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Bummer

“Today it’s about half full,” Kuhn said. “You can’t go into a drought like that today if it’s half full. Things will have to change in how we do business.”
I read somewhere awhile back that when the SW water use planning was being set up circa 90 years ago it was during a somewhat wetter 10 year period.
Being optimists we went for it.
We were living in a Base Rate Fallacy.
I don't believe we understood or had the tree ring data to work from.
Plus other science.

The west is primarily arid and has had serious droughts scattered throughout the past 1,000 years.

Fact:
There isn't the slightest chance of this country dealing with this problem in a proactive way.
We are in too deep and no one is going to give in anyway.
 

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Move to Bend Oregon.

Not for river running necessarily.

The aquifer under Bend is stunning.
Quality and quantity.

This is going to be a much bigger deal in a couple decades.
 

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Misspellingintothefuture!
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Makes me me wonder what this does to population growth in the areas that have, or can get, water. Could even affect areas like Denver, at least for a while, till the water is used up. Denver water might get even wealthier for it's efforts.
Will it increase the odds of Glen canyon dam going away?
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I read somewhere awhile back that when the SW water use planning was being set up circa 90 years ago it was during a somewhat wetter 10 year period.
Being optimists we went for it.
We were living in a Base Rate Fallacy.
I don't believe we understood or had the tree ring data to work from.
Plus other science.

The west is primarily arid and has had serious droughts scattered throughout the past 1,000 years.

Fact:
There isn't the slightest chance of this country dealing with this problem in a proactive way.
We are in too deep and no one is going to give in anyway.
Bill,

I think the actual stat is that it was the wettest 20 years of data that they used to set the allocation between the Upper and Lower Basin states. The data were from around the turn of the last century. And yes, it's total BS that this is how it was done and there's little chance of revisiting that allocation.

One way out is for water managers to better understand the decoupling of water usage and economic and population growth that's occurring. That is, busting the myth that economic and population growth are tied to certain levels of water use. A great example of this is that "Denver residents have managed to reduce water consumption by more than 20 percent in the last 15 years, even with a 15 percent increase in population," as is buried in this Gross Reservoir article from 5280 Magazine. It was disappointing that the author didn't really follow up on the fact water conservation can render projects like that unnecessary.

Here's an article on decoupling. It's a bit long and semi-scholarly but worth the read.

The article begins:
When Bart Fisher returned home from college in 1972, his family’s alfalfa fields outside Blythe in California’s southeastern desert produced 7 tons of alfalfa per acre. Today, the Fishers get 10 tons per acre from the same land. They do it with the same amount of water as a much younger Fisher and his family used four decades ago.
That example represents almost a 50% increase in crop yield with the same amount of water. Not bad.

Will there be a lower limit beneath which you simply can't conserve your way out of water over-allocation? Yes, most certainly, but we've still got a lot of slack in the system for greater conservation savings.

Happy reading,

-AH
 

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Bend area starting to struggle to keep enough cold water in the rivers to support fish. It's still a desert there which means you can't escape the limited supply/unchecked demand situation. It's the same wishful thinking that has gotten the SW in trouble.
 

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Bend area starting to struggle to keep enough cold water in the rivers to support fish. It's still a desert there which means you can't escape the limited supply/unchecked demand situation. It's the same wishful thinking that has gotten the SW in trouble.
The aquifer is still there.
Its is still huge and barely touched even with Bends Growth.

The river is a separate source and a relevant source mostly outside of Bend as it moves in the canals.
Bend is a selfish place.
Folks there don't want canals to be covered or "in a tube". This cuts loss by evaporation. But it hurts their view of and removes the ambient sounds of flowing natural canals "that are historic".

That aquifer isn't wishful. It is absolutely huge.

The geology.

The Bend area never has had much in the way of streams since 7700 years ago.

Mt Mazama erupted.
Dumped so much ash it killed all the large mammals in central Oregon. Deer, Elk, Bear and Humans. Native American presence disappeared for 1500 years in the area.
St Helens was nothing compared to the many feet of ash.

That popcorn pumy soil doesn't allow for much in the way of water channeling into streams. It just goes into the ground. We don't get traditional flooding. The aquifer fills. Especially when one looks at the Cascade Rain/Snow dumps. When one looks at Bachelor and the Three Sisters we should not think of rivers filling in the spring as much as that aquifer.

I know this because I live in Redmond.
We don't have that water.
We get ours from lessor wells and the river.
waaahhhhh
 

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Andy.

Part of the problem is water release needs for air conditioners.

Put me down for still too many hands not ready to give in.

I suspect that charging a huge fee for water is the only answer.

We need to put farmers out of business that don't go drip or change crops.

I don't need almonds anyway.
 

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Before people get all up in arms over farming irrigation practices they better start cutting back their beef consumption.

55% of the water consumed in the US and 1/3rd of the world's fresh water goes to animal based agriculture.

1000 gallons of water are required to produce 1 gallon of milk.

2500 gallons of water are required to produce 1 pound of beef.

Livestock or livestock feed cover 1/3rd of the Earth's ice free land.

Livestock and their byproducts account for 51% of all world wide greenhouse gas emissions.


COWSPIRACY: The Sustainability Secret
 

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Misspellingintothefuture!
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Wow, that's pretty incredible. Could definitely see other advantages to cutting back our beef consumption to, like the damage grazing and over grazing does to at least some of our public lands.

Would be good to see a list of the the most heavily irigated foods if anyone has ever come across one.
 

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The part about the methane got me thinking though, if we could somehow bottle those cow farts, and use them as a renewable fuel, maybe put a cap on old Besey's ass?....
 

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Almonds use about 10 percent of California’s agricultural water supply. (probably somewhere between 8 and 11 percent anyway)

The California almond industry has doubled its acreage since 2005.

California has a climate that is one of the best for almonds.

Is almond farming compatible with climate change?


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Other things we need to give up:
108 gallons of water per gallon of brewed tea.
Coffee requires almost 10 times as much water as tea, using 1,056 gallons of water per gallon of brewed coffee.
Beer at 296 gallons of water per gallon of beer
872 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of wine
Chicken at 518 gallons of water per pound
Beef requires the most water, at 1,847 gal./lb

almonds take more, averaging 1,929 gal./lb
worse than friggin beef.

This Is How Much Water It Takes To Make Your Favorite Foods

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Pretty simple.
No more coffee, wine, beef or almonds if you care.
 

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A brief side rant.

I hate bottled water.
We filter our own. (GE)
Use non BPA REI containers.

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50 billion (mostly plastic) bottles we throw away every year.
Drilling for oil to make that plastic
The bottled water industry says they only use 1.4 liters of water to make 1 liter of product.
But they don't include water needed to make plastic.
(edit: Has anyone noticed how much water is thrown away inside partially consumed water bottles?)
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I also don't drink coffee and purchase fast food about once a year, if that.

I take pride in producing less garbage and throwing away less food than almost anyone reading this.
BUT.
We have grass fed beef in the freezer and we just ordered half a pig.(pork at 718 gal./lb)
We made 4 1/2 gallons of Ice Cream yesterday. (I'm scared to look all those ingredients up.)

So in the end I'm just as bad as every other American.
You can't do just some things right.
 

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The most robustly supported (standadized, large international data set) # I have seen is closer to 1,800 gallons per lb of beef. 25% less but still a huge footprint compared to other foods.

Encouraging personal change is paramount. I know my wife and I rarely eat beef for ecological and cost reasons. That said, when it comes to conversations about infrastructure of water in the west it's more germane to talk about what can actually be regulated. In this case that is commercial agriculture. It's not possible to directly regulate individual consumption though I think commercial regulation can indirectly change behavior.

Going after agricultural practices also has the added benefit of reducing beef's footprint as their dietary consumption of Ag products in feedlots is a huge component of that #.
 

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That said, when it comes to conversations about infrastructure of water in the west it's more germane to talk about what can actually be regulated. In this case that is commercial agriculture. It's not possible to directly regulate individual consumption though I think commercial regulation can indirectly change behavior.
Why not home use also regulated by the same fee structure as golf courses and ag fields. Water meters at every home too. I suspect Cal is already mostly there on that one.

Charge everyone the same. Be fair.

Make it a lot.
Earn some bucks to cover canals.
ENCOURAGE conservation everywhere.
 

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I support a "progressive" fee structure. Extremely cheap up to a threshold deemed necessary for day-to-day necessities and then scaled to functionally penalize elective to ecological unsustainable levels. I also support the positive incentives organizations like the extension service do to encourage reduction. Our local service reimburses a large percentage to remove non-native grasses and replace with xeroscaped natives. At some point I think we will need to restrict western developers from anything other than xeroscaping. Other options are just unsustainable in our climate and environments.
 

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"I take pride in producing less garbage and throwing away less food than almost anyone reading this."-billoutwest[/QUOTE]

This is a good point to add. I work in the food service industry and a big struggle for me is the food waste.

Americans throw away enough food every day to fill a foot ball stadium. Not only is it unfortunate that we waste all this food but also the resources used to grow and transport it around the globe. And where does all that waste end up?....landfills. Even if we compost this waste the incredible amount of resources, like water, used to get to that point are lost.
 

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"I take pride in producing less garbage and throwing away less food than almost anyone reading this."-billoutwest
This is a good point to add. ................
Thanks.

Now here is a bad point to make.

Bottom line, in the State of California anyway, is going to have to cut back on farm/ag water. That means to a degree cutting back on some of those industries.

The Governors signature awaits a farm labor bill that would start in 2019 on a four year phase in of fair labor rules for farm workers. Overtime over 40 hrs and OT for over 8 hrs in any day. Same rules most management non-salaried or non-farm employees have anywhere in the US.

That great idea will up our food costs and/or take some production elsewhere. This sort of thing will make the US less self sufficient.
Especially when combined with expensive water.

Hey, I'm still for both.
But manure happens.
 

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I was proud to read that several American chefs are challenging the "only work with the best ingredients" mantra. Specifically they are critiquing the amount of agricultural waste that is tossed because of appearance. Restaurants and grocery stores are horrible about this behavior. Add to it the amount of vegetable matter we toss since we often only use select portions of it.

Interesting development. Small proportionally to other form of inefficiencies and waste but with the human population the size it is, anything helps.
 

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A single restaurant in the U.S. wastes about 100,000 pounds of food a year, according to the Green Restaurant Association
There is no available public record of anyone in the United States being sued ― or having to pay damages ― because of harms related to donated food, according to Nicole Civita, a professor and director of the Food Recovery Project .......
In 1996, Congress passed the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act (“Bill Emerson Act”) to address these issues. The Bill Emerson Act reduces potential donor liability and solves the problems created by a patchwork of various state laws through partial preemption. It also enables and encourages food recovery to help those that are food insecure.
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“Chefs do not like to throw food away.”
In December 2015 Congress passed and President Obama signed into law a provision long supported by the National Restaurant Association. This change permanently extends the enhanced deduction for charitable contributions of food inventory .......
Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse and Bahama Breeze plus a few other major chains give daily. Directly to 'soup kitchens'.
If you find a restaurant that you like that does this, do business there rather than those who don't.
 
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