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casinterest
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Re: My "Solution" To The California Drought

Mon Sep 13, 2021 8:32 pm

IADCA wrote:
casinterest wrote:
IADCA wrote:

I don't mean to pick on you personally, but your first sentence is exactly what's wrong with the thinking around water management in the US.

It's not that there's more water "needed" than available. There is plenty of water available for necessary things like drinking. What it isn't sufficient for is growing surplus food crops and cash crops on land that naturally doesn't have sufficient rainfall. It's not "need": it simply boils down to a desire to use a scarce resource like water as if it were infinite, all in a pursuit of money. Nothing more, nothing less.

It's not like we're talking about subsistence farmers starving here. We're talking about growing non-native plants in areas where the reason for their non-nativity is blindingly obvious. The real question shouldn't be what should be done to provide water for cotton farming in Arizona: it should be why anyone thought that was a reasonable idea in the first place.

I get that we're a society that thinks nothing of burning rocks to propel mined metal tubes thousands of feet through the air, but there does come a point where "because some fleshbag wants to make a few dollars" isn't a sufficient justification.


There is plenty of water , it is a matter of properly allocating it and paying for it.
Paying for it is the restriction that should be imposed. When there is a full drought, water runs out, and the crops either become unsustainable ,or the people need to have water shipped in

Long term environmental issues require long term solutions. Deserts have been irrigated for centuries. You going to ask everyone to move out of the Nile Delta?


No, but the Nile Delta doesn't require sluicing water hundreds of miles, and the Egyptians have never been silly enough to try to irrigate so much land that the river runs dry before it reaches the sea.

Paying for it simply permits use by whomever can make the most money off the water, not where it's most useful on an overall societal level or what is environmentally sustainable. The appropriative water rights system should be eliminated entirely.



The Nile River is sliced over thousands of miles. The Western Drought is not about one river. It is about hundreds of them, the Colorado being a major one. However the water from the Colorado, could be replaced by desalination plants and other solutions. The land is farmable, so why not irrigate it, especially with Gray water, or other solutions?
 
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Aaron747
Posts: 16459
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Re: My "Solution" To The California Drought

Mon Sep 13, 2021 8:46 pm

casinterest wrote:
IADCA wrote:
casinterest wrote:

There is plenty of water , it is a matter of properly allocating it and paying for it.
Paying for it is the restriction that should be imposed. When there is a full drought, water runs out, and the crops either become unsustainable ,or the people need to have water shipped in

Long term environmental issues require long term solutions. Deserts have been irrigated for centuries. You going to ask everyone to move out of the Nile Delta?


No, but the Nile Delta doesn't require sluicing water hundreds of miles, and the Egyptians have never been silly enough to try to irrigate so much land that the river runs dry before it reaches the sea.

Paying for it simply permits use by whomever can make the most money off the water, not where it's most useful on an overall societal level or what is environmentally sustainable. The appropriative water rights system should be eliminated entirely.



The Nile River is sliced over thousands of miles. The Western Drought is not about one river. It is about hundreds of them, the Colorado being a major one. However the water from the Colorado, could be replaced by desalination plants and other solutions. The land is farmable, so why not irrigate it, especially with Gray water, or other solutions?


Why not make a gradual investment in vertical farming so that the land and water requirements approach long term sustainability?
 
IADCA
Posts: 2410
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Re: My "Solution" To The California Drought

Mon Sep 13, 2021 9:25 pm

casinterest wrote:
IADCA wrote:
casinterest wrote:

There is plenty of water , it is a matter of properly allocating it and paying for it.
Paying for it is the restriction that should be imposed. When there is a full drought, water runs out, and the crops either become unsustainable ,or the people need to have water shipped in

Long term environmental issues require long term solutions. Deserts have been irrigated for centuries. You going to ask everyone to move out of the Nile Delta?


No, but the Nile Delta doesn't require sluicing water hundreds of miles, and the Egyptians have never been silly enough to try to irrigate so much land that the river runs dry before it reaches the sea.

Paying for it simply permits use by whomever can make the most money off the water, not where it's most useful on an overall societal level or what is environmentally sustainable. The appropriative water rights system should be eliminated entirely.



The Nile River is sliced over thousands of miles. The Western Drought is not about one river. It is about hundreds of them, the Colorado being a major one. However the water from the Colorado, could be replaced by desalination plants and other solutions. The land is farmable, so why not irrigate it, especially with Gray water, or other solutions?


Because every one of those solutions come with significant costs, especially involving energy use, that don't seem to exceed the "benefits" of using land to produce crops that aren't needed.

Why should we use ever more unsustainable practices to grow crops on land that cannot naturally support them?
 
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casinterest
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Re: My "Solution" To The California Drought

Mon Sep 13, 2021 9:40 pm

IADCA wrote:
casinterest wrote:
IADCA wrote:

No, but the Nile Delta doesn't require sluicing water hundreds of miles, and the Egyptians have never been silly enough to try to irrigate so much land that the river runs dry before it reaches the sea.

