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Paddy

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Water management
« on: April 03, 2017, 12:29:15 PM »
I've just read an article suggesting better management of water, green space and wetlands as a means of ameliorating Climate change: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/03/climate-change-water-fossil-fuel

How much mileage do people here think there might be in this approach?

gerontocrat

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Re: Water management
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2019, 12:42:08 PM »
I've just read an article suggesting better management of water, green space and wetlands as a means of ameliorating Climate change: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/03/climate-change-water-fossil-fuel

How much mileage do people here think there might be in this approach?
A long time to get a reply, and the answer is - wetlands ? YES

A good news story for a change. It's the sort of geo-engineering that gets a hoorah!

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/dec/27/it-is-amazing-how-quickly-mother-nature-can-recover-restoring-ukraines-rich-wetlands-aoe
'Mother Nature recovers amazingly fast': reviving Ukraine's rich wetlands
Quote
In the 1970s, 11 earth dams were built on the Sarata and Kogilnik rivers as a crude alternative to footbridges to access the area’s aquifers.

Ornithologist Maxim Yakovlev remembers that prior to the construction of the dams, the local rivers slowly meandered through a rich wetland ecosystem which would store, hold back and slowly release water after heavy rains. “Back then, before the dams, when the ecosystem was functioning properly, we had healthier soil and vegetation,” says Yakovlev, as he skirts the edge of a reeking swamp near the tiny, ancient town of Tatarbunary on the northern fringe of the reserve, a 100-mile (160km) drive south-west of Odessa.

Only 20% of the Danube Delta ecosystem lies within Ukraine, but thanks to the Endangered Landscapes Programme and a modest crowdfunding grant raised by Rewilding Europe in conjunction with the Dam Removal Europe initiative, Ukraine’s portion is growing.

“Just in the last few weeks, as the first dams were removed, we have seen shoals of fish return and otters establishing new territories,” says Yakovlev.

Some 60 miles from Tatarbunary, in the heart of the reserve, another Rewilding Ukraine project is taking shape on the island of Ermakov. Biologists are studying how the introduction of large herbivores regulates and improves wetland ecosystems.

From a boat on the water, Rewilding Ukraine team leader Mykhailo Nesterenko points to the shoreline. There, fleetingly, we get our first glimpse of some of the dozens of wild konik, a breed of primitive Polish horse that was reintroduced to the island earlier this year. “These large herbivores will play a very important role in the Ermakov ecosystem,” explains Nesterenko, “and we will be bringing other creatures to the island soon, including kulan donkeys.”

On the island, a wooden bird-watching platform allows us to observe huge flocks of geese, ducks, and other fowl landing and taking off from shallow waters teeming with noisy frogs. “The viewing platform was built in the summer. From up here you can see how much has changed since we removed some of the dams,” Nesterenko says.

The island is also home to 17 water buffalo, and a recently born calf. The water buffalo are standing 100 metres away, munching on hay from a wooden wagon near the soon-to-open building that will host rewilding tourists.

Nesterenko says they were gifted by a German eco-entrepreneur, Michel Jacobi, who reared the animals on his farm near Khust in Ukraine’s Carpathian region, where he produces mozzarella cheese from the buffalo milk. The buffalo arrived on a barge in the summer and have settled in well, but with winter beginning they are being given extra food and carefully monitored.

Although they are tame, they are still able to live in the wild and their wallowing habits will improve the wetlands immensely, Nesterenko says. “These animals are one of nature’s great engineers and they open up the scrub and reedbeds, creating pools and puddles which are home to many insects, amphibians and fish.”
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vox_mundi

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Re: Water management
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2021, 05:56:57 PM »
US West Prepares for Possible 1st Water Shortage Declaration
https://phys.org/news/2021-04-west-1st-shortage-declaration.html

The man-made lakes that store water supplying millions of people in the U.S. West and Mexico are projected to shrink to historic lows in the coming months, dropping to levels that could trigger the federal government's first-ever official shortage declaration and prompt cuts in Arizona and Nevada.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation released 24-month projections this week forecasting that less Colorado River water will cascade down from the Rocky Mountains through Lake Powell and Lake Mead and into the arid deserts of the U.S. Southwest and the Gulf of California. Water levels in the two lakes are expected to plummet low enough for the agency to declare an official shortage for the first time, threatening the supply of Colorado River water that growing cities and farms rely on.

It comes as climate change means less snowpack flows into the river and its tributaries, and hotter temperatures parch soil and cause more river water to evaporate as it streams through the drought-plagued American West.

The agency's models project Lake Mead will fall below 1,075 feet (328 meters) for the first time in June 2021. That's the level that prompts a shortage declaration under agreements negotiated by seven states that rely on Colorado River water: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

If projections don't improve by August, the Bureau of Reclamation will declare a Level 1 shortage condition. The cuts would be implemented in January.

Arizona, Nevada and Mexico have voluntarily given up water under a drought contingency plan for the river signed in 2019. A shortage declaration would subject the two U.S. states to their first mandatory reductions. Both rely on the Colorado River more than any other water source, and Arizona stands to lose roughly one-third of its supply.

The Bureau of Reclamation also projected that Lake Mead will drop to the point they worried in the past could threaten electricity generation at Hoover Dam. The hydropower serves millions of customers in Arizona, California and Nevada.

"As the elevation declines at the lake, then our ability to produce power declines as well because we have less water pushing on the turbines," he said.

"Rural economies in Arizona and Nevada live and die by the hydropower that is produced at Hoover Dam. It might not be a big deal to NV Energy," he said of Nevada's largest utility. "It might be a decimal point to Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. But for Lincoln County, it adds huge impact."



-------------------------------------------

https://mead.uslakes.info/level.asp

... Based on current inflow forecasts, the current projected end of water year total Colorado Basin reservoir storage for water year 2021 is approximately 24.60 maf (41 percent of total system capacity).
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Riverside

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Re: Water management
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2021, 11:35:32 PM »
Long time lurker here, de-cloaking for the first. Let's see whether I can this work.

I'd like to make a correction/clarification to the phys.org/news article that stated that projections showed Lake Mead will drop below 1075 ft for the first time. Actually Lake Mead was briefly lower than that in June 2015 and again in May, June and July 2016.
https://www.arachnoid.com/NaturalResources/
I believe those lower levels and similar low water conditions in Lake Powell put an end to the mythology that there would always be enough Colorado River water to go around, forcing the river compact states to negotiate (read that as "fight rigorously about") the 2019 agreement that set actual official criteria for restricting withdrawals.
So I believe the headline should read "water shortage declaration possible for the first time" based on projections that water levels will drop below 1075. See reply #41 in the Drought 2021 thread.
Current projections for Lake Powell indicate that additional changes to upstream reservoir management will be implemented by 2022.
For graphs of water levels in selected Colorado River reservoirs for the most recent 6 years see
https://lakepowell.water-data.com/
« Last Edit: April 19, 2021, 02:42:15 AM by Riverside »

kassy

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Re: Water management
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2021, 03:52:26 PM »
Welcome Riverside.
Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Water management
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2021, 04:00:07 PM »
California
Nestle told to stop spring water diversions in San Bernardino Forest
Quote
California's Water Resources Control Board on Friday asked Nestle (NESN.S) to stop unauthorized natural spring water diversions in the San Bernardino Forest after a probe revealed multiple violations and depletion of resources.

The action comes as the state ramps up efforts to preserve water resources amid worsening drought conditions.

The order is in response to several water rights complaints and an online petition against Nestle Waters North America starting in 2015, which led to drinking water supply shortages and impacted environmental resources.

Nestle, one of the world's largest bottled water companies, has 20 days to respond to the draft cease and desist order and request a hearing or the State Water Board may issue a final order, the board said.

The company may be asked to limit diversions from surface streams to its pre-1914 water rights and submit annual monitoring reports, among other steps, if the order is adopted, it said. ...
https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/nestle-asked-stop-spring-water-diversions-san-bernardino-2021-04-23/
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gerontocrat

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Re: Water management
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2021, 04:51:00 PM »
Long time lurker here, de-cloaking for the first. Let's see whether I can this work.

