California’s drought: Get used to it, scientists say


#1

sfgate.com/science/article/California-s-drought-Get-used-to-it-7223819.php


#2

Sad news. :frowning:


#3

They only looked at data from 1948-2015.
I’m skeptical of any conclusions because of their limited dataset.

I would think we have temp and precipitation data for CA going back another 100 yrs.


#4

The drought in Israel and Saudi Arabia is worse than in California. Freshwater can be obtained by desalination and by recycling used water. California’s drought problem should have been solved by now, but the politicians have been very slow to move.


#5

cnbc.com/2016/01/15/saudi-arabia-buying-up-farmland-in-us-southwest.html

Add assault and insult to injury…Saudi Arabia is buying up CA farmland to grow export farm crops…all the while adding further to the depletion of aquifers :mad:


#6

Traditionally desalination has required a lot of energy. I understand the cost to desalunate have reduced in recent times, but given the higher energy cost in the past I’m not surprised it hasn’t been used as the panacea for drought problems.


#7

Desalination is sufficient for human consumption, but there is absolutely no way California’s agriculture industry could be kept going on desalination. The energy requirements would be massive, and then you would have to deal with huge amounts of salt.


#8

OK, there is significant environmental impact from desalinization. But there also must be significant environmental impacts from diversion massive amounts of water from lakes and rivers throughout the West. The non-desalinized water is artificially “cheap” because of government subsidies for diversion.

One reason desalinization is expensive is because it is so rare. With economies of scale, and more research, the technology might be made cheaper and “greener”. Environmentalists should consider desalinization as the lesser evil.

Why is California growing faster than other places in the US, which have the environmental capacity, including fresh water, for much larger populations? There likely is a pattern of subsidies wherein companies are lured there. Stop those subsidies.


#9

There is also the possibility of recycling water instead of dumping it into the ocean. Certainly, desalination and recycling will cost money, but it is better to have some water to drink, than not. Saudi Arabia, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Spain, Cyprus, Malta, Gibraltar, Cape Verde, Portugal, Greece, Italy, India, China, Israel, Japan, and Australia have desalination facilities.


#10

Shasta is full
They do need more dams


#11

I seriously hope that global warming/climate change is not a factor in California’s ongoing drought. Even if global warming/climate change does exist, it should not be an excuse for man-made population control.

As a California resident myself, I feel like moving to Oregon or Washington State. I’m tired of water restrictions!


#12

In addition to desalination and water recycling there is also the tool of cloud seeding. I don’t know why politicians are so slow to act to bring more water to the drought stricken state of California.


#13

Cloud seeding is to get water in existing clouds to condense and fall. When there are not many clouds to seed it’s not an available solution. I don’t know what data looks like for the moisture above the California skies but it tends to be cloudless when I am there (just left after a week stay there for the //build/ conference).

I believe there are 17 desalination plants planned for California. It’s a bit of shifting of the problem to an energy problem, and it’s going to take a while to get those up and running (I think the first one is called Poseidon).


#14

Some areas in California have more clouds than others. Recently, people were predicting floods in southern California, and what was seen was mostly clouds with little rain. There is also the question of why dirty water is dumped into the sea. Water can be recycled and reused as clean, drinkable water. It is a terrible waste to dump all this water instead of recycling it.


#15

Not sure. I looked up the cost of water recycling and it’s significantly lower than desalination. While I woukd encourage that change if they don’t already have the infrastructure for it than it may take a while to get that in place.


#16

Here is an article on the cost of water reclamation by advanced wastewater treatment:
jstor.org/stable/25040784?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
The technology is in place to reclaim wastewater.


#17

They say all the very smart investors are putting all their money in water related investments right now, would not be surprising in the near future if water ends up being worth more than money itself, and something that sparks wars/ conflicts.


#18

Our local water authority seldom has to put us on restrictions. Nonetheless, we approved a huge bond to build a large desalinization facility, knowing that we are in a growth area, and water up river will become more expensive. It is called “planning”. I will not be a fan of sending water from Texas to California, as was proposed. I am all for offering Californians a place to live with plenty of water though. Like has been said, the state has grown too fast. Growth is a great thing, but only if it is managed, not subsidized.


#19

As a Californian I’m doing my part by collecting rain water for my plants (since I do a lot of gardening). While it may not be much, every drop counts. :slight_smile:


#20

Water resources are a local issue. In many places water abounds and eventually ends up in the oceans. I think if a person is going to invest in water related investments, he had better be sure they are serving a local need and are irreplaceable.


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