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Old 01-20-2010, 04:53 PM
 
3,460 posts, read 4,792,436 times
Reputation: 6677

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
If 86-90% of water in COLO is used for ag, and 2% for lawns, then ag is the low hanging fruit. Ag is the one beggaring thy neighbor.
You're not accounting for the difference in acreage between ag land and city, but nice try. Cites waste much more water per acre than ag land could ever dream of, and they get away with it through tyranny of the majority along with sheer financial muscle.

Seriously, if cities already have a filtered water supply why can't they force new developments to install drip irrigation for lawns instead of blasting water into the air to evaporate? All it would take is the vote of a city council.

If you want agricultural users to use drip irrigation, you're going to have to find a way to make the systems compatible with plowing and livestock grazing, put all the water in pipes, build many thousands of filtering stations, and maintain all those things before the ag users can even begin to make the switch. Until you can find a way to pay for all that infrastructure or make it appear out of a vacuum, drip irrigation for ag land isn't going to happen.

If cities want to continue gobbling up water supplies, they need to pay the entire cost of obtaining new supplies rather than forcing the rest of us to pay more to use less of what we already own.

Last edited by sterlinggirl; 01-20-2010 at 05:13 PM..
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Old 01-20-2010, 09:31 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,103,855 times
Reputation: 9065
Quote:
Originally Posted by sterlinggirl View Post
You're not accounting for the difference in acreage between ag land and city, but nice try. Cites waste much more water per acre than ag land could ever dream of, and they get away with it through tyranny of the majority along with sheer financial muscle.

Seriously, if cities already have a filtered water supply why can't they force new developments to install drip irrigation for lawns instead of blasting water into the air to evaporate? All it would take is the vote of a city council.

If you want agricultural users to use drip irrigation, you're going to have to find a way to make the systems compatible with plowing and livestock grazing, put all the water in pipes, build many thousands of filtering stations, and maintain all those things before the ag users can even begin to make the switch. Until you can find a way to pay for all that infrastructure or make it appear out of a vacuum, drip irrigation for ag land isn't going to happen.

If cities want to continue gobbling up water supplies, they need to pay the entire cost of obtaining new supplies rather than forcing the rest of us to pay more to use less of what we already own.
sterlingirl hits it right on the head again. A lot of what my father (a mechanical engineer) worked on was drip systems that could utilize regular ol' "dirty" unfiltered irrigation water. Despite years of playing with the concept, he never was able to perfect it--it is a very vexing technical problem.

There is no denying that ag use of water--properly applied--is 100% consumptive use. It has to be; the transpiration of water by plants is part of their growing cycle. The point is--should we be wasting water to grow useless ornamental grass, or using it to grow food in this arid region? I say the latter because our depleting petroleum resources are--within not many years--effectively going to put an end to a lot of cross-country or around-the-world transportation of foodstuffs. Places are going to have to be regionally self-sufficient in food production or they will find food either very high-priced or just plain scarce. Since this region's population has grown quite robustly (and quite regrettably, in my opinion) in the last few decades, it is going to take just about every acre of prime agricultural land we have left to feed us adequately in this region--especially as a lot of those wellwater-irrigated farmlands on the High Plains return to dryland farming or rangeland. We are fools if we aren't working to keep every acre of prime ag land in ag production (we can't be letting it go into suburban or exurban development) and every acre-foot of our remaining water supplies geared toward either ag land or wetlands preservation. Absent of that commitment, we are going to be facing a real food crisis in our little part of the world within just a few years hence. No matter what kind of business or cultural structure farming and ranching takes, it still needs two things to be viable: land and water. We are doing our best in this region currently to squander both for superficial, worthless ornamental crap. That's criminal.
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Old 01-20-2010, 09:41 PM
 
3,553 posts, read 6,787,479 times
Reputation: 2304
Sterlinggirl wrote;
Quote:
Cites waste much more water per acre than ag land could ever dream of,
True, but the problem statewide isn't "per acre" consumption, it's TOTAL consumption.

