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Just saw an article that stated the same thing is happening on the Snake. They are draining Madison? Lake to fill up dams further down the snake. Coulter bay marina will potentially be closed to power boats due to dropping lake levels. On the bright side we have been getting regular rain in SW Colorado. We are moist at 7500 and I’m sure the hugh country above say 9000 is WET.
 

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Discussion Starter · #162 ·
Just saw an article that stated the same thing is happening on the Snake. They are draining Madison? Lake to fill up dams further down the snake. Coulter bay marina will potentially be closed to power boats due to dropping lake levels. On the bright side we have been getting regular rain in SW Colorado. We are moist at 7500 and I’m sure the hugh country above say 9000 is WET.
I live at 8,000 ft in Colorado, Central Colorado, and it has been raining pretty much every afternoon, not hard but enough to wet things down, and most nights again not hard but enough to wet things down. If nothing else it's keeping the grasses at elevation alive, which lessons the chance of wildfires from lightning strikes
 

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I haven't heard that about the Snake but that is scary.

The recently completed Yellowstone Climate Assessment says snowpack is already down 25% in Yellowstone since 1950 (interestingly precipitation is not down but more falls as rain now when it used to be snow). They predict snow line could rise from around 6000 ft elevation now to 10,000 feet by the end of the century. For the skiers out there that is the top of Rendezvous Bowl at JH Ski Resort (worst case scenario only the top of the Grand Teton would get snow). That would devastate river levels in the summer. And of course the headwaters of the Green start nearby in the Wind Rivers and would be affected similarly. Foreword | Greater Yellowstone Climate Assessment
 

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Trying to bank upstream water in Powell is a short-sighted crap shoot and not very likely to be successful.
Curious why you think it's short sighted? Upstream reservoirs are above or around 50% (flaming gorge 83%, blue Mesa 44% and Navajo 64%) powell is at 33%. I don't think these upstream releases are an attempt to fill powell or let Californians water golf courses, they are to keep the generators running.
 

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It is only a temporary Band-Aid and likely not going to change the outcome dramatically. At the current rate the lake is dropping I am scratching my head to understand how all trips will be able to run down there past the next summer two at the very most unless they start releasing water without making power or we have some monumental winter.
 

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It is only a temporary Band-Aid and likely not going to change the outcome dramatically. At the current rate the lake is dropping I am scratching my head to understand how all trips will be able to run down there past the next summer two at the very most unless they start releasing water without making power or we have some monumental winter.
I think a low-water GC trip sounds awesome.
 

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Leave it to the Nordic nations. Bad enough they’ve been lapping us with forward thinking environmental policies and sustainable living as a national culture, but now they have to import garbage for their electricity needs lol. WTH?!? We’re arguing over fossil fuels and nuclear, and they’re begging for garbage lol. We’re burying our shit and nuclear waste for our grandkids to deal with, and they somehow found a way to sustainably burn it. Isn’t it amazing what you can do when you don’t have industry giants and their army of lobbyists, er, Trade Organizations, running the country? “We’ll never replace fossil fuels, impossible”. The older i get the more i realize how stupid I truly am, but i know one thing for sure. To quote Napoleon Hill “ What the mind of man can conceive and believe, the mind of man can achieve.”

 

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Discussion Starter · #170 ·
Curious why you think it's short sighted? Upstream reservoirs are above or around 50% (flaming gorge 83%, blue Mesa 44% and Navajo 64%) powell is at 33%. I don't think these upstream releases are an attempt to fill powell or let Californians water golf courses, they are to keep the generators running.
I kinda sorta have to agree with his thinking. Right now, we have 2 impoundments that are almost empty. If we transfer water from the upper basin impoundments to Powell and mead, the outflow to the other states will continue unabated, and if left as it is, we'll have 4 additional impoundments that are dry, and dependent on the weather, i.e. winter storms, of which we've been getting less and less runoff from to refill them. Low stream-flow in smaller rivers tends to raise the temps in said rivers, endangering all manner of indigenous wildlife that depend on that water.

