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Groundwater Depletion in Semiarid Regions of Texas and California Threatens US F

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January 29, 2018, 01:21:57 am Christian40 says: It will be interesting to see what happens this year Israel being 70 years as a modern nation may 14 2018
October 17, 2017, 01:25:20 am Christian40 says: It is good to type Mark is here again!  Smiley
October 16, 2017, 03:28:18 am Christian40 says: anyone else thinking that time is accelerating now? it seems im doing days in shorter time now is time being affected in some way?
September 24, 2017, 10:45:16 pm Psalm 51:17 says: The specific rule pertaining to the national anthem is found on pages A62-63 of the league rulebook. It states: “The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem. “During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.”
September 20, 2017, 04:32:32 am Christian40 says: "The most popular Hepatitis B vaccine is nothing short of a witch’s brew including aluminum, formaldehyde, yeast, amino acids, and soy. Aluminum is a known neurotoxin that destroys cellular metabolism and function. Hundreds of studies link to the ravaging effects of aluminum. The other proteins and formaldehyde serve to activate the immune system and open up the blood-brain barrier. This is NOT a good thing."
http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-08-11-new-fda-approved-hepatitis-b-vaccine-found-to-increase-heart-attack-risk-by-700.html
September 19, 2017, 03:59:21 am Christian40 says: bbc international did a video about there street preaching they are good witnesses
September 14, 2017, 08:06:04 am Psalm 51:17 says: bro Mark Hunter on YT has some good, edifying stuff too.
September 14, 2017, 04:31:26 am Christian40 says: i have thought that i'm reaping from past sins then my life has been impacted in ways from having non believers in my ancestry.
September 11, 2017, 06:59:33 am Psalm 51:17 says: The law of reaping and sowing. It's amazing how God's mercy and longsuffering has hovered over America so long. (ie, the infrastructure is very bad here b/c for many years, they were grossly underspent on. 1st Tim 6:10, the god of materialism has its roots firmly in the West) And remember once upon a time ago when shacking up b/w straight couples drew shock awe?

Exodus 20:5  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
September 11, 2017, 03:40:40 am Christian40 says: those in america should better repent or things will only get worse
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« on: May 29, 2012, 09:52:40 am »

Groundwater Depletion in Semiarid Regions of Texas and California Threatens US Food Security

5/28/12
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120528154857.htm


ScienceDaily (May 28, 2012) — The nation's food supply may be vulnerable to rapid groundwater depletion from irrigated agriculture, according to a new study by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin and elsewhere.

The study, which appears in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, paints the highest resolution picture yet of how groundwater depletion varies across space and time in California's Central Valley and the High Plains of the central U.S. Researchers hope this information will enable more sustainable use of water in these areas, although they think irrigated agriculture may be unsustainable in some parts.
 
"We're already seeing changes in both areas," said Bridget Scanlon, senior research scientist at The University of Texas at Austin's Bureau of Economic Geology and lead author of the study. "We're seeing decreases in rural populations in the High Plains. Increasing urbanization is replacing farms in the Central Valley. And during droughts some farmers are forced to fallow their land. These trends will only accelerate as water scarcity issues become more severe."
 
Three results of the new study are particularly striking: First, during the most recent drought in California's Central Valley, from 2006 to 2009, farmers in the south depleted enough groundwater to fill the nation's largest human-made reservoir, Lake Mead near Las Vegas -- a level of groundwater depletion that is unsustainable at current recharge rates.
 
Second, a third of the groundwater depletion in the High Plains occurs in just 4% of the land area. And third, the researchers project that if current trends continue some parts of the southern High Plains that currently support irrigated agriculture, mostly in the Texas Panhandle and western Kansas, will be unable to do so within a few decades.
 
California's Central Valley is sometimes called the nation's "fruit and vegetable basket." The High Plains, which run from northwest Texas to southern Wyoming and South Dakota, are sometimes called the country's "grain basket." Combined, these two regions produced agricultural products worth $56 billion in 2007, accounting for much of the nation's food production. They also account for half of all groundwater depletion in the U.S., mainly as a result of irrigating crops.
 
In the early 20th century, farmers in California's Central Valley began pumping groundwater to irrigate their crops. Over time, groundwater levels dropped as much as 400 feet in some places. From the 1930s to '70s, state and federal agencies built a system of dams, reservoirs and canals to transfer water from the relatively water-rich north to the very dry south. Since then, groundwater levels in some areas have risen as much as 300 feet. In the High Plains, farmers first began large-scale pumping of groundwater for crop irrigation in the 1930s and '40s; but irrigation greatly expanded in response to the 1950s drought. Since then, groundwater levels there have steadily declined, in some places more than 150 feet.
 
Scanlon and her colleagues at the U.S. Geological Survey and the Université de Rennes in France used water level records from thousands of wells, data from NASA's GRACE satellites, and computer models to study groundwater depletion in the two regions.
 
GRACE satellites monitor changes in Earth's gravity field which are controlled primarily by variations in water storage. Byron Tapley, director of the university's Center for Space Research, led the development of the GRACE satellites, which recently celebrated their 10th anniversary.
 
Scanlon and her colleagues suggested several ways to make irrigated agriculture in the Central Valley more sustainable: Replace flood irrigation systems (used on about half of crops) with more efficient sprinkle and drip systems and expand the practice of groundwater banking -- storing excess surface water in times of plenty in the same natural aquifers that supply groundwater for irrigation. Groundwater banks currently store 2 to 3 cubic kilometers of water in California, similar to or greater than storage capacities of many of the large surface water reservoirs in the state. Groundwater banks provide a valuable approach for evening out water supplies during climate extremes ranging from droughts to floods.
 
For various reasons, Scanlon and other experts don't think these or other engineering approaches will solve the problem in the High Plains. When groundwater levels drop too low to support irrigated farming in some areas, farmers there will be forced to switch from irrigated crops such as corn to non-irrigated crops such as sorghum, or to rangeland. The transition could be economically challenging because non-irrigated crops generate about half the yield of irrigated crops and are far more vulnerable to droughts.
 
"Basically irrigated agriculture in much of the southern High Plains is unsustainable," said Scanlon.
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« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2014, 07:34:16 am »

Not Just California: Droughts Extend Across Americas

Say “drought” and Americans are likely to think California, but the Golden State is hardly alone when looking across the Western Hemisphere: A dry spell has killed cattle and wiped out crops in Central America, parts of Colombia have seen rioting over scarce water, and southern Brazil is facing its worst dry spell in 50 years.

In the U.S., the few who have taken notice of this wider water scarcity include a former director of the U.S. Geological Survey. Now editor-in-chief of the journal Science, Marcia McNutt last month penned an editorial highlighting what she called “a drought of crisis proportions” across the Americas.

Worst hit has been Central America, where drought has created food shortages for 2.5 million people, most of them “subsistence farmers and families in highly food-insecure areas,” says Miguel Barreto, regional program manager for the U.N.’s World Food Program.

Droughts, and along with them plant diseases, are happening more frequently, says Lorena Aguilar, regional technical manager for the Famine Early Warning Systems Network, funded by USAID.

“The previous two years saw drought and this is the third,” she says, adding that this year was also the driest for most of Central America in 30 years of recordkeeping.

One of those diseases is known as coffee rust, which has reduced harvests as well as supplemental income for many subsistence farmers, Barreto says, “creating a critical situation in the poorest populations.”

The U.S. recently pledged $10 million in aid, but the WFP said it needs $65 million to help drought victims and to replenish aid given out earlier due to the coffee rust.

Drought reaches farther south as well:

    Panama: The head of the Panama Canal warned that the biggest ships might not be let through in early 2015 if rainfall doesn’t restore water levels at the lakes that feed the canal’s locks.
    Colombia: Some northern areas where rain hasn’t fallen in two years have seen riots over water.
    Venezuela: Water rationing became mandatory in some areas.
    Bolivia: Thousands of forest fires were attributed to the worst drought in 30 years.
    Brazil: A third of southern Brazil’s 21 million people face water shortages. Parts of Sao Paulo, Brazil’s biggest city, have been rationing water since February.

In Central America, heavy rains since late September “helped alleviate” the drought in some areas, says Wassila Thiaw, international team lead at the U.S. Climate Prediction Center. But, he adds, that’s also meant crop damage in parts of Guatemala and El Salvador.

Short term, Thiaw says, the forecast across Latin America has improved, though northern Brazil could see a rainfall deficit through January.

A critical variable is El Nino, the periodic warming of the Pacific Ocean that impacts weather globally and, in Central America’s case, dries out areas along the Pacific Coast.

“We do not have an El Nino yet,” says Thiaw, although eastern Pacific waters are warmer than normal.

Longer term, a big question is how global warming might impact droughts.

A study published in January in Nature Climate Change concluded that “increased heating from global warming may not cause droughts but it is expected that when droughts occur they are apt to set in quicker and be more intense.”

Other studies have cited specific examples of that. In Latin America, Brazil’s southern Amazonia has seen its dry season become three weeks longer in the last 30 years, a study last year found.

But some drought studies have come to conflicting conclusions, and a 2010 study even had to be corrected in 2012 to better factor in precipitation and evaporation variables.

“There is still a lot of background variability in the climate system that is masking the global warming signal,” says Ben Cook, a NASA climate scientist and lead author of a recent paper that concluded Western North America, Central America and the Amazon will see “robust” drying this century. “So we can say that there is some evidence that warming is making droughts worse in these areas, but there is still a lot of uncertainty.”

It’s even tougher to zero in on a region like Central America to determine if climate models predicting a drier future have held up.

“I’d say it is too soon to tell, in large part because of the amount of variability in the region’s climate system combined with the limitations of existing climate observations,” says Kevin Anchukaitas, a climate researcher specializing in Central America for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

For Barreto, the WFP’s regional program manager, the danger of a warming world is not just about drought but other “more intense and frequent extreme weather” — especially hurricanes — across Central America and the Caribbean.

The region also has that more immediate concern: El Nino. The National Weather Service said in its monthly forecast that a weak El Nino might develop over the next month or two and last into next spring. The question is whether that would bring enough rain.

“It’d be very rare to have drought four years in a row,” says Aguilar, “but then again we don’t know what El Nino will do.”

http://www.nbcnews.com/science/environment/not-just-california-droughts-extend-across-americas-n220376
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« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2015, 06:48:28 am »

NASA Scientist Warns "California Has One Year Of Water Left"

Authored by NASA Senior Water Scientist Jay Famiglietti, originally posted Op-Ed at The LA Times,

Given the historic low temperatures and snowfalls that pummeled the eastern U.S. this winter, it might be easy to overlook how devastating California's winter was as well.