Paying for it simply permits use by whomever can make the most money off the water, not where it's most useful on an overall societal level or what is environmentally sustainable. The appropriative water rights system should be eliminated entirely.



The Nile River is sliced over thousands of miles. The Western Drought is not about one river. It is about hundreds of them, the Colorado being a major one. However the water from the Colorado, could be replaced by desalination plants and other solutions. The land is farmable, so why not irrigate it, especially with Gray water, or other solutions?


Because every one of those solutions come with significant costs, especially involving energy use, that don't seem to exceed the "benefits" of using land to produce crops that aren't needed.

Why should we use ever more unsustainable practices to grow crops on land that cannot naturally support them?



Hate to break it to you, but we have been using energy intensive practices for decades. Irrigation, Tractors, genetic modifications...................
Water is important. It requires significant costs where it is scarce.
 
IADCA
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Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:24 am

Re: My "Solution" To The California Drought

Mon Sep 13, 2021 9:51 pm

casinterest wrote:
IADCA wrote:
casinterest wrote:


The Nile River is sliced over thousands of miles. The Western Drought is not about one river. It is about hundreds of them, the Colorado being a major one. However the water from the Colorado, could be replaced by desalination plants and other solutions. The land is farmable, so why not irrigate it, especially with Gray water, or other solutions?


Because every one of those solutions come with significant costs, especially involving energy use, that don't seem to exceed the "benefits" of using land to produce crops that aren't needed.

Why should we use ever more unsustainable practices to grow crops on land that cannot naturally support them?



Hate to break it to you, but we have been using energy intensive practices for decades. Irrigation, Tractors, genetic modifications...................
Water is important. It requires significant costs where it is scarce.


Yes, we have. And I'm asking why we should continue to make ever more unsustainable investments.

You keep just pointing to past practices, many of which are also unsustainable - such as much of the present irrigation system, fossil-fuel powered tractors, etc.

For example, we are presently using fossil-fueled pumps and tractors to pump water out of the Ogallala aquifer at a rate that continues to increase despite the aquifer getting lower and lower. Without this water, huge areas of the Great Plains will not be farmable. This is because they never were farmable in any sustainable way: they are natural grasslands that supported huge herds of buffalo but have literally never supported agriculture that can be sustained without ever more intensive human intervention. That requires ever more energy to pump up water, and the water is running out within the next few decades.

There is not a solution to this that involves water from somewhere else. Gray water already drains back into the aquifer, and farmers have already made cutbacks in water use...which has gotten them only to the amount of usage being taken out in the 1970s, which was already hundreds of times the replenishment rate.

And yet, your solution is to suggest we just follow the same path with more extreme measures. Yeah, uh, pass. The whole system needs to be re-thought. A major piece of that thinking is not trying to grow crops in areas that cannot support them. Engineering can only do so much, just as medicine can only do so much to keep a dying person alive.
 
frmrCapCadet
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Joined: Thu May 29, 2008 8:24 pm

Re: My "Solution" To The California Drought

Mon Sep 13, 2021 10:22 pm

One happy thought, when the plains has to return to grasslands it will still be OK to use it as pasture for us red meat eaters. LOL
 
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ER757
Posts: 4270
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Re: My "Solution" To The California Drought

Mon Sep 13, 2021 11:40 pm

frmrCapCadet wrote:
One happy thought, when the plains has to return to grasslands it will still be OK to use it as pasture for us red meat eaters. LOL

I know your comment was in jest, because raising cattle takes an enormous amount of water. But Bison Burgers are pretty tasty....... :smile:
 
johns624
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Re: My "Solution" To The California Drought

Tue Sep 14, 2021 12:37 am

Just leave my Great Lakes alone...
 
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casinterest
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Re: My "Solution" To The California Drought

Tue Sep 14, 2021 1:23 am

IADCA wrote:
casinterest wrote:
IADCA wrote:

Because every one of those solutions come with significant costs, especially involving energy use, that don't seem to exceed the "benefits" of using land to produce crops that aren't needed.

Why should we use ever more unsustainable practices to grow crops on land that cannot naturally support them?



Hate to break it to you, but we have been using energy intensive practices for decades. Irrigation, Tractors, genetic modifications...................
Water is important. It requires significant costs where it is scarce.


Yes, we have. And I'm asking why we should continue to make ever more unsustainable investments.

You keep just pointing to past practices, many of which are also unsustainable - such as much of the present irrigation system, fossil-fuel powered tractors, etc.

For example, we are presently using fossil-fueled pumps and tractors to pump water out of the Ogallala aquifer at a rate that continues to increase despite the aquifer getting lower and lower. Without this water, huge areas of the Great Plains will not be farmable. This is because they never were farmable in any sustainable way: they are natural grasslands that supported huge herds of buffalo but have literally never supported agriculture that can be sustained without ever more intensive human intervention. That requires ever more energy to pump up water, and the water is running out within the next few decades.

There is not a solution to this that involves water from somewhere else. Gray water already drains back into the aquifer, and farmers have already made cutbacks in water use...which has gotten them only to the amount of usage being taken out in the 1970s, which was already hundreds of times the replenishment rate.

