Drought and Agricultural Region
California Water Plan of the Future
"The truth is that we can do anything with water—except go on without it."
(Spencer Lowell for Time.COM Feb 10, 2015)
The above is a telling statement for California and aside from the 2016/2017 wet winter where we received too much water, it remains to be seen if the drought is over or not. Chances are the ever on-going drought is here to stay.
Planetary temperatures have risen globally on average 2.3 degrees F since 1951. That temperature rise is quite remarkable and while there is ostensibly a lot of arguing back and forth as to why the temperature is rising and who or what is causing it, it matters not as desertification is happening globally.
Desertification of the Sacramento, San Joaquin, Tulare Region, Central Coast, Central Valley and So. Cal. has already started a few years ago and the lack of water as a result of water flow diversion and drought conditions in this region has decimated orchards and other crops. Water diversion is water needed for crops is going to fish instead. In 2015 alone the economic impact to California was $2.7 Billion and 21,000 total job losses.
Just take a quick glance below at the total loss in the California Agricultural regions in vegetables, orchards & vines, feed crops, other fields, and grain due to water diversion and drought in both acreage and millions of dollars.
Estimated Change in Irrigated Crop Acreage from Drought
(thousands of Acres)
Estimated Change in Crop Revenues due to Drought
(millions of dollars)
We need to reverse this trend. The California drought condition and Water diversion directly affects the State’s agricultural EXPORTS both nationwide and globally. Direct results are looses in state export sales, state tax revenue, jobs, and ultimately raise in food costs to the consumer. We need to reverse this trend and pump growth, literally water, into California Agricultural regions and become drought resistant in the region and metropolitan areas.
California is the No. 1 state in cash farm receipts such as crops and livestock in excess of $35 billion in revenue representing more than 12 percent of the U.S. total. We can do more, farmers and ranchers will tell you we can do much more, and we just need to supply the California Agricultural region with a dependable water supply. We need to become DROUGHT resistant.
To become drought resistant in California and bring water back to the agricultural region we must first build a permanent dependable water supply for the major metropolitan centers along the coastline so that our cities are impervious to severe droughts or constant long term droughts. We will then have sufficient water for the Sacramento, San Joaquin, Tulare, Central Coast, Central Valley and So. Cal. Agricultural Regions.
To give one an idea of the scope of what is needed, the average person in Los Angeles uses 75.11 gallons of water per day – that is roughly 2.56 billion gallons of water per day consumed by the people of Los Angeles or 614.5 billion gallons of water consumed over an 8-month period. That is a staggering amount of water consumption yet Californians use less water than the rest of the nation. That is actually remarkable and a testament to the current water saving efforts by the state and its success, but unfortunately it may not enough.
Many cities in California are out of options and have reached their conservation limit and unless we stop drinking and using water altogether we have reached an impasse where we cannot safely conserve much more. People can safely conserve only so much before:
- New technology is needed to conserve safely, technology we do not currently posses!
- Individuals health and safety is jeopardized and lastly
- Quality of life becomes less and less desirable to live in California.
Many cities in California are located along the coastline and one answer to the ongoing drought for an endless water supply is Desalination Plants. i.e. water stability.
Sufficient number of desalination plants would be able to supply the metropolitan areas allowing regular flow to the agricultural region helping to boost the economy via agricultural exports.
Desalination plant technology exists today and is effective.In fact it is already being done on a similar scale in Dubai. The Jebel Ali plant in the United Arab Emirates, shown in this photo, can produce 564 million gallons of water a day from the sea, a sign of the sheer scale that may be needed in a drier future along the California Coastal cities (Spencer Lowell for Time.COM Feb 10, 2015).
Desalination plants are the answer for the coastal cities and urban centers in California if the drought continues to persist as it appears to do so! The only effect of the last 2016/2017 wet winter should be is to give us more time to prepare and build the needed Desalination Plant infrastructure.
How many desalination plants of this size are required to be built to supply the coastal cities of California in the next couple of decades – a total of 13-desalination plants are needed!
3 Desalination Plants - San Diego to South of Orange County (adding to existing plant in Carlsbad)
5 desalination plants - Orange County/Los Angeles
2 Desalination Plants - Santa Barbara to San Jose Region (adding to existing Santa Barbara plant)
3 Desalination Plants - San Francisco Area
"The truth is that we can do anything
with water - except go on without it."
(Spencer Lowell for Time.COM Feb 10, 2015)