As our “wet” season draws to a close, it is clear that the paltry rain and snowfall have done almost nothing to alleviate epic drought conditions. January was the driest in California since record-keeping began in 1895. Groundwater and snowpack levels are at all-time lows. We're not just up a creek without a paddle in California, we're losing the creek too.

Data from NASA satellites show that the total amount of water stored in the Sacramento and San Joaquin river basins — that is, all of the snow, river and reservoir water, water in soils and groundwater combined — was 34 million acre-feet below normal in 2014. That loss is nearly 1.5 times the capacity of Lake Mead, America's largest reservoir.

Statewide, we've been dropping more than 12 million acre-feet of total water yearly since 2011. Roughly two-thirds of these losses are attributable to groundwater pumping for agricultural irrigation in the Central Valley. Farmers have little choice but to pump more groundwater during droughts, especially when their surface water allocations have been slashed 80% to 100%. But these pumping rates are excessive and unsustainable. Wells are running dry. In some areas of the Central Valley, the land is sinking by one foot or more per year.

As difficult as it may be to face, the simple fact is that California is running out of water — and the problem started before our current drought. NASA data reveal that total water storage in California has been in steady decline since at least 2002, when satellite-based monitoring began, although groundwater depletion has been going on since the early 20th century.



Right now the state has only about one year of water supply left in its reservoirs, and our strategic backup supply, groundwater, is rapidly disappearing. California has no contingency plan for a persistent drought like this one (let alone a 20-plus-year mega-drought), except, apparently, staying in emergency mode and praying for rain.

In short, we have no paddle to navigate this crisis.

Several steps need be taken right now.

    First, immediate mandatory water rationing should be authorized across all of the state's water sectors, from domestic and municipal through agricultural and industrial. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is already considering water rationing by the summer unless conditions improve. There is no need for the rest of the state to hesitate. The public is ready. A recent Field Poll showed that 94% of Californians surveyed believe that the drought is serious, and that one-third support mandatory rationing.

    Second, the implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 should be accelerated. The law requires the formation of numerous, regional groundwater sustainability agencies by 2017. Then each agency must adopt a plan by 2022 and “achieve sustainability” 20 years after that. At that pace, it will be nearly 30 years before we even know what is working. By then, there may be no groundwater left to sustain.   

    Third, the state needs a task force of thought leaders that starts, right now, brainstorming to lay the groundwork for long-term water management strategies. Although several state task forces have been formed in response to the drought, none is focused on solving the long-term needs of a drought-prone, perennially water-stressed California.

Our state's water management is complex, but the technology and expertise exist to handle this harrowing future. It will require major changes in policy and infrastructure that could take decades to identify and act upon. Today, not tomorrow, is the time to begin.

Finally, the public must take ownership of this issue. This crisis belongs to all of us — not just to a handful of decision-makers. Water is our most important, commonly owned resource, but the public remains detached from discussions and decisions.

This process works just fine when water is in abundance. In times of crisis, however, we must demand that planning for California's water security be an honest, transparent and forward-looking process. Most important, we must make sure that there is in fact a plan.

Call me old-fashioned, but I'd like to live in a state that has a paddle so that it might also still have a creek.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-03-13/nasa-scientist-warns-california-has-one-year-water-left
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« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2015, 11:51:06 am »

California Is Turning Back Into A Desert And There Are No Contingency Plans

Once upon a time, much of the state of California was a barren desert.  And now, thanks to the worst drought in modern American history, much of the state is turning back into one.  Scientists tell us that the 20th century was the wettest century that the state of California had seen in 1000 years.  But now weather patterns are reverting back to historical norms, and California is rapidly running out of water.  It is being reported that the state only has approximately a one year supply of water left in the reservoirs, and when the water is all gone there are no contingency plans.  Back in early 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency for the entire state, but since that time water usage has only dropped by 9 percent.  That is not nearly enough.  The state of California has been losing more than 12 million acre-feet of total water a year since 2011, and we are quickly heading toward an extremely painful water crisis unlike anything that any of us have ever seen before.

But don’t take my word for it.  According to the Los Angeles Times, Jay Famiglietti “is the senior water scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory/Caltech and a professor of Earth system science at UC Irvine”.  What he has to say about the horrific drought in California is extremely sobering…

    As our “wet” season draws to a close, it is clear that the paltry rain and snowfall have done almost nothing to alleviate epic drought conditions. January was the driest in California since record-keeping began in 1895. Groundwater and snowpack levels are at all-time lows. We’re not just up a creek without a paddle in California, we’re losing the creek too.

    Data from NASA satellites show that the total amount of water stored in the Sacramento and San Joaquin river basins — that is, all of the snow, river and reservoir water, water in soils and groundwater combined — was 34 million acre-feet below normal in 2014. That loss is nearly 1.5 times the capacity of Lake Mead, America’s largest reservoir.

    Statewide, we’ve been dropping more than 12 million acre-feet of total water yearly since 2011. Roughly two-thirds of these losses are attributable to groundwater pumping for agricultural irrigation in the Central Valley. Farmers have little choice but to pump more groundwater during droughts, especially when their surface water allocations have been slashed 80% to 100%. But these pumping rates are excessive and unsustainable. Wells are running dry. In some areas of the Central Valley, the land is sinking by one foot or more per year.

Are you starting to understand why so many experts are so alarmed?

For much more from Famiglietti, check out this 60 Minutes interview.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, essentially the entire state is suffering drought conditions right now.  And as you can see from the map below, most of the state is currently experiencing either the highest or the second-highest classification of drought…



Nearly 40 million people live in the state of California at the moment.

What are they all going to do when the water is gone?

In some rural areas, reservoirs are already nearly bone dry.  And in other areas, the water quality has gone way down.  For example, in one Southern California neighborhood black water is now coming out of the taps…

    Residents of a Southern California neighborhood are concerned about the fact that the water flowing out of the taps in their homes is the color black. That’s right; the water coming out of their faucets is indeed black — not gray, not cloudy — but black. Inky, opaque black water that the water company says is okay to drink.

    Those who live in Gardena, California, are understandably skeptical when asked to consume water that strongly resembles crude oil or something emitted by a squid. The water reportedly also has an “odor of rotten eggs or sewer smell,” according to one resident.

Perhaps you don’t care about what happens to California.

Perhaps you believe that they are just getting what they deserve.

And you might be right about that.

But the truth is that this is a crisis for all of us, because an enormous amount of our fresh produce is grown in the state.

As I discussed in a previous article, the rest of the nation is very heavily dependent on the fruits and vegetables grown in California.  The following numbers represent California’s contribution to our overall production…

-99 percent of the artichokes

-44 percent of asparagus

-two-thirds of carrots

-half of bell peppers

-89 percent of cauliflower

-94 percent of broccoli

-95 percent of celery

-90 percent of the leaf lettuce

-83 percent of Romaine lettuce

-83 percent of fresh spinach

-a third of the fresh tomatoes

-86 percent of lemons

-90 percent of avocados

-84 percent of peaches

-88 percent of fresh strawberries

-97 percent of fresh plums

Without the agricultural production of the state of California, we are in a massive amount of trouble.

And of course there are other areas all over the globe that are going through similar things.  For instance, taps in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo are running dry as Brazil experiences the worst drought that it has seen in 80 years.

The world simply does not have enough fresh water left at this point, and that is why water is being called “the new oil”.  The following comes from CBS News…

    It’s been said that the wars of the 21st century may well be fought over water. The Earth’s population has more than doubled over the last 50 years and the demand for fresh water — to drink and to grow food — has surged along with it. But sources of water like rainfall, rivers, streams, reservoirs, certainly haven’t doubled. So where is all that extra water coming from? More and more, it’s being pumped out of the ground.

    Water experts say groundwater is like a savings account — something you draw on in times of need. But savings accounts need to be replenished, and there is new evidence that so much water is being taken out, much of the world is in danger of a groundwater overdraft.

And if scientists are right, what we are experiencing right now may just be the very beginning of our problems.  In fact, one team of researchers has concluded that the Southwestern United States is headed for a “megadrought” that could last for decades…

    Scientists had already found that the Southwestern United States were at great risk of experiencing a significant megadrought (in this case meaning drought conditions that last for over 35 years) before the end of the 21st century. But a new study published in Science Advances added some grim context to those predictions.

    Columbia University climate scientists Jason Smerdon and Benjamin Cook, and Cornell University’s Toby Ault were co-authors on the study. They took data from tree rings and other environmental records of climate from the Southwest and compared them to the projections of 17 different climate models that look at precipitation and soil moisture. When they made the comparison between past and future, they found that all the models agreed: the next big megadrought is coming, and it will be way worse than anything we’ve seen in over 1,000 years–including droughts that have been credited with wiping out civilizations.

Needless to say, along with any water crisis comes a food crisis.

Virtually everything that we eat requires a tremendous amount of water to grow.  And at this point, the world is already eating more food than it produces most years.

So what is going to happen to us as this water crisis gets even worse?

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/california-is-turning-back-into-a-desert-and-there-are-no-contingency-plans
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« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2015, 08:13:09 am »

Who pulled out the plug? The 'bathtub ring' on the banks of the Colorado river that's thousands of miles long

    Eleven of the past 14 years have been droughts for Lake Powell reservoir
    Reservoir at Arizona-Utah border is 45 per cent below 'full pool' capacity
    Lake will drop even further as it gives water to Hoover Dam's Lake Mead


A drought in the western United States has left water levels in the Colorado River basin far below their normal levels.

Lake Powell, a reservoir at the Arizona-Utah border, is 45 per cent below its capacity, and the lack of water has left a 'bathtub ring' at the bottom of its majestic rock formations.

The lake, from which the Colorado eventually snakes through Grand Canyon National Park, has lost 4.4 trillion gallons of water in a recent drought.

The river's basin has been experiencing the drought for eleven of the last 14 years, shrinking a reservoir that was one-fourth the size of Rhode Island when it was at 'full pool', according to National Geographic.

Scroll down for video
Lake Powell, which is the country's second-largest reservoir when it is at 'full pool' capacity, now has a white bathtub ring in its canyons from dropping water levels
+18

Lake Powell, which is the country's second-largest reservoir when it is at 'full pool' capacity, now has a white bathtub ring in its canyons from dropping water levels

The Colorado provides water for Nevada, Arizona and California, the last of which has seen large areas in 'extreme' and 'exceptional' drought levels and is trying to restrict how much water residents use.