And yet, your solution is to suggest we just follow the same path with more extreme measures. Yeah, uh, pass. The whole system needs to be re-thought. A major piece of that thinking is not trying to grow crops in areas that cannot support them. Engineering can only do so much, just as medicine can only do so much to keep a dying person alive.


How are they unsustainable? The planet is 75%+ water surface. We use Energy in all aspects of our daily lives, and Energy sources are renewable.

We train great minds for solutions, and this is a problem that has solutions that are sustainable.
 
frmrCapCadet
Posts: 5138
Joined: Thu May 29, 2008 8:24 pm

Re: My "Solution" To The California Drought

Tue Sep 14, 2021 1:47 am

ER757 wrote:
frmrCapCadet wrote:
One happy thought, when the plains has to return to grasslands it will still be OK to use it as pasture for us red meat eaters. LOL

I know your comment was in jest, because raising cattle takes an enormous amount of water. But Bison Burgers are pretty tasty....... :smile:


Mostly grass fed may be a different matter, but I am not sure about it.
 
bpatus297
Posts: 280
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Re: My "Solution" To The California Drought

Tue Sep 14, 2021 11:56 am

IADCA wrote:
casinterest wrote:
IADCA wrote:

Because every one of those solutions come with significant costs, especially involving energy use, that don't seem to exceed the "benefits" of using land to produce crops that aren't needed.

Why should we use ever more unsustainable practices to grow crops on land that cannot naturally support them?



Hate to break it to you, but we have been using energy intensive practices for decades. Irrigation, Tractors, genetic modifications...................
Water is important. It requires significant costs where it is scarce.


Yes, we have. And I'm asking why we should continue to make ever more unsustainable investments.

You keep just pointing to past practices, many of which are also unsustainable - such as much of the present irrigation system, fossil-fuel powered tractors, etc.

For example, we are presently using fossil-fueled pumps and tractors to pump water out of the Ogallala aquifer at a rate that continues to increase despite the aquifer getting lower and lower. Without this water, huge areas of the Great Plains will not be farmable. This is because they never were farmable in any sustainable way: they are natural grasslands that supported huge herds of buffalo but have literally never supported agriculture that can be sustained without ever more intensive human intervention. That requires ever more energy to pump up water, and the water is running out within the next few decades.

There is not a solution to this that involves water from somewhere else. Gray water already drains back into the aquifer, and farmers have already made cutbacks in water use...which has gotten them only to the amount of usage being taken out in the 1970s, which was already hundreds of times the replenishment rate.

And yet, your solution is to suggest we just follow the same path with more extreme measures. Yeah, uh, pass. The whole system needs to be re-thought. A major piece of that thinking is not trying to grow crops in areas that cannot support them. Engineering can only do so much, just as medicine can only do so much to keep a dying person alive.


Is there anyway to proactive sustainable agriculture and still produce enough food for the growing population of Earth?
 
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Aaron747
Posts: 16459
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2003 2:07 am

Re: My "Solution" To The California Drought

Tue Sep 14, 2021 12:03 pm

bpatus297 wrote:
IADCA wrote:
casinterest wrote:


Hate to break it to you, but we have been using energy intensive practices for decades. Irrigation, Tractors, genetic modifications...................
Water is important. It requires significant costs where it is scarce.


Yes, we have. And I'm asking why we should continue to make ever more unsustainable investments.

You keep just pointing to past practices, many of which are also unsustainable - such as much of the present irrigation system, fossil-fuel powered tractors, etc.

For example, we are presently using fossil-fueled pumps and tractors to pump water out of the Ogallala aquifer at a rate that continues to increase despite the aquifer getting lower and lower. Without this water, huge areas of the Great Plains will not be farmable. This is because they never were farmable in any sustainable way: they are natural grasslands that supported huge herds of buffalo but have literally never supported agriculture that can be sustained without ever more intensive human intervention. That requires ever more energy to pump up water, and the water is running out within the next few decades.

There is not a solution to this that involves water from somewhere else. Gray water already drains back into the aquifer, and farmers have already made cutbacks in water use...which has gotten them only to the amount of usage being taken out in the 1970s, which was already hundreds of times the replenishment rate.

And yet, your solution is to suggest we just follow the same path with more extreme measures. Yeah, uh, pass. The whole system needs to be re-thought. A major piece of that thinking is not trying to grow crops in areas that cannot support them. Engineering can only do so much, just as medicine can only do so much to keep a dying person alive.


Is there anyway to proactive sustainable agriculture and still produce enough food for the growing population of Earth?


Vertical farming:

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20 ... li/028000c

Lab grown meat:

https://amp.theguardian.com/food/2021/j ... -kill-food
 
IADCA
Posts: 2410
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:24 am

Re: My "Solution" To The California Drought

Tue Sep 14, 2021 12:20 pm

bpatus297 wrote:
IADCA wrote:
casinterest wrote:


Hate to break it to you, but we have been using energy intensive practices for decades. Irrigation, Tractors, genetic modifications...................
Water is important. It requires significant costs where it is scarce.


Yes, we have. And I'm asking why we should continue to make ever more unsustainable investments.

