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It's the Despair Quotient!
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Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all


Or they could just pay the desal plant about $67/month for their average amount of household water. That is based on the actual cost per acre-foot the Carslbad plant is charging the local water districts for their 50,000,000 gallons per day. And keep in mind that Poseidon Water is planning on making a profit on those sales.


Our water bill in North TX was about 67 a month so for me, that sounds very reasonable.


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Quote:
that sounds very reasonable


My point exactly. Desalinating IS more expensive than taking water out of the river that flows by your town. But if you don't have a natural river or lake nearby (like all of coastal Southern California) it costs about the same to transport the water hundreds of miles as it does to desalinate it locally.

This is why all schemes involving transporting water even greater distances are just plain stupid: Even if the water is free, the transportation cost kills the deal.

On the other hand, water cost can never rise much above what it is now in Southern California because the cost hits an upper limit that is the desalination cost. The Sierra snow pack and the Colorado River could dry up completely and we could just desalinate 100% of our water for about the same cost. Instead of coastal Southern California drying to a parched desert, it will bloom. Can't say the same for western states far from the ocean.

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Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
Quote:
We've got until October to figure something out.


Well, that's not going to happen! It takes years to build dams, etc. and El Ninio events are barely worth building dams that are going to stand empty about 9 years out of 10.

We need to build the desalination plants. They are WAY WAY cheaper than building dams and aqueducts. They are tiny: You can't even see the Carlsbad plant and we drive by it on I5 every day.


I have been for desalinization plants for years, but I see that our state government isn't on board with that, or even municipal/county governments. They don't seem to want to spend the money. Of course now, they are finding out what that kind of short-sightedness is bring them. Penny-wise and pound-foolish. Even though the desal plants are more quickly built and cheaper, It still won't capture the extra water brought from the ElNino.


milk and Girl Scout cookies ;-)

Save your breath-You may need it to blow up your date.




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It's the Despair Quotient!
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Originally Posted by pondering_it_all
California needs to actually do something about their water supply problem. They are now talking about cutting off Central Valley farmer's water supply. This is some of the most productive agricultural land in the US. The state needs to build a lot of desalination plants all along the coast. The Carlsbad plant has several years of experience of producing 50 million gallons of pure fresh water per day. My water district buys part of their output, and note that the California Water Authority has no plans to cut water for San Diego.

Now there certainly is some stupid water use in Central Valley agriculture raising crops that require a lot of water, like the almonds that are mostly exported to China. But I think the growers could actually change their prices enough to cover their water costs of a changed model that does not depend on Sierra snowpack. We have thousands of square miles of desert East of the Sierras and Southern mountain ranges, that have extremely abundant sunshine. PV panels are the cheapest way of generating electricity now, often as low as 2 cents per KWHr. We could build those solar farms, the transmission lines needed to carry the power to the coast, and the desalination plants to make the fresh water. This would give us a totally-predictable water supply.

Instead of two desalination plants, we should have 30. Pumping the water to the Central Valley would be pretty cheap, as most of the Central Valley has low elevations. Done right, we could even run the canals now carrying water South backwards. Sending it that way would actually be downhill!

I am intentionally going to necro this thread because it deserves the respect it originally generated, and clearly we're still talking about the exact same subject six years later, almost to the day.
In honor of Scoutgal...


I know that high speed rail sounds like a great idea but apparently we've reached a Hell of an impasse on that, and I daresay we need the water more than we need the fancy high speed trains right now. There's been talk of putting in some "autobahn" type high speed lanes on I-5 to make the trip to NorCal a bit faster.
That may help some...certainly a lot cheaper than our high speed rail debacle.

So let's utilize some of that high speed rail money and put it into desal...SOLAR powered desal. Let's let California lead the way again in high tech solutions to immediate problems.
The brine? Geezus man, it's not nuclear waste, I'm sure that brine can be put to use for something...it's mostly salt fer chrissakes.

Are we actually saying that it is impossible to figure out how to dry out the brine to the point where we just have a s**t ton of SALT?
And are we saying that a s**t ton of SALT is such an overwhelming threat that we simply can't do anything about it?


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California in its past, pre-statehood has had droughts lasting 200 and 300 years. California since becoming a state has been in a wet period. I think this is the article I read about the 200 year plus droughts in California ancient past. It wants me to subscribe or pay for it since I visited their site more than 3 times.