I'd like to make a correction/clarification to the phys.org/news article that stated that projections showed Lake Mead will drop below 1075 ft for the first time. Actually Lake Mead was briefly lower than that in June 2015 and again in May, June and July 2016.
https://www.arachnoid.com/NaturalResources/
I believe those lower levels and similar low water conditions in Lake Powell put an end to the mythology that there would always be enough Colorado River water to go around, forcing the river compact states to negotiate (read that as "fight rigorously about") the 2019 agreement that set actual official criteria for restricting withdrawals.
So I believe the headline should read "water shortage declaration possible for the first time" based on projections that water levels will drop below 1075. See reply #41 in the Drought 2021 thread.
Current projections for Lake Powell indicate that additional changes to upstream reservoir management will be implemented by 2022.
For graphs of water levels in selected Colorado River reservoirs for the most recent 6 years see
https://lakepowell.water-data.com/
Thanks for that post, Riverside, a long time ago I used to look at water resources a lot.
Your post woke me up about data sources.

Always helpful to have more than one place to go for data, so here is another one for Lake Mead---  http://mead.uslakes.info/level.asp
Looks like it is updated daily.

At the moment 2021 not as bad as 2016, but.....in the long term the future seems one-way (see article in link below.

https://yaleclimateconnections.org/2021/01/drought-stricken-colorado-river-basin-could-see-additional-20-drop-in-water-flow-by-2050/

click image to enlarge
"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"
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Tor Bejnar

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Re: Water management
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2021, 08:35:01 PM »
In a different water basin, my brother in central New Mexico says the Rio Grande will be low again this summer (low southern Colorado snow pack, plus, they 'owe' water to Texas) and there are plans to stop feeding the area irrigation ditches early this year.  Therefore, my brother's 3.5 acre (1.4 hectare) farm will mostly not be planted.  No okra for the farmers market or grain for the sandhill cranes:'( (My aging mother has loved seeing the cranes nearly every day through recent falls and winters from her 'mother-in-law' apartment window or her wheelchair on the veranda.)

A late start and an early end to the irrigation season

Quote
A less than desirable Rio Grande stream forecast for 2021 has prompted Interstate Stream Commission and State Engineer John D’Antonio Jr. to issue a report telling farmers not to farm unless they “absolutely need to farm.” D’Antonio also said the drought is shaping up to be as severe as the conditions the state experienced in the 1950s.
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things because "we cannot negotiate with the melting point of ice"

Riverside

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Re: Water management
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2021, 11:23:25 PM »
I agree that at the moment Lake Mead's water levels are not as bad as 2016, being about 3.5 ft higher now. But currently Lake Powell is much worse than 2016, being about 30 ft lower.
http://powell.uslakes.info/level.asp
And given the larger size of Lake Powell that's a lot more water.

My cynical guess is that after 2016 the water managers sacrificed Lake Powell's water to maintain Lake Mead above the 1075 ft action level that would trigger some real conservation, while at the same time managing upstream water releases to assure that Lake Powell was above 3575 ft on 1 January each year, to avoid triggering the Mid-Elevation Release Tier management plan for the upper Colorado. This year they barely made it. Next year not likely.

See https://www.usbr.gov/uc/water/crsp/cs/gcd.html for monthly updates (released mid-month) on Lake Powell's water situation and links to 2 year water level projections.


oren

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Re: Water management
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2021, 06:19:04 PM »
Thanks for these informative updates, Riverside.

vox_mundi

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Re: Water management
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2021, 12:27:42 AM »
Drought-Hit Jordan to Build Red Sea Desalination Plant
https://phys.org/news/2021-06-drought-hit-jordan-red-sea-desalination.html

Jordan said Sunday it plans to build a Red Sea desalination plant operating within five years, to provide the mostly-desert and drought-hit kingdom with critical drinking water.

The cost of the project is estimated at "around $1 billion", ministry of water and irrigation spokesman Omar Salameh told AFP, adding that the plant would be built in the Gulf of Aqaba, in southern Jordan.

The plant is expected to produce 250-300 million cubic meters of potable water per year, and should be ready for operation in 2025 or 2026, Salameh said.

... Thirteen international consortiums have put in bids, and the government will chose five of them by July, Salameh said.

Desalinating water is a major drain of energy, and the companies must suggest how to run the plant in Jordan, which does not have major oil reserves.

Last month Salameh told AFP that Jordan needs about 1.3 billion cubic metres of water per year.

But the quantities available are around 850 to 900 million cubic metres, with the shortfall "due to low rainfall, global warming, population growth and successive refugee inflows", he said.
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― anonymous

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gerontocrat

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Re: Water management
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2021, 01:07:05 PM »
Lake Mead & Lake Powell.

Lake Mead water level continues to drop below historic lows.

But at Lake Powell, upstream from Lake Mead, the water level has risen slightly. i.e. more water in than out. Given the dire situation, one must assume that means Lake Powell is sending less water down to Lake Mead.

Methinks one sees the problem of trying to get a quart of water out of a pint pot.

Solutions?:-

1. Have a big prayer-in

2. Apoint a senior Politician to sort it out.

In the Summer of '76, the UK had just about zero rain for 3 months, the driest summer for 200 years. In the end the Government appointed Denis Herbert Howell as Minister for Drought - immediately nicknamed "Minister for Rain". Days later - rain, floods.

Quote
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denis_Howell
In the last week of August 1976, during Britain's driest summer in over 200 years, he was made Minister for Drought (but nicknamed 'Minister for Rain').[4] Howell was charged by the Prime Minister with the task of persuading the nation to use less water – and was even ordered by No. 10 to do a rain dance on behalf of the nation.[5] Howell responded by inviting reporters to his home in Moseley, where he revealed he was doing his bit to help water rationing by sharing baths with his wife, Brenda.[5] Days later, heavy rainfall caused widespread flooding, and he was made Minister of Floods.[6] Additionally, during the harsh winter of 1978–1979 he was appointed Minister for Snow.[7][8]


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oren

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Re: Water management
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2021, 03:18:37 AM »
But at Lake Powell, upstream from Lake Mead, the water level has risen slightly. i.e. more water in than out. Given the dire situation, one must assume that means Lake Powell is sending less water down to Lake Mead.
I think Lake Powell normally rises at this time of year, or more accurately it should have risen sooner and faster, so I doubt the rise is due to simply sending less water down to Mead.

NeilT

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Re: Water management
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2021, 12:22:46 PM »
In the Summer of '76, the UK had just about zero rain for 3 months, the driest summer for 200 years. In the end the Government appointed Denis Herbert Howell as Minister for Drought - immediately nicknamed "Minister for Rain". Days later - rain, floods.

If you go around the UK and check the construction dates on reservoirs, you can see that a thorough review was done in the wake of 76 and infrastructure was built to manage water so the stand pipe issues never happened again in the same way.

It was found that distribution was the biggest problem, not the amount of water in the country. The interim solution was to build more reservoirs until distribution could be resolved.

Witness the fact that the UK has not had standpipes since. It has been close, but large scale standpipe use, with public supply cut off has remained a thing of the past.

Of course it was the water board then. Run by the government. I suspect that this problem will only come to a solution when the situation becomes critical. As is the way with most public infrastructure issues.
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gerontocrat

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Re: Water management
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2021, 04:43:32 PM »
In the Summer of '76, the UK had just about zero rain for 3 months, the driest summer for 200 years. In the end the Government appointed Denis Herbert Howell as Minister for Drought - immediately nicknamed "Minister for Rain". Days later - rain, floods.

If you go around the UK and check the construction dates on reservoirs, you can see that a thorough review was done in the wake of 76 and infrastructure was built to manage water so the stand pipe issues never happened again in the same way.

It was found that distribution was the biggest problem, not the amount of water in the country. The interim solution was to build more reservoirs until distribution could be resolved.

Witness the fact that the UK has not had standpipes since. It has been close, but large scale standpipe use, with public supply cut off has remained a thing of the past.

Of course it was the water board then. Run by the government. I suspect that this problem will only come to a solution when the situation becomes critical. As is the way with most public infrastructure issues.
Witness the fact that the UK has not had standpipes since. It has been close, but large scale standpipe use, with public supply cut off has remained a thing of the past.


As part of privatisation of the water & sewage industries in the 1980's, as a sweetener the Government hurled money at the problem to get the infrastructure fixed.

After privatisation, all but one water company kept the water flowing. The naughty boy was the Yorkshire Water Company, notorious for not investing in new capacity and leak control, preferring management wage increases and BIG dividends.

