest of the state.

    Though that aquifer is now getting low...

    OMG, like, gag them with a multi-colored spoon. Like, ya know.

    by Jyotai on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 04:05:02 PM PDT

  •  and (0+ / 0-)

    This water business is gonna get ugly. Remember what happened in Cochabamba, Bolivia a few years back?

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