Water wars are really going to be a mess in the near future. Right now we just have some agitated tussling.
Just wait until the real arguments start, it's gonna be bad.
My dumb model says that adding a large drain to Georgia's water system (aqueducts to Florida) is a pretty strong flood control in itself. How does this damage Georgia's flood control capacity?
Also places with less water can still flood. See Arizona.
But that's not what I asked about. The idea was to massively increase Georgia's water output capacity. This would seem to make it easier to handle unexpectedly large input.
States like Nevada expect access to Great Lakes water.
The concept of virtual water may help us to treat this vital resource with more care. I'm imagining something like a nutrition label, where there's an estimate of how many liters/gallons of water is needed to grow the food.
A quick search turned up a food/water required table: https://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2013/jan/10/how-mu...
Looks like we could do quite a bit to reduce our individual water usage by substituting a meal of cabbage and potatoes for a chicken dinner every so often...
It does not matter where you are eating Californian almonds; those almonds still used Californian water.
Then you can say that a single almond grown in CA uses $.001 H2O, but in VA it's $.0001 H2O, or something like that.
It's just a thought experiment, of course. But it seems like a worthwhile one, if only to introduce the idea of accountability for the cost of water consumption in various foods.
Because the issues are so complex, the legal terrain so unclear, and the consequences of an adverse court ruling so substantial, not to mention the politics, legislators are reticent to impose such strong measures.
We already have price labels.
Is this true? Its true that natural sources of water might be scant, but what happens if we just build huge desal plants all along the CA coast and pipe in the water? And what if those desal plants are powered by cheap renewable energy?
You get it though, solving energy problems solves all of the water problems. You still have environmental issues from the desalination plants, like where to put the hypersaline water without killing all the fish. But I'd love to see desal using peak capacity of renewables.
This doesn't make any sense. Oil pipelines cross continents.
There's no limit on how long you can make an aqueduct. We don't have long aqueducts because water isn't very valuable.
Vox recently covered the history of their Fiji Water brand.
There was also this thread last year: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16291845.
The impression I got from the article wasn't one that wholly praised them.
All the nuts exported during our ‘drought’ was really California Water that was being exported and that tax payers fund through bond measures every election.
Farmers in south central VA work to keep their land dry because it rains here everyday and we average about 4" a month.
Now whether the article is correct about that prediction is another question. It's an understatement to say I'm skeptical. Desalination plants produce expensive water, but not that expensive...
Currently, a thousand gallons of freshwater from a desalination plant costs between $2.50 to $5 to the end consumer in the US. By contrast, a thousand gallons of West Texas Intermediate crude oil costs around $2500. And oil is becoming more scarce as we burn through it.
Water, on the other hand, covers a lot of the surface of the planet, and even if you're not standing by a lake or river almost anyone can dig straight down and with an hour or so of work you're likely to find water. The places where this is not true are fairly rare, and the easier solution is to move the people to where water is instead of moving water to where people are. Filtering water to be drinkable is just so much easier than getting crude oil out of the ground.
And worst case scenario, even if you have to move water from one place to another because the best farmland doesn't have water, basically anyone with a tanker truck and a hose can supply water pretty cheap. There's just not enough barriers to entry in the water business.
The only way I see water becoming more valuable than oil is if oil demand falls so far that it's practically worthless.
The main cost of water is probably energy, so the two are probably tied together. Water is less dense in energy terms, thus harder to transport if it can't be obtained locally.
This makes me think that depleting local water sources will have more of an effect on geographic distribution of populations, than oil.
Yep, your skepticism is warranted. This is unlikely in the US for common infrastructures, in the large scale, over a long (next generation) period, for standard municipal water (still an under-recognized engineering achievement IMHO). Potable and crop/livestock waters (the kinds that civilizations rely upon) are to a first approximation a derivative of energy. Whether to purify it, or move it, water relies heavily upon energy to enter the market.
To postulate that a barrel of American-municipal-standard potable water will cost more than a barrel of oil is to hypothesize a situation where it takes more than a barrel of oil to create a barrel of that kind of water. Now note I put in the qualifier "for common infrastructures". That's key.
If you have a large enough logistical tail behind creating that barrel of potable water, then it absolutely will cost more than a barrel of oil. For example, that will easily be the case when comparing a barrel of WTI pulled from a stripper well against a barrel of potable water created on a US Navy ballistic missile submarine, including all decomm costs amortized in on both the well and the submarine.
On a slightly less fantastical plane, that qualifier can likely be breached (pun intended) if sea levels do actually rise faster than we can revamp our coastal infrastructures. Major metro water processing plants and the supply chains feeding them are complex beasts, and they are multi-year projects even when money is no object and working shifts 24x7. If, as I predict based upon human nature, politicians kick the can on the sea level rise problem until dikes catastrophically fail in major metro areas, then yes, municipal potable water's disaster relief equivalent may indeed cost more than an equivalent quantity of oil for at least a few years if only because it all has to be trucked in as bottles or tankers during a disaster relief operation.