In 1995 it all went wrong - no rain in West Yorkshire & standpipes, water rationing etc etc. This was a gift to "The Morning Star", the paper of the Communist Party. The extract below is factually correct.
________________________
ps: I went for an interview with them (before 1995) to be their management accountant. The HR man took me aside. He said " Your personality test says you don't suffer fools gladly. They are fools. I'm taking you off the interview". True yeah, I kid you not.
__________________________________________________
https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/how-people-west-yorkshire-were-left-high-and-dry
How the people of West Yorkshire were left high and dry


A water shortage is looming, thanks to privateers’ greed and leaking pipes. Nothing new there then, writes PETER LAZENBY



Quote
In 1995 West Yorkshire ran out of water. Pennine reservoirs serving the county ran dry as the sun blazed and rain failed to fall.

As water levels fell, old hamlets which had been flooded to create the reservoirs, emerged, ghost-like, from the depths.

Reservoir beds turned into stretches of wrinkled, dried mud. Disaster loomed for the cities of Leeds and Bradford, the towns of Halifax, Huddersfield and Wakefield and dozens of smaller communities.

Yorkshire Water, the company which took over when the Thatcher government privatised the water supply industry in 1989, had introduced a hosepipe ban, which was about as much use as a chocolate teapot.

The company told the worst-threatened communities, Bradford and Halifax, that it was to install standpipes in the streets. It said there would be day-on day-off water disconnections.

It installed a token standpipe in one Bradford street to demonstrate the system.

Then an irate pensioner ran from her home and told a quivering public relations man that if her water went off she would “stick the standpipe up your arse” — her words. It was on TV that night.

At a weekly media conference staged by Yorkshire Water at its headquarters in Leeds, chief executive Trevor Newton announced that, in the interests of saving water, he had not had a bath or shower for three months. The journalists sitting at the table leaned away from him.

He staged a televised demonstration in his bathroom at home showing how to have a “good wash” using half a basin of water.

Then it emerged that he had relatives in the north-east, which had plentiful supplies of water, and was nipping up there regularly for a nice soak in the bath.

In the east of Yorkshire there was plenty of water, but there was no way of transporting it to the west. The company had failed to invest in a much-needed countywide distribution system to transfer supplies to areas in need.

In desperation, Yorkshire Water hired 1,000 tankers to do the job.

The tankers thundered along the roads day and night, from east to west and back again, with drivers working rotating eight-hour shifts. It went on for weeks.

The company asked the government for permission to increase the maximum amount of water it could take from Yorkshire rivers.

The government hastily agreed, acutely aware of the damage being done to its boasts of “increased efficiency” in the water supply industry under privatisation.

But environmentalists and conservationists raised the alarm, saying the rivers’ aquatic life was under threat, with images of fish flapping helplessly in a trickle of river water.

Throughout the crisis numerous statistics emerged relating to it: the capacity of local reservoirs; daily consumption in West Yorkshire; which areas used most, etc.

But the two statistics that stuck in the public’s minds were these: first, their water bills had increased by 60 per cent in the six years since Yorkshire Water took over; second, Yorkshire Water was losing 34 per cent — more than a third — of its treated water supplies through leaking pipes.

Instead of investing to reduce the level of leaks, Yorkshire Water handed out its profits in bonuses to directors and dividends to shareholders.

There’s no wonder the old lady in Bradford told them what she would do with their standpipe.

Bradford, with a population of 300,000, was down to one week’s supply. Neighbouring Halifax was down to 10 days.

In preparation Yorkshire Water stacked warehouses with hundreds of thousands of cases of bottled water.

Emergency services, the NHS and others held urgent meetings on what to do.

Then it rained. The reservoirs slowly filled.
"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"
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NeilT

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Re: Water management
« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2021, 05:35:14 PM »
Yes, but there is a difference.  Yorkshire may have been on standpipes because they screwed up by being incompetent.  In 76 it was very different.  Standpipes were authorised everywhere in the UK they were needed by central government. Because the whole country was at risk and there was no way of distributing the water from plentiful areas.

We were on holiday in France in 76, for a month, during the drought and when we got back it was all over. So I'd have to go to the news archives to find out if our home had standpipes.
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gerontocrat

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Re: Water management
« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2021, 06:29:58 PM »
US - Lake Mead

The people who run http://mead.uslakes.info/level.asp have decided it is necessary to reduce the minimum water level on the y-axis by 5 feet, to 1.065 ft ASL, which is more than 6.5 feet below the previous record low on Jul 1 2016.

I suppose you could call that water management, of a kind.
"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Water management
« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2021, 03:29:46 PM »
Drought-stricken communities push back against data centers
Quote
As cash-strapped cities welcome Big Tech to build hundreds of million-dollar data centers in their backyards, critics question the environmental cost.

Many data center operators are drawn to water-starved regions in the West, in part due to the availability of solar and wind energy. Researchers at Virginia Tech estimate that one-fifth of data centers draw water from moderately to highly stressed watersheds, mostly in the Western United States, according to a paper published in April.

All centers need some form of cooling technology, typically either computer room air-conditioning systems -- essentially large units that cool air with water or refrigerant -- or evaporative cooling, which evaporates water to cool the air. Evaporative cooling uses a lot less electricity, but more water. Since water is cheaper than electricity, data centers tend to opt for the more water-intensive approach.

“The typical data center uses about 3-5 million gallons of water per day -- the same amount of water as a city of 30,000-50,000 people,” said Venkatesh Uddameri, professor and director of the Water Resources Center at Texas Tech University.

Although these data centers have become much more energy and water efficient over the last decade, and don’t use as much water as other industries such as agriculture, this level of water use can still create potential competition with local communities over the water supply in areas where water is scarce, he added.

But some tech companies like Google say they are trying to address their water use.

Some companies, including Microsoft have developed underwater or partially submerged data centers that rely on large bodies of already cool water to disperse heat.

Google’s Demasi said that the company cooled its data centers using seawater in Finland, industrial canal water in Belgium and recycled wastewater in the United States, at its site in Douglas County, Georgia.
https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/internet/drought-stricken-communities-push-back-against-data-centers-n1271344
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oren

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Re: Water management
« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2021, 08:58:49 PM »
Again corporate America gets a free ride, using so much water for evaporative cooling in the desert for cooling computers is simply crazy. Cost of water should reflect its scarcity and environmental cost, residents should get some subsidized allowance per person and the rest should be fully priced.

gerontocrat

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Re: Water management
« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2021, 01:49:12 PM »
Lake Mead & Lake Powell

I guess Lake Powell is the buffer/ backup for Lake Mead, feeding water to it as the dry season continues. But this year this looks a bit difficult, to say the least.

Things somehow stagger on for far longer than wjat seems possible. But eventually yet another tipping point is breached. Is this the case this year for the 40+ million people and agriculture that depend on this water? What do you do when you just cannot square the circle anymore.

I guess in the USA one just hopes that this dreadful year is just a one-off.
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NeilT

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Re: Water management
« Reply #20 on: June 30, 2021, 02:56:44 PM »
I guess in the USA one just hopes that this dreadful year is just a one-off.

They have been doing that for decades.  Not helped by the fact that what goes up so often comes back down again in torrential rain which feeds back into the system.

The problem is that humans have difficulty with 100 year events and 1,000 year events.  Especially when 100 year events come around every 10 years and 1,000 year events start to come around every 100 years.

When that changes to 2 and 50, it is around 50 years to late to allow for it.
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gerontocrat

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Re: Water management
« Reply #21 on: July 09, 2021, 08:51:07 AM »
Definitely worth a read.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jul/08/us-west-rain-harvesters-rainwater-collection-drought-heatwave

‘Save our water’: meet the rain harvesters taking on the US west’s water woes
Quote
The American west has a sprawling network of dams, reservoirs and pipelines that brings a supply of water to its cities and farms. But overexploitation and a two-decade dry spell have put a severe strain on the resources, with reserves dwindling to historic lows in some areas. The situation will only get worse in the coming decades, warn scientists, as surging populations will boost freshwater demand and a hotter, drier climate will bring deeper droughts and more erratic precipitation patterns.

The response has traditionally involved expanding supplies by more diversions, wells and dams and mining more aquifers. But experts say new water-sourcing approaches are also needed.

One such is rainwater harvesting. The term describes a process where precipitation is captured from a catchment area like a roof and directed to a storage tank or a reservoir. From there, water can be used for irrigation or to supply humans and animals. The technique was used more than 4,000 years ago in Palestine, Greece and ancient Rome, where cisterns captured rain that drained from plazas and rooftops to supplement the city’s supply from aqueducts.

Today, rainwater capture is used across the world. In China, more than 22 million people across 17 provinces have their water supply bolstered by rainwater, according to researchers. In Thailand, a large fraction of the population in rural areas rely on rainwater harvesting for agriculture and drinking purposes. The practice is also popular in India, Mexico, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Australia and Bangladesh.