I tend to view the government like this old adage. "Were the government in charge of the Sahara desert, within a year there would be a shortage of sand". In this instance, I have just about the same faith that BuREC has anyone's best interests at heart other than their own, and we shall suffer.
 
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It's really a contentious issue all over the West, different impacts but all are detrimental. Where the construction of Glen Canyon Dam screwed up the the river fish evolution by chilling the water (water off the bottom) for species that required warm water, coversly in the PNW dam construction did exactly the opposite. The current debate here is the removal of the Snake River Dams. They slow the water and impede what used to be the fast flushing of salmonid migratory species to the Pacific. In addition the impoundments are heating the water to lethal levels for both migrating adults and juveniles while providing the perfect environment for predatory species such as walleye, pike minnow, catfish and smallmouth bass to flourish and reproduce. In 2015 high temps originating primarily from the Snake River directly caused the die off of an estimated 250,000 sockeye salmon between the Tri Cites and Bonneville Dam destined for Canada and one other Washington tributary stream. The ripple effect also caused the die off of sturgeon that over consumed and could not digest the dead sockeye.

 

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I kinda sorta have to agree with his thinking. Right now, we have 2 impoundments that are almost empty. If we transfer water from the upper basin impoundments to Powell and mead, the outflow to the other states will continue unabated, and if left as it is, we'll have 4 additional impoundments that are dry, and dependent on the weather, i.e. winter storms, of which we've been getting less and less runoff from to refill them.
Normally I'd agree, but it isn't normal right now. I don't think BOR has a choice. Think of those upper reservoirs as a savings account, normally you are adding to them or keeping them as full as possible. But suddenly you lose your job and you need to dip into that savings, sure it's not sustainable and you are counting on getting an another job, but you need to pay rent and eat in the meantime. So you dip into those savings to keep a roof over your head and hope you get a job soon. BOR is dipping into those savings to keep everyone's AC units running, if they didn't have to, they wouldn't. I'm sure they aren't happy with the situation and are more than aware it isn't sustainable. Sometimes I don't get the hate against Federal Agencies and people acting like they know how to do it better. They are doing the best they can given their constraints from both nature and the compact.
 

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Curious why you think it's short sighted? Upstream reservoirs are above or around 50% (flaming gorge 83%, blue Mesa 44% and Navajo 64%) powell is at 33%. I don't think these upstream releases are an attempt to fill powell or let Californians water golf courses, they are to keep the generators running.
The upper reservoirs are small in comparison to Powell and Mead, it's a temporary stop-gap measure rather than a sustainable solution (maybe it provides a year of operations?), and it screws over everyone dependent on those upper impoundments. I think it's classic antiquated government thinking that is based on an old plan and data vs. sucking it up, trying to innovate, and creating a sustainable solution to a very real and catastrophic problem. Decision-makers seem to put all their eggs into easy solutions like this instead of taking on the problem in a meaningful way and making the hard decisions and preventing more future misery. There will be less and less water in the future. The sooner decision-makers pull their heads out of the sand and face reality and plan for it, the less the average person pays/suffers down the road. We put so much blind faith in things working out and technology bailing us out.

For reference, at full pool Flaming Gorge holds 3.7 maf (million acre feet), Blue Mesa holds 0.75 maf, Navajo holds 1.7 maf.

If they completely drained all three of these reservoirs (based on current water levels), it would put appx. 4.4 maf into Powell. This doesn't account for live (usable) storage vs. actual storage, so the usable water is probably more like 3.5 maf.

So going with 3.5 maf, that equates to 14% of the storage capacity of Powell.

Powell holds 24.3 maf, Mead holds 28.9 maf.

I guess I see it as peeing in a swimming pool hoping it will fill enough that you can use the diving board.
 

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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.
Liquid sodium reactors are an interesting subject. Basically only the first test unit in Idaho, a proof of concept worked. It was super small, it powered a single light bulb. Once we started trying to scale it up it has never worked for anyone except for a small Russian plant and even they had problems and they didn't scale it up to much either and it was deemed too expensive to continue to research.

There's been trillions put into these things and decades of trying. The most recent the Monju plant in Japan, they spent 8.5 billion dollars on it over twenty years and it produced power on their grid for one hour.