Seven states and 40million people get water from different parts of the river's basin, which extends into the southern reaches of Wyoming.

Many climate scientists think that the Southwest is also due for a megadrought this century that would far outlast the current phenomenon.

Lake Mead, the reservoir next to Hoover Dam, shrunk to 39 per cent of its capacity last year and was at its lowest level since the dam was built in the 1930s.

To help the other reserve keep a steady supply, Lake Powell will release 8.23 million acre-feet (2.68 trillion gallons) downstream over the course of this year.

The release is estimated to lower the water level at Powell, the second largest reservoir in the country behind Mead, by another meter.

It is in danger of seeing its surface elevation fall below 1,075 feet above sea level by September, which would be the lowest level on record, set in 2005, and increase the size of its bleached white ring.

Minerals in the water turn the walls of the sandstone canyons white, according to the Weather Channel. 

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3018740/Who-unplugged-drain-Drought-leaves-bleached-bathtub-ring-canyons-Colorado-River-reservoir-lost-4-4TRILLION-gallons-water.html#ixzz3Vy7hIjYf

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« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2015, 07:34:31 pm »

Brown orders California's first mandatory water restrictions: 'It's a different world'

Standing in a brown field that would normally be smothered in several feet of snow, Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday ordered cities and towns across California to cut water use by 25% as part of a sweeping set of mandatory drought restrictions, the first in state history.

The directive comes more than a year after Brown asked for a 20% voluntary cut in water use that most parts of the state have failed to attain, even as one of the most severe modern droughts drags into a fourth year. It also came on the day that water officials measured the lowest April 1 snowpack in more than 60 years of record-keeping in the Sierra Nevada.

Wearing hiking shoes and a windbreaker in an area that normally requires cross-country skis this time of year, Brown announced the executive order in a Sierra Nevada meadow that provided a dramatic illustration of the state’s parched conditions.

“We're standing on dry grass,” Brown said. “We should be standing on five feet of snow.”

Emphasizing that the drought could persist, Brown said Californians must change their water habits. “It's a different world,” he said. “We have to act differently.”

The order touched virtually every aspect of urban life. Cities have to stop watering the median strips that run down the middle of roads. The state will partner with local agencies to remove 50 million square feet of grass — the equivalent of about 1,150 football fields — and replace it with drought-tolerant landscaping.

State agencies will create a temporary rebate program to encourage homeowners to replace water-guzzling appliances with high efficiency ones. Golf courses, campuses and cemeteries must cut their water use. New developments will have to install drip or microspray systems if they irrigate with drinking water. Water agencies will discourage water waste with higher rates and fees.

The order aims to reduce the amount of water used statewide in urban areas in 2013 by 25%. Local agencies that have been slow to conserve since then will feel the order’s effects most dramatically.

Felicia Marcus, chairwoman of the State Water Resources Control Board, said local agencies will receive targets for cutting water use based on how well they've done so far.

“You're rewarding the early adopters ... and you're saying to the laggers, ‘You have to make a change,’” she said.

The water board will release draft regulations in mid-April to implement the order. It plans to approve the regulations in early May.

Most of the burden of enforcement will fall on local agencies. If they don’t follow the governor’s order, the state can fine them as much as $10,000 a day.

rest: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-snowpack-20150331-story.html#page=1
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« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2015, 04:30:13 am »

California governor orders mandatory water restrictions

California Gov. Jerry Brown ordered officials Wednesday to impose statewide mandatory water restrictions for the first time in history as surveyors found the lowest snow level in the Sierra Nevada snowpack in 65 years of record-keeping.

Standing in dry, brown grass at a site that normally would be snow-covered this time of year, Brown announced he had signed an executive order requiring the State Water Resources Control Board to implement measures in cities and towns to cut the state's overall water usage by 25 percent compared with 2013 levels.

The move will affect residents, businesses, farmers and other users.

"We're in a historic drought and that demands unprecedented action," Brown said at a news conference at Echo Summit in the Sierra Nevada, where state water officials found no snow on the ground for the first time in their April manual survey of the snowpack. "We have to pull together and save water in every way we can."

After declaring a drought emergency in January 2014, Brown urged all Californians to cut water use by 20 percent from the previous year.

Despite increasingly stringent regulations imposed on local water agencies by the state, overall water use has fallen by just half that amount, prompting Brown to order the stronger action by the water board.

"We're in a new era; the idea of your nice little green grass getting water every day, that's going to be a thing of the past," Brown said.

Brown asked for a 25 percent cut in water use in 1977 during his first term as governor. Since then, cities have developed local storage and supplies to soften the blow of future dry years, making it harder to get residents to cut back in the current drought.

For many Californians, water still flows from taps without any extra hit to their wallets.

The order issued Wednesday will require campuses, golf courses, cemeteries and other large landscapes to significantly cut water use; direct local governments to replace 50 million square feet of lawns with drought-tolerant landscaping; and create a temporary rebate program for consumers who replace old water-sucking appliances with more efficient ones.

Outside an office building in Tustin, Gary Whitlock questioned whether Brown's order would make a difference.

"You know, this has been going on for years and everybody that I talk to says, 'Oh, well, you know, it's going to rain, El Nino's coming,'" Whitlock said as he watched sprinklers run and a gardener washing the underside of a lawnmower with a gushing hose.

The order calls on local water agencies to implement tiered water pricing that charges higher rates as more water is used and requires agricultural users to report more water use information to state regulators.

Brown's office said that will boost the state's ability to enforce laws against illegal water diversions and waste. Officials previously approved fines of up to $500 a day for water wasters, but few agencies have opted to issue them.

The order also prohibits new homes and developments from using drinkable water for irrigation if the structures lack water-efficient drip systems. In addition, the watering of decorative grasses on public street medians is banned.

The snow survey on Wednesday showed the statewide snowpack is equivalent to just 5 percent of the historical average for April 1 and the lowest for that date since the state began record-keeping in 1950.

Snow supplies about a third of the state's water, and a lower snowpack means less water in California reservoirs to meet demand in summer and fall.

"It is such an unprecedented lack of snow, it is way, way below records," Frank Gehrke, chief of snow surveys for the California Department of Water Resources, said at the snow survey site about 90 miles east of Sacramento.

Critics of the Democratic governor said his order does not go far enough to address agriculture — the biggest water user in California.

"In the midst of a severe drought, the governor continues to allow corporate farms and oil interests to deplete and pollute our precious groundwater resources that are crucial for saving water," Adam Scow, California director of the group Food & Water Watch, said in a written statement.

The order contains no water reduction target for farmers, who have let thousands of acres go fallow as the state and federal government slashed water deliveries from reservoirs. Instead, it requires many agricultural water suppliers to submit detailed drought management plans that include how much water they have and what they're doing to scale back.

Dave Kranz, a spokesman for the California Farm Bureau Federation, said farmers have already suffered deep cutbacks in water supply during the current drought.

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20150402/us-california-drought-dismal-snowpack-01dd9b77a7.html
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« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2015, 06:23:48 am »

How Many People Will Have To Migrate Out Of California When All The Water Disappears?

The drought in California is getting a lot worse.  As you read this, snowpack levels in the Sierra Nevada mountains are the lowest that have ever been recorded.  That means that there won’t be much water for California farmers and California cities once again this year.  To make up the difference in recent years, water has been pumped out of the ground like crazy.  In fact, California has been losing more than 12 million acre-feet of groundwater a year since 2011, and wells all over the state are going dry.  Once the groundwater is all gone, what are people going to do?  100 years ago, the population of the state of California was 3 million, and during the 20th century we built lots of beautiful new cities in an area that was previously a desert.  Scientists tell us that the 20th century was the wettest century in 1000 years for that area of the country, but now weather patterns are reverting back to normal.  Today, the state of California is turning back into a desert but it now has a population of 38 million people.  This is not sustainable in the long-term.  So when the water runs out, where are they going to go?

I have written quite a few articles about the horrific drought in California, but conditions just continue to get even worse.  According to NPR, snowpack levels in the Sierra Nevada mountains are “just 6 percent of the long-term average”…

    The water outlook in drought-racked California just got a lot worse: Snowpack levels across the entire Sierra Nevada are now the lowest in recorded history — just 6 percent of the long-term average. That shatters the previous low record on this date of 25 percent, set in 1977 and again last year.

California farmers rely on that water.  Last year, farmers had to let hundreds of thousands of acres lie fallow because of the scarcity of water, and it is being projected that this year will be even worse…

    More than 400,000 acres of farmland were fallowed last year because of scarce water. Credible sources have estimated that figure could double this year.

Fortunately, many farmers have been able to rely on groundwater in recent years, but now wells are running dry all over the state.  Here is more from NPR…

    Last year was already a tough year at La Jolla Farming in Delano, Calif. Or as farm manager Jerry Schlitz puts it, “Last year was damn near a disaster.”

    La Jolla is a vineyard, a thousand-or-so acres of neat lines of grapevines in the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley. It depends on water from two sources: the federal Central Valley Project and wells.

    Until last year, Schlitz says, wells were used to supplement the federal water.

    “Now, we have nothing but wells. Nothing. There’s no water other than what’s coming out of the ground,” he says.

    Last year, one of those wells at La Jolla dried up. The farm lost 160 acres — about a million dollars’ worth of produce, plus the wasted labor and other resources.

Are you starting to understand the scope of the problem?

Despite all of the wonderful technology that we have developed, we are still at the mercy of the weather.

And if this drought continues to drag on, it is absolutely going to cripple a state that contains more than 10 percent of the total U.S. population.

In an attempt to fight the water shortage, Governor Jerry Brown has instituted statewide water restrictions for the first time ever…

    California announced sweeping statewide water restrictions for the first time in history Wednesday in order to combat the region’s devastating drought, the worst since records began.

    Governor Jerry Brown issued the declaration at a press conference in a parched, brown slope of the Sierra Nevada mountains that would normally be covered by deep snow.

    “Today, we are standing on dry grass where there should be five feet (1.5 meters) of snow,” Brown said. “This historic drought demands unprecedented action.”

So what will these restrictions include?

The following is a summary from Natural News…

• A ban on non-drip irrigation systems for all new homes.

• A requirement for golf courses and cemeteries to “reduce water consumption.” (And yet, the very idea of green golf courses in the middle of a California desert is insane to begin with…)

• Force farmers to report more details on their water usage so that the state government can figure out where all the water is going (and where to restrict it even further).

• Outlawing the watering of grass on public street medians.

• Discussions are also under way to throw “water wasters” in jail for up to 30 days, according to another LA Times article. The most likely source of intel for incarcerating water wasters will be neighborhood snitches who monitor water usage of nearby homes and call the authorities if they see too much water being used.