Rainwater catchment is still a relatively niche water-supply strategy across the western US. But this lo-tech and decentralized approach has been gaining momentum in recent years. Here we highlight individuals who are among the vanguard of practitioners.

The rancher
Bob Durham has ranched cattle in the high plains of the Texas panhandle his entire life and remembers when water flowed in bounteous quantities under his ranch in Abernathy, in Hale county. But that abundance has declined year after year, until one day in the drought-stricken summer of 2015 the wells supplying the operation ran dry.

“We had to haul water from Oklahoma and ultimately sell most of the livestock,” says the 88-year-old, who runs the land his father homesteaded a century ago along with his wife and two sons. “The water came back to my wells six months later when the rains recharged our aquifer, which made me realize I needed to move away from groundwater dependence.”

With that in mind, Durham went to the local Natural Resources Conservation Service office where he was advised to apply for possible financial assistance for an agricultural rainfall water harvesting system.

“I’ve had an interest in water harvesting for years,” said Durham. “Once they let me know the practice was available in the district, I signed up immediately.”

Six grey rainwater collection cisterns now sit next to his two barns. Roof gutters capture rainfall and channel it into a pipe, where a flush diverter separates the first flow of rainwater – which is the dirtiest –before it’s stored in the 5,000-gallon tanks. The water is then delivered, via gravity, through a pipeline to drinking troughs on nearby pastures, where Durham’s cattle graze.

While the amount of water the cows drink depends completely on the weather and the moisture in the grass, Durham says a two-inch rain on his barns yield enough water to meet the needs of 25 head of cattle for one month. Overall, he estimates his tanks catch about 200,000 gallons of water on an average each year. “It’s surprising how much water comes off a roof,” he said.

Durham still pumps some water during the low rainfall months of December and January, but he said he plans to install four more tanks on his property to further reduce the need to pump water from the underlying aquifer. He hopes more people in the area will follow his lead and install their own rainwater harvesting system.

“It’s just so important that we save our water, underground as well as surface water, too,” Durham said. “You can’t have life without water.”

The urban gardener
When Jamiah Hargins started growing fruits and vegetables in the front yard of his West Adams, Los Angeles, property, it was mostly because he felt the duty as a parent to make fresh food accessible to his newly born daughter, Trianna.

But when it came time to harvest his crops, Hargins realized that the small plot produced more than they could eat. Not wanting all the herbs, lemons and beans to go to waste, he turned to social networks to gauge his neighbors’ interest in a crop swap. The turnout was substantial. About 15 people came to the first meetup he organized, then 20, then 30. Now in its second year, the group has become an organization known as Crop Swap LA, a startup that helps homeowners turn urban spaces such as front yards, backyards and rooftops into microfarms.

Today Hargins cultivates more than 600 plants on his urban farm and feeds about 50 families throughout the majority Black neighborhood where he lives. The whole operation is supported by two basins that capture rainwater and irrigate the crops from the top, imitating rainwater falling during times of drought. A recycling system then cycles water through the soil, allowing Hargins to use a tiny fraction of the water needed to keep a lawn green in southern California’s arid climate.

“We use less than 10% of the water previously used to grow grass to now grow food,” says the 37-year-old former stock and equity trader. “I think about 800 gallons per day were needed to keep a yard this size. It’s astonishing how much it is when you really count it,” he says, noting that water bills immediately dropped and stayed low.

For Hargins, his microfarm, which he named Asante after a Swahili word meaning thank you, is a proof of concept for the larger goal to grow and distribute nutrient-rich food hyper-locally to underserved communities in south LA, large swaths of which suffer from low access to fresh food. “Affordable and easy access to healthy and nutritious food is a right, not a luxury,” says Hargins.

Ultimately, Hargins sees the concept underlying Crop Swap LA as a way to tackle the region’s worsening water woes. “LA depends on the Colorado River Basin for all of its water, and that will become scarcer due to the cost, politics and climate change,” he says. “Capturing as much rainfall as possible for future reuse must be part of the city’s next sustainable evolution.”

The guru

At his home near downtown Tucson, Arizona – where just 12in a year fall from the sky – Brad Lancaster can harvest as much rain to meet most of his water needs. Roof runoff collected in cisterns and earthen berms provides what he needs to bathe, cook and drink year-round.

When Lancaster gets thirsty, he drinks filtered rain, known as sweet water, “because it’s never picked up the salts and minerals you would find in ground and surface water”, he says. When he wants a hot shower, he places his outdoor water tank facing south to collect the sun’s rays. To water his abundant gardens, he directs stormwater runoff from the adjoining pathways and rainwater leftover from the shower, sink and washing machine to the roots of trees around his yard.

“More rain falls on the hardscapes and roofs in Tucson than the city uses in a year,” Lancaster says. “That means we have all the water we need, even in the desert – we just got to capture it and reuse it instead of letting it go to the drain.”

These days, Lancaster is something of a guru in the field. He has written two books on rainwater harvesting and does a hundred water-harvesting public talks and workshops a year throughout the United States, the Middle East, Mexico, Europe, Asia and Africa. But he started out as an outlaw.

Nearly two decades ago, he illegally cut his sidewalk curbs to allow storm water to rush off the street and infiltrate into roadside soil beds home to native trees. Today, these and over 1,000 trees that Lancaster and volunteers have planted across the neighborhood provide shade, cooling and food. And cutting holes in the curbs has not only become legal, it is even sanctioned by the city.

Lancaster believes a mainstream adoption of the concept would help reduce the city’s reliance on water sucked from the ground and imported from the Colorado River, while enabling multiple beneficial effects, such as lowering water bills, creating more green spaces that would provide shade and cooling and help restore the area’s dying rivers.

Thanks in part to Lancaster’s example, Tucson now considers water harvesting its fourth water source and has gradually implemented policies to further the practice. Since 2010, city law requires at least half of the landscaping for any new building use rainwater. The city council has also put in place a program that rebates residents as much as $2,000 for purchasing water harvesting systems.

Lancaster welcomes the shift, but urges caution. “We can’t get too proud here – otherwise we’ll be blinded by that,” Lancaster says “We’ve got a lot of change to go yet.”

The sheep herders

On the Hopi reservation in north-eastern Arizona, a largely rural area that’s a far cry from the artificial waterways that sustain sprawling metropolises like Phoenix and Las Vegas, nearly half of the people have no access to running water.

Diné, as the Navajo call themselves, sheep herders Arvin Bedonie and Marie Gladue, who live in the Black Mesa region of Big Mountain, are among them. Without a car and too old to haul water from the communal spigot – the only reliable source of clean drinking water people can count in the area – they have to delve deep into their purse to get the water they and their bighorn sheep need, spending on average $50 a week.

“The water itself is worth no more than $5,” explains Gladue, a former employee of the Black Mesa’s water department. “But to have someone carry it to you, you’re paying for someone else’s work. When you do the math, it all adds up.”

So in the spring of 2019, Gladue and Bedonie turned to the Black Mesa Water Coalition, a local non-profit environmental organization, which helped the couple secure a grant to install a rainwater collection system on their property.

Summers in Black Mesa have been atypically dry since then – even for the paltry south-western standards. Still, the little rain that does fall is now captured by a sloped gutter underneath the slanted metal roof of the sheep corral, funneled into two 600-gallon tanks and from there sent through a hose to a trough, where the couple’s curly-horned sheep can guzzle.

“I would say the system has been really good so far,” says Gladue. “And the sheep like the harvested water more than the other one, that’s for sure.”

Having witnessed the success of his cistern, she is open to going the next step and installing a gray-water reclamation system. She is also keen to help spread the technology to friends and neighbors who live without access to water. “I’m hoping to write grants for other people to get barrels,” she says. “We all need water to survive.”
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Water management
« Reply #22 on: July 09, 2021, 03:52:27 PM »
‘Save our water’: meet the rain harvesters taking on the US west’s water woes


Some U.S. states restrict rain harvesting.  It's been believed that the collection of rainwater would halt the rainfall’s natural flow into the earth’s aquifers and streams. Colorado for many years forbid the use of rain barrels.
Quote
But is it illegal to collect rainwater or have some of these stories been exaggerated?

The short answer is that rainwater harvesting is not illegal.

The longer answer is that there are no federal laws that restrict rainwater harvesting, and while there are some states that have strict regulations, most states allow their residents to collect rainwater freely.

