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#210752 - 11/02/10 04:45 PM Cities Running Out of Water
paramedicpete Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 1920
Loc: Frederick, Maryland
If the predictions in this story prove to be accurate, (short of moving) how does one prepare for moderate and long-term water shortages?


10 US Cities Running Out of Water

Pete

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#210754 - 11/02/10 06:23 PM Re: Cities Running Out of Water [Re: paramedicpete]
clearwater Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 1059
Loc: Channeled Scablands
Put in your own rain barrel, figure ways to use grey water,
put in a well and make sure you have the water rights to it,
get on the planning commission of your city and make sure they
have water rights and the ability to move and treat the water.

Many places have over allocated water rights IE water is
owned based on the highest water available in 100 years
(the 100 year event). Many large cities are buying up rural
water rights quietly. This will be a surprise to a lot of
rural folks when they find out the water they are pumping from
their well belongs to someone else or at least have to go to
court to prove it belongs to them.

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#210755 - 11/02/10 06:45 PM Re: Cities Running Out of Water [Re: paramedicpete]
LED Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/01/05
Posts: 1474
Water scarcity has always been the reality here but you'd never know it. Rainwater catchment with underground/covered storage tanks and a well if possible. With an average rainfall of 15 inches a year, (4.42 in. was lowest on record) getting by on stored water would be extremely difficult if not impossible. Without the Sierra snowpack and the Colorado, life around here would be very different.

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#210756 - 11/02/10 06:55 PM Re: Cities Running Out of Water [Re: LED]
paramedicpete Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 1920
Loc: Frederick, Maryland
Do you know if LA acquires any water through the use of desalinization plants? If not, why not?


Pete

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#210768 - 11/02/10 09:34 PM Re: Cities Running Out of Water [Re: paramedicpete]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6612
Loc: southern Cal
I don't believe LA uses desalinization. In a prolonged drought during the late 1980's, Santa Barbara developed plans for such a plant, but the rains came before construction began. I believe the project is still on hold..

Desal is pretty darn expensive.
_________________________
Geezer in Chief

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#210770 - 11/02/10 10:01 PM Re: Cities Running Out of Water [Re: paramedicpete]
MDinana Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2184
Loc: Deep south... Carolina
Originally Posted By: paramedicpete
Do you know if LA acquires any water through the use of desalinization plants? If not, why not?


Pete

I don't think so, yet... I was told (lord knows where) that it actually takes more fresh water in the treatment than fresh water gained. Something like that, the bottom line being, you lose fresh water.

But, I think they're taking a look at it, which leads me to think A) I was wrong, or B) new developments have occured.
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE54D6M420090514

Either way, there's lots of evidence that LA is straining things. The water level in the central valley is down dozens of feet, the Salton Sea is a wreck, even driving past some of the recreation areas built around lakes show dozens of feet drop in their water level markings. A few years ago there was some talk about running piping from the Great Lakes out towards the west coast. Last I heard that idea got firmly rejected.

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#210771 - 11/02/10 10:02 PM Re: Cities Running Out of Water [Re: hikermor]
Richlacal Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 778
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Catalina Island,Exclusively uses Desalination for their freshwater!

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#210772 - 11/02/10 10:51 PM Re: Cities Running Out of Water [Re: paramedicpete]
Art_in_FL Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
Desalination, typically reverse osmosis now, used to be a condenser plant, is still very expensive in terms of dollars per gallon.

As usual conservation is far more cost efficient than manufacturing your own fresh water. Flushing toilets, washing the manure, accounts for roughly 40% of the domestic fresh water used. Car washing and golf courses use a good percentage. Much of the fresh water use not actually used. As a result of the neglect of infrastructure many cities waste almost half of the water through leaking supply pipes. Many of which were installed in the 50s and have just been patched enough to maintain pressure.

Like it or not the majority correction/ cure is through community/ government action and long term.

In terms of what an individual person/ homeowner can do would be limited to private supplies - surface water, rain collection or wells if legal - water storage, conservation of what you may store, and what little reuse can be made of 'Gray' water.

Note that gray water, typically shower and sink water, cannot be stored long as it still contains nutrients that turn it brown and corrosive in a very short time. Essentially the only practical use is to water lawns or landscaping. Even use in a toilet is difficult because it can damage and/or clog flush valves and switching between gray and fresh water can be very problematic.

Storing water is likely to be practical mostly in terms of reserves for use if utilities go down. The numbers of gallons needed long term is so high that complete independence would require a large investment in cisterns/storage and radical reductions in use. Storing enough to get by on minimal use levels is only practical for a few days if you don't wish to invest in large tanks and cisterns.

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#210773 - 11/02/10 11:00 PM Re: Cities Running Out of Water [Re: paramedicpete]
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
Conserve, store and keep your mouth shut, like any other kind of cache. But that only works for the short term.

Long term, there is no answer other than than there are too many people. I remember reading that part of the Colorado is diverted and pumped across the mountains for LA. Not sure if it is true, I've never gone looking because I'm afraid that it is, and in that case, I think I'll be physically ill.
_________________________
-IronRaven

When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

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#210777 - 11/02/10 11:57 PM Re: Cities Running Out of Water [Re: ironraven]
Desperado Offline
Veteran

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1530
Loc: DFW, Texas
Originally Posted By: ironraven
Conserve, store and keep your mouth shut, like any other kind of cache. But that only works for the short term.

Long term, there is no answer other than than there are too many people. I remember reading that part of the Colorado is diverted and pumped across the mountains for LA. Not sure if it is true, I've never gone looking because I'm afraid that it is, and in that case, I think I'll be physically ill.



Uh, ahem...... Yeah, you might want to stay east of the Rockies to prevent nausea.
_________________________
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.

RIP OBG

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