If the drought does not go on for much longer, these restrictions may be enough.

But what if it continues to intensify?

The following graphic shows the U.S. Drought Monitor map for the state of California for each of the last five years in late March…

California National Drought Monitor

It doesn’t take a genius to see the trend.

And scientists tell us that this might just be the beginning.  There have been megadroughts in that area of the country that have lasted more than 100 years in the past, and there are fears that another megadrought may have begun.  The following comes from National Geographic…

    California is experiencing its worst drought since record-keeping began in the mid 19th century, and scientists say this may be just the beginning. B. Lynn Ingram, a paleoclimatologist at the University of California at Berkeley, thinks that California needs to brace itself for a megadrought—one that could last for 200 years or more.

    As a paleoclimatologist, Ingram takes the long view, examining tree rings and microorganisms in ocean sediment to identify temperatures and dry periods of the past millennium. Her work suggests that droughts are nothing new to California.

    “During the medieval period, there was over a century of drought in the Southwest and California. The past repeats itself,” says Ingram, who is co-author of The West Without Water: What Past Floods, Droughts, and Other Climate Clues Tell Us About Tomorrow. Indeed, Ingram believes the 20th century may have been a wet anomaly.

If this is a megadrought, it is just a matter of time until massive migration will become necessary.

In fact, one UN official is already talking about it…

    If the state continues on this path, there may have to be thoughts about moving people out, said Lynn Wilson, academic chair at Kaplan University and who serves on the climate change delegation in the United Nations.

    “Civilizations in the past have had to migrate out of areas of drought,” Wilson said. “We may have to migrate people out of California.”

    Wilson added that before that would happen, every option such as importing water to the state would likely occur— but “migration can’t be taken off the table.”

So how many people will ultimately have to leave if this drought continues for many years?

5 million?

10 million?

20 million?

And where will they go?

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/how-many-people-will-have-to-migrate-out-of-california-when-all-the-water-disappears
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« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2015, 04:00:02 pm »

Gov Jerry Brown: Californians to Be Heavily Fined for Long Showers

Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” Gov. Jerry Brown (D-CA)  said Californians will face heavy fines for taking long showers.

Brown said, “This executive order is done under emergency power. It has the force of law. Very unusual. It’s requiring action and changes in behavior from the Oregon border all the way to the Mexican border. It affects lawns. It affects people’s — how long they stay in the shower. How businesses use water.”

Brown said to enforce his order, “Each water district that actually delivers waters — water to homes and businesses, they carry it out. We have a state water board that overseas the relationships with the districts. Hundreds of them. If they don’t comply, people can be fined $500 a day. Districts can go to court to get a cease and desist order. The enforcement mechanism is powerful. In a drought of this magnitude, you have to change that behavior and you have to change it substantially.”

Guest host  host Martha Raddatz pointed out, “More water used for almond production than is used by all residents and businesses in San Francisco and Los Angeles combined.”

Brown countered by saying, “Farm workers who are — very low end of the economic scale here, are out of work. There are people in agriculture areas that are suffering. Who are providing food.” adding, “They’re not watering their lawn or taking long showers. They’re providing most of the fruits and vegetables of America. And a significant part of the world.”

video: http://www.breitbart.com/video/2015/04/05/gov-jerry-brown-californians-to-be-heavily-fined-for-long-showers/
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« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2015, 05:56:09 am »

Taiwan rations water amid drought

Taiwan has begun rationing water supplies to more than one million households as it tackles the island's worst drought in years. Water supplies will be cut off entirely for two days each week, on a rotating basis, in several northern cities. The shortage is due to reduced rainfall, leaving water levels in reservoirs far below capacity.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-32200687
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« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2015, 04:49:15 am »

Sacramento Utility Warns Water Wasters Could Be Cut Off If They Don’t Cut Back

American Water Utility Sacramento may be forced to restrict or cut off water to people who waste it, saying if people don’t start cutting back, it may have no choice.

Audie Foster with the private utility says its customers have been very proactive in conserving water.

“We are so proud of our customers in the last year of this drought,” he said.

American Water serves more than 180,000 people and businesses in Sacramento and Placer counties. But as the drought drags on, and if customers begin to waste water, the utility company says it may be forced to take drastic measures.

“Which could possibly include flow restrictions and or shutting off for wasteful water use,” he said.

The utility company would install a device at the home or business that would either slow the flow of water or shut it down altogether, along with the threat of hundreds of dollars in fines.

Eloise Leong is one of several people in a Sacramento neighborhood who share water in a community garden co-op. She doesn’t have a problem with a forced restricted flow for water wasters, and neither does Jose Diaz.

“Yesterday I turned my sprinklers off because I knew it was going to rain and today people are still using water,” he said.

American Water say at this point, it’s not even close to restricting or cutting off water, but it has a message to those who might waste it as the long dry season looms for the state.

“We like nothing more than to help you use your water wisely and work with our conservation efforts so that we don’t ever have to get to those efforts locally,” Foster said.

The company says it couldn’t show CBS13 the flow restriction device because they are concerned violators could look for ways to work around it.

http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2015/04/08/sacramento-utility-warns-water-wasters-could-be-cut-off-if-they-dont-cut-back/
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« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2015, 07:18:09 am »

Marijuana Plants Soak Up Billions of Gallons of Water in California



California’s terrible drought has become -- like just about everything else in the United States -- a political issue. Many liberals have taken to blaming anthropogenic climate change for the drought, while some conservatives have placed the blame at the feet of “liberal environmentalists.” The political point-scoring is tiring and just plain silly, given that the drought is almost certainly a result of natural processes -- processes that we humans, conservatives and liberals alike, have precious little to do with. Another problem is that our partisan pugilists are conflating two separate issues: the drought, which is the lack of rainfall that California has suffered over the past four years, and the water shortages, which may indeed have some man-made causes.

To that end, a San Francisco-based author with a PhD in Nutritional Ethnomedicine floated an interesting theory regarding those water shortages earlier this week.  Speaking on the radio, he suggested that California’s huge crop of marijuana plants is “depleting the water table,” and is partially responsible for the massive shortfalls in water that the state is now facing.

It may sound outlandish, but it turns out that there may be something to the good doctor’s theory.

As anyone who has ever had the misfortune to visit, say, Santa Cruz can attest, there’s a lot of marijuana in California. (This despite the fact that it’s only legal for medicinal use in the state.) Indeed, by some estimates, California now produces more marijuana than Mexico.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/marijuana-plants-soak-billions-gallons-water-california_913101.html
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« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2015, 11:20:17 am »

The Next Crime Wave in Farm Country: Stealing Water

Madera County sits smack in the middle of the state, and it’s mostly farms. As in many parts of the Valley, wells have gone dry here and water prices have soared. Thieves, who’ve been increasingly targeting rural farms, are starting to understand that anything water-related is a potential bonanza.

“They’re taking the water hoses, taking the copper wiring,” says the county’s District Attorney, David Linn. “We’ve even had instances where they’ve come in and stolen the water pumps from the farmers.”

Linn has recently launched a new task force so rural residents and farmers can reach a deputy district attorney 24-7 to report crime, including illegal well drilling.

Drought Watch 2015
Linn says a hypothetical call might be, “You know over the past two weeks, the water flow on my kitchen sink has continued to decrease. I notice there’s a couple of big drill rigs across the road, looks like they’re very active.”

An investigator could come out and talk with the well driller to make sure they’re drilling where they should be.

“We want to stop the wholesale planned attempt by water drillers to essentially tap out entire neighborhoods of homes without proper legal authority,” says Linn.

If water is siphoned out of a storage tank, or a water pump goes missing, the DA’s office could dispatch investigators to the scene to collect evidence for prosecution.

Under last year’s landmark groundwater law, local officials will be taking on the primary responsibility for managing groundwater and enforcing new rules.

The Madera County Task Force also plans to educate farmers about the best kinds of fences and tank enclosures to keep out water thieves.


Officials in urban areas are grappling with similar worries: water robbers pilfering fire hydrants, water delivery trucks taking water to which they’re not entitled, or people tapping into water lines at construction sites.

The Contra Costa Water District has increased fines for stealing water from $25 to $250 for a first offense and $500 for subsequent offenses. An official at the East Bay Municipal Utility District says that agency will be “cracking down” on water theft and plans to enact new penalties as part of a drought emergency plan expected next week.

http://blogs.kqed.org/science/2015/04/09/the-next-crime-wave-in-farm-country-stealing-water/
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« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2015, 05:52:12 am »

As Lake Mead Levels Drop, The West Braces For Bigger Drought Impact

The historic four-year drought in California has been grabbing the headlines lately, but there's a much bigger problem facing the West: the now 14-year drought gripping the Colorado River basin.

One of the most stunning places to see its impact is at the nation's largest reservoir, Lake Mead, near Las Vegas. At about 40 percent of capacity, it's the lowest it's been since it was built in the 1930s.

"Just to see the rings around it, it's just ... kind of scary, you know," says Darlene Paige, a visitor from New York. She's standing at a vista point above the Hoover Dam on the Arizona side of Lake Mead.

That "ring" is the infamous bathtub ring around the rim of the reservoir. The levels have dropped 140 feet over the past 15 years, exposing a white stain on the gravelly brown mountains above the water. The level is forecast to fall an additional 10 feet by this summer.

The snowpack in the Rocky Mountains, where the Colorado and much of the Southwest gets most of its water, is again at less than half of normal this year.

"There are a lot of people, entities and critters that rely on this Colorado River water," says Rose Davis, spokeswoman for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

Farther down the mountain, on a walkway next to the Hoover Dam, Davis points out the 10-story-high towers that used to be mostly underwater. The lake's levels are nearing a critical trigger where the Bureau of Reclamation will start rationing water deliveries to Nevada, Arizona and parts of California.

Agriculture would bear most of the biggest impacts first — an economic problem that's not lost on Davis.

"The southern part of California and the southern part of Arizona, are the vegetable breadbasket of this country," she says. "If you eat a salad for dinner tonight, chances are that salad came from California or the Yuma, Ariz., area."

The Colorado River and its reservoirs make the desert bloom. About 70 percent of all the water in the system goes to growing crops: vegetables, but also alfalfa and cotton. The river and its tributaries also provide the main drinking water for 40 million people.

Some of the West's biggest metropolises — Phoenix, Denver, Las Vegas, San Diego — all grew up during what scientists now believe was a wet period, a relative anomaly in the West.