This site lists regulations by state:
https://worldwaterreserve.com/rainwater-harvesting/is-it-illegal-to-collect-rainwater/

Examples of regulations:
Quote
Colorado: some regulation
Colorado has traditionally been one of the most restrictive states for rainwater harvesting. Two laws were passed in 2009 which loosened restrictions on rainwater collection, allowing residents to use rainwater for non-potable purposes. In 2016, House Bill 16-1005 was passed, allowing residents to collect rainwater from a catchment system on their rooftops into two rain barrels, with a combined capacity of 110 gallons. The collected rain must be used on the property where it is collected and may only be used for outdoor purposes such as lawn irrigation and gardening.

Quote
Texas: some regulation
It is legal to harvest rainwater in Texas. There are several provisions in House Bill 3391 which should be noted, such as the requirement the catchment system being incorporate into the design of the building and the requirement to give a written notice to the municipality.

Quote
Utah: some regulation
The State of Utah authorizes the direct collection of rainwater on land owned or leased by the person responsible for the collection. According to Senate Bill 32 (2010), a person registered with the Division of Water Resources cannot store more than 2,500 gallons of rainwater. If unregistered, no more than two containers may be used, and the maximum capacity of any one container may not exceed 100 gallons (Utah Code Ann. §73-3-1.5)
« Last Edit: July 09, 2021, 03:59:03 PM by Sigmetnow »
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gerontocrat

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Re: Water management
« Reply #23 on: July 10, 2021, 10:33:34 PM »
Lake Powell water level going down.

Lake Mead water level going down.

Both https://www.drought.gov/current-conditions and https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/long_range/seasonal.php?lead=2 give no prospect of relief at all this summer.

What do you do when the reality is outside the bounds of the plans made even for the worst-case scenario?

This is serious stuff
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vox_mundi

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Re: Water management
« Reply #24 on: July 13, 2021, 02:40:23 PM »
Study Shows Dire Impacts Downstream of Nile River Dam
https://phys.org/news/2021-07-dire-impacts-downstream-nile-river.html

Rapid filling of a giant dam at the headwaters of the Nile River—the world's biggest waterway that supports millions of people—could reduce water supplies to downstream Egypt by more than one-third, new USC research shows

A water deficit of that magnitude, if unmitigated, could potentially destabilize a politically volatile part of the world by reducing arable land in Egypt by up to 72%. The study projects that economic losses to agriculture would reach $51 billion. The gross domestic product loss would push unemployment to 24%, displacing lots of people and disrupting economies.

"Averaging losses from all of the announced filling scenarios, these water shortages could nearly double Egypt's present water supply deficit and will have dire consequences for Egypt's economy, employment, migration and food supply."

The crux of the controversy is Ethiopia's $5 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam nearing completion at the Nile headwaters. Now in the second phase of filling, it will be the largest hydropower project in Africa and would create a reservoir containing 74 billion cubic meters of water—more than twice the operational capacity of Lake Mead on the Colorado River.

It's so vast that it will take years to fill, and depending on how long it takes, the water diversions could have devastating impacts downstream. Egypt and Sudan have water rights to the Nile, while Ethiopia was not allocated a quantifiable share. But as water and energy demand grows in the Nile River basin, Ethiopia is asserting its needs for hydropower and irrigated agriculture to promote development.

Some 280 million people in 11 countries in the basin depend on the waterway—a primary source of irrigation for more than 5,000 years. Egypt relies on the Nile for more than 90% of its water. The region's population could increase by 25% in 30 years, increasing demand at a time when Egypt would expect less water from the Nile. Water rights along the Nile have been in dispute since 1959; today, the conflict threatens to escalate into a war.

The USC study examined various dam filling scenarios and water shortage impacts for Egypt. Based on the short-term filling strategies of 3 to 5 years, presently favored by Ethiopia, the water deficit downstream in Egypt could almost double; 83% of the additional water loss would be due to dam restraining flow and evaporation and 17% lost due to seepage into rocks and sand.

Meanwhile, tensions run high as negotiators try to avert armed conflict. Egypt has vowed not to allow the dam to impede its water supply, and it held joint military maneuvers with Sudan in May. Sudan has since petitioned the United Nations Security Council to hold an emergency session as soon as possible.

The dispute is emblematic of wider disputes over water scarcity as climate change affects developing countries experiencing rapid growth. Disputes along the Mekong, Zambezi and Euphrates-Tigris rivers, among others, show the potential for political instability and conflict.

Essam Heggy et al, Egypt's water budget deficit and suggested mitigation policies for the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam filling scenarios, Environmental Research Letters (2021).
https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/ac0ac9
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kassy

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Re: Water management
« Reply #25 on: July 14, 2021, 07:51:52 PM »
I moved the posts about the possible fall out to Water Wars:

Looks like they will have to pick up arms and fight for their future.
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gerontocrat

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Re: Water management
« Reply #26 on: July 30, 2021, 09:46:16 PM »
Lake Powell & Lake Mead - water management

Quite a long read this, written in May 2020. I read it again and again and just think that the people running the water management system and those who use the water just can't accept that enough is enough. Demand has to be reduced.

https://www.watereducation.org/western-water/questions-simmer-about-lake-powells-future-drought-climate-change-point-drier-colorado
Quote
QUESTIONS SIMMER ABOUT LAKE POWELL’S FUTURE AS DROUGHT, CLIMATE CHANGE POINT TO A DRIER COLORADO RIVER BASIN
WESTERN WATER IN-DEPTH: A KEY RESERVOIR FOR COLORADO RIVER STORAGE PROGRAM, POWELL FACES DEMANDS FROM STAKEHOLDERS IN UPPER AND LOWER BASINS WITH DIFFERENT WATER NEEDS AS RUNOFF IS FORECAST TO DECLINE


Persistent drought in the Colorado River Basin combined with the coordinated operations with Lake Mead has left Lake Powell consistently about half-full.

Sprawled across a desert expanse along the Utah-Arizona border, Lake Powell’s nearly 100-foot high bathtub ring etched on its sandstone walls belie the challenges of a major Colorado River reservoir at less than half-full. How those challenges play out as demand grows for the river’s water amid a changing climate is fueling simmering questions about Powell’s future.

The reservoir, a central piece of the storage program for the Colorado River, provides water, hydropower and recreation to millions of people. It was designed to ensure that Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico can meet their legal obligation to let enough water pass to Arizona, California and Nevada, as well as supplying water to Mexico..........

.................. Upper Basin users, meanwhile, want to access their share of Colorado River water to meet growing demands. In Utah, a 140-mile pipeline proposal would divert as much as 86,000 acre-feet annually from Lake Powell to growing communities in the state’s southwest corner. Utah officials believe the $1 billion plan is necessary for places such as St. George that are bumping against their limits of water supply.

Furthermore, Utah officials say the state is well within its right to access water it has rights to.

“Utah’s right to develop water for the Lake Powell Pipeline is equal to, not inferior to, the rights of all the other 1922 [Colorado River] Compact signatory states,” Eric Millis, then-director of the Utah Division of Water Resources, said in a 2019 statement by the state’s Department of Natural Resources. The Colorado River Compact divided the Basin into an upper and lower half, with each having the right to develop and use 7.5 million acre-feet of river water annually.

Meanwhile, the Navajo Nation is also looking at tapping Lake Powell water via pipeline so it can supplement limited groundwater supplies.......


....... The Lower Basin states, however, collectively draw about 1.2 million acre-feet more water from Lake Mead than Lake Powell releases in a normal year. The result is a so-called “structural deficit.”

“The structural deficit is the true villain in this story, mixing with the operational rules to drain Lake Powell,” the Colorado River Research Group publication said. “If storage in Lake Powell cannot rebound in an era where the Upper Basin consumes less than two‐thirds of its legal apportionment, then the crisis is already real.”

Also in April, experts with the Western Water Assessment, whose researchers work out of the University of Colorado, Boulder and several other institutions in the region, noted that the severity and length of drought conditions can be difficult to quantify.

