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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Bill Shatner's Water Pipeline

   
Author Topic: Bill Shatner's Water Pipeline
Reshpeckobiggle
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I haven't seen anywhere in the media that OSC came up with this idea several months ago.
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Orincoro
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It's... Not like it's a new idea. The Romans were big into it.
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TomDavidson
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I personally want the American Southwest to run out of water, so the people stuck living there have to move somewhere not horrible.
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scifibum
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Future Mad Max sequels will not have to spend as much on FX.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
I personally want the American Southwest to run out of water, so the people stuck living there have to move somewhere not horrible.

this is how you get Southerners.

Edited to say: man, piping water would be too prohibitively expensive for the quantities of water needed for the things that consume the vast majority of water, so who cares. All that's going to happen is that agricultural lobby is going to finally lose the artificially maintained water supply they kept as their states shriveled up and died, the price of food will go quite significantly up, almond futures will go bonanzas, and if you happen to own or lease farm operations in other parts of the country you'll do pretty damn good for yourself

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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
I personally want the American Southwest to run out of water, so the people stuck living there have to move somewhere not horrible.

Maybe as a side effect the U.S. will start to take climate change slightly more seriously once California is a desolate wasteland.
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Samprimary
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I think California is going to do fine; it certainly has enough water to sustainably house the population.

Just not the agriculture.

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CT
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What he said.
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Geraine
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
I think California is going to do fine; it certainly has enough water to sustainably house the population.

Just not the agriculture.

They do. From my understanding the agriculture industry has been pumping water without oversight in California for years, which in part is what is causing the issue.

As a resident of Las Vegas, when I hear about the drought in California I just think "That's cute."

Vegas has been pretty good about dealing with the drought we have been experiencing for years. Another new intake pipe will allow the Water Authority to pump water at lower water levels. That should help Vegas residents during this drought.

California arguably has enough water even with the Sierra Nevada mountain's decreased melt off, it is just mismanaged to hell. Most of the blame is on the agriculture industry, but environmentalist regulation likely shares a small part of the reason.

Also, is desalination an option? I know there is a plant set to open in San Diego soon that should provide 7% of the cities water needs, but I don't know if this is a viable option for the rest of the state.

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Orincoro
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Anything to do with Urban and suburban water use, you're still only talking about maybe 25% of all the water in the state. So even hurculean efforts to reduce consumtion by up to 25%, still only translates to a 5% statewide use reduction. That's not nothing, but it isn't enough when they've been pumping the groundwater lower every year for 3 decades at least.
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stilesbn
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I'm going to miss avocados.
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Dogbreath
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I have an avocado tree in my back yard. You can have some if you want.
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scifibum
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Desalination just requires a lot of energy input. If energy gets a lot cheaper then maybe it'll help some. It seems unlikely to be cheap enough to allow large scale irrigation.
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Samprimary
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most of the alternatives that some people are proposing belie a misunderstanding of the absolute scale of the agriculture involved and how the solutions do not scale to the sheer requirements for water use. Most of the agricultural water needs are underpinned by a ready and cheap water availability that may simply just not be available anymore

desalination as a particular example would never be able to provide the amount of water required, nor would it be able to do so at a price that is economically practical for the agricultural needs.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by stilesbn:
I'm going to miss avocados.

They won't disappear, they just won't be as cheap.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
Desalination just requires a lot of energy input. If energy gets a lot cheaper then maybe it'll help some. It seems unlikely to be cheap enough to allow large scale irrigation.

The economics of the situation are such that even if desalination were as cheap and easy as literally transporting water from the ocean, it would *still* be too expensive.
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scifibum
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That was my guess, because California produce is already competing against agriculture in other regions that doesn't require extraordinary measures just to keep things watered.

However, I'm in favor of a lot of investment in that technology. It can be used to provide drinking/household water at an acceptable cost and make a dent in groundwater depletion. "Renewable" water may be the only acceptable way to water lawns and fill swimming pools in arid regions.

And if the era of cheap food ever ends, it could be an important way to keep the expensive food on the table.

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Lyrhawn
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I wonder what the breakdown is of water use by each crop.

I know alfalfa and almonds take up a tremendous amount of water. I mean, if (I'm making numbers up) almonds take up 10% of the agricultural water use and agriculture takes up 80% of all water, then killing the almond trees would make a huge impact. Could it just be that some particular crops go away for awhile rather than the ENTIRE INDUSTRY DYING NO MORE FOOD EVER!! ?

Regardless, all of that makes more sense than a pipeline from the Great Lakes, which while not new, is still as stupid as the day it was conceived. Besides being impossibly expensive, it's also illegal. Water can't be removed from the watershed area without approval from EVERY state that touches the Great lakes plus all Canadian provinces that touch them as well. Good luck getting approval for that, especially when the Compact was passed almost specifically to stop people from getting their hands on it.

It'd make more sense to pipe in water from the comparably wet Northwest.

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