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2015-03-30, 21:49   #23
only_human

"Gang aft agley"
Sep 2002

2·1,877 Posts
California can squeak by for three years instead of one year.

Quote:
 The AMA – an abbreviation for "Ask Me Anything" – was hosted by four scientists who work for NASA. Their areas of expertise range from climate science to hydrology, but they all have an important role in communicating a crucial message: the chance of a megadrought is growing in the United States, and we should be prepared to deal with crippling conditions by the end of the century.
Quote:
 Bill Patzert: As I understand the facts, we can survive for at least 3 years. This is water that is stored underground around the state. With our great system of aqueducts we can move these waters up and down the state.Mystik738 1 point4 days ago Thanks. The reason I asked was because I read the piece by Jay Famiglietti and it seemed outright alarmist and lacking on a lot of details - like how much water California consumes annually and how much water was actually left in our reservoirs - so I did some quick work of my own and came up with a larger number than he had, and I was looking for some confirmation of that.
If/when the almond crops end, someone needs to think of the bees:
Bees need allies beyond Big Almond

2015-04-02, 05:51   #24
ewmayer
2ω=0

Sep 2002
República de California

2D8C16 Posts

California drought: Gov. Jerry Brown announces first-ever statewide mandatory water reductions
Quote:
 In a historic declaration atop a Sierra summit barren of snow, Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday ordered California's first-ever mandatory statewide water restrictions, threatening hefty fines for communities -- and potential rate hikes for residents -- that fail to hit stepped-up conservation targets as the worst drought in state history enters its fourth year. The governor's emergency order comes after a year of requests for voluntary conservation -- and a record-breaking warm and dry spell culminating in the worst April snowpack in recorded history -- have failed to alarm many Californians enough to cut back on water. The Los Angeles Aqueduct carries water from the snowcapped Sierra Nevada near Lone Pine.
If you're a CA property owner, your word for the day is "xeriscaping". (And for tomorrow, "graywater".)

If you're a CA crop grower, time to learn some growing strategies which are more moisture-conserving than the current "remove all ground-covering vegetation and stick crops into the bare dirt, then water copiously to replace the water that escapes freely as the sun bakes the soil." Talk about inane. But oh so profitable as long as water is - or better, was - free.

To convey a sense of the magnitude of the Ag-wastage, I read today that a typical walnut grove needs 50 gallons PER WALNUT in each year's crop. Now I'm no big-time orchard owner, but I have nice little - well no longer quite so little, it's now a bit taller than I am - lemon tree on my back patio. That little tree produced a record crop last year - the first lemons typically ripen in December, but one can leave them on the tree for months, until one needs them. That was despite the extreme drought, and my not watering the tree once. Rather, I leave a nice thick layer of natural ground cover (ivy and fallen leaves) around the tree, and I think the roots have grown deep enough under the patio slab that they get plenty of moisture from under that even during the driest summers. If central valley orchards simply let fallen leaves sit and help to restore the natural ground cover over the course of a few years, they could drastically cut evaporative water losses. Whether homeowner or crop grower, it's not that hard to cut one's water usage in half - the key step is to stop being a greedy, nature-destroying moron.

 2015-04-02, 15:33 #25 kladner     "Kieren" Jul 2011 In My Own Galaxy! 2·3·1,693 Posts Mulch has all sorts of benefits. Some soils can loose their nutrient value if stripped and baked. I know I have beaten this drum before, but it seems to me that some of the most massive waste of water comes from open ditch transport and flood irrigation. Where is the push for enclosed transport and drip irrigation?
2015-06-18, 22:02   #26
only_human

"Gang aft agley"
Sep 2002

2×1,877 Posts

This Drought May Be Having Some Very Weird Side Effects
"A kitten boom. Succulent swiping. And, er, Bigfoot?"

Looks like we might need some snake wranglers after all (I'm silently squeaming):
Quote:
 Growing numbers of poisonous snakes, spiders and scorpions are making their way into homes due to dry conditions. NorCal rattlesnake wrangler Len Ramirez told CBS News that in the last 30 years, he's never been busier—and that he'd removed 72 snakes from Bay Area homes in a single week. The snakes, he said, follow thirsty rodents indoors. Oh, yeah, more rodents, too.
Quote:
With lakes and rivers at their lowest levels, there's good news for gold prospectors. Areas that couldn't be accessed before are suddenly open for business to professionals and hobbyists alike. The Guardian and the LA Times have run stories on the drought-spurred boom in interest, and National Geographic reports prospecting equipment sales have grown by up to 25 percent:

