News   Feb 07, 2023
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President Joe Biden's United States of America

gabe

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If I could afford a property beyond my own in Toronto, I'd buy something in Buffalo. I've always believed that the (U.S.) Great Lakes are the past, but are also the future.

Wish i could have bought one of those early 19th century mansions in Delaware Park, that were going for 500k a few years back. Those houses would be at least 5 million plus in Rosedale dollars.

 

Northern Light

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So, California's Governor Newsom has unveiled his State's water strategy.

The underlying assumption, is that absent intervention, California will lose 10% of its water supply by 2040.

The strategy includes vast new reservoirs to capture storm water/rain water and ensure that it isn't just all sent downstream to the Ocean.
It also includes desalination, but not merely of Ocean water, but brackish groundwater.

Additional 'water recycling' measures are being looked at..........

While conservation measures form a comparatively small part of the proposed solution at ~ 8%; but that still includes removing 500,000,000 ft 2 of ornamental turf (lawn).
That's ~46km2 of lawns. (for the record, I think this is goal is too low, by at least a factor of 10). It also includes removing 500,000 acres of farms from irrigation.

News Story here: https://www.lamag.com/citythinkblog/newsom-floats-massive-new-plan-against-californias-water-crisis/

The Actual Plan for those that are interested here: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/22130523-2022-8-11-ca-water-supply-strategy

****

My overall comments: Estimates for California's future water supply are problematic, by and large, estimates have proven too high in the past, and a more conservative projection would be wise.
Part of that is the science of water; but part is the political conflict of more severe water shortages in places like Arizona and Nevada who share the same water supply in part (the Colorado)

I think, at the very least, they should plan for a 15% reduction in order to have more of a safety margin.

The 10% is also misleading, as the water shortage is clearly more acute from the Colorado River diversion and points south, vs the more lush and temperate Northern California.
California already moves water between the two parts of the State and clearly envisions doing more of this in the future.

I'm not keen on this solution, and I would argue moving water between watersheds to create the 'illusion' of abundance is part of how they got into this mess in the first place. A mess that would exist regardless
of Climate Change, but one which is certainly aggravated by that.

I expect, aside from removing a lot more lawn than is proposed (California has 4,000,000, acres of lawns); there will need to be a further reduction in irrigated farm land, more crop-shifting, and probable restrictions on swimming pools.
 

afransen

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I wonder if proper pricing of water would do much to improve efficiency of water use in irrigation. We in Canada are strongly opposed to bulk water exports, yet we are beneficiaries of the produce production in California, which is a massive embodied water exporter.
 

Northern Light

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And, another round of cuts to Colorado river water supplies will take effect in January, this is the last cut that California can escape; with cuts coming to Arizona, Nevada and Mexico.


It strikes me as extraordinary in the graphic below, that Mexico, which would naturally receive the waters of the Colorado takes the most consistent, steepest impact; while California which would not recieve those waters naturally takes the least.

1660743193381.png


For further reference, this is a (portion) of a map showing where California gets its water supply:

1660743549127.png

source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7c/Water_in_California_new.png

You will note the 2 aqueducts that draw water out of the Colorado system and shift the water to southern California; equally note......how the Colorado becomes a dashed line in Mexico indicating that it seasonally dries up now.
 

Northern Light

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Lake Powell, one of the large well known reservoirs created on the Colorado River (the other being Lake Mead) is in increasingly dire shape.

Absent intervention, the Grand Canyon may go dry in the next few years, and severe water shortages could come as early as 2027; plus the hydro production at the plant could cease.

Now, there are options to keep some water flowing and some hydro production, but this will involve new, lower by-pass tunnels for the dam, with turbines embedded in the by-pass infrastructure.

Whether this will prove adequate, and how quickly it could be done are open questions, with studies now under way.

Some advocates are calling for removal of the dam entirely, though this is controversial for its impacts, including eliminating electricity production on site.

 

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