Kumud Acharya, who studies the Colorado River at the University of Nevada's Desert Research Institute, says the current situation at Lake Mead is a glimpse of the future in the West. "Seeing dry islands popping up that didn't used to exist because of water going down — it's like a looking glass for problems everywhere," Acharya says.

The Colorado River is already overallocated. In the long term, Acharya says, the region needs to better understand whether climate change is the culprit behind a steady decline in the snowpack in the Rockies. That way, water managers can better plan around shorter winters.

"When we don't have water, these utilities have to find water, bring that water from somewhere," Acharya says. "Whether it's a desalinization project or whether it's from groundwater pumping from somewhere else, the cost is going to go up. We just have to pay more."

If there's any good news about the drought on the Colorado, it's that, unlike in California, this one has been a disaster slow to unfold. There's been well over a decade now of severely dry conditions, with the occasional big-snow winter here or there.

"We've been living this for the last 15 years; we've been adapting for the last 15 years," says John Entsminger, general manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority.

At a recent press conference, he touted the fact that Las Vegas has cut its water use by 40 percent during this drought. Even before the current drought, Nevada was the driest state in the U.S.

"I do believe that Nevada is a poster child for the rest of the nation," Entsminger says. "We have shown that you can grow your economy and use less water."

But conservation can go only so far when your supply is shrinking fast. So the water authority is currently spending $1.5 billion to burrow a new tunnel even deeper down into Lake Mead: The old tunnels that suck water over to Las Vegas will dry up if the lake's level sinks below 1,000 feet.

Today, it's at about 1,080 feet — and falling.

http://www.npr.org/2015/04/17/400377057/as-lake-mead-levels-drop-the-west-braces-for-bigger-drought-impact
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« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2015, 10:20:45 am »

California drought: Court rules tiered water rates violate state constitution

In a ruling with major implications for California's water conservation efforts during the historic drought, a state appeals court on Monday ruled that a tiered water rate structure used by the city of San Juan Capistrano to encourage saving was unconstitutional.

The Orange County city used a rate structure that charged customers who used small amounts of water a lower rate than customers who used larger amounts.

But the 4th District Court of Appeal struck down San Juan Capistrano's fee plan, saying it violated voter-approved Proposition 218, which prohibits government agencies from charging more for a service than it costs to provide it.

The stakes are high because at least two-thirds of California water providers, including many in the Bay Area, use some form of the tiered rate system.

Gov. Jerry Brown immediately lashed out at the decision, saying it puts "a straitjacket on local government at a time when maximum flexibility is needed. My policy is and will continue to be: Employ every method possible to ensure water is conserved across California."

Brown added state lawyers are now reviewing the decision.

It remained unclear Monday evening what effect the ruling would have on other agencies that use tiered rates.
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"Our attorneys are reviewing the decision and are evaluating its impacts, if any," said Abby Figueroa, a spokeswoman for the East Bay Municipal Utility District, which uses three tiers to price its water in units that range from $2.91 for the first 172 gallons a day to up to $4.42 for all water used in excess of 393 gallons per day.

San Jose Water Company, which provides water to 1 million people, has tiered rates, but as a private company is not affected by Proposition 218.

Water experts have cited studies for years showing that higher costs for water reduce consumption, but critics say it penalizes residents who have larger lots and live in warmer areas.

One city that has put in place a system of very high costs for high use -- Santa Cruz -- has cut water use 24 percent since last summer, and has among the lowest per-capita water use levels in California.

In a mandatory rationing system imposed last year, suspended over the winter, and reimposed by the Santa Cruz City Council last week, the city allows every residential home to use 10 units of water a month. Each unit is 748 gallons.

The first four units cost $1.73 per unit, and units above that cost $4.40 per unit. The city imposes a $50 fee for per unit -- believed to be the highest in the state -- on residents who use more than 11 units.

That fee, which sent some water guzzlers' bills skyrocketing, will not be affected by Monday's court ruling, however, said Rosemary Menard, Santa Cruz's water director, because it is clearly labeled a "penalty" in the city ordinance, and is not used to pay for daily operations of the water system.

"The penalties, I'm sure we're not changing," she said. "They don't have anything to do with this."

As other cities struggled to meet tough state water conservation targets, others may copy Santa Cruz's system, she said.

"It works pretty well," Menard said. "If you raise the price of water, people will use less of it, especially for discretionary uses" like overwatering lawns during a historic drought.

Penalties aside, the court said that tiered water rates are legal as long as the government agency can show that each rate is tied to the cost of providing the water.

"The water agency here did not try to calculate the cost of actually providing water at its various tier levels," the court said of San Juan Capistrano. "It merely allocated all its costs among the price tier levels, based not on costs but on predetermined usage budgets."

The highly anticipated decision comes in the wake of Brown's executive order directing water agencies to develop rate structures that use price signals to force conservation. His order, which also requires a 25 percent reduction in urban water usage, marked the first mandatory water restrictions in state history and came as the state enters a fourth year of an unrelenting drought.

Some Bay Area agencies said Monday the case will not affect them.

"I don't see any impact (on) our district based on the way we put our rate system together," said Contra Costa Water District spokeswoman Jennifer Allen. "It's based on cost of service."

In the San Juan Capistrano lawsuit, a group of residents sued that city, alleging that its tiered rate structure resulted in arbitrarily high fees. The city's 2010 rate schedule charged customers $2.47 per unit of water in the first tier and up to $9.05 per unit in the fourth. The city, which has since changed its rate structure, was charging customers who used the most water more than the actual cost to deliver it, plaintiffs said. The law, they argued, prohibits suppliers from charging more than it costs to deliver water.

Experts say 66 percent to 80 percent of California water providers use some type of tiered rates. A 2014 UC Riverside study estimated that tiered rate structures similar to the one used in San Juan Capistrano reduce water use over time by up to 15 percent.

An author of the study, Ken Baerenklau, said the effect was greatest on the heaviest water-users. In a previous interview with The Los Angeles Times, he said that if the court found in favor of the plaintiffs, as it did Monday, the decision "would be a big deal" because it would "stand in the face of significant momentum" toward tiered rates.

Matt Stevens of the Los Angeles Times and Bay Area News Group staff writers Paul Rogers, Jeremy Thomas and Denis Cuff contributed to this report.

http://www.mercurynews.com/drought/ci_27954116/california-drought-court-rules-tiered-water-rates-violate
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« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2015, 11:07:28 am »

Nevada's Lake Mead on track to reach record low water level amid drought

Nevada's Lake Mead, the largest capacity reservoir in the United States, is on track to drop to its lowest water level in recorded history on Sunday as its source, the Colorado River, suffers from 14 years of severe drought, experts said on Friday.

The 79-year-old reservoir, formed by the building of the Hoover Dam outside Las Vegas, was expected to dip below 1,080 feet on Sunday, lower than a previous record of 1,080.19 feet last August, according to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

Predictions show that on May 31, the reservoir will have dipped again to 1,075 feet, well below its record high levels of around 1,206 feet in the 1980s, according to Bureau of Reclamation data.

Lake Mead supplies water to agriculture and about 40 million people in Nevada, Arizona, Southern California, and northern Mexico.

The water source and several other man-made reservoirs springing from the 1,450-mile (2,230-km) Colorado River, have dropped to as low as 45 percent of their capacity as the river suffers a 14th straight year of crippling drought.

 About 96 percent of the water in Lake Mead is from melted snow that falls in "upper basin" states of Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, and Wyoming, officials said.

Over the past 14 years, snowfall has dropped in the Rocky Mountains, leading to a drop in snow pack runoff that feeds the river, according to Bureau of Reclamation statistics. In 2013, runoff was at 47 percent of normal.

The lake's levels are nearing a critical trigger where federal officials will have to start rationing water deliveries to Nevada, Arizona and parts of California. States in the region have enacted action plans to lessen greenhouse gas emissions linked to climate change.

A study carried out by the Bureau of Reclamation and the seven states in the Colorado river basin concluded that the drought was not likely to end soon, and that large metropolitan cities like Las Vegas and Phoenix grew rapidly during a rare wetter period for the river.

On average, the Colorado River Basin temperature is projected to increase by five to six F degrees during the 21st century, the report said. Mean annual runoff is projected to decrease by 8.5 percent by 2050.

http://news.yahoo.com/nevadas-lake-mead-track-reach-record-low-water-212101707.html
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« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2015, 09:01:27 am »

Worst drought in 1200 years drains America's biggest reservoir

IF CALIFORNIA'S prolonged dry spell is eventually recognised as a megadrought, no one can say we weren't warned. Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the US, has hit its lowest level ever. Feeding California, Nevada and Arizona, it can hold a mind-boggling 35 cubic kilometres of water. But it has been many years since it was at capacity, and the situation is only getting worse.

"We're only at 38 per cent full. Lake Mead hasn't been this low since we were filling it in the 1930s," said a spokeswoman for the US Bureau of Reclamation in Las Vegas.

If it gets much lower – and with summer approaching and a dwindling snowpack available to replenish it, that looks likely – official rationing will begin for Arizona and Nevada. The hydroelectric output of the Hoover dam (below), to which the lake owes its existence, could also suffer. Water restrictions are already in place in California, but some hydrologists say rationing there must start soon to avert disaster.

A drought must last at least two decades to be considered a megadrought. California's dry spell isn't quite there yet – it has endured for 15 years – but has already been classed as the worst drought of the last 1200 years.

This article appeared in print under the headline "America's reservoir dries"

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22630202.400-worst-drought-in-1200-years-drains-americas-biggest-reservoir.html#.VVH-VZNrWk4
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« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2015, 03:55:22 pm »

Washington state governor declares drought emergency

Washington state Governor Jay Inslee declared a statewide drought emergency on Friday, saying drought conditions due to a lack of snowpack are some of the worst on record in a region normally known for its drizzly weather.

In an announcement in the state capital of Olympia, Inslee said the drought had "deepened dramatically in the past few weeks," with conditions expected to worsen as the hot summer months approach.

The emergency declaration will free up funds and water rights to help counties most in need, Inslee said.

Rain totals in the state were equivalent to prior years, Inslee said. But the snowpack, which melts into streams, lakes and rivers and is vital to water supplies, was only 16 percent of average.

"What we lack is snow," Inslee said. "We are calling it a snowpack drought."

Washington, know as the Evergreen State due to its abundant green forests kept lush by heavy precipitation, is one of several western states struggling under drought conditions.

California is enduring its worst drought on record, and that state's mountain snowpack, which usually provides about a third of the state's water, is at the lowest level on record, according to state officials. Drought emergencies have also been declared in parts of Oregon and Nevada.

