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We’re Running out of water
Posted: 12 January 2014 05:59 AM   [ Ignore ]
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While watching and hearing about our local crises on every media I realized that to few people realize that the water cycle is a Closed system and what affects one area will eventually effect us all. The chemical spill in WVa. ( said chemical helps to process coal BTW) is highly poisonous and heading down the Elk River to the Kanawaha and into the Ohio to flow right past us. Counties along the river from all three States are scrambling to protect their water supplies as chemists are busy calculating just how much of this crap will pollute our water supplies. Meantime FEMA is handing out free water to over 300,000 people in “coal country”. Authorities even had to shut down the Capitol.  Of course the spokesperson for the offending company is pumping out statements that would make a sociopath blush but I digress. This incident and many others should be a wake up call to the deniers that, due to climate change and our own greed we may be deprived of the very thing that sustains life: water. One source I read (included here) states that at present use, and due to AGW some areas will run out of potable water by 2025. Scary thought due to the geopolitical climate being ripe for conflict. The US will still have plenty, ours is one of the largest water systems in the World but at the rate of pollution, especially if the government is made to back off regulations, it may become unpotable. And even though there’s plenty of seawater most countries couldn’t afford to build the desalination plants necessary to supply the millions who would need it on a daily basis. How’s the water in your area?

http://www.treehugger.com/about-treehugger/dumb-question-dept-if-earth-is-a-closed-system-and-were-running-out-of-water-wheres-it-all-going.html

Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 12 January 2014 10:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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One advantage of being near the Great Lakes.  Plenty of fresh water and too high up to be bothered by sea water rise.  Gets kind of cold sometimes with that white junk falling everywhere.  LOL

How do we deal with politicians that are idiots though?  I wonder what penalties that company is going to get.

psik

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Posted: 12 January 2014 10:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Too early to tell but the suits (law suits that is) are lining up as we speak and this could be multistate as the pollution reaches the Mississippi River. The West Va. counties affected still have a water warning for the next 24 hours and we’re next.


Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 12 January 2014 12:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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This problem seems especially dire in the communities that get their water from the Colorado river. There are a lot of communities sprouting up in some very arid areas out there at the same time that the river is at its lowest levels on record. I dont see how those communities will continue to survive even in the near future.

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Posted: 12 January 2014 02:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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This is going to be a crisis in Africa before the U.S. Matter of fact, Bangladesh has been suffering from a severe water shortage for the past 25 years. But MacGyver raises an excellent point about communities in the Desert Southwest. The core of the problem goes back to overpopulation. We have exceeded our planet’s carrying capacity and no amount of food/water planning can help us unless we do something to reduce our population.

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Posted: 12 January 2014 02:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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DarronS - 12 January 2014 02:15 PM

This is going to be a crisis in Africa before the U.S. Matter of fact, Bangladesh has been suffering from a severe water shortage for the past 25 years. But MacGyver raises an excellent point about communities in the Desert Southwest. The core of the problem goes back to overpopulation. We have exceeded our planet’s carrying capacity and no amount of food/water planning can help us unless we do something to reduce our population.

Yes. Amen.
Especially when the entire planet is now geared to produce populations of Consumers.
Consumers! It’s right there in the name….consume.

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Posted: 12 January 2014 03:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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NPR ran with this story and one of the experts made a statement, and I’m paraphrasing here, that the water cycle is finite as this is all the water that ever was or ever will be so if we f… It up we’re truly doomed. And I often wondered how desert communities survived even in these areas where less than five inches of rain falls in a given year. Just how reliable is irrigation when mega cities like Los Vegas use millions of gallons from rivers and lakes in the area? I remember rationing in the late eighties where even we couldn’t wash our cars or water our lawns and crops in the Southeast failed, especially corn and soybeans. Everything’s connected!


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Posted: 12 January 2014 04:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Any claim we’re running out of water is pure nonsense and stupidity.

We live on a planet that is 78% covered in water and have access to a practically infinite source of solar energy ten thousand times more than our entire civilization consumes.

We have a staggering abundance of energy and water. The only shortage on this issue is human intelligence and knowledge about those facts. Claiming we have a shortage of human beings would be more believable than this nonsense.

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Posted: 12 January 2014 04:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Here in the Bay area, we haven’t really had a winter. Our last and only winter ‘storm’ was in November. Birds are nesting and raising young…in January. Other than one unusually cold snap, it hasn’t been cold. The weather has been more like late summer. I’d say fall, except we are usually getting some rain in the fall. I have been conserving water since the last drought in the late ‘70s, and this year is shaping up to be just as dry.

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Posted: 12 January 2014 04:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Robert Walper - 12 January 2014 04:45 PM

Any claim we’re running out of water is pure nonsense and stupidity.

Tell that to the people in Bangladesh. Brownsville, TX is facing severe water shortages too. How do you propose to combine energy and nonpotable water to provide drinking water and water for our crops?