You keep just pointing to past practices, many of which are also unsustainable - such as much of the present irrigation system, fossil-fuel powered tractors, etc.

For example, we are presently using fossil-fueled pumps and tractors to pump water out of the Ogallala aquifer at a rate that continues to increase despite the aquifer getting lower and lower. Without this water, huge areas of the Great Plains will not be farmable. This is because they never were farmable in any sustainable way: they are natural grasslands that supported huge herds of buffalo but have literally never supported agriculture that can be sustained without ever more intensive human intervention. That requires ever more energy to pump up water, and the water is running out within the next few decades.

There is not a solution to this that involves water from somewhere else. Gray water already drains back into the aquifer, and farmers have already made cutbacks in water use...which has gotten them only to the amount of usage being taken out in the 1970s, which was already hundreds of times the replenishment rate.

And yet, your solution is to suggest we just follow the same path with more extreme measures. Yeah, uh, pass. The whole system needs to be re-thought. A major piece of that thinking is not trying to grow crops in areas that cannot support them. Engineering can only do so much, just as medicine can only do so much to keep a dying person alive.


Is there anyway to proactive sustainable agriculture and still produce enough food for the growing population of Earth?


Yes, although it'd require a lot of dietary changes. Less meat, more plants, no use of food crops for ethanol, etc.

casinterest wrote:
IADCA wrote:
casinterest wrote:


Hate to break it to you, but we have been using energy intensive practices for decades. Irrigation, Tractors, genetic modifications...................
Water is important. It requires significant costs where it is scarce.


Yes, we have. And I'm asking why we should continue to make ever more unsustainable investments.

You keep just pointing to past practices, many of which are also unsustainable - such as much of the present irrigation system, fossil-fuel powered tractors, etc.

For example, we are presently using fossil-fueled pumps and tractors to pump water out of the Ogallala aquifer at a rate that continues to increase despite the aquifer getting lower and lower. Without this water, huge areas of the Great Plains will not be farmable. This is because they never were farmable in any sustainable way: they are natural grasslands that supported huge herds of buffalo but have literally never supported agriculture that can be sustained without ever more intensive human intervention. That requires ever more energy to pump up water, and the water is running out within the next few decades.

There is not a solution to this that involves water from somewhere else. Gray water already drains back into the aquifer, and farmers have already made cutbacks in water use...which has gotten them only to the amount of usage being taken out in the 1970s, which was already hundreds of times the replenishment rate.

And yet, your solution is to suggest we just follow the same path with more extreme measures. Yeah, uh, pass. The whole system needs to be re-thought. A major piece of that thinking is not trying to grow crops in areas that cannot support them. Engineering can only do so much, just as medicine can only do so much to keep a dying person alive.


How are they unsustainable? The planet is 75%+ water surface. We use Energy in all aspects of our daily lives, and Energy sources are renewable.

We train great minds for solutions, and this is a problem that has solutions that are sustainable.


At this point, I'm not sure you're even being serious.

Almost all of that is saltwater, and it would need to be desalinated and pumped tremendous distances (uphill, naturally) to farm inland areas. Solar and wind energy will have trouble scaling to the demands of the present power grid, let alone the insane additional load that would require. The vast majority of energy used to power machine-driven processes is fossil fuels. There may be solutions, but we're not anywhere close to getting to them on the timescales required (which, as demonstrated by this thread, is pretty much immediate).
 
bpatus297
Posts: 280
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2016 4:51 am

Re: My "Solution" To The California Drought

Tue Sep 14, 2021 12:45 pm

Aaron747 wrote:
bpatus297 wrote:
IADCA wrote:

Yes, we have. And I'm asking why we should continue to make ever more unsustainable investments.

You keep just pointing to past practices, many of which are also unsustainable - such as much of the present irrigation system, fossil-fuel powered tractors, etc.

For example, we are presently using fossil-fueled pumps and tractors to pump water out of the Ogallala aquifer at a rate that continues to increase despite the aquifer getting lower and lower. Without this water, huge areas of the Great Plains will not be farmable. This is because they never were farmable in any sustainable way: they are natural grasslands that supported huge herds of buffalo but have literally never supported agriculture that can be sustained without ever more intensive human intervention. That requires ever more energy to pump up water, and the water is running out within the next few decades.

There is not a solution to this that involves water from somewhere else. Gray water already drains back into the aquifer, and farmers have already made cutbacks in water use...which has gotten them only to the amount of usage being taken out in the 1970s, which was already hundreds of times the replenishment rate.

And yet, your solution is to suggest we just follow the same path with more extreme measures. Yeah, uh, pass. The whole system needs to be re-thought. A major piece of that thinking is not trying to grow crops in areas that cannot support them. Engineering can only do so much, just as medicine can only do so much to keep a dying person alive.


Is there anyway to proactive sustainable agriculture and still produce enough food for the growing population of Earth?


