Californians asked to Cut Water Use

July 8, 2021

We’re barely into summer – August is looking ugly.

11 Responses to “Californians asked to Cut Water Use”

  1. J4Zonian Says:

    Like climate catastrophe, overuse of water will not be solved by individual choices. Those willing to save probably already are, and can’t save significants amounts more, while those who use the most will continue to, not caring, and thinking themselves more deserving. This will only be solved by involuntarily reducing corporate and agricultural use, with either huge charges for non-personal water beyond the ration provided, or huge fines for exceeding allowed amounts. California is now mostly going to be desert scrubland, along with a lot of the west, and it’s time to stop denying that and adjust our lives to reality rather than the other way around, which is utterly pointless and a sure path to unhappiness.

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      This will only be solved by involuntarily reducing corporate and agricultural use, with either huge charges for non-personal water beyond the ration provided, or huge fines for exceeding allowed amounts.

      We have tiered charging in Austin, where the cost per gallon jumps at 2000/6000/11,000/20,000. In the past the city has pushed landscapers away from water-hungry plants (like the St. Augustine depicted in the sprinkler image), done a lot of mains upgrades to reduce leaks (very big water loss in old cities), and converted some community pools to splash pads (while adding splash pads to smaller parks). They did suspend the water charges after the Big Freeze burst pipes in so many homes and buildings.

      Some manufacturing, like chip fab, requires a lot of water. I am surprised how many of them are sited in central Texas. Office buildings typically have modern toilets and sink timers.

      The tough part here, and I think the Central Valley, is the olde laws which allow landowners to pump as much as they can from aquifers that are not directly connected to rivers and streams.

  2. Brent Jensen-Schmidt Says:

    As RWC says and even jayfour shows sense (FM) occasionally.
    Stop irrigating grain crops and almonds are a problem.
    Pay for desalination plants to at least keep people hydrating and showering. Can be cheaply powered by renewables excess, which will increase with time. Naturally, coastal nukes in combination with desalinaters would be loverly. Sell power to the continent when needed, make water otherwise. Saline discharge could be used for cooling, producing Potash, Magnesium and salt. And on and on.

    • J4Zonian Says:

      Coastal nukes like Fukushima? Brilliant.

      Solar and wind profiles suit desalination so much better, and besides that, AREN’T INSANE!

      • Brent Jensen-Schmidt Says:

        Coastal nukes above tsunami line, obvious.
        Renewables are nicer.

        • J4Zonian Says:

          Obviously, there is no such line and any estimate will be invalidated by relentless sea level rise and increasingly powerful floods and storms, which have already caused problems for nukes.

    • J4Zonian Says:

      Desalination Is Booming. But What About All That Toxic Brine?
      Desalination plants turn seawater into drinking water, but also pump hypersaline water back into the environment. That’s especially troubling because desal. has become extremely popular. One solution is being tried in the Chilean Atacama desert, combining wind & solar generation, pumped storage & desalination.

      • Brent Jensen-Schmidt Says:

        Desalination is an Most Unfortunate ‘Necessity’ Brine can be handled relatively easily. Or you could read my wishful hypothetical solution as posted.

        • J4Zonian Says:

          Just like certain people seem to have learned nothing from Browns Ferry, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, Fukushima, and all the other accidents and near-misses, they seem to have learned nothing from the last 500 years of history.

          What seems like a small problem starting out can turn out to be A HUMONGOUS DISASTER as it grows. Greenhouse gases weren’t a big problem when the industrial revolution started but we still should have listened to the Luddites and either not done it or changed society so industrialization wouldn’t be such

          We’re going to be needing ever-larger amounts of fresh water even as it disappears from the landscape, and dumping astronomical amounts of brine full of heavy metals, biocides, microplastics, and hundreds of other toxic substances anywhere is obviously a really dumb idea.

          We don’t need wishful hypothetical solutions like nukes, hydrogen, supposedly non-dirty coal, geoengimagicalism, and bad desalination plans. We need to get our rulers and their minions to start facing reality now.

          • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

            I can see brine pits being an acceptable trade-off in some situations. The evaporites may even have monetary value in a few cases.

          • J4Zonian Says:

            Unless society changes radically—politically, economically, psychologically—the acceptable trade-off will be to put them where poor black and brown people live and where rich white people can’t see them and will never think about them. The ecological effects will be almost inconsequential in the calculations, although in some cases a big fuss will be made about faux evaluations.

            A far better solution—in fact the only solution—is to radically change society, agriculture, and industry, while we stop climate catastrophe by eliminating fossil fuel burning, and stop the larger ecological crisis through whatever we have to do. The climate and larger psycho-ecological crisis are probably not solvable while autocracy, capitalism, and gross inequality exist. That includes the inevitable-multiple-pandemics problem.

            What products of desalination might be used for what? All I can think of is trebuchet projectiles.

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