Quote:
Seriously, if cities already have a filtered water supply why can't they force new developments to install drip irrigation for lawns instead of blasting water into the air to evaporate?
OK, so we do that, on NEW development, which is going to affect a miniscule % of the total stock of residential, which is a small % of the yards, which is only a % of total household usage.

Quote:
If you want agricultural users to use drip irrigation, you're going to have to find a way to make the systems compatible with plowing and livestock grazing, put all the water in pipes, build many thousands of filtering stations, and maintain all those things before the ag users can even begin to make the switch. Until you can find a way to pay for all that infrastructure or make it appear out of a vacuum, drip irrigation for ag land isn't going to happen.
WOW, it's such a huge problem that we shouldn't even try! That's what it sounds like you're saying. With all of the engineers and agronomists in this country the problem is probably pretty solvable. But, just like not dumping chemicals into our rivers and atmosphere as long as it's CHEAPER to not do it, we won't do it.

I doubt if anyone is advocating drip in the sense that 1/4" tubes are inserted into or just above the ground as in a residential system. How about a "drop" system instead of something that puts a (relatively) fine mist up above the structure.

Heck the center pivot industry is less than 60 years old and there have darn sure been some advances in its technology in that time.

Sterlinggirl reminds me a bit of the US car manufacturers back in the '70s who spent millions of dollars arguing to congress that; (a) there isn't enough "power" in a gallon of gas to do what you want, and (b), there is no way to make a car pollute less than it currently does.

I refuse to believe that a nation that can simultaneously fight a two ocean war and build TWO nuclear bomb plants, can't find a solution to reducing water waste on our biggest water consumer. If farmers were told TOMORROW, that by this time next year your rates will DOUBLE and your allotment will be reduced THERE WOULD BE A SOLUTION.

Or maybe we'll have to wait for Honda, Toyota and Nissan to get into the irrigator business.

golfgod
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Old 05-04-2010, 02:54 PM
 
1,742 posts, read 2,619,808 times
Reputation: 1923
Fires in Evergreen and Conifer today. Also 80 mph winds in Ft Collins. I wonder if we're going to have the "big one" this summer. RP
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Old 05-04-2010, 05:42 PM
 
66 posts, read 211,481 times
Reputation: 78
Has there ever been a time in history where any major American city or metropolitan area has been abandoned because of lack of water?

I think that should answer the question.

If water runs out at any major American city or metropolitan area, and if the city, county, or state cannot solve the issue, then my guess is that the federal government will step in and make sure that area gets water.

I have that much faith in America.
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Old 05-04-2010, 08:12 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,103,855 times
Reputation: 9065
Quote:
Originally Posted by Viper2 View Post
Has there ever been a time in history where any major American city or metropolitan area has been abandoned because of lack of water?

I think that should answer the question.

If water runs out at any major American city or metropolitan area, and if the city, county, or state cannot solve the issue, then my guess is that the federal government will step in and make sure that area gets water.
That's about as silly as saying "I haven't died yet, therefore I won't." All of the "easy" federal water projects have been built, and even many of those have limited efficacy over time. Go read "Cadillac Desert" and maybe you'll get it. Oh, and in case you haven't noticed, the federal government is broke. They ain't going to be saving the world, anymore--they're barely going to be able to save themselves.

When it comes to the southwestern quarter of the United States, well, "Hey, it's a DESERT, stupid."

Once again, I've been dealing with water rights and issues in this region for decades--maybe longer than many posters on this forum have been alive. Matter of fact, I was I dealing with one such water issue, well, today.
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Old 05-04-2010, 08:27 PM
 
Location: High Plains
79 posts, read 120,150 times
Reputation: 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Viper2 View Post
Has there ever been a time in history where any major American city or metropolitan area has been abandoned because of lack of water?

I think that should answer the question.

If water runs out at any major American city or metropolitan area, and if the city, county, or state cannot solve the issue, then my guess is that the federal government will step in and make sure that area gets water.