Officials in Washington state were still deciding which agricultural areas will receive additional water resources and other support, Inslee said. In some regions, water was being shifted creek-to-creek and fish were being hauled to more abundant water, Inslee added.

"We are seeing things happen at this time of year we just have never seen before," the Democratic governor said. "On the Olympic Peninsula - where there would normally be 80 inches (2 meters) of snow today in the mountains - the glacier lilies are blooming."

State officials have estimated $1.2 billion in crop losses associated with the drought, he said.

Drought conditions also mean the annual wildfire season could be longer and more destructive, Inslee said. Last year, Washington state endured one of its worst wildfire seasons on record.

http://news.yahoo.com/washington-governor-declares-statewide-drought-emergency-171838749.html
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« Reply #18 on: May 21, 2015, 10:10:04 am »

California's new water legislation held under top secret status; no one's allowed to know the details

The U.S. government is becoming less transparent than it has been at any time in our history, as evidenced by pending water legislation in the nation's capital that voters, via their elected representatives, are not permitted to see.

As reported by McClatchy Papers, five months into a new Congress and years into a punishing drought that still continues to ravage most of California, legislation dealing with dwindling supplies of water confounds and splits the state's lawmakers.

Moreover, draft copies of bills are kept so close to the vest that they appear to be a top secret. The myriad details surrounding each draft are constantly changing. Timing to introduce the legislation is not yet settled, although a June 2 Senate hearing might go off as planned. Democrats are divided, and some are just angry.

Sound familiar?

Feinstein channeling Obama administration secrecy practices
"Right now, I don't know," a negative-sounding Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, said recently when she was asked about the prospects for new legislation. "It's very difficult to put something together. Obviously change is controversial, so to propose something and then not to be able to do it makes no sense."

Feinstein and her staff are behind her chamber's drought legislation, but so far it has been developed under what a number of California water experts have independently called a "cone of silence."

Although the Republican-controlled House is expected to pass drought legislation this summer, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California, has told Western growers last week that the Senate will either make or break any legislation.

"We've met with people. We've talked with people," Feinstein told McClatchy Papers. "We've taken ideas. We have done everything we can."

Other California Democrats have panned Feinstein's legislative effort as "very disappointing," labeling it the "same old story." This does not bode well for future political initiatives.

As McClatchy further reported:

Feinstein and House Republicans agreed last year on language to boost water exports south of the environmentally sensitive Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, encourage the completion of water storage project feasibility studies and capture more runoff from early storms, among other provisions. A version passed the House in December and died in the Senate.

Staffers for House GOP members have drafted more than 75 pages of proposed language. McCarthy told growers that a bill could be introduced again in the House by June.

However, Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, opposed legislation that was drafted last year. Now, other California lawmakers are being asked what kind of bill they would like to see, but so far, nothing has come of the effort.

Why is this legislation so difficult?
Complaints about collusion and secrecy last year helped doom that legislative effort.

"Sen. Feinstein is moseying around with something, but she won't tell us what," Rep. John Garamendi, who represents part of the worst-affected areas of the state, told McClatchy. "Same old story. . . . Those of us that represent the Delta and San Francisco Bay are not included in the process."

For her part, Feinstein defended her secrecy, actually blaming the other lawmakers for any criticisms or alternatives they may offer. "It doesn't do any good to say, 'Let us see your language so we can rip it apart," she said, intimating that only her views and solutions were valid.

Meanwhile, the state continues to wither under heat and drought. In January, Governor Brown declared a drought state of emergency and imposed strict water consumption and use measures, but not all parts of the state are sacrificing equally. For example, daily water usage in ritzy Palm Springs is 201 gallons per person, which is about double what it is for residents elsewhere.

Worse, California is responsible for the bulk of food and produce grown in the U.S. As the drought worsens and lawmakers continue to prove incapable of coming to an agreement on drought legislation, the people, as usual, will continue to suffer.

Sources:

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/049787_California_climate_drought_legislation_government_secrecy.html#ixzz3amnkMcBa
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« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2015, 11:11:32 am »

Turning sewage into drinking water gains appeal as drought lingers

 Tongue

It's a technology with the potential to ease California's colossal thirst and insulate millions from the parched whims of Mother Nature, experts say.

But there's just one problem — the "yuck factor."

As a fourth year of drought continues to drain aquifers and reservoirs, California water managers and environmentalists are urging adoption of a polarizing water recycling policy known as direct potable reuse.

Unlike nonpotable reuse — in which treated sewage is used to irrigate crops, parks or golf courses — direct potable reuse takes treated sewage effluent and purifies it so it can be used as drinking water.

It's a concept that might cause some consumers to wince, but it has been used for decades in Windhoek, Namibia — where evaporation rates exceed annual rainfall — and more recently in drought-stricken Texas cities, including Big Spring and Wichita Falls.

In California, however, similar plans have run into heavy opposition.

Los Angeles opponents coined the derisive phrase "toilet to tap" in 2000 before torpedoing a plan to filter purified sewage water into an underground reservoir — a technique called indirect potable reuse.

In 1994, a San Diego editorial cartoonist framed debate over a similar proposal by drawing a dog drinking from a toilet bowl while a man ordered the canine to "Move over..."

Despite those defeats, proponents say the time has finally arrived for Californians to accept direct potable reuse as a partial solution to their growing water insecurity. With Gov. Jerry Brown ordering an unprecedented 25% cut in urban water usage because of drought, the solution makes particular sense for large coastal cities such as Los Angeles, they say.

Instead of flushing hundreds of billions of gallons of treated sewage into the Pacific Ocean each year, as they do now, coastal cites can capture that effluent, clean it and convert it to drinking water.

"That water is discharged into the ocean and lost forever," said Tim Quinn, executive director of the Assn. of California Water Agencies. "Yet it's probably the single largest source of water supply for California over the next quarter-century."

The advocates' hunch that severe drought has changed long-held attitudes on potable reuse may be on the mark.

Recently, a leader in the effort to stop the Los Angeles project more than a decade ago said he still opposed it but might consider a new plan if officials made a solid case for it. He said one of the reasons he opposed the original plan was that "incompetent" officials failed to explain their rationale to residents in the first place.

"You know, toilet to tap might be the only answer at this point," said Van Nuys activist Donald Schultz. "I don't support it, but we're running out of options. In fact, we may have already run out of options."

To be sure, it will be years, or even a decade, before direct potable reuse systems begin operation in California — if ever.

One reason for this is that there is no regulatory framework for the approval of such a system. Currently, a panel of experts is preparing a report to the Legislature on the feasibility of creating such rules. That report is due in 2016.

Potable reuse advocates insist the public's distaste for the concept is based on ignorance. They note that more than 200 wastewater treatment plants already discharge effluent into the Colorado River, which is a primary source of drinking water for Southern California.

"That's what I call de facto potable reuse," said George Tchobanoglous, a water treatment expert and professor emeritus at UC Davis.

In an economic analysis last year, Tchobanoglous estimated that by 2020, potable reuse could yield up to 1.1 million acre-feet of water annually — somewhat less than the 1.3 million acre-feet of water the governor hopes to save through mandatory reductions, and enough to supply 8 million Californians, or one-fifth of the state's projected population.

In potable reuse systems, effluent from a wastewater treatment plant is sent to an advanced treatment facility, where it undergoes a three-step purification process.

First, the water is passed through a microfilter that blocks particles, protozoans or bacteria that are larger than 1/300th the thickness of a human hair. Next, it undergoes even finer filtration in the form of reverse osmosis, in which water is forced through a membrane that blocks fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, viruses and salts. In the third step, ultraviolet light and hydrogen peroxide are used to break down any pathogens or organic compounds that escaped the first two steps.

The result is a purified substance that is cleaner than most bottled waters, according to WateReuse California, a group that advocates for water reuse and desalination. However, it is still sent to a traditional water treatment plant, where it is blended with other sources of water, processed and pumped to household taps.

In an indirect potable reuse system, the water is placed in an "environmental buffer," such as an underground aquifer or surface water reservoir, where it is stored for a period of time before getting processed in a traditional water treatment plant. It is this type of system that was defeated in Los Angeles.

Although potable reuse advocates say opposition is often driven by a visceral response to the process, the so-called yuck factor, those who opposed the Los Angeles project said recently that they did so for a variety of reasons, including cost and the potential long-term effects of the trace quantities of drug compounds, hormones and personal care products found in wastewater and surface water.

"Personally I would not drink water that has been recycled through the toilet to tap process," said Steven Oppenheimer, a biology professor at Cal State Northridge. However, Oppenheimer said he would use such water for irrigation, and even household cleaning and bathing.

The presence of so-called contaminants of emerging concern may prove to be one of the main barriers to direct potable reuse. Because of limited scientific knowledge, these compounds are unregulated, meaning that there are no government-prescribed methods for monitoring or removing them.

Tchobanoglous and others insist these substances exist in such small quantities that they don't pose a significant issue.

To some, the contaminant issue argues in favor of using indirect potable reuse systems.

Such a system has been operating since 2008 in Orange County, where purified water is pumped into an aquifer and held for six months before being used as drinking water. Also, after its first failed attempt at establishing an indirect potable reuse system, San Diego approved a second demonstration project years later. It recently won approval to store treated water in an open reservoir as part of a pilot program.

Allison Chan, an environmental engineer who has studied the issue of why some potable reuse projects succeeded while others failed, said that an active public outreach campaign, as well as a crucial need for water, were key factors in projects that won approval.

Chan said that although education and outreach generally increased support for potable reuse programs, it also had the effect of hardening perceptions. In other words, supporters became even more supportive, while opponents became even more opposed.

Said Chan: "This just goes to show how the yuck factor can stick with some people."

http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-toilet-to-tap-20150525-story.html#page=1
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« Reply #20 on: May 31, 2015, 10:49:12 am »

One of California's biggest sources of water just disappeared

well thats not good


Science More: Environment California Drought Water
One of California's biggest sources of water just disappeared

    Erin Brodwin

    May 29, 2015, 6:16 PM   34,545 58   

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The worst drought in recorded history just got worse.

California's main source of surface water during the state's dry summer months is the remaining snow on its highest mountains. But it has officially melted. The snowpack levels, which hovered at around 7% to 15% of normal for this date in 2009, before the four-year drought began, are currently at 0%.

What does that look like?

Here's a map of the California snowpack on May 29, 2009:

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/californias-snowpack-is-gone-2015-5#ixzz3bjQrrC4P
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« Reply #21 on: June 03, 2015, 08:44:43 am »

Amid California Drought, Toilet-to-Tap Program Gaining Support
Gross.


