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Thread: Tier 1 Water Shortage for SW appears inevitable

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    Post Tier 1 Water Shortage for SW appears inevitable

    The Southwest of the United States isn't very wet. But they've made due for decades with massive damming of rivers creating large lakes that hold up snow melt.

    The last 20 years have been particularly tough. And the past year, not any better, dropping around 15 feet from a year ago. Lake Powell (named after a man named Lake) and Lake Mead (named after a different man named Lake) are at about 35% capacity, which isn't dripping low, but it is getting to a point where some reductions will be needed. These reductions (Tier 1) won't impact population centers, but somebody is gonna have to feel the sting.

    If things continue for a few more years, Tier 2 will sting a bit in Arizona. Unfortunately, there isn't much of a solution. The amount of water needed for such large populations can be reduced, but not eliminated.

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    I read a govt reort in the 90s that predicted Southern California wuld b running out of water based on supply regardless of drought.

    Agriculture wells are being fouled by salt water incursion.


    The Colorado River is consumed.

    r
    The growth of the La area was never sustainable.

    There have been attempts to buy public watersheds and privatize water.

    In the 90s therewas an idea to dam up a valley in the Iaho panhandle and run water to Ca.

    The question is what is a sustainable population?

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    There's only one real answer: Desalinization plants. They're expensive, though.

    I've hiked in areas that used to be part of Lake Mead--now there are decent sized trees there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    There's only one real answer: Desalinization plants. They're expensive, though.

    I've hiked in areas that used to be part of Lake Mead--now there are decent sized trees there.
    Most of water use in CA is agriculture. I am not sure Desalinization would make sense there.
    If would be great if it does, though.

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    Most things having consequences, I wonder what the downside to large scale world wide desalinization may turn out to be.

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    Veteran Member Treedbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    Most things having consequences, I wonder what the downside to large scale world wide desalinization may turn out to be.
    Rain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    Most things having consequences, I wonder what the downside to large scale world wide desalinization may turn out to be.
    A small fraction of the lowered salt content of the oceans due to melting glaciers is compensated.

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    Elder Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jokodo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    Most things having consequences, I wonder what the downside to large scale world wide desalinization may turn out to be.
    A small fraction of the lowered salt content of the oceans due to melting glaciers is compensated.
    I was thinking more along the lines of the local environment where tons of salt is being pumped into the ocean, which may impact on local ecosystems....presumably it takes a while to disperse even while it is constantly being pumped. Which may be an issue, I don't really know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jokodo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    Most things having consequences, I wonder what the downside to large scale world wide desalinization may turn out to be.
    A small fraction of the lowered salt content of the oceans due to melting glaciers is compensated.
    I was thinking more along the lines of the local environment where tons of salt is being pumped into the ocean, which may impact on local ecosystems....presumably it takes a while to disperse even while it is constantly being pumped. Which may be an issue, I don't really know.
    It doesn't take long to disperse. It's the ocean, it has currents and Eddie's.

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    Veteran Member Valjean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    Most things having consequences, I wonder what the downside to large scale world wide desalinization may turn out to be.
    It would be salt; discharged back into the sea, it would create massive, hypersaline dead zones.

    "Eventual dispersion" doesn't matter. In most places dispersion would be slow: witness the eutrophic dead zones at the mouth of the Mississippi, or in some of the American Great Lakes -- and eutrophication is slow. Hypersalinity is fast. It can kill fish, coral or phytoplankton in minutes.

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