I have that much faith in America.
The bigger the reservoir, then, the more it will rain. ::CHORTLE::
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Old 05-04-2010, 08:34 PM
 
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
12,102 posts, read 20,351,797 times
Reputation: 4131
Quote:
Originally Posted by TungstenIron View Post
The bigger the reservoir, then, the more it will rain. ::CHORTLE::
We NEED larger reservoirs so on the "wet" years we can hold more water for the "dry" years.
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Old 05-04-2010, 09:01 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,103,855 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josseppie View Post
We NEED larger reservoirs so on the "wet" years we can hold more water for the "dry" years.
That is a fool's solution--reservoir capacity can generally only give relief for a relatively short-term drought of say a year or two, at best. Believing that reservoir storage can mitigate longer term drought--and allowing growth that depends on that water--is inviting disaster. As the prime example, the Lower Colorado River drainage is now hitting that wall. Multiple years of drought combined with increasing water demand has severely depleted storage in both Lake Mead and Lake Powell. Many water experts now believe the water resources to be so overdrawn that Lake Mead and very possibly Lake Powell may never fill completely again--even if the climate regime reverts to wetter than average for several years. The growth lovers and water buffalo whores that feed that growth don't want to hear that, but that appears to be what lies ahead.

In this region, further growth in consumptive water use by metro areas can only come at the expense of something or someone else--agriculture, streamflows, wetlands, etc.--ultimately a very likely fight between the metro areas of Colorado and the Lower Basin states--a battle that Colorado would almost certainly lose. Remember, a reservoir does not produce one more drop of water out of the hydrologic cycle (it fact it "costs" some from reservoir evaporation), it only "smooths out" the production of water from one time of year to another, or from one or two wet years to one or two dry years. If average water consumption exceeds average water production in a region over a period of time, no amount of dam-building can fix that problem. We're just about to that point in this region--in fact, some experts believe we are already past it.
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Old 05-04-2010, 09:32 PM
 
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
12,102 posts, read 20,351,797 times
Reputation: 4131
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
That is a fool's solution--reservoir capacity can generally only give relief for a relatively short-term drought of say a year or two, at best. Believing that reservoir storage can mitigate longer term drought--and allowing growth that depends on that water--is inviting disaster. As the prime example, the Lower Colorado River drainage is now hitting that wall. Multiple years of drought combined with increasing water demand has severely depleted storage in both Lake Mead and Lake Powell. Many water experts now believe the water resources to be so overdrawn that Lake Mead and very possibly Lake Powell may never fill completely again--even if the climate regime reverts to wetter than average for several years. The growth lovers and water buffalo whores that feed that growth don't want to hear that, but that appears to be what lies ahead.

In this region, further growth in consumptive water use by metro areas can only come at the expense of something or someone else--agriculture, streamflows, wetlands, etc.--ultimately a very likely fight between the metro areas of Colorado and the Lower Basin states--a battle that Colorado would almost certainly lose. Remember, a reservoir does not produce one more drop of water out of the hydrologic cycle (it fact it "costs" some from reservoir evaporation), it only "smooths out" the production of water from one time of year to another, or from one or two wet years to one or two dry years. If average water consumption exceeds average water production in a region over a period of time, no amount of dam-building can fix that problem. We're just about to that point in this region--in fact, some experts believe we are already past it.
I never said larger reservoirs are the only solution but they are part of the solution and having larger reservoirs in Colorado will allow us to hold more water that will help during the dry years. For example this year they had to let some water out of the Pueblo Reservoir because it was at capacity. If it was larger then they could of stored more water, for the cities and farms, that could be used for a dry year.

BTW I do agree with those who say developers and cities need to prove they have enough water for the planned development. Then if they can prove that the development can proceed if not the developers can develop where they do have the water. For example Pueblo Springs has proven it has enough water between its shares and Pueblo's shares, once we annex it. So it should be allowed to be developed. Some developments like Bannen Lewis have yet to prove they have enough water for build out and that development should be reexamined, especially with the Springs not having the storm water fee anymore.
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