“This is especially true for the Colorado River system, in which total consumptive use plus other depletions typically exceeds supply, such that under even average hydrologic conditions the levels of Lake Mead and Lake Powell will tend to decline,” according to Colorado River Basin Climate and Hydrology: State of the Science, the study conducted by the Western Water Assessment.
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kassy

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Re: Water management
« Reply #27 on: July 30, 2021, 10:47:07 PM »
Quantum cake: has it been eaten or can we eat it later? Annoyingly you cannot do both. We keep building without taking the long term effects into account.
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oren

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Re: Water management
« Reply #28 on: July 31, 2021, 03:32:34 AM »
Just like the national deficit. Why not print water as well?

gerontocrat

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Re: Water management
« Reply #29 on: July 31, 2021, 09:41:11 AM »
At least for the first time there is an official recognition of the existence of a "structural deficit" instead of just hoping or praying for some wet years.
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gerontocrat

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Re: Water management
« Reply #30 on: July 31, 2021, 09:50:24 PM »
Meanwhile the only way is ...  going down
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gerontocrat

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Re: Water management
« Reply #31 on: August 03, 2021, 12:50:38 PM »
One rather suspects that the small rise in Lake Mead level is due to Lake Powell fulfilling the obligation to send water down stream to Lake Mead, i.e. overall water levels continue to go down.

The https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/30day/ 30 Day forecast is for higher than average temperatures in the USA except for the SE, while in the Colorado River catchment area rainfall is expected to be average. However, I guess that means approaching zero. i.e. no relief in prospect for those two reservoirs and all the others upsteam from Lake Powell and the reservoirs in California.

I am glad I am not a water management boss in that part of the world.

click images to enlarge
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vox_mundi

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Re: Water management
« Reply #32 on: August 03, 2021, 05:56:18 PM »
Egypt Could Face Extreme Water Scarcity Within the Decade
https://phys.org/news/2021-08-egypt-extreme-scarcity-decade.html

Egypt will import more water than is supplied by the Nile, if the population and the economy continue to grow as projected—according to a new study from the MIT Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

The study published in Nature Communications shows a historical reconstruction of where the water supply in Egypt is going under conditions of population growth and a developing economy

The historical reconstruction allowed the researchers to take a granular view into the past and future trends of consumption to see where the water demand is increasing.

Starting in the 1970s, once Egypt started using all the water the Nile could provide them, they started importing more food. A large proportion of their crops of wheat and maize are really water intensive to grow, need a lot of area, and can't support efficient irrigation methods. Egypt eventually started importing as much corn and wheat as they grew. The researchers then began to see how much Egypt is importing versus how much they are using to project that within the decade, they will be importing as much virtual water as they're pulling in from the Nile.



Catherine A. Nikiel et al, Past and future trends of Egypt's water consumption and its sources, Nature Communications (2021)

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-021-24747-9
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gerontocrat

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Re: Water management
« Reply #33 on: August 06, 2021, 10:39:01 AM »
Are you a bottled water drinker? If yes, read on.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/aug/05/environmental-impact-of-bottled-water-up-to-3500-times-greater-than-tap-water
Environmental impact of bottled water ‘up to 3,500 times greater than tap water’

Researchers also find impact of bottled water on ecosystems is 1,400 times higher than that of tap water

Quote
The impact of bottled water on natural resources is 3,500 times higher than for tap water, scientists have found.

The research is the first of its kind and examined the impact of bottled water in Barcelona, where it is becoming increasingly popular despite improvements to the quality of tap water in recent years.

Research led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) found that if the city’s population were all to drink bottled water, this would result in a 3,500 times higher cost of resource extraction than if they all drank tap water, at $83.9m (£60.3m)a year.

Researchers also found the impact of bottled water on ecosystems is 1,400 times higher than tap water.

The authors concluded that the reduction in environmental impacts more than offset the small risk of bladder cancer associated with drinking tap water. The process of treating drinking water generates low levels of trihalomethanes (THM), which have been associated with a higher risk of bladder cancer. THM levels in drinking water are regulated in the EU.

The lead author of the study, the ISGlobal researcher Cristina Villanueva, said: “Health reasons don’t justify the wide use of bottled water. Yes, strictly speaking, drinking tap water is worse for local health, but when you weigh both, what you gain from drinking bottled water is minimal. It’s quite obvious that the environmental impacts of bottled water are higher compared to tap water.”

In the US, 17m barrels of oil are needed to produce the plastic to meet annual bottled water demand. In addition, bottled water in the UK is at least 500 times more expensive than tap water.

Villanueva added: “I think this study can help to reduce bottled water consumption, but we need more active policies to change that.

“For example, in Barcelona, we could have more education campaigns to make the public aware that the health gains from drinking bottled water are minor compared to the environmental impacts. We need to improve access to public water, to public fountains, to public buildings where you can bring your own bottle and don’t need to buy one. We need to facilitate access to public water in public streets.

“People trust bottled water because advertisers have done a good job of convincing people it’s a good option, so we need the effort on the other side.”
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gerontocrat

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Re: Water management
« Reply #34 on: August 16, 2021, 08:32:27 PM »
The Colorado River

For how long can Lake Powell continue feeding water to Lake Mead?
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Re: Water management
« Reply #35 on: August 17, 2021, 12:04:54 AM »
First-ever Water Cuts Declared for Colorado River In Historic Drought
https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2021/08/16/us/lake-mead-colorado-river-water-shortage/index.html

The federal government on Monday declared a water shortage on the Colorado River for the first time, triggering mandatory water consumption cuts for states in the Southwest, as climate change-fueled drought pushes the level in Lake Mead to unprecedented lows.

Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the US by volume, has drained at an alarming rate this year. At around 1,067 feet above sea level and 35% full, the Colorado River reservoir is at its lowest since the lake was filled after the Hoover Dam was completed in the 1930s.

Lake Powell, which is also fed by the Colorado River and is the country's second-largest reservoir, recently sank to a record low and is now 32% full.

With the lake expected to remain at around 1,066 feet of elevation into 2022, according to the US Bureau of Reclamation's monthly projections, the agency announced that the Colorado River will go into the first tier of water cuts beginning January 1.

“The announcement today is a recognition that the hydrology that was planned for years ago — but we hoped we would never see — is here,” said Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Touton

Lake Mead provides water to roughly 25 million people in Arizona, Nevada, California and Mexico, according to the National Park Service.

More than 95% of the West was in drought as of last week, the largest area in the history of the US Drought Monitor.


Aug. 12, 2021 - Estimated Population in Drought Areas: 60,152,400

Under the complex priority system, Arizona and Nevada will be affected by the tier-1 shortage. Arizona will see an 18% reduction in the state's total Colorado River supply, or 512,000 acre-feet of water. That’s around 8% of the state’s total water use. Meanwhile, Nevada will experience a 7% reduction in its Colorado River water supply in 2022.  California's water supply will be unaffected by the tier-1 cuts. Mexico will see a reduction of roughly 5%.

Farmers in central Arizona, who are among the state’s largest producers of livestock, dairy, alfalfa, wheat and barley, will bear the brunt of the cuts.

Cities such as Las Vegas, Phoenix and Tucson, and Native American tribes are shielded from the first round of cuts.

Additional cuts -- each tier with worsening impact on agriculture and municipal water -- are expected if Lake Mead continues to fall. The second tier of cuts, triggered at 1,050 feet, could come as soon as 2023.

--------------------------------------------

... Crops in Washington have suffered because of the drought, with 93 percent of their spring wheat and 66 percent of barley in poor or very poor conditions. ...

https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/CurrentMap/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?West
https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/Summary.aspx
« Last Edit: August 17, 2021, 12:25:04 AM by vox_mundi »
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gerontocrat

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Re: Water management
« Reply #36 on: August 17, 2021, 12:33:46 AM »
First-ever Water Cuts Declared for Colorado River In Historic Drought
https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2021/08/16/us/lake-mead-colorado-river-water-shortage/index.html

The federal government on Monday declared a water shortage on the Colorado River for the first time, triggering mandatory water consumption cuts for states in the Southwest, as climate change-fueled drought pushes the level in Lake Mead to unprecedented lows.

Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the US by volume, has drained at an alarming rate this year. At around 1,067 feet above sea level and 35% full, the Colorado River reservoir is at its lowest since the lake was filled after the Hoover Dam was completed in the 1930s.

Lake Powell, which is also fed by the Colorado River and is the country's second-largest reservoir, recently sank to a record low and is now 32% full.

With the lake expected to remain at around 1,066 feet of elevation into 2022, according to the US Bureau of Reclamation's monthly projections, the agency announced that the Colorado River will go into the first tier of water cuts beginning January 1.

Lake Mead provides water to roughly 25 million people in Arizona, Nevada, California and Mexico, according to the National Park Service.
With the lake, i.e. Lake Mead, expected to remain at around 1,066 feet of elevation into 2022, according to the US Bureau of Reclamation's monthly projections.