In drought-stricken California, there is growing momentum for a program that recycles toilet water into drinking water. The program is known as "toilet-to-tap."

"It is the cleanest water we have in the state of California," Mike Markus, Orange County Water District general manager.

One of these purification plants, located in Orange County is expanding production from 70M to 100M gallons a day. "We're able to provide enough water for nearly 850,000 people a year," said Markus.

    Waste water that would normally drain into the Pacific Ocean goes through a rigorous three-step purification process that includes microfiltration, exposure to UV light and hydrogen peroxide, which kills everything left behind.

    Officials say the water treated at the Orange County plant exceeds state and federal standards. It's so clean, some people complain the water actually has no taste.

    The purified water is pumped into underground reservoirs before it makes it to household taps.

"We can produce the water for less than the cost of imported water," said Markus, "and probably about half the cost of what it would take to desalinate seawater."

The big issue faced by the program is the public perception of drinking toilet water.

"The term that has been coined, 'from the toilet to the tap,'" said Yoram Cohen, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at UCLA, "is omitting the fact that there is a lot of treatment in between, so it gives the wrong perception."

Maybe so, but is that enough to convince people to start drinking recycled toilet water?

http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/amid-california-drought-toilet-tap-program-gaining-support
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« Reply #22 on: June 14, 2015, 04:45:30 am »

California moves to restrict water pumping by pre-1914 rights holders

For the first time in nearly 40 years, state regulators are telling more than 100 growers and irrigation districts with some of the oldest water rights in California that they have to stop drawing supplies from drought-starved rivers and streams in the Central Valley. The curtailment order, issued Friday by the State Water Resources Control Board, has been expected for weeks.   

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-drought-water-rights-20150612-story.html
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« Reply #23 on: June 17, 2015, 11:43:26 am »

California property values collapse as water shut-offs begin... wealthy community to go dry in days... real estate implosion now inevitable

Water shut-offs have now begun in California, where government-ordered restrictions are starting to leave large communities high and dry. As CBS News is now reporting, the Mountain House community of 15,000 residents will run out of water in just a matter of days.

"The community's sole source of water, the Byron-Bethany Irrigation District, was one of 114 senior water rights holders cut off by a curtailment notice from the state on Friday," reports CBS.

And just like that, the property values of millions of dollars worth of homes belonging to 15,000 residents nosedives toward zero.

After all, what's the value of a home that has no running water? California isn't Africa... yet... so the idea of carrying your own buckets of water for bathing isn't widely accepted.

Get ready for a real estate collapse in Collapsifornia
As Natural News readers know, I saw all this coming. In a May 7th article entitled Why the California water crisis will lead to a housing collapse, municipal bankruptcies and a mass exodus of climate refugees, I wrote:

How many California homes and businesses are headed for a zero-water future? Many millions. How many Californians are aware of all this and already have their homes on the market so they can move somewhere else? A very small number... a tiny fraction of the total number of home and property owners invested there.

What these people are unfortunately not yet seeing is the catastrophic consequences of a continued drought and how it can utterly destroy the value of their property.

In that same article, I also foretold what's going to happen next: plunging property tax revenues, municipal bankruptcies, a wave of climate refugees fleeing California and the collapse of the California economy. Unless rain starts falling out of the sky, all this is going to start unraveling like clockwork. (Count on it.)

"A number of water districts plan to sue the state on the grounds the State Water Resources Control Board has no legal authority to cut off some of California’s oldest and most protected water rights," reports CBS. And so the water wars begin: there's not enough water to go around, and the courtroom serves as the new battleground over a resource that the state of California has squandered for far too long.

The Collapsifornia real estate collapse has already begun
Just as I predicted in May, the collapse of real estate valuations in California is already well under way.

As the Washington Post now reports:

Rancho Santa Fe resident Randy Woods was feeling burdened by his lush landscape and opted to downsize. ...The drought has dampened demand for large estates in San ­Diego County.

Woods said his girlfriend is among those struggling to sell. Her home boasts a yard designed by Kate Sessions, a well-known landscape architect and botanist who died in 1940. But now, the rare palm tree specimens, the secret garden and the turret-shaped hedges are a liability rather than a selling point.

Another friend, Woods said, has seen the value of his nine-acre plot plummet from $30 million to $22 million.

Did you read that correctly? A multi-million-dollar estate has lost over 25% of its value virtually overnight due to the issue of water. And this collapse in property prices is for properties that still have running water. What happens when the water supply to a $30 million estate is cut off? The value collapses to almost nothing. Who wants to live in a $30 million mansion and pay seven figures of property tax each year to the same California government that cuts off your water supply? Who wants to live like a third world refugee in a $30 million estate?

Nobody in their right mind, it turns out. Not even in California.

Freak out and get out, or be the last one holding worthless property
As this drought has unfolded, my message to Californians has been consistent and simple: freak out early and you might still be able to sell and leave. But if you delay, you'll be among the last people holding near-worthless property.

This isn't difficult to predict. As the sell-off begins, property valuations will plunge in an accelerated manner. (It has already begun.) The more water gets cut off by the government, the more desperate people will be to sell and leave. The term "motivated seller" will be ratcheted up to "panicked seller" and then finally "fire sale!"

People who buy the properties will soon be able to pick up once-prized real estate for dimes on the dollar. But it's a ****: If the rainfall comes back, property valuations may recover. And yet, according to nearly all the people who live in California right now, this drought is all caused by man-made global warming. And because I don't see China shutting down its coal-fired power plants anytime soon, there's no end to this drought if the climate change alarmists are correct.

Welcome to Delusionville, where the power of magical belief in Big Government can overcome any drought
California, it seems, is reverting back to a barren desert. Meanwhile, far too many of the people who live in California remain in a state of absolute denial over where this is all headed. Overall, I love California optimism, and many of my best friends live in California. But as anyone who lives in Los Angeles knows all too well, California is also the home of fantasyland dream weavers... people who live in their minds instead of reality. (Oh yeah, and I have a really awesome script I need you to read... it will change the movie industry forever!)

Delusional thinking is also a key trait of California's political leadership. These are people who think money falls out of the sky and water runs uphill. They've recently even decided that California should cover the health care costs of the children of illegal immigrants.

And why not? If you're going to live in Delusionville, you might as well dress it up with all the false hope and delusional wishes on your list: free health care for everyone, unlimited debt spending on entitlement programs, magical waterfalls of free H2O falling out of the clouds, and so on.

I once lived in Arizona, and many of the street names there envision concepts that are total fiction: Waterfall Lane, Great Spring Drive, Surging Rivers Rd. and so on. (Most of the rivers in Southern Arizona are bone dry riverbeds nearly all the time.) Wouldn't it be great if California renamed its own streets and thoroughfares to match its own fantasies? Everything Is Free Hwy and Limitless Entitlements Drive seem especially fitting. Why not open a new swimming area called No Consequences Beach?

I think I'll also take a long, meandering drive down If I Think It, It Must Be Real Highway, where "positive thinking" overpowers negative obstacles to such an amazing degree that you don't even need to wear seatbelts or turn on your headlights.

Desalination is an environmental nightmare
For those who are saying, "There's no water problem in California! It has the entire Pacific Ocean right next door!", you need to look into the catastrophic environmental destruction tied to ocean water desalination.

Not only does desalination use fossil fuels which emit the very same carbon emissions that the California government insists caused the drought in the first place, the desalination process itself pollutes the ocean with high concentration salt brine that kills marine ecosystems and destroys ocean life along the California coastline.

And that's on top of all the Fukushima radiation that's already causing a marine ecosystem collapse in many areas of the coast. Add more salt brine to the mix and you get a state where rich, self-entitled Hollywood celebrities demand their lush, green lawns at the expense of ocean life, climate change and the global ecosystem. If that happens, California will lose all credibility as a "green" state, and its wealthiest residents will be living an ecological lie.

The new green, it turns out, is actually BROWN.

How dare we think ahead!
I fully realize it's entirely evil of me to think ahead and point out what's coming. There is no person more hated in modern society than someone who tells the truth. (Just ask Donald Trump, who's now running for President by abandoning political correctness and stating the obvious.)

But when I see headlines like Rich Californians balk at limits: 'We're not all equal when it comes to water', I can tell you without hesitation that California's water woes have only begun.

If you live in California and don't have your own individual water supply -- a private well that still works, large-scale rainwater collection in a rare area that still has rainfall, access to a private year-round stream, etc. -- you either wake up to what's coming or you get steamrolled by it.

Think of California as a jumbo jet that has just run out of fuel and is plummeting toward a mountain. You can either grab a parachute and bail out, or you can plug in your headphones and keep watching the in-flight Hollywood entertainment, pretending nothing bad is happening outside your immediate focus.

I know this isn't the good news you wanted to hear. It's much nicer to turn on the local TV and hear how Gov. Jerry Brown is going to brilliantly solve all of California's problems by using the magic of wishful thinking and sleight-of-mind economic trickery. Meanwhile, in the real world, the taps are running dry, employers are fleeing the state's high taxes, the almond orchards have shriveled into dust, the flood of non-citizen immigrants is draining the state's revenues and property valuations are about to fall off a cliff.

Perhaps the California that has been promoted by socialist-minded propagandists can be recreated as a virtual reality destination for Oculus Rift fans, but in the real world, nobody wants to live in third-world conditions and drink their own recycled urine. Not even Ed Begley, Jr., and he's a pretty cool dude who's willing to do almost anything to save the planet.

Hence the coming wave of recently-bankrupt California climate refugees who will flood into neighboring states seeking water, low-cost housing and free entitlements. That's not gonna win friends in neighboring states, trust me. If you're living in California right now, I urge you to strongly consider where things are really headed and start making a realistic list of your options.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/050101_California_drought_property_values_real_estate_collapse.html#ixzz3dL3MYcqA

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« Reply #24 on: June 18, 2015, 05:52:42 am »

California Has Never Experienced A Water Crisis Of This Magnitude – And The Worst Is Yet To Come

Things have never been this dry for this long in the recorded history of the state of California, and this has created an unprecedented water crisis.  At this point, 1,900 wells have already gone completely dry in California, and some communities are not receiving any more water at all.  As you read this article, 100 percent of the state is in some stage of drought, and there has been so little precipitation this year that some young children have never actually seen rain.  This is already the worst multi-year drought in the history of the state of California, but this may only be just the beginning.  Scientists tell us that the amount of rain that California received during the 20th century was highly unusual.  In fact, they tell us that it was the wettest century for the state in at least 1000 years.  Now that things are returning to “normal”, the state is completely and total unprepared for it.  California has never experienced a water crisis of this magnitude, and other states in the western half of the nation are starting to really suffer as well.  In the end, we could very well be headed for the worst water crisis this country has ever seen.

