Saturday, May 19, 2018

State of The Water Supply Address

Last time I had a good rain out here was last year on December 6th (.65").  Since then I have only had .24" of rain in almost 5 1/2 months.  Might get a little rain Sunday and Monday so I figured this was a good time to check my tanks.  Out of a total storage capacity of 20,400 gallons, I currently have 11,150 gallons on tap.  I am almost half empty (or half full).   95,102,68,0,B


WhyR said...

So, here comes the drought again.
What if there were a massive infrastructure project to intercept river water, like from the Columbia, just before it entered the ocean and became briny and unusable and after it had done all the work expected of it- generating power, facilitating shipping and watering the communities along its length, and piping/aquaducting it to areas poorly watered by rainfall like the American Southwest. You could make the deserts bloom with green carbon capture devices, otherwise known as plants. You would:
1 keep the water from becoming unusable
2 keep the water from contributing to sea level rise
3 capture carbon dioxide where it hadn't been captured previously
4 if the plants were cash crops, an industry would be created = jobs
5 create habitable places for people to live where virtually no one had lived previously,
giving people along the seacoasts a place to move to when their homes go underwater
5 push humidity into the air of forested areas subject to occasional droughts and helping
to mitigate the risk and expense of destructive wildfires
6 push up property values of previously drought-stricken areas, perhaps enough to pay for
the whole thing.
At least a six-fer.
People in seacoast cities all over the world are going to be spending massively anyway on passive defenses like seawalls to keep the water out, but these efforts don't mitigate sea level rise. Capturing river water before it flows into the ocean all over the world and using it to grow new green carbon capture devices will have an immediate effect on the most destructive and expensive effects of global warming- sea level rise and occasional catastrophic crop failures requiring massive relief efforts. We're going to need a water distribution system similar to what exists for utilities like electrical power and natural gas, so as to keep river water on land, and not in the ocean. Even if you had to pump it to the top of the Alps, spray it into snow and grow new glaciers that would hold it as ice for a few hundred years, whatever, just keep it on land and out of the ocean. If the tub's gonna' overflow, turn off the faucet.
Just spitballing here.

WhyR said...

OK, a seven-fer.

rj said...

More feasible to collect and use it locally or by watershed, no wait that is called a dam, practically the only reason 75% of Texas’ population exists.

WhyR said...

Yes indeed, but how much of Texas has turned green as a result? Water is going to become more valuable than oil, maybe already is in some parts of the world. The point is, reduce the river's contribution to sea level rise, find some use for it on land, and keep this precious resource where it is usable by mankind. If Texas is well served by its present system, the river water wouldn't necessarily go to Texas.

Homer Ellinger said...

So is 11,000 gals overkill super prepper or do you really use that much?

rj said...

11,000 is not much for most normal households, maybe two or three months supply and that does not allow for growing anything or supplying livestock. Obviously, a one-man habitat can make that last longer, but 20,000 gallons in reserve is considered satisfactory in most areas of Texas with 30 inches a year. Terlingua averages 11 inches a year and is clearly already behind in 2018 with only the reported 1/4 inch in six months. That is drought, probably extreme drought. A lot depends on how reliably the tanks are refreshed via rainfall, clearly not a strength of desert environments. Rainwater collection also has concerns around leaks which can waste much of any interconnected storage quickly.

John Wells said...

rj... I'm not too concerned. By this time last year I had only gotten a half inch more. Way too early to call this an "extreme drought". But then again, you haven't lived here for 10 years and recorded daily temperatures and rainfall.

WhyR said...

Wow, John, that's really interesting. You've recorded daily temperatures and rainfall- what would really be interesting is a visual of these two metrics. Would there be a trend line, or is 10 years not enough. I wonder if your graph would be similar to this one:
If the data were on a spreadsheet, it could be examined with statistical tests that should allow you to make conclusions about rates of change, in your area of Texas, if any happened.
You've got a hard-won resource, and the results could be fascinating.

WhyR said...


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