Vertical farming:

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20 ... li/028000c

Lab grown meat:

https://amp.theguardian.com/food/2021/j ... -kill-food


The vertical farming seems like a real solid idea. Some capital up front to get set up, then relatively cheap after that. Not sure about the lab grown meat. I would eat it, but what resources are used to grow it? Is it more or less than actually raising the animals, Neat idea though.
 
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Aaron747
Posts: 16459
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2003 2:07 am

Re: My "Solution" To The California Drought

Tue Sep 14, 2021 12:56 pm

bpatus297 wrote:
Aaron747 wrote:
bpatus297 wrote:

Is there anyway to proactive sustainable agriculture and still produce enough food for the growing population of Earth?


Vertical farming:

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20 ... li/028000c

Lab grown meat:

https://amp.theguardian.com/food/2021/j ... -kill-food


The vertical farming seems like a real solid idea. Some capital up front to get set up, then relatively cheap after that. Not sure about the lab grown meat. I would eat it, but what resources are used to grow it? Is it more or less than actually raising the animals, Neat idea though.


A lot of biotech resources are required for lab grown meat...but considering feed, grazing land, water and vet services, overall it’s a lot less than raising animals. The challenge will be scaling up and providing variety. The ones I have tried are pretty tasty.
 
bpatus297
Posts: 280
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2016 4:51 am

Re: My "Solution" To The California Drought

Tue Sep 14, 2021 1:00 pm

Aaron747 wrote:
bpatus297 wrote:
Aaron747 wrote:


The vertical farming seems like a real solid idea. Some capital up front to get set up, then relatively cheap after that. Not sure about the lab grown meat. I would eat it, but what resources are used to grow it? Is it more or less than actually raising the animals, Neat idea though.


A lot of biotech resources are required for lab grown meat...but considering feed, grazing land, water and vet services, overall it’s a lot less than raising animals. The challenge will be scaling up and providing variety. The ones I have tried are pretty tasty.


I don't see why its not feasible. I would assume its seeded with tissue cells of the meat in question. Just giving it an artificial environment to grow.
 
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Aaron747
Posts: 16459
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2003 2:07 am

Re: My "Solution" To The California Drought

Tue Sep 14, 2021 1:22 pm

bpatus297 wrote:
Aaron747 wrote:
bpatus297 wrote:

The vertical farming seems like a real solid idea. Some capital up front to get set up, then relatively cheap after that. Not sure about the lab grown meat. I would eat it, but what resources are used to grow it? Is it more or less than actually raising the animals, Neat idea though.


A lot of biotech resources are required for lab grown meat...but considering feed, grazing land, water and vet services, overall it’s a lot less than raising animals. The challenge will be scaling up and providing variety. The ones I have tried are pretty tasty.


I don't see why its not feasible. I would assume its seeded with tissue cells of the meat in question. Just giving it an artificial environment to grow.


Yep, that’s my understanding. I think the hard part is getting it to have the same texture as a real animal muscle. But they’re getting better all the time, it’s just trial and error.
 
frmrCapCadet
Posts: 5138
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Re: My "Solution" To The California Drought

Tue Sep 14, 2021 2:00 pm

Most of the corn and soybeans in the US (and world) are used for meat production. Just a small amount of that grain, along with other vegetable proteins could easily feed way more people if directly converted into meat analogs or were consumed directly. Lab meat seems kind of Rube Goldberg to me. Some GMO components added to meat analogs likely would be the best source of flavor and texture. Diabetics have been using GMO insulin for decades now. Yeah GMO. A compelling reason to look at vertical farming for veggies is that they have become the major source of food poisoning. It used to be, Look at Brave Me, I am eating raw oysters! Now we can be Brave just eating a Caesar Salad. LOL
 
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casinterest
Posts: 14147
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2005 5:30 am

Re: My "Solution" To The California Drought

Tue Sep 14, 2021 2:02 pm

IADCA wrote:
bpatus297 wrote:
IADCA wrote:

Yes, we have. And I'm asking why we should continue to make ever more unsustainable investments.

You keep just pointing to past practices, many of which are also unsustainable - such as much of the present irrigation system, fossil-fuel powered tractors, etc.

For example, we are presently using fossil-fueled pumps and tractors to pump water out of the Ogallala aquifer at a rate that continues to increase despite the aquifer getting lower and lower. Without this water, huge areas of the Great Plains will not be farmable. This is because they never were farmable in any sustainable way: they are natural grasslands that supported huge herds of buffalo but have literally never supported agriculture that can be sustained without ever more intensive human intervention. That requires ever more energy to pump up water, and the water is running out within the next few decades.

There is not a solution to this that involves water from somewhere else. Gray water already drains back into the aquifer, and farmers have already made cutbacks in water use...which has gotten them only to the amount of usage being taken out in the 1970s, which was already hundreds of times the replenishment rate.

And yet, your solution is to suggest we just follow the same path with more extreme measures. Yeah, uh, pass. The whole system needs to be re-thought. A major piece of that thinking is not trying to grow crops in areas that cannot support them. Engineering can only do so much, just as medicine can only do so much to keep a dying person alive.


Is there anyway to proactive sustainable agriculture and still produce enough food for the growing population of Earth?