Given the probability of low to zero rain from now until late in the year, the only way Lake Mead's water level can be kept at around 1,066ft, is if Lake Powell sends its contractually obligated water down the river to Lake Mead.

Do the US Bureau of Reclamation's monthly projections show the expected fall in the level of Lake Powell?   Is / will there be a big punch-up between the upstream States fed by Lake Powell and other upstream reservors (15 million people) and the downstream States fed by Lake Mead (25 million people)? Methinks YES.
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kassy

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Re: Water management
« Reply #37 on: August 17, 2021, 01:22:50 AM »
Chickens coming home or how we (in the US/EU) got to ignore climate change until it shows up at home. This one will be interesting to watch.
Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

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Re: Water management
« Reply #38 on: August 17, 2021, 01:24:55 AM »


There's some hydropower that will need to come from another source.

... Lake Powell’s levels also are on the decline, which poses a threat to the electricity generated by the Glen Canyon Dam, threatening the roughly 5 billion kilowatt hours of electricity generated each year at the Glen Canyon Dam.

https://new.azwater.gov/sites/default/files/media/CAP-FactSheet-CoRiverShortage-042721.pdf






https://new.azwater.gov/news/articles/2021-06-05
« Last Edit: August 17, 2021, 01:52:09 AM by vox_mundi »
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Riverside

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Re: Water management
« Reply #39 on: August 17, 2021, 11:27:57 PM »
from gerontocrat
[/quote]
With the lake, i.e. Lake Mead, expected to remain at around 1,066 feet of elevation into 2022, according to the US Bureau of Reclamation's monthly projections.

Given the probability of low to zero rain from now until late in the year, the only way Lake Mead's water level can be kept at around 1,066ft, is if Lake Powell sends its contractually obligated water down the river to Lake Mead.

Do the US Bureau of Reclamation's monthly projections show the expected fall in the level of Lake Powell?   Is / will there be a big punch-up between the upstream States fed by Lake Powell and other upstream reservors (15 million people) and the downstream States fed by Lake Mead (25 million people)? Methinks YES.
[/quote]

The Bureau of Reclamation (Wreck the Nation) August summary of Lake Powell operations has just been posted.
https://www.usbr.gov/uc/water/crsp/cs/gcd.html
Within that you can find a link to their model projections for monthly lake levels for both Powell and Mead
https://www.usbr.gov/uc/water/crsp/studies/images/PowellElevations.pdf

I couldn't find an easy way to copy just the graphs. But to answer gerontocrat's question; yes Lake Powell is expected to end the calendar year down another 10 ft, at around 3535 ft (maybe 5 ft higher if it starts raining hard this fall) and go as low as 3520 ft by April when the Spring melt runoff starts.

A minor point: the upper basin states do not take water from Lake Powell. As far as I can tell there are no major water withdrawals from Powell (yet). Instead, the upper basin states withdraw water from the dozen or so major reservoirs and the multitude of smaller ones up stream. Powell gets the leftovers and holds it to send to Mead. All this is controlled by a complex system of reservoir operational rules.

And to the second question, definitely yes. At least two states (Wyoming and Utah) have plans to start taking more water, because they currently aren't taking all they allowed to. Seems like Wyoming doesn't really need it now but are going to take it anyway (think COVID toilet paper rush) and Utah wants to send water to St George so it can continue to grow and add more golf courses.

Finally, 3 large upstream reservoirs (Flaming Gorge, Blue Mesa, Navajo) are on a schedule to release extra water to the tune of 181,000 acre-feet, July through December, to prop up Lake Powell. See the link above. This volume is expected to provide an extra 3 ft to Lake Powell.

vox_mundi

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Re: Water management
« Reply #40 on: August 26, 2021, 02:48:51 PM »
Infographic: Lebanon Is About to Run Out of Water
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/8/25/lebanons-critical-water-crisis-interactive



Lebanon’s water supply system is on the verge of collapse. In July, a report published by UNICEF warned that most water pumping would gradually cease across the country within four to six weeks as the country’s power grid falters.

https://www.unicef.org/press-releases/water-supply-systems-verge-collapse-lebanon-over-71-cent-people-risk-losing-access

On August 21, UNICEF’s Executive Director Henrietta Fore said that “unless urgent action is taken, more than four million people across Lebanon – predominantly vulnerable children and families – face the prospect of critical water shortages or being completely cut off from safe water supply in the coming days.”



... In July, the North Lebanon Water Establishment announced a state of emergency, and began rationing the supply of water from pumping stations and wells in various Lebanese regions. On the same day, the Bekaa Water Establishment also announced water disruptions due to power outages at its pumping stations.

Clean water no longer affordable

In 2019, 1,000 Lebanese pounds could buy four litres of bottled water. Today, a 500ml bottle costs that much – an eight-fold price increase.

Without electricity to power water pumps and money for maintenance, the public water supply system could collapse. UNICEF estimated that water costs could increase by 200 percent a month when securing water from alternative or private water suppliers if the public system collapses.

The UN agency said it needed $40m a year to secure the minimum levels of fuel, chlorine, spare parts and maintenance required to keep critical systems operational.

... Lebanon's economic meltdown has led to severe shortages of basic necessities including food, clothing, medicines and fuel. On average, food items today cost about 10 times more than they did in 2019.

The world’s most expensive fuel



Lebanon now has the highest petrol and diesel costs in the world, according to GlobalPetrolPrices.com. One litre of petrol costs $4.25 ($16 per gallon) on average, while one litre of diesel costs $3.27 ($12.39 per gallon).
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vox_mundi

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Re: Water management
« Reply #41 on: September 23, 2021, 12:31:22 PM »
US Projections On Drought-Hit Colorado River Grow More Dire
https://phys.org/news/2021-09-drought-hit-colorado-river-dire.html

The U.S. government released projections Wednesday that indicate an even more troubling outlook for a river that serves 40 million people in the American West.

https://www.usbr.gov/lc/region/g4000/riverops/crss-5year-projections.html

The Bureau of Reclamation recently declared the first-ever shortage on the Colorado River, which means Arizona, Nevada and Mexico will get less water than normal next year. By 2025, there's a 66% chance Lake Mead, a barometer for how much river water some states get, will reach a level where California would be in its second phase of cuts. The nation's most populated state has the most senior rights to river water.

While the reservoir on the Nevada-Arizona border is key for those three lower Colorado River basin states, Lake Powell on the Arizona-Utah border is the guide for Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming and Utah in the upper basin. Smaller reservoirs upstream of Lake Powell have been releasing water into the massive lake so it can continue producing hydropower. But any bump from the releases that started this summer isn't factored into the five-year projections, the Bureau of Reclamation said.

The agency's projections show a 3% chance Lake Powell will hit a level where Glen Canyon Dam that holds it back cannot produce hydropower as early as July 2022 if the region has another dry winter.

The agency says there's a 22% chance that Lake Mead will drop to an elevation of 1,000 feet (304 meters) above sea level in 2025. Federal officials have said water would become inaccessible to states downstream at 895 feet (272 meters) feet, often referred to as "dead pool."

https://www.usbr.gov/lc/region/g4000/riverops/crss-5year-projections.html

https://www.lakepowelllife.com/bureau-of-reclamations-colorado-river-projections/
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gerontocrat

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Re: Water management
« Reply #42 on: September 23, 2021, 01:00:54 PM »
So Lake Mead's water level has been maintained in recent weeks from inflows from Lake Powell.

Lake Powell's water levels are declining despite releases of water from reservoirs upstream - in areas where rain is currently a rarity.

Did I read somewhere that a La Nina winter means a tendency for a dry winter in the Colorado catchment area? At the moment the US CPC seems to be suggesting neither more nor less than average precipitation for that area for Oct-Dec 2021.

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vox_mundi

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Re: Water management
« Reply #43 on: October 05, 2021, 05:14:00 PM »
Five Billion Could Struggle to Access Water In 2050: UN
https://phys.org/news/2021-10-billion-struggle-access.html

More than five billion people could have difficulty accessing water in 2050, the United Nations warned Tuesday, urging leaders to seize the initiative at the COP26 summit.

Already in 2018, 3.6 billion people had inadequate access to water for at least one month per year, said a new report from the UN's World Meteorological Organization.

"We need to wake up to the looming water crisis," said WMO chief Petteri Taalas.

"The State of Climate Services 2021: Water" report comes just weeks before COP26—the UN Climate Change Conference being held in Glasgow from October 31 to November 12.

