Everybody talkin' California drought left and right these days. William Shatner has a kickstarter going which aims to raise 30 billion (!!!) to build a water pipeline from Washington state to California state.
If it's at the point where people are willing to even think about investing that much money into solving the problem it would be good to understand the numbers involved with the situation before applying any sort of plan into action.
I don't pretend to be smart or anything, but, I do think having a basic understanding of the quantities and numbers involved in problematic situations does let people generate better opinions on the problem. In regards to energy for instance, I see every day people saying this or that will solve the energy problem and get us off fossil fuels....but when you do the math these solutions in some cases would only produce a fraction of what is needed to operate human earth in an advance technological state. I wrote on article on this blog called, "Rating the Energies, Yeah!" to just try and look at how much energy is needed to run human earth in that advanced state and what energy sources were best to do that.
(That energy article here): http://writtting-d.blogspot.ca/2014/05/ratin-energies-yeah.html
That article aimed to find how much power in terrawatt hours humans need to operate earth at this highly technically advanced state. Similarly to that article, it might help to find out how much water California presently uses, how much is used per industry, and how much water will be created by proposed solutions at the table.
Like the last article, I'm gonna put the same disclaimer up...because I'm not an expert. I'm not anything. The majority of hours of work in my life has been in the furniture upholstery, wood-working/finishing, and residential moving fields....not in science.
Look-it my fellow global g-units, I'm not a scientist or anything and the datum and opinions expressed in this blog article are my understandings of what seems to be the numbers on the scenario at hand, maybe all the things I read are false...who knows. I, of fairly sound mind at this moment, believe the statistics and opinions expressed in the following text are true...yet, who knows if they are wicked correct or not. I'm just a dude, man...just like you and me. If something written here is of interest to you then by all means conduct your own research and formulate your own opinions on the subject matter.
California Water Use
The United States Geological Survey presents these statistics for water usage in California, to keep the article uniform all quantities shall be expressed in Gallons:
Water use per Day: 38 billion gallons
Which Industries are Using it....
Electric Power Generation: 17%
Infasrtucture/Government Use/Domestic: 17%
Okie-doke, so 38 billion gallons is quite a hefty load of drinkable water used per calendar day (24 hour time period).
First off, I left "Domestic" use in the table for a valid reason. I didn't just lump it into Government use for the reason to show that domestic use of water is almost non-existent in terms of water usage. This is, of course, the millions of citizens drinking water, flushing toilets, washing cars, filling pools, etc....
|Jerry's got it wrong.|
With that out of the way let's move into the other areas of water usage...
Electric Power Generation is the amount of water used in running power plants in the region. California is already getting its nuclear plants to use ocean water for cooling itself down and stopping them from melting down, therefore, nuclear plants despite using a lot of water are no longer (or will no longer in the future be) using drinkable water but rather salty water. If you are running a nuclear plant and have not switched to using salt water to cool the plant down....you are being very silly....there's no reason you can't use salt water for this procedure.
The out-dated coal is still used to power close to 20% of California, which is pretty fucking bad, and not only is coal the most polluting, difficult for workers to mine, and inefficient....but it also uses a fuck-ton of water. These plants, like nuclear, MUST switch to using salinated coastal ocean water for this process. There is no reason as to why these plants need fresh water from aquifers for their water usage needs. Same goes for natural gas and petroleum plants as well.
Infrastructure and government use regards all sorts of things from public owned establishments to public use. Fire hydrants, commercial businesses, public pools, and other public operated establishments. It amounts to about 10% of total usage.
Now that bad boy, agriculture and irrigation, accounts for about 2/3 of the state's water usage. Unlike power plants, switching to using salt water is not an option because you can't irrigate with salt water, you need fresh water to irrigate. This is indeed an actual problem and it actually needs to be addressed because you can't use 66% of the state's water to operate one sector of the economy.
I referred to California's agriculture as a sector of the economy rather as a food source because that's exactly what it is. They're not planting like rice and stuff there...ok? They are planting what I'd call rich people crops. They plant plumbs, kiwies, almonds, grapes, walnuts, lemons, and weed.
You're not feeding the earth with these crops, these are known as "cash crops" plain and simple. They are called cash crops because people pay a lot of money for these products.
That's another thing that angers me about the "green" hippie community. They are all these vegans who won't eat meat n' potatoes....but will subside themselves on weird rich people nuts grown in California...and they'll be all like "if we all just stayed home and smoked weed all day the world would be a better place!"...well, not to burst your bubble but it takes a lot of fresh water to grow marijuana in case you didn't know.
It's weird because the Americans will go to war with Afganistan and burn all their opium farms because apparently "Drugs are bad m'kay"...but you'll never see the Americans drop napalm on California marijuana farms, will you? Kind of strange.