Quote:
 From his office on the leafy campus of nearby California State University, Sacramento, hydrogeologist and geology department chair Tim Horner explained that prospectors like Meyer "have been able to get to places they couldn't before" because the drought has shrunk many of the state's rivers, "some down to a trickle." As an example, Horner mentioned that one of his students recently found about $900 worth of gold in a stream that had previously been too treacherous to explore. 2015-07-17, 01:43 #27 ewmayer 2ω=0 Sep 2002 República de California 22·5·11·53 Posts On 15 May I sent the following story link and comment to several friends: El Niño near-certain to last through summer: U.S. climate center | Reuters Quote:  Here in CA, it's been a bipolar past half-year: Record rainfall in Dec - completely unlike the past few years - but Jan/Feb were very dry and warm, which led to record low Sierra snowpack and forecasts for a fourth year of drought. But since then, things have been markedly cooler - if not wetter - than for the same period the past few years, which I have taken as a possible hopeful early sign that the drought may be waning. In particular we've had regular inflows of cool unsettled weather from Gulf of Alaska way. Yesterday featured heavy (and highly unusual for this time of year) rainstorms in the south SF bay - but only in the south bay, and then heading east and converting to Tahoe snow. Another cold/rainy system moving in today, but even further south, in SoCal. That seems consistent with the above linked story. We shall see what summer brings. Very nice detailed piece with updated prediction on this today: http://www.weatherwest.com/archives/3277 That appears to confirm my landlubberly observations. The downside of a really wet coming winter would be that many of the long-term water-conservation initiatives which have sprung up as a result of the drought would like be kiboshed. I fear the lesson still has not gone on long enough to really sink in (water pun!).  2015-08-04, 00:16 #28 ewmayer ∂2ω=0 Sep 2002 República de California 22×5×11×53 Posts http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogsp...s-massive.html The 500-unit apt. complex I live in finally switched to xeriscaping and using mulch (I excoriated them on this point in my last resident-comments form-fillout) this summer. Re. the TruthOut bit about water usage for various kinds of nuts, that is [a] misleading because it fails to normalize by 'grams of usable product' (walnuts have more meat than almonds) and [b] fails to note that they all use too much! All this water-wasting-on-agriculture-and-animal-farming ties in with the US obesity epidemic because Americans consume roughly 50% more calories than they need to sustain a healthy 'well-fed' weight. And water for fracking - similarly we use way too much energy. But it's needed to maintain the economist-and-politician-mandated long-term trend of exponential growth of GDP, comrades!  2015-08-04, 03:50 #29 Uncwilly 6809 > 6502 """"""""""""""""""" Aug 2003 101×103 Posts 5×2,003 Posts 2 words: Population control Just like the rent, the population is too *$%@ high. There are too many people living in areas that don't naturally have enough water. Also, there are too many people in general that require food.
2015-08-04, 03:59   #30

"Kieren"
Jul 2011
In My Own Galaxy!

2·3·1,693 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Uncwilly 2 words: Population control Just like the rent, the population is too *$%@ high. There are too many people living in areas that don't naturally have enough water. Also, there are too many people in general that require food. rAmen! Tell it! 2015-08-04, 06:19 #31 ewmayer 2ω=0 Sep 2002 República de California 101101100011002 Posts Quote:  Originally Posted by Uncwilly 2 words: Population control Just like the rent, the population is too *$%@ high. There are too many people living in areas that don't naturally have enough water. Also, there are too many people in general that require food.
Which do you think is politically more feasible: Killing off (or relocating) X% of the population, or getting an X% reduction in average caloric intake?

Obviously in the long run population control is the sine qua non of addressing all our consumption-related woes - but reducing excess consumption is something we can do *now*.

Problem is, politicians and the corporate interests they serve both are addicted to neverending consumption growth, as well as population growth. So perhaps the only viable solution truly is radical herd-culling - but let's start with our oligarchical misleadership class, I say.

 2015-08-14, 22:06 #32 ewmayer ∂2ω=0     Sep 2002 República de California 1166010 Posts Record Strong El Niño Ahead? - weather.com Excellent in-depth summary of the (still-small) historical dataset w.r.to such strong Pacific warm-water anomalies and their impacts (both historical and projected) ranging from the Pacific to the Atlantic hurricane season. Looks like confidence is high that the current one will be strong come winter, the uncertainty pertains to just how strong and how the other weather factors affecting the outcomes play out. Let's hope the West-coast projections have it right - a single wet west coast winter wouldn't end the drought, but it sure would help!
2015-08-14, 22:23   #33
only_human

"Gang aft agley"
Sep 2002

2·1,877 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by ewmayer Record Strong El Niño Ahead? - weather.com Excellent in-depth summary of the (still-small) historical dataset w.r.to such strong Pacific warm-water anomalies and their impacts (both historical and projected) ranging from the Pacific to the Atlantic hurricane season. Looks like confidence is high that the current one will be strong come winter, the uncertainty pertains to just how strong and how the other weather factors affecting the outcomes play out. Let's hope the West-coast projections have it right - a single wet west coast winter wouldn't end the drought, but it sure would help!
There is some concern about Los Angeles' flood control infrastructure:
With 'Godzilla El Niño' expected, focus shifts to Pasadena dam that could overflow
Quote:
 There is risk of flooding south of the dam — affecting the 110 Freeway, Pasadena, South Pasadena and northeast Los Angeles — if the San Gabriel Mountains are soaked with a series of unrelenting storms and send large amounts of mud, rocks and burned trees into a full basin, officials said. “If we had multiple major storms with sediment, the reservoirs would fill up and we would have very little capacity for flood control and water capture,” he said. A 2011 county report painted a grim picture of what would occur if huge rainstorms hit Devil's Gate. Under a worst-case scenario, torrential rains could send mud, rocks and water over the dam and flooding into the Rose Bowl, South Pasadena and northeast Los Angeles in less than 40 minutes. A subsequent report said the Rose Bowl probably wouldn't be flooded in a single storm but could be at greater risk after a series of storms if sediment isn't quickly removed from areas downstream from the dam.

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