California drought: Past dry periods have lasted more than 200 years, scientists say

https://www.mercurynews.com/2014/01...sted-more-than-200-years-scientists-say/

Let me know if this isn't the article and I'll try to find it. The NYT has a similar article, but there again, it wants me to pay and subscribe which I won't do.

Anyway, California may be returning to its more normal past.

Here's one from the NYT.

In California, a Wet Era May Be Ending

https://readerrant.capitolhillblue.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=334852#Post334852


It's high past time that we start electing Americans to congress and the presidency who put America first instead of their political party. For way too long we have been electing Republicans and Democrats who happen to be Americans instead of Americans who happen to be Republicans and Democrats.
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It's the Despair Quotient!
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Originally Posted by perotista
California in its past, pre-statehood has had droughts lasting 200 and 300 years. California since becoming a state has been in a wet period. I think this is the article I read about the 200 year plus droughts in California ancient past. It wants me to subscribe or pay for it since I visited their site more than 3 times.

California drought: Past dry periods have lasted more than 200 years, scientists say

https://www.mercurynews.com/2014/01...sted-more-than-200-years-scientists-say/

Let me know if this isn't the article and I'll try to find it. The NYT has a similar article, but there again, it wants me to pay and subscribe which I won't do.

Anyway, California may be returning to its more normal past.

Here's one from the NYT.

In California, a Wet Era May Be Ending

https://readerrant.capitolhillblue.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=334852#Post334852

All the more reason why this "nation" of forty million souls, with the fifth largest economy on the planet, must leverage the technology and make solar powered ocean water desalination mainstream and ubiquitous throughout the state.

We cannot afford a future where most of the state goes back to looking like the desert scene in Thelma & Louise.


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I'm all for that. That's where California should put it resources. California, or the people moving and living there have been lucky to do so during a wet period which it seems is about to move back into a natural dry period which has the possibility of lasting 100's of years as it has in the past.

The problem isn't just in California, it's the whole southwest returning to its more weather norms of the past.


It's high past time that we start electing Americans to congress and the presidency who put America first instead of their political party. For way too long we have been electing Republicans and Democrats who happen to be Americans instead of Americans who happen to be Republicans and Democrats.
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Quote
The problem isn't just in California, it's the whole southwest returning to its more weather norms of the past.

It's not just the southwest, and I don't think these are "norms" we're returning to.


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According to the scientific research, 200-300 years droughts in the west happened and more than once. I suppose you're right, they weren't the norm, but neither is the wet period for the last couple of hundred years either. There must be a happy medium there somewhere.

Folks out there are lucky as all get out for the Hoover Damn and Lake Mead. Lake Mead is in trouble.

https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/17/us/lake-mead-drought-water-shortage-climate/index.html

Without Hoover and Mead, there's no way the southwest and California could support naturally the amount of people they have now. The lake has dropped 143 feet, if it drops another 175 feet, no more water flowing through the dam, no more water flowing to those 5 states and to Las Vegas, no more electricity from Hoover Dam. Which by the way, Hoover Dam has already been forced to cut back on the electricity produced.

Interesting.


It's high past time that we start electing Americans to congress and the presidency who put America first instead of their political party. For way too long we have been electing Republicans and Democrats who happen to be Americans instead of Americans who happen to be Republicans and Democrats.
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The Colorado river should be serving cities and agricultural areas near it. The Sierras and desal should be serving the rest of California. We have built all this infrastructure to move Colorado River water way beyond the area it can serve. That infrastructure needs a huge amount of electrical energy (1/5th of the electricity produced in the state!) and a lot of maintenance. It would make a lot more sense to just move electricity instead of water. Almost all the population in California lives in the coastal cities, Desal plants can connect to existing water distribution networks.

In the long run, warming should put more water into the atmosphere, But it will also change precipitation and wind patterns in unpredictable ways. Farmers in North San Diego are trying to leave the San Diego Water Authority so they can join Riverside County's Water Authority, that has lower rates. San Diego has slightly higher rates, but it also has greater stability. These guys are avocado growers who need a minimum amount of water to produce, and they need it all the time. If they get cut off by the water district for two weeks, their production goes to zero for at least the next year. Maybe two years. I predict the end of avocado production in Fallbrook if they succeed, because at some point their new water district will shut down their water. The rest of North County will still have 50 million gallons per day of desal water being made by the Carlsbad plant.


We're flying electric helicopters on Mars yet you can't turn on your clothes dryer in Texas. That's because scientists are in charge of Mars, and Republicans are in charge of Texas.
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