Report: https://library.wmo.int/index.php?lvl=notice_display&id=21963#.YVxOUfdBxUO

https://public.wmo.int/en/media/press-release/wake-looming-water-crisis-report-warns
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vox_mundi

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Re: Water management
« Reply #44 on: October 10, 2021, 11:22:46 PM »
Hydropower Decline Adds Strain to Power Grids In Drought
https://techxplore.com/news/2021-10-hydropower-decline-strain-power-grids.html

After water levels at a California dam fell to historic lows this summer, the main hydropower plant it feeds was shut down. At the Hoover Dam in Nevada—one of the country's biggest hydropower generators—production is down by 25%. If extreme drought persists, federal officials say a dam in Arizona could stop producing electricity in coming years.

As extreme weather becomes more common with climate change, grid operators are adapting to swings in hydropower generation.

"The challenge is finding the right resource, or mix of resources, that can provide the same energy and power outputs as hydro," said Lindsay Buckley, a spokesperson for the California Energy Commission.

U.S. hydropower generation is expected to decline 14% this year compared with 2020, according to a recent federal forecast. The projected drops are concentrated in Western states that rely more heavily on hydropower, with California's production expected to fall by nearly half.

... While California can face multi-year stretches of dry weather, the Pacific Northwest usually gets enough precipitation in the winter to recover and produce hydropower to export.

But this year, the Northwest was also hit by extreme heat and less precipitation, according to Crystal Raymond, a climate change researcher at the University of Washington.

... Declines in hydropower production mean production bumps for other energy sources. Natural gas power is expected to rise 7% in California and 6% in the Northwest this year over last, according to federal forecasts. Coal generation is forecast to rise 12% in the Northwest.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Water management
« Reply #45 on: October 11, 2021, 03:46:46 AM »
As drought worsens, California farmers are being paid not to grow crops
Quote
As Colorado River levels continue to drop, water agencies are working with local growers to leave some fields fallow in exchange for cash payments.

The water has been temporarily shut off on a portion of Robinson’s land. In exchange, he’s receiving $909 this year for each acre of farmland left dry and unplanted. The water is instead staying in Lake Mead, near Las Vegas, to help slow the unrelenting decline of the largest reservoir in the country.

Robinson and other growers in the Palo Verde Irrigation District are taking part in a new $38-million program funded by the federal Bureau of Reclamation, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and other water agencies in Arizona and Nevada. The farmers are paid to leave a portion of their lands dry and fallow, and the water saved over the next three years is expected to translate into 3 feet of additional water in Lake Mead, which has declined to its lowest levels since it was filled in the 1930s following the construction of Hoover Dam.

“Honestly, I think I could make more money farming. But for the sake of the Colorado River, I think it’s the right thing to do,” Robinson said. “The river’s going through a bad time right now.”

The arrangement is one of a growing number of programs that are springing up along the river to find water-savings in agricultural areas. As reservoirs continue to decline, managers of water districts are looking to start or scale up similar land-fallowing programs in other areas, paying farmers not to farm temporarily on some fields and using the water to ease shortages.

 …
 The Colorado River has long been chronically over-allocated, with so much water diverted to supply farms and cities that the river has for decades rarely reached the sea in Mexico. Most of that diverted water — approximately 70% — irrigates farmland, and much of that water flows to thirsty crops such as hay and cotton, which are exported in large quantities.

Since 2000, the river’s flow has shrunk during one of the driest 22-year periods in centuries. Scientists have described the last two decades as a megadrought, and one that’s being worsened by the heating of the planet with the burning of fossil fuels. Researchers have warned that long-term “aridification” of the Colorado River Basin means the region must adapt to a river that provides less water.

… officials have discussed the potential for additional purchases of farmland along the river in areas with high-priority senior rights as a way to reduce water use in agriculture and free up water for urban Southern California in dry times. …
https://www.latimes.com/environment/story/2021-10-10/colorado-river-california-farmers-dry-fields-fallow-drought
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

vox_mundi

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Re: Water management
« Reply #46 on: October 22, 2021, 10:45:19 AM »
NASA Launches Tool That Measures Western Water Loss
https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/openet-a-satellite-based-water-data-resource
https://phys.org/news/2021-10-nasa-tool-western-loss.html

NASA on Thursday launched an online platform with information on how much water evaporates into the atmosphere from plants, soils and other surfaces in the U.S. West, data it says could help water managers, farmers and state officials better manage resources in the parched region.

The platform, OpenET, uses satellite imagery from the Landsat program, a decades-long project of NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey that records human and natural impacts on Earth's surface.

https://openetdata.org/

Specifically, it provides data for 17 Western states—down to the quarter-acre—on how much evapotranspiration has taken place. That's the process by which moisture in leaves, soil and other surfaces evaporates into the air.

Detailed information on soil moisture could help farmers and water managers better plan during dry conditions and reduce how much water is used for irrigation, NASA scientists said on a Thursday call with reporters.

"Farmers and water managers have not had consistent, timely data on one of the most important pieces of information for managing water, which is the amount of water that's consumed by crops and other plants as they grow," said Robyn Grimm, a water specialist with the Environmental Defense Fund, which helped NASA develop the tool alongside other environmental groups and Google.

NASA said the platform includes historical data dating back to 1984. In coming months, it will be updated to include information about precipitation rates with the same level of detail. Eventually, the tool will extend to other parts of the U.S., including areas around the Mississippi River and Appalachian region, scientists said.

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NeilT

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Re: Water management
« Reply #47 on: October 22, 2021, 01:54:49 PM »
Being right too soon is socially unacceptable.

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vox_mundi

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Re: Water management
« Reply #48 on: October 22, 2021, 02:00:20 PM »
Intel Assessment: ‘High’ Chance Of International Conflict Over Water By 2040
https://breakingdefense.com/2021/10/intel-assessment-high-chance-of-international-conflict-over-water-by-2040/

“[A]s temperatures rise and more extreme effects manifest, there is a growing risk of conflict over water and migration, particularly after 2030, and an increasing chance that countries will unilaterally test and deploy large-scale geoengineering — creating a new area of geopolitical disputes,” reads a National Intelligence Estimate on climate change, published today by the Director of National Intelligence.

https://www.odni.gov/index.php/newsroom/reports-publications/reports-publications-2021/item/2253-national-intelligence-estimate-on-climate-change

The 15-page report covers a range of looming climate-related security concerns, from the potential for military conflict in the arctic as the ice cap melts to the lack of dialogue around the aforementioned and sci-fi-sounding “geoengineering,” which refers to methods of artificially cooling the planet. (Movie-lovers will remember that’s how the dystopia of “Snowpiercer,” among others, was born.)

According to the ODNI report, should things continue the way they are, “transboundary tensions probably will increase over shared surface and groundwater basins as increased weather variability exacerbates preexisting or triggers new water insecurity in many parts of the world.” The report currently rates that while the potential for water conflict is “low” in 2021, it rises to “medium” by 2030 and to “high” by 2040.

[Nuclear-armed] Pakistan, for instance, relies on downstream surface water from “heavily glacier-fed rivers” that originate in rival India’s territory, (also nuclear-armed) enough so that Pakistan requires “frequent data from India on river discharges in order to provide advanced warning to evacuate villages and prepare for flooding,” the report says. Considering the tense, often violent relationship between the two nations, it’s not difficult to see how fragile that dynamic is to climate change.

In East Asia, the Mekong River is “already […] an area of growing dispute over dam building, largely by China” because it threatens water used downstream by smaller nations like Cambodia and Vietnam, the report says.

More than half of surface water resources in the Middle East and North Africa are “transboundary and all countries share at least one aquifer,” the report says, citing the World Bank. Already several of those are “vulnerable to salt water intrusion, even from minor rises in sea levels, increasing the potential for conflict.”

More generally the report calls attention to international river basins, some 263 of them, that are sources for water for much of the world’s population, but at least half of them are not run cooperatively. That means that for those, there’s no real mechanism to respond to water-related crises between nations. “[And] most existing agreements are not flexible enough to address disruptions in weather patterns and reduced water flow caused by climate change.” the report says.
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NeilT

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Re: Water management
« Reply #49 on: October 22, 2021, 02:55:01 PM »
Hence the very real risk that we will destroy ourselves in wars over water boundaries, whether lack of water or inundation by land based or sea based water.

The security services of every NATO nation have been waring their governments of this very real risk for 4 decades now.
Being right too soon is socially unacceptable.

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