You can make a difference to the hurt being caused by climate chaos and the great extinction event in your town or your city! How? Reuse, repurpose, and recycle this information. You can push your local politicians to act. It will make a difference!
This is the letter for week 184 of a weekly climate strike that went on for 4 years in front of San Francisco City Hall, beginning early March 2019. For more context, see this story. For an annotated table of contents of the topics for all the strike letters, see this story. Meanwhile…
STRIKE FOR THE PLANET
Reaction Guidelines for Saltwater Intrusion
This is a resource for saltwater intrusion. The goal is to have procedures you can pick up off the shelf and start putting in place when it’s too late to avoid disaster.
What is saltwater intrusion?
It is when saltwater pushes into freshwater: in aquifers, groundwater, rivers, or on land.
What causes saltwater intrusion?
- Massive storm surges
- Pumping of freshwater
- Channels, ditches, and canals
- Land subsidence
- Artificial levees
What resources does San Francisco have to fight saltwater intrusion?
There are many ways to reduce saltwater intrusion, most of which are obvious. These include:
- reducing pumping of freshwater
- increasing water flow from the surface into the water table
- artificially recharging the aquifer by pumping in recycled water
- planting buffers
- not building artificial levees
- not contributing to land subsidence
Which of the above resources can SF quickly put in place?
None of them. Because San Francisco is:
- pumping groundwater out of the West Side Basin, which is already prone to saltwater intrusion
- unable to increase freshwater flow to the water table as we’re in a megadrought
- not recycling blackwater to recharge the aquifer
- not planting absorbant buffer ecosystems
- committed to building artificial levees and seawalls
- becoming famous for our landfill-and-heavy-buildings-caused land subsidence
Will SF have saltwater intrusion?
We already do. Storm surges and earthquakes already cause saltwater intrusion. Pumping freshwater out of the aquifer will increase the saltwater intrusion that is already an issue for the West Side Basin. Saltwater has higher pressure than freshwater, so sea level rise is already increasing saltwater intrusion. Canals and seawalls increase saltwater intrusion, and SF has both of these.
It’s going to get worse
And we’re not ready.
What did the Greeks do after the fall of Troy?
They salted the land so no one could ever live there again.
Don’t underestimate the scale of likely catastrophe
As UN Secretary General Guterres has said, “To deal with climate change … with a business-as-usual approach is pure suicide.”