Saturday, July 30, 2022

It's The Water!

This one has been sitting in my tabs for quite a while waiting for me to get excited enough about it to say something, from Tristan Justice at Da Fed, After Nixing 50-Million-Gallon-A-Day Desalination Plant, California Demands Residents Use Less Water

California residents were slapped with tighter water restrictions Tuesday two weeks after state officials spiked plans for a $1.4 billion saltwater desalination plant in Orange County amid a season of historic drought.

The State Water Resources Control Board unanimously voted to implement a statewide watering ban for ornamental lawns at businesses and commercial properties as residents brace for a prolonged drought, the driest drought of its length in 1,200 years. Local government will also be required to reduce water use by up to 20 percent.

“California is facing a drought crisis and every local water agency and Californian needs to step up on conservation efforts,” said California Gov. Gavin Newsom in a press release upon adoption of the new restrictions. “These conservation measures are increasingly important as we enter the summer months. I’m asking all Californians to step up, because every single drop counts.”
. . .
Despite the dire drought conditions also placing an increasingly unreliable power grid in jeopardy of periodic blackouts, the California Coastal Commission rejected the latest proposal from a major water developer to construct a desalination plant in Huntington Beach. If built, the company behind the project, Poseidon Water, says the plant would make 50 million gallons of drinking water available to residents on a daily basis by next year. After a more than two-decade effort to appease public officials for a green light on construction, the state Coastal Commission unanimously turned it down based on routine concerns over risks to marine habitat and “environmental justice.” The commission argued the energy-intensive process of desalination presented too much of a coastal hazard while raising local water prices.

I suppose the "concern for marine habitat" involves the intake of salty water, and the release of a some what lower volume of slightly more salty water, and injuring and killing some plankton along the way. I proper engineering ought to be be able to mitigate that, but copepods before people, I guess. The "environmental justice" issue has to be that the project would benefit too many rich white people, Huntington Beach being a fairly wealthy coastal community.

But what really tipped me into posting was this article this reader suggestion in the AZ Desert Sun, An idea for solving West's drought: Let's divert Mississippi River water to the Colorado

Janet Wilson's article on federal officials floating drastic measures to stanch California's water crisis was great.

Instead of just conservation, what about a Tennessee Water Authority-like project to divert the Mississippi River and build a canal with reservoirs along the way, to pipe it into the Colorado River? Kill two birds with two stones — not so farfetched when you see the type of projects being built in the Middle East and China! It’s about will.

Talk about a great works project and a fantastic way to usher in a new decade for the Southwest.

Yeah, I don't see any concern for habitat or environmental justice in that, do you? 

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