Leaving on a couple articles about water becoming more expensive than petroleum or gasoline (note it is generally about retailed bottled water):
We have more frequent droughts in many parts of the world as a result of climate change, and groundwater reserves are being depleted - this will have a large impact on where crops can be grown
This is their font: http://www.hoftype.com/sinanova
It is very obvious it was designed for printed text, not screens. It's like they wanted Garamond (ahem: https://designforhackers.com/blog/garamond/), but shot themselves in the foot with an even worse one.
Usually I can prove bad font choices happen because of web developers being obsessed with rare computers (Retina-equipped Macs, forgetting the rest of the universe uses normal-DPI Windows machines), but I just looked on my HiDPI screen... it's nearly unreadable there too.
Is anyone else having this problem?
On HiDPI (2x DPI on Apple Retina), its, eh, all of them are readable but fatiguing, no clear winner.
On my 3x dpi Android phone, its the least bad due to just the shear number of pixels. In Firefox and in Chrome, it still exhibits a lot of oddity. The stems are inconsistent in their width (being skinny and being at such high DPI makes it very noticeable), and the visual rhythm of the words is even worse.
I don't even want to read the article anymore, screw it.
It's the fault of designers who think UX is just pretty UI.
* The amount of protein one gets from almonds per unit of water is far higher than the amount of protein one gets from raising livestock
* Almonds are considered a relatively healthy food with relatively high quantities of antioxidants (including vitamin e)
* Almond trees sequester carbon but livestock create additional methane -- one of the worst greenhouse gases
* Trees clean the air of other pollutants
* At least some of the water used to water almond trees soaks back into the ground without becoming fouled by animal waste products
* California water policies are helping the little guy -- the small farmer and poor immigrants
Can't for the life of me remember his name or google it up, but it looks very apt for this discussion.
It would be worth helping find a solution to provide this area of the country with water.
It has a terribly wasteful system for distributing and paying for it.
Garlic basket - Yes, Strawberry Basket - Yes,
Nut Basket - For sure (if you count hollywood celeb and eccentric world saviors of SV).
But bread basket .. nope. The people of CA think the sun rotates around them. The most arable land in 'Murica is the mid-west and Mississippi river system. America with out CA will happily feed itself without missing a beat, without Almond milk of course.
Regional swipes like that break the site guidelines. Please make your substantive points without stooping to that.
(Doubly so for "Your smugness is nauseating!" below, even though you were provoked. I'm sure you already know that.)
The ground is subsiding due to this
See East Porterville as an example
Water in California is a complicated story. The right solution might be to take over the rights from the private owners and ration water in a systemic way. But politically that is still a non-starter.
If this had been foreseen way back when, with water being treated as a public resource to be auctioned to the highest bidder, we'd all be better off. But it's too late to easily switch to that. There are way too many rights-of-ownership to untangle.
Imagine if the FCC never existed, and spectrum rights were instead allocated based on who has the tallest and most powerful transmitter. That's loosely how water is currently apportioned. He who has the deepest well and thirstiest crops gets the water.
Also...they're basically bypassing US labor laws by employing illegal immigrants en-massse. It seems like they've been smart enough to provide them with benefits like healthcare, 401(k)'s etc. But wait until the farms pass on to their kids, who will try to squeeze even more out of the unprotected laborers ...
And they're presumably paying the market clearing price for the labor. Any higher price would mean economic deadweight losses, which translates to foregone quality of life gains, as is created by any mandatory price floor.
Interesting to consider in this context how illegal immigration has facilitated a continuing and escalating cost to society by subsidizing labor and environmental externalities for inefficient (and ultimately ill-fated) industries.
Many of the people complaining about illegal immigrants while benefiting are shocked when their shakedowns result in labor shortages because people actually take them at their word. Regardless of intentions it is worth condemning because nothing works for any valid stated purpose. The resulting system is a massive web of interblended malice and stupidity of actors who refuse to learn that characterizes much of legal policy like the war on drugs. It isn't an American thing or even a capitalism thing. The USSR had plenty of stupid-malicious systems. I suspect sociopaths are to blame in all cases - it bears their thumbprints of dysfunctional systems that benefit them personally and get people to act selfishly in a way that doesn't even benefit them.
The way to actually resolve the issue would be to aggressively enforce labor laws without regard to the worker's immigration status, because they would remove the incentive for private business to use migrant labor in the first place.
I'm an immigrant myself. I didn't just come here and start working. I had to go through a lot of hoops so that the US would make sure I wasn't going to be a burden and my presence in the US could be good for the US.
The normative question of whether we should or should not harbor resentment or moral outrage against poverty-stricken migrant workers doing backbreaking labor for a pittance isn't really relevant to an analysis of how the government's immigration policies are enforced and who benefits from them.
Of which Trump himself is guilty of . Why isn't Trump in jail for that specific crime already then? You see the parent's point now?
 - https://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-trump-organization-emp...
I very much doubt any somewhat-savvy businessperson hires illegals "knowingly". In other words, it's just plausible deniability.
Most of the things you hear politicians talking about they don't care about beyond how the issue -- and what they say about it -- effects their power and electability.
I guess that would do a good job at making poor Americans more competitive against undocumented workers