When I said that some communities in California are not receiving any more water, I was not exaggerating.  Just consider the following excerpt from one recent news report…

    The community of Mountain House is days away from having no water at all after the state cut off its only water source.

    Anthony Gordon saves drinking water just in case, even though he never thought it would come to this.

    “My wife thinks I’m nuts. I have like 500 gallons of drinking water stored in my home,” he said.

    The upscale community of Mountain House, west of Tracy, is days away from having no water. It’s not just about lawns—there may not be a drop for the 15,000 residents to drink.

So what are those people going to do?

And what is this going to do to the property values in that area?

Who in the world is going to want to buy a home that does not have running water coming to it?

Other communities throughout the state are pumping groundwater like crazy in a desperate attempt to continue with business as usual.  In fact, it is being projected that groundwater will account for almost all water used in the entire state by the end of this year…

    Underground aquifers supply 35 percent of the water used by humans worldwide. Demand is even greater in times of drought. Rain-starved California is currently tapping aquifers for 60 percent of its water use as its rivers and above-ground reservoirs dry up, a steep increase from the usual 40 percent. Some expect water from aquifers will account for virtually every drop of the state’s fresh water supply by year end.

But of course this creates a huge problem.  When the groundwater is gone, it is gone for good.  Those aquifers took centuries to fill up, and now they are being drained at a staggering rate.  In some parts of the state, aquifers are being drained so fast that it is causing thousands of square miles of land to sink…

    Californians have been draining water so rapidly from underground aquifers that tens of thousands of square miles of land reportedly are sinking — so drastically that the shifting surface is starting to destroy bridges and crack highways across the state, according to a recent report by the Center for Investigative Reporting.

So what is the solution?

Some of my readers have suggested that desalination is the answer.  But the truth is that desalination is very expensive and it is really bad for the environment.  The following comes from a recent Natural News article…

    For those who are saying, “There’s no water problem in California! It has the entire Pacific Ocean right next door!”, you need to look into the catastrophic environmental destruction tied to ocean water desalination.

    Not only does desalination use fossil fuels which emit the very same carbon emissions that the California government insists caused the drought in the first place, the desalination process itself pollutes the ocean with high concentration salt brine that kills marine ecosystems and destroys ocean life along the California coastline.

    And that’s on top of all the Fukushima radiation that’s already causing a marine ecosystem collapse in many areas of the coast. Add more salt brine to the mix and you get a state where rich, self-entitled Hollywood celebrities demand their lush, green lawns at the expense of ocean life, climate change and the global ecosystem. If that happens, California will lose all credibility as a “green” state, and its wealthiest residents will be living an ecological lie.

Others have suggested that California can solve their water problems using “toilet to tap” technology…

    Potable water reuse – or converting sewage effluent to heavily-treated, purified drinking water – is receiving renewed attention in California in the midst of the state’s four-year drought.

    According to a report by the Los Angeles Times, “California water managers and environmentalists” are pushing the idea of recycled sewage water. Yet past efforts in the state to employ similar systems have stalled, as opponents have dubbed the concept “toilet to tap.”

How would you feel about that?

Would you be willing to have your family drink water that came from the toilets of your neighbors?

I don’t think that I could do that.

But something has to be done.  It is not just the state of California that is experiencing a major water crisis.  All over the world, underground aquifers are being drained rapidly.  In fact, according to the Washington Post, 21 out of the 37 largest aquifers in the world “have passed their sustainability tipping points”…

    The world’s largest underground aquifers – a source of fresh water for hundreds of millions of people — are being depleted at alarming rates, according to new NASA satellite data that provides the most detailed picture yet of vital water reserves hidden under the Earth’s surface.

    Twenty-one of the world’s 37 largest aquifers — in locations from India and China to the United States and France — have passed their sustainability tipping points, meaning more water was removed than replaced during the decade-long study period, researchers announced Tuesday. Thirteen aquifers declined at rates that put them into the most troubled category. The researchers said this indicated a long-term problem that’s likely to worsen as reliance on aquifers grows.

Sadly, this is just the beginning.  There is a reason why experts refer to fresh water as “the new oil”.  Without fresh water, none of us can survive.  But we are very quickly getting to the point where there simply won’t be enough of it for everyone on the planet.

As for the state of California, it was once a desert and now it is turning back into a desert.  As I mentioned earlier, the 20th century was the wettest century that part of North America had seen in at least 1000 years.  During that time, we built enormous cities all over the Southwest that currently support millions upon millions of people.  But now we are learning that those cities are not sustainable.

http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/california-has-never-experienced-a-water-crisis-of-this-magnitude-and-the-worst-is-yet-to-come
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« Reply #25 on: August 25, 2015, 04:55:36 pm »

California sinking faster than thought, aquifers could permanently shrink

California is sinking even faster than scientists had thought, new NASA satellite imagery shows.

Some areas of the Golden State are sinking more than 2 inches per month, the imagery reveals. Though the sinking, called subsidence, has long been a problem in California, the rate is accelerating because the state's extreme drought is fueling voracious groundwater pumping.

"Because of increased pumping, groundwater levels are reaching record lows — up to 100 feet (30 meters) lower than previous records," Mark Cowin, director of California's Department of Water Resources, said in a statement. "As extensive groundwater pumping continues, the land is sinking more rapidly, and this puts nearby infrastructure at greater risk of costly damage." [It's Raining Spiders! The Weirdest Effects of California's Drought]

What's more, this furious groundwater pumping could have long-term consequences. If the land shrinks too much, and for too long, it can permanently lose its ability to store groundwater, the researchers said.

The state's sinking isn't new: California has long suffered from subsidence, and some parts are now a few dozen feet lower than they were in 1925, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

But the state's worst drought on record — 97 percent of the state is facing moderate to exceptional drought — has only accelerated the trend. To quantify this accelerated sinking, researchers at the Department of Water Resources and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, compared satellite imagery of California over time. Thanks to images taken from both satellites and airplanes using a remote-sensing technique called interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR), which uses radar to measure elevation differences, researchers can now map changes in the surface height of the ground with incredible precision. For the current study, the team stitched together imagery from Japan's satellite-based Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar and Canada's Earth Observation satellite Radarsat-2, as well as NASA's airplane-based Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar.

Certain hotspots are shrinking at an astonishing rate — regions of the Tulare Basin, which includes Fresno, sank 13 inches in just eight months, they found. The Sacramento Valley is sinking about 0.5 inches per month. And the California Aqueduct — an intricate network of pipes, canals and tunnels that funnels water from high in the Sierra Nevada mountains in northern and central California to Southern California — has sunk 12.5 inches, and most of that was just in the past four months, according to the new study.

The unquenchable thirst for groundwater in certain regions is largely a result of agriculture: Most of the state's agricultural production resides in the fast-sinking regions around some of the state's most endangered river systems — the San Joaquin and Sacramento rivers. As the heat and lack of rainfall have depleted surface-water supplies, farmers have turned to groundwater to keep their crops afloat.

Subsidence isn't just an aesthetic problem; bridges and highways can sink and crack in dangerous ways, and flood-control structures can be compromised. In the San Joaquin Valley, the sinking Earth has destroyed the outer shell around thousands of privately drilled wells.

"Groundwater acts as a savings account to provide supplies during drought, but the NASA report shows the consequences of excessive withdrawals as we head into the fifth year of historic drought," Corwin said. "We will work together with counties, local water districts, and affected communities to identify ways to slow the rate of subsidence and protect vital infrastructure such as canals, pumping stations, bridges and wells."

http://www.foxnews.com/science/2015/08/25/california-sinking-faster-than-thought-aquifers-could-permanently-shrink/?intcmp=hplnws
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« Reply #26 on: September 15, 2015, 06:40:36 am »

No snow: Californian water source at 500-year low

Snow cover in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, a water lifeline for California's cities and agriculture, has hit its lowest level in 500 years, a study said Monday.

Measured on April 1, the natural, frozen reservoir was barely five percent of the 1950-2000 average, threatening tens of millions of Californians and the state's $50-billion (44-billion-euro) agriculture sector with chronic water shortages, its authors warned.

And things were set to get worse, they wrote in the journal Nature Climate Change.

"We should be prepared for this type of snow drought to occur much more frequently because of rising temperatures," lead author Valerie Trouet, a professor at the University of Arizona, said in a statement.

"Anthropogenic" –- or manmade –- global warming "is making the drought more severe," she added.

The "snowpack" of Sierra Nevada, central California's 650-kilometre (400-mile) spine, provides more than 60 percent of the state's distributed water supply, including all or part of the drinking water for 23 million people.

Greater Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area are among the zones affected.

On April 1 -– when the snowpack is generally at its maximum -– California Governor Jerry Brown declared the state's first-ever mandatory water restrictions. He made the announcement while standing on dry ground that a few years ago would have been covered by a man-high snow blanket.

Extremely low winter rainfall combined with record high temperatures during the first three months of 2015 are to blame, said the study.

Scientists had already established that this year's snowpack was the smallest since annual measurements began in the 1930s, but the new research goes even further back in time.

- Tree rings - Tree rings are not an accurate source to measure anything.  Cheesy 

The team measured the rings of some 1,500 ancient blue oaks in the Central Valley -- which runs parallel with the Sierra Nevada –- for a record of annual rainfall in winter, when California receives 80 percent of its precipitation.

Given that the same storms which water the oaks also dump snow on the mountains, tree-ring width is a good proxy for what the snowpack would have been in any given year.

The team then compared their tree-ring data with a reconstruction of winter temperatures for the period 1500-1980, to create a year-by-year snowpack profile.

"This is not just unprecedented over 80 years –- it's unprecedented over 500 years," Trouet said of the findings.

California is in the grips of a four-year drought, and ravaged by wildfires that have destroyed more than 100,000 acres (40,470 hectares), hundreds of homes and businesses, authorities say.

According to the US Geological Survey, more than 120 of the state's reservoirs are less than a fifth full, and 190 under half.

This also threatens California's hydroelectric power sector -- a key source of renewable energy.

Scientists warn that climate change will likely boost the frequency and intensity of droughts.

http://news.yahoo.com/no-snow-californian-water-source-500-low-152612671.html
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« Reply #27 on: October 22, 2015, 04:20:27 pm »

"A drought is upon her waters; and they shall be dried up: for it is the land of graven images, and they are mad upon their idols"

Jeremiah 50:38
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