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Posted: 12 January 2014 04:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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DarronS - 12 January 2014 04:52 PM
Robert Walper - 12 January 2014 04:45 PM

Any claim we’re running out of water is pure nonsense and stupidity.

Tell that to the people in Bangladesh. Brownsville, TX is facing severe water shortages too. How do you propose to combine energy and nonpotable water to provide drinking water and water for our crops?

That issue is purely an issue of logistics, not supply. If I point to a barren and empty piece of land thousands of square miles in size without a single human being living in it, are you going to seriously suggest that demonstrates a clear indication of a shortage of human beings on the planet?

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Posted: 12 January 2014 05:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Walper its a gross oversimplification to say this is a problem of logistics. Solar desalinization plants are not free even if the energy that powers them is. In addition salt water and abundant sunshine are not always located in the same place which greatly increases the logistics and cost. Supplying even a small percentage of the water requirements of a country the size of the U.S. would be hugely expensive. That means that we would have to divert a large proportion of labor and other resources to provide our critical water supply.

The U.S. might be able to do this to a point but even here it would have a devastating effect on the economy if we had to get a significant part of our water through desalinization. In less affluent areas of the world this is not even an option.

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Posted: 12 January 2014 06:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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macgyver - 12 January 2014 05:52 PM

Walper its a gross oversimplification to say this is a problem of logistics. Solar desalinization plants are not free even if the energy that powers them is.

Who said such plants are free?

In addition salt water and abundant sunshine are not always located in the same place which greatly increases the logistics and cost.

So you claim pinning the problem on logistics is an oversimplification and then point out the problem is…logistics.

Supplying even a small percentage of the water requirements of a country the size of the U.S. would be hugely expensive.

I guarantee it would be less expensive than not having the water available to run the country and the ensuing problems that creates.

That means that we would have to divert a large proportion of labor and other resources to provide our critical water supply.

The U.S. might be able to do this to a point but even here it would have a devastating effect on the economy if we had to get a significant part of our water through desalinization. In less affluent areas of the world this is not even an option.

Since when is an abundance of work and jobs devastating to an economy?

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Posted: 12 January 2014 06:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Robert, Brownsville, TX, is facing a water shortage because people upstream are using the water in the Rio Grande before it reaches Brownsville. I don’t know if you are familiar with the area, but South Texas is a very poor region and the people living there cannot afford a desalinization plant. This is not a matter of logistics, it is overpopulation and economics.

Furthermore, citing the Earth as being 78 percent covered in water is disingenuous. Ninety-eight percent of that water will kill you if you drink it, or kill your crops if you trying watering them with the water. I’m sure you knew that, which is the reason I suggested you are being disingenuous.

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Posted: 12 January 2014 06:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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DarronS - 12 January 2014 06:08 PM

Robert, Brownsville, TX, is facing a water shortage because people upstream are using the water in the Rio Grande before it reaches Brownsville. I don’t know if you are familiar with the area, but South Texas is a very poor region and the people living there cannot afford a desalinization plant. This is not a matter of logistics, it is overpopulation and economics.

I don’t dispute the existence of problems, I dispute the notion we have any kind of water shortage problem.

Furthermore, citing the Earth as being 78 percent covered in water is disingenuous. Ninety-eight percent of that water will kill you if you drink it, or kill your crops if you trying watering them with the water. I’m sure you knew that, which is the reason I suggested you are being disingenuous.

Hence why I mentioned the staggeringly massive amounts of free energy we have to deal with that problem, whereas just boiling water can yield fresh drinking water from sea water. Which I’m also sure you knew already as well, but didn’t mention because presumably you’re being disingenuous?

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Posted: 12 January 2014 06:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Well maybe you should become a consultant to the Texas Water Development Board and explain how easy it is to supply water to Brownsville. I’m San Antonio would be very happy for your help also. They must be idiots, thinking up complicated solutions such as desalinization plants when all they have to do is boil sea water and voila! Problem solved.

Desalinization plants are basically large stills, and they are expensive. Very expensive. Scaling them up to supply water needs for millions of people and the cropland to feed them will be prohibitively expensive. One of my professors was part of a team that studied how Brownsville can meet its future water needs. They concluded the only possible way is to build a desalinization plant. Unfortunately, only way to build the plant would be to raise the price of water past the point where the people in Brownsville could afford to buy it, and that does not even take into account building a plant large enough to irrigate farmland in South Texas.

I’ve spent the last few years in college studying environmental policy, and we’ve looked at these water problems closely. There are no easy answers, and yes, you are oversimplifying things when you write it off to logistics. How do you propose getting water to Bangladesh? Where will you build the plant? How will you transport the water? How will you finance the project? Who will pay off the debt?

This is much more complicated than just stating that creating jobs will help the economy. This will take planning and money. A lot of money. Money which someone will have to repay.

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