Yes, although it'd require a lot of dietary changes. Less meat, more plants, no use of food crops for ethanol, etc.

casinterest wrote:
IADCA wrote:

Yes, we have. And I'm asking why we should continue to make ever more unsustainable investments.

You keep just pointing to past practices, many of which are also unsustainable - such as much of the present irrigation system, fossil-fuel powered tractors, etc.

For example, we are presently using fossil-fueled pumps and tractors to pump water out of the Ogallala aquifer at a rate that continues to increase despite the aquifer getting lower and lower. Without this water, huge areas of the Great Plains will not be farmable. This is because they never were farmable in any sustainable way: they are natural grasslands that supported huge herds of buffalo but have literally never supported agriculture that can be sustained without ever more intensive human intervention. That requires ever more energy to pump up water, and the water is running out within the next few decades.

There is not a solution to this that involves water from somewhere else. Gray water already drains back into the aquifer, and farmers have already made cutbacks in water use...which has gotten them only to the amount of usage being taken out in the 1970s, which was already hundreds of times the replenishment rate.

And yet, your solution is to suggest we just follow the same path with more extreme measures. Yeah, uh, pass. The whole system needs to be re-thought. A major piece of that thinking is not trying to grow crops in areas that cannot support them. Engineering can only do so much, just as medicine can only do so much to keep a dying person alive.


How are they unsustainable? The planet is 75%+ water surface. We use Energy in all aspects of our daily lives, and Energy sources are renewable.

We train great minds for solutions, and this is a problem that has solutions that are sustainable.


At this point, I'm not sure you're even being serious.

Almost all of that is saltwater, and it would need to be desalinated and pumped tremendous distances (uphill, naturally) to farm inland areas. Solar and wind energy will have trouble scaling to the demands of the present power grid, let alone the insane additional load that would require. The vast majority of energy used to power machine-driven processes is fossil fuels. There may be solutions, but we're not anywhere close to getting to them on the timescales required (which, as demonstrated by this thread, is pretty much immediate).


You are forgetting that this is a wide area that is under stress. Cities on the coast can use desalination plants. this helps fix the water issues towards the central side. Cisterns and better water storage solutions can help in the interior when they do receive rain the wet times. Water reuse, and mulching can help conserve water. Technology and engineering do not require a one size fits all solution. Multiple solutions and implementations need to be looked into.

Will they be expensive? probably. Will they slow growth in the area? Hopefully. Will it all work? It depends on how much worse the climate gets in this area. Are we in a worst case water scenario now, or will we be in a worse case later?
 
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Aesma
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Re: My "Solution" To The California Drought

Tue Sep 14, 2021 2:17 pm

casinterest wrote:
How are they unsustainable? The planet is 75%+ water surface. We use Energy in all aspects of our daily lives, and Energy sources are renewable.

We train great minds for solutions, and this is a problem that has solutions that are sustainable.


The proof is in the pudding. Currently US farmers are not doing sustainable farming (and not just them, but in the US, it's at another level).

I remember a few years ago seeing something about the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. A farmer was asked about the massive amounts of fertilizer he was using, that just ran off in the environment, and if he was willing to do something about it. His answer ? "Not my problem".
 
IADCA
Posts: 2410
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:24 am

Re: My "Solution" To The California Drought

Tue Sep 14, 2021 2:27 pm

casinterest wrote:
IADCA wrote:
bpatus297 wrote:

Is there anyway to proactive sustainable agriculture and still produce enough food for the growing population of Earth?


Yes, although it'd require a lot of dietary changes. Less meat, more plants, no use of food crops for ethanol, etc.

casinterest wrote:

How are they unsustainable? The planet is 75%+ water surface. We use Energy in all aspects of our daily lives, and Energy sources are renewable.

We train great minds for solutions, and this is a problem that has solutions that are sustainable.


At this point, I'm not sure you're even being serious.

Almost all of that is saltwater, and it would need to be desalinated and pumped tremendous distances (uphill, naturally) to farm inland areas. Solar and wind energy will have trouble scaling to the demands of the present power grid, let alone the insane additional load that would require. The vast majority of energy used to power machine-driven processes is fossil fuels. There may be solutions, but we're not anywhere close to getting to them on the timescales required (which, as demonstrated by this thread, is pretty much immediate).


You are forgetting that this is a wide area that is under stress. Cities on the coast can use desalination plants. this helps fix the water issues towards the central side. Cisterns and better water storage solutions can help in the interior when they do receive rain the wet times. Water reuse, and mulching can help conserve water. Technology and engineering do not require a one size fits all solution. Multiple solutions and implementations need to be looked into.

Will they be expensive? probably. Will they slow growth in the area? Hopefully. Will it all work? It depends on how much worse the climate gets in this area. Are we in a worst case water scenario now, or will we be in a worse case later?


I think it's you who doesn't comprehend the scale of the issue. You're proposing a series of band-aids on a compound fracture of a long bone. Yes, they can help somewhat - on the scale of single digit percentages of the problem. But the scale of the issue is far too large for desalination and cisterns to have any meaningful role. Cisterns in particular are just artificial aquifers...to, I guess replace the natural ones that we've sucked dry?
 