The sodium is just super difficult to work with and highly volatile. I don't think there will ever be enough investment in the technology to scale it up and make viable outside of very small reactors. I feel like Gates is just falling for the memeification of the technology that is prevalent on reddit. Reading what nuclear engineers have to say about it, doesn't seem very promising. If you just google it online almost everything pretends like it hasn't really been tried before. It's been tried a lot, they all had lots of accidents and issues.
 

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What makes you think they aren't considering long term effects? What makes you think there aren't negotiations going on right now? Just because BOR needs to release water right-now to keep power generation going doesn't mean they have their heads up their asses. You seem to think decision makers only go the easy route, but what other solutions are there? They need water in the lake to keep power generation up, they aren't trying to fill the reservoir. If the lake goes to deadpool, they are genuinely and truly fucked. And when you can't run the GC you all will be bitching that they didn't empty the upper reservoirs soon enough. Does the long term management of the Colorado River Basin need to be updated and changed? Abso-fucking-lutely but those negotiations aren't easy and will take some time to work out between all of the stake-holders. In the meantime, BOR is just trying to keep their head above water while being dealt a really shitty hand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #176 ·
In the meantime, BOR is just trying to keep their head above water while being dealt a really shitty hand.
It might be worth mentioning, that the shitty hand that they have been dealt is entirely of their own making..
 
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I know this is naive...but would it work if we just changed our lifestyles say 35-50%? You know. Rain catchment, perma culture, ride bikes to work 3 times a week buy local veggies yada yada yada? Victory gardens! Solstice ritual sex parties....maybe if we listened to that whiney little Greta and just did a little it would snow again? Is it going to snow again? Cause my two steoke polluting snowmobile still not broke in! Nevermind we should event some pocket sized nuclear shite...
 

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Liquid sodium reactors are an interesting subject. Basically only the first test unit in Idaho, a proof of concept worked. It was super small, it powered a single light bulb. Once we started trying to scale it up it has never worked for anyone except for a small Russian plant and even they had problems and they didn't scale it up to much either and it was deemed too expensive to continue to research.

There's been trillions put into these things and decades of trying. The most recent the Monju plant in Japan, they spent 8.5 billion dollars on it over twenty years and it produced power on their grid for one hour.

The sodium is just super difficult to work with and highly volatile. I don't think there will ever be enough investment in the technology to scale it up and make viable outside of very small reactors. I feel like Gates is just falling for the memeification of the technology that is prevalent on reddit. Reading what nuclear engineers have to say about it, doesn't seem very promising. If you just google it online almost everything pretends like it hasn't really been tried before. It's been tried a lot, they all had lots of accidents and issues.
I stand corrected. Here is a small snippet of the proposed new gas cooled "melt down proof" reactor. The buzz words make me nervous (eliminate the possibility & impossible to melt).

"The planned high temperature, gas-cooled reactor will be built to eliminate the possibility of a meltdown and will require a smaller safety perimeter compared to tradition plants, the partnership said. It will use a low enriched uranium fuel encased in ceramic to make it impossible to melt. "
 

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Discussion Starter · #179 ·
Solstice ritual sex parties? While this would sound intrigueing were I 20 or 30 years younger...

Where do you come up with this stuff?
 
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I stand corrected. Here is a small snippet of the proposed new gas cooled "melt down proof" reactor. The buzz words make me nervous (eliminate the possibility & impossible to melt).

"The planned high temperature, gas-cooled reactor will be built to eliminate the possibility of a meltdown and will require a smaller safety perimeter compared to tradition plants, the partnership said. It will use a low enriched uranium fuel encased in ceramic to make it impossible to melt. "
That part is actually true. There have been a lot of accidents with these test reactors where the sodium cooling loops could no longer be circulated, which any other type of reactor results in meltdown, but the liquid sodium doesn't boil off, it keeps the reactor cool. It takes years to fix, but doesn't melt down.

If you read about the history of nuclear accidents, there have been so many with test reactors and so many weird things have happened where operators had no idea how to respond because they were thought to be impossible. I would certainly not rule out an accident and that liquid sodium will basically start an inferno if it comes in contact with the moisture in air.
 
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