Even though science shows marijuana is not a dangerous drug and helps cancer patients get their appetite back during chemo...it is still a very addictive drug with millions of users in North America. California produces the most marijuana, way more than any state, almost more than all states combined. To operate these semi-legal farms takes VAST amounts of water. Not only water but the indoor growers use incredible amounts of energy to operate their quasi-legal facilities.
It burns me up because these weed hippies are the most fervent about saving the environment and are always angry at government. I bet they are the same people pissed at the public for brushing their teeth and flushing pee-pee without poo-poo down the terlet. Fuck them, fuck these fucking hippies. Marijuana is a cash crop sucking insane amounts of fresh water and energy out of California...and why?
....just so rich people can get high, that's why.
Same goes for almonds, walnuts, oranges, lemons, and other cash crops. Albeit these have nutritional value at least unlike weed which just gives the user a muscle relaxant agent. These, unlike weed, are legal and counted towards GDP and you'd expect that number to be high right? You'd expect the sector that uses 2/3 of the state's water to be a big huge percentage of the state's GDP right?
Agriculture in total amounts to...wait for it....
....TWO (2%) of California's total GDP! Whoooop-deeee-friggin'-dooooooooooo!
First off, Jerry Brown's restrictions on domestic water use are ridiculous. To pretend a guy washing his clothes in San Diego, or a some kid making a jug of Kool-aid in San Franciso is the reason why you have a water crisis is down right ridiculous!
|Get the Salt out.|
The proposed solution of William Shatner of importing water from Washington state isn't a bad idea but 30 billion is quite a lot of funds...and Washington likes water too...maybe they want that fresh water.
If people are serious about this, the first thing you have to look at is de-salination which although had been around for almost a century is only really getting going lately.
The Middle East is the leader in these plants, out of necessity, because they want to operate large scale industries yet live in the gosh darned desert...so they have no choice but to get the salt out of ocean and sea water.
California's in this situation as well and if it wants to operate its cash crop farms it needs these plants. The Carlsbad plant, when operational, estimates to produce 50 million gallons of fresh water per calendar day. There are 16 plants of this magnitude being planned in California at the moment.
16 x 50 million = 800 million gallons
Not bad, each plant has a price tag of 1 billion bucks. So...if you slap these all around the coast you can generate quite a bit of fresh water. If Shatner is raising 30 billion (he's not gonna get it by the way) he should be looking at building THIRTY de-salination plants along the Western United States coast line which output fresh water to the Californian region.
46 x 50 million = 2, 300, 000, 000
We know that California needs 38 billion gallons of fresh water per day to support its nuts, grapes, and weed habit. So, 2.3 billion would give them about 6% of the fresh water they need....which honestly doesn't cut it...AT ALL.
Is the answer to build a 30 billion dollar pipe-line and steal water from Washington state? No.
The only answer is to make laws that limit cash crop farming in the region. Sorry.
America'll go napalm all the rice fields in Vietnam just to fuck with them...or it'll go burn up all the cash crop opium fields in Afganistan to de-mafia the region...but you won't see it fucking with illegal cash crop farms in it's own backyard.
If they even limited cash crop farming in California the problem would be solved but they can't. Wasting water to produce 2% of the state's GDP is every citizens god given right! Vegans need their almonds for their diets! Weed addicts need their hit! It's their god given freedom to use this much water!
Is it too drastic for Jerry Brown to ask the federal government to drop incendiary liquids on legal and non-legal cash crop farms and burn them sky high? Yes, yes it is. It's too drastic when they do it in other countries too. You can't just burn 'em up. So what do you do?
If pipelines, de-salination, and napalming aren't real answers, then what is? Maybe there's no answer...maybe California behind its alluring facade of Hollywood is actually a down-right mess of a region.
Maybe the federal government should start similar economic sectors that are strong in California in other regions. Maybe a second or third silicon valley can spring up in other locations around the United States which lures people away from that region is a good idea. Maybe a second Hollywood can spring up in New York or Chicago or Boston or Texas (redneck Hollwood?) which lures people away from the over-saturated California region. Who knows.
The suggested solutions of Jerry Brown to blame the crisis on the domestic population is downright ludicrous.
Shatner's idea of importing water from Washington holds merit but good luck getting 30 billion, g. Good luck convincing the state of Washington to part with its fresh water too.
De-salination plants along the west coast can give them a few billion gallons of fresh water per day...but they use a fuck ton more than 2 billion a day.
Fire bombing all the almonds, walnuts, and marijuana cash crops is simply too drastic.
Who knows. It seems when you pull back the curtain of Hollywood bullshit...this region is simply a wasteful behemoth who runs off coal for power for their energy. It's possibly the most inefficent economy on earth.
The main point to bring up is not to blame regular folks washing their dishes for this mess, that's down right absurd.