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casinterest
Posts: 14147
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2005 5:30 am

Re: My "Solution" To The California Drought

Tue Sep 14, 2021 2:35 pm

IADCA wrote:
casinterest wrote:
IADCA wrote:

Yes, although it'd require a lot of dietary changes. Less meat, more plants, no use of food crops for ethanol, etc.



At this point, I'm not sure you're even being serious.

Almost all of that is saltwater, and it would need to be desalinated and pumped tremendous distances (uphill, naturally) to farm inland areas. Solar and wind energy will have trouble scaling to the demands of the present power grid, let alone the insane additional load that would require. The vast majority of energy used to power machine-driven processes is fossil fuels. There may be solutions, but we're not anywhere close to getting to them on the timescales required (which, as demonstrated by this thread, is pretty much immediate).


You are forgetting that this is a wide area that is under stress. Cities on the coast can use desalination plants. this helps fix the water issues towards the central side. Cisterns and better water storage solutions can help in the interior when they do receive rain the wet times. Water reuse, and mulching can help conserve water. Technology and engineering do not require a one size fits all solution. Multiple solutions and implementations need to be looked into.

Will they be expensive? probably. Will they slow growth in the area? Hopefully. Will it all work? It depends on how much worse the climate gets in this area. Are we in a worst case water scenario now, or will we be in a worse case later?


I think it's you who doesn't comprehend the scale of the issue. You're proposing a series of band-aids on a compound fracture of a long bone. Yes, they can help somewhat - on the scale of single digit percentages of the problem. But the scale of the issue is far too large for desalination and cisterns to have any meaningful role. Cisterns in particular are just artificial aquifers...to, I guess replace the natural ones that we've sucked dry?


Engineering is all about band aids. You can't cross a stream or river, do you dry up the river or put in a bridge/tunnel? Cisterns help collect the high speed runoff from impervious surfaces, buildings, roads, parking lots that we have spread everywhere. With a Cistern, you can help keep the aquifer up, and let water drain easier keeping erosion under control. We need crops to survive, and water is important. The solutions will not be cheap, but Charging more for water will help lead conservation, and more effective preservation of that resource.
 
IADCA
Posts: 2410
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:24 am

Re: My "Solution" To The California Drought

Tue Sep 14, 2021 2:43 pm

casinterest wrote:
IADCA wrote:
casinterest wrote:

You are forgetting that this is a wide area that is under stress. Cities on the coast can use desalination plants. this helps fix the water issues towards the central side. Cisterns and better water storage solutions can help in the interior when they do receive rain the wet times. Water reuse, and mulching can help conserve water. Technology and engineering do not require a one size fits all solution. Multiple solutions and implementations need to be looked into.

Will they be expensive? probably. Will they slow growth in the area? Hopefully. Will it all work? It depends on how much worse the climate gets in this area. Are we in a worst case water scenario now, or will we be in a worse case later?


I think it's you who doesn't comprehend the scale of the issue. You're proposing a series of band-aids on a compound fracture of a long bone. Yes, they can help somewhat - on the scale of single digit percentages of the problem. But the scale of the issue is far too large for desalination and cisterns to have any meaningful role. Cisterns in particular are just artificial aquifers...to, I guess replace the natural ones that we've sucked dry?


Engineering is all about band aids. You can't cross a stream or river, do you dry up the river or put in a bridge/tunnel? Cisterns help collect the high speed runoff from impervious surfaces, buildings, roads, parking lots that we have spread everywhere. With a Cistern, you can help keep the aquifer up, and let water drain easier keeping erosion under control. We need crops to survive, and water is important. The solutions will not be cheap, but Charging more for water will help lead conservation, and more effective preservation of that resource.


You seem to be under the impression that the problem here is urban and suburban water use. It isn't, or at least it is not mostly, and the places the cities are aren't really optimal for cisterns anyway. Cisterns help capture gray water from rainfall primarily. The urban areas being implicitly discussed in this thread don't have enough rainfall for cisterns to be more than a rounding error. Their water already comes from elsewhere. Gray water reuse is more practical, but it's already happening in many places. And moreover, aside from right on the coast, this water that you're proposing to reuse or capture in cisterns is already being discharged post-treatment into waterways and re-used in agriculture.

Charging more for water will lead to fewer crops being produced, but not in an optimal way. It's by far the best of the solutions you've proposed, but it needs to be done in a more targeted way than simply raising rates across the board.
 
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casinterest
Posts: 14147
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2005 5:30 am

Re: My "Solution" To The California Drought

Tue Sep 14, 2021 2:50 pm

IADCA wrote:
casinterest wrote:
IADCA wrote:

I think it's you who doesn't comprehend the scale of the issue. You're proposing a series of band-aids on a compound fracture of a long bone. Yes, they can help somewhat - on the scale of single digit percentages of the problem. But the scale of the issue is far too large for desalination and cisterns to have any meaningful role. Cisterns in particular are just artificial aquifers...to, I guess replace the natural ones that we've sucked dry?


