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Discussion Starter · #141 ·
Just curious what high water in the Grand Canyon would've been before Dams? Just a guess with an average snow pack. Seems like the only solution is to do absolutely everything. Completely re invent ourselves and make enormous sacrifices for the sake of future generations. Yeah right good one....
In 1984, it hit 114,000 in cataract Canyon
 

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Seems like the only solution is to do absolutely everything. Completely re invent ourselves and make enormous sacrifices for the sake of future generations. Yeah right good one....
Yeah, good point. Screw our kids and grand kids. Change is too hard to even contemplate and it never makes life better.
 

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Saw a news article earlier this month saying that Mead can only produce 64% of the electrical capacity than it can with higher pool levels. I am sure Lake Powell is low enough to be in the exact same situation.

It also said that long before the pool gets to the intake, they start dealing with cavitation that will force them to stop generating power. They just don't know exactly at what level that happens.

I can't imagine they will continue draining multiple reservoirs that are easier to fill that also already produce electricity just to keep the second largest reservoir in the US producing a fraction of electricity. Lake Powell will be at dead pool by next summer if we have another poor winter snowpack.

The park service already put out a statement that there will be times this summer where no boat launches will be open on Powell since they only have two that are barely functioning, but need major work to extend any further. It is sad that all this is happening due to drought and total greed and ignorance of humans, but it sure will be nice to be able to explore Glen Canyon without such a massive crowd of motorboats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #144 ·
Yeah, good point. Screw our kids and grand kids. Change is too hard to even contemplate and it never makes life better.
 

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Too bad Forbes can only measure the damage of climate change in how much it drops worldwide GDP. It's crazy that something that should be so simple to grasp is something they are totally oblivious to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #146 ·
Too bad Forbes can only measure the damage of climate change in how much it drops worldwide GDP. It's crazy that something that should be so simple to grasp is something they are totally oblivious to.
In their defense, Forbes is an investment magazine... I don't think it odd that they decided to use the GDP as a metric
 

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Just curious what high water in the Grand Canyon would've been before Dams? Just a guess with an average snow pack. Seems like the only solution is to do absolutely everything. Completely re invent ourselves and make enormous sacrifices for the sake of future generations. Yeah right good one....
It would regulary get over 100k cfs down there. I saw pictures pre-dam where I wanna say it was like 150k. This is the boulder narrows...
68348


a picture of it from 1983's 100k cfs event (it appears to be at least 10 feet lower...water is going over the dry rock with the log from this pic in the picture above)...

68350


...that looks like this at current typical flows...

68349


Note that the logs were up there already in 1983 and still remain (and will likely be there for a LONG time).

So yeah...it used to get that high A LOT and people ran it at those flows. I'm sure it was scary as hell though.
 

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To me it lacks total journalist integrity to downplay climate change because they estimate it would only drop the world wide GDP by 2.6% by 2100.

That is akin to saying the holocaust wasn't that bad because it provided jobs for jewish people.
 

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I agree that addressing climate change will require huge disruption and people will have to make sacrifices. There will be winners and losers. But the author of the article is wrong that climate impacts are overstated (he has a long and well-documented history of untrue statements on climate change: https://www.lse.ac.uk/granthaminsti...ntastical-numbers-in-bjorn-lomborgs-new-book/). In fact if we don't act on climate we will all lose. There will be wars over resources like water, and hundreds of millions of people will become climate refugees. Who will take these immigrants, especially when many of them come from poor countries and they have limited education and skills?
 

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The park service already put out a statement that there will be times this summer where no boat launches will be open on Powell since they only have two that are barely functioning, but need major work to extend any further. It is sad that all this is happening due to drought and total greed and ignorance of humans, but it sure will be nice to be able to explore Glen Canyon without such a massive crowd of motorboats.
Unfortunately what took eon's to sculpt and create colors etc. would take thousands of years (my guess) for wind and water to re-balance nature even close to what it once was.

In the words (movie words Planet of the Apes) of Charlton Heston: “You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!”
planet of the apes statue.jpg
 

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I think the bathtub ring might be the only thing that will take a long time to naturally repair. Otherwise scientists have been studying sections that have been underwater for decades and they find that these areas bounce back much faster than predicted. The sedimentation is only bad at the top of the lake, in person I don't think it is even as big a deal as I imagined it would be and the river scours out a large amount each year.

The only thing that really sucks is all the quagga mussels all over the walls. I have no idea how long it takes for those things to disappear, but it is still an amazing place to go see, even without a a few years of nature working on returning the canyon back to normal.
 

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Doesn't Nuclear power generation also consume a shitload of water?
I live about 10 miles upstream from the 1st hydro project on the Columbia River - Rock Island Dam and about 70 miles from the Hanford Nuclear Res. A new design reactor was recently approved for construction at this area which uses liquid sodium for cooling and as such would be a closed loop system. Gasses produced (highly toxic) would not be placed into tanks buried (close to the Columbia R. and leaking liquid toxics) but instead would be mitigated as they are emitted from the process. Smaller and safer units have been on the drawing boards even from Bill Gates. I believe research facilities in Southern Idaho are also into design/testing of similar units.

Technically I am referred to as a "down winder" (where I grew up) from many toxic radioactive releases into the air in the 50's and 60's from Hanford.
 

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Discussion Starter · #155 ·
Doesn't Nuclear power generation also consume a shitload of water?
I'm not a Nuclear scientist, but I believe it's a closed system, the cooling towers one sees cool the water for reuse.
 

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The way forward with Nuclear power is the Small Modular Reactors....


Small enough to fit on a semi truck, closed loop system, and they don't have the same potential problems with melting down and decommissioning them. When they exceed their usefulness you just store the entire reactor in a safe place (Yuca mountain style...if that ever becomes a thing). They make Megawatts of power instead of Gigawatts...but since they are modular you can just add another one when you need it. It could also mean that smaller towns and communities could just participate in a carbon neutral power source that has a relatively low environmental impact compared to current sources.


I'm not a Nuclear scientist, but I believe it's a closed system, the cooling towers one sees cool the water for reuse.
There is definitely some loss to evaporation...but IMHO its not a true loss since it goes back into the weather system and most of the water goes back into the system. Nuclear plants aren't the only water users either. Most power stations are basically the same thing.... heat water up to make steam and run it through a turbine that is hooked up to a generator. Coal, Natural Gas, Nuclear and even some Solar units all do this... so they all need to cool the water/steam mixture after it goes through the turbine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #157 ·
Very interesting technology! Very informative tube on it as well. Thanks for sharing EM!
 

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I'm not a rocket surgeon and don't have an informed opinion on the new modular nukes, but the Union of Concerned Scientists studied the new modular nuclear reactors and determined that they are not better or safer than current reactors: "Advanced" Isn't Always Better
Executive Summary here: https://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/2021-05/ucs-es-AR-3.21-web_May rev.pdf

"Advanced" Isn't Always Better
Assessing the Safety, Security, and Environmental Impacts of Non-Light-Water Nuclear Reactors
If nuclear power is to play an expanded role in helping address climate change, newly built reactors must be demonstrably safer and more secure than current generation reactors. Unfortunately, most "advanced" nuclear reactors are anything but.

The Union of Concerned Scientists undertook a comprehensive analysis of the most prominent and well-funded non-light-water reactor (NLWR) designs. We asked:
  • What are the benefits and risks of NLWRs and their fuel cycles ?
  • Do the likely overall benefits of NLWRs outweigh the risks and justify the substantial public and private investments needed to commercialize them?
  • Can NLWRs be safely and securely commercialized in time to contribute significantly to averting the climate crisis?
Based on the available evidence, we found that the NLWR designs we analyzed are not likely to be significantly safer than today’s nuclear plants. In fact, certain alternative reactor designs pose even more safety, proliferation, and environmental risks than the current fleet.
 

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Geothermal is the best alternative power option. These dams were engineered to hold back water, not that big wedge of silt that keeps inching closer. Let the dams stop producing power and decommission them... they were all built with an expected useful life that has been exceeded. Our infrastructure is crumbling
 

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Draining reservoirs to surge water down to Powell and Mead in my view is like "shooting the moon" and hoping there will be a huge snowpack in 2021/2022 (and into the future) to make up for it. The odds based upon trends don't seem to back up these actions, but that is what the Feds and States impacted agreed upon back a number of years ago. I really don't get it and feel really mentally "dense" today. I must be missing something, please somebody educate me.
I think another accurate analogy is 'band-aid on a head wound.' Your assessment is 100% accurate.

Trying to bank upstream water in Powell is a short-sighted crap shoot and not very likely to be successful. It's based on a whole bunch of assumptions and hopes, one of which is having 'normal' winters (there would need to be a lot of them) in the middle of a multi-decade mega drought.

Change is hard but it is certain, whether people like it or not. The reality is that civilization in the SW United States in its current form is unsustainable. Something has to give and our arrogance and faith in technology will not bail us out this time. Whether it takes 5, 10 or 15 years, there will be a point (of no return) where people leave en mass from places like Phoenix and Las Vegas. Climate change refugees.
 
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