Engineering is all about band aids. You can't cross a stream or river, do you dry up the river or put in a bridge/tunnel? Cisterns help collect the high speed runoff from impervious surfaces, buildings, roads, parking lots that we have spread everywhere. With a Cistern, you can help keep the aquifer up, and let water drain easier keeping erosion under control. We need crops to survive, and water is important. The solutions will not be cheap, but Charging more for water will help lead conservation, and more effective preservation of that resource.


You seem to be under the impression that the problem here is urban and suburban water use. It isn't, or at least it is not mostly, and the places the cities are aren't really optimal for cisterns anyway. Cisterns help capture gray water from rainfall primarily. The urban areas being implicitly discussed in this thread don't have enough rainfall for cisterns to be more than a rounding error. Their water already comes from elsewhere. Gray water reuse is more practical, but it's already happening in many places. And moreover, aside from right on the coast, this water that you're proposing to reuse or capture in cisterns is already being discharged post-treatment into waterways and re-used in agriculture.

Charging more for water will lead to fewer crops being produced, but not in an optimal way. It's by far the best of the solutions you've proposed, but it needs to be done in a more targeted way than simply raising rates across the board.

It isn't about simply raising rates. It is about deploying solutions that cost money that will raise the rates. Farmers will pay more for water rights, and as such will have to work out how to best use the water they have available. Green houses, water reclamation, and more efficient watering mechanisms will all cost more. Cisterns do matter, as the amount of runoff is intense and causes erosion issues. They can also be used in residential areas to water lawns.
 
IADCA
Posts: 2410
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:24 am

Re: My "Solution" To The California Drought

Tue Sep 14, 2021 3:04 pm

casinterest wrote:
IADCA wrote:
casinterest wrote:

Engineering is all about band aids. You can't cross a stream or river, do you dry up the river or put in a bridge/tunnel? Cisterns help collect the high speed runoff from impervious surfaces, buildings, roads, parking lots that we have spread everywhere. With a Cistern, you can help keep the aquifer up, and let water drain easier keeping erosion under control. We need crops to survive, and water is important. The solutions will not be cheap, but Charging more for water will help lead conservation, and more effective preservation of that resource.


You seem to be under the impression that the problem here is urban and suburban water use. It isn't, or at least it is not mostly, and the places the cities are aren't really optimal for cisterns anyway. Cisterns help capture gray water from rainfall primarily. The urban areas being implicitly discussed in this thread don't have enough rainfall for cisterns to be more than a rounding error. Their water already comes from elsewhere. Gray water reuse is more practical, but it's already happening in many places. And moreover, aside from right on the coast, this water that you're proposing to reuse or capture in cisterns is already being discharged post-treatment into waterways and re-used in agriculture.

Charging more for water will lead to fewer crops being produced, but not in an optimal way. It's by far the best of the solutions you've proposed, but it needs to be done in a more targeted way than simply raising rates across the board.

It isn't about simply raising rates. It is about deploying solutions that cost money that will raise the rates. Farmers will pay more for water rights, and as such will have to work out how to best use the water they have available. Green houses, water reclamation, and more efficient watering mechanisms will all cost more. Cisterns do matter, as the amount of runoff is intense and causes erosion issues. They can also be used in residential areas to water lawns.


That's what I mean, though: raising rates such that the people whose land is requiring the expenses are the ones paying the raised rates. That's a good answer, but it's not what happens by default.

I'm sorta laughing at the idea of cisterns as erosion control on any meaningful scale given the size and locational issues of that proposal, but get on with that if you'd like. They're a solution to a problem, just not the one you seem to think they are.
 
bpatus297
Posts: 280
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2016 4:51 am

Re: My "Solution" To The California Drought

Tue Sep 14, 2021 3:40 pm

casinterest wrote:
IADCA wrote:
bpatus297 wrote:

Is there anyway to proactive sustainable agriculture and still produce enough food for the growing population of Earth?


Yes, although it'd require a lot of dietary changes. Less meat, more plants, no use of food crops for ethanol, etc.

casinterest wrote:

How are they unsustainable? The planet is 75%+ water surface. We use Energy in all aspects of our daily lives, and Energy sources are renewable.

We train great minds for solutions, and this is a problem that has solutions that are sustainable.


At this point, I'm not sure you're even being serious.

Almost all of that is saltwater, and it would need to be desalinated and pumped tremendous distances (uphill, naturally) to farm inland areas. Solar and wind energy will have trouble scaling to the demands of the present power grid, let alone the insane additional load that would require. The vast majority of energy used to power machine-driven processes is fossil fuels. There may be solutions, but we're not anywhere close to getting to them on the timescales required (which, as demonstrated by this thread, is pretty much immediate).


You are forgetting that this is a wide area that is under stress. Cities on the coast can use desalination plants. this helps fix the water issues towards the central side. Cisterns and better water storage solutions can help in the interior when they do receive rain the wet times. Water reuse, and mulching can help conserve water. Technology and engineering do not require a one size fits all solution. Multiple solutions and implementations need to be looked into.

Will they be expensive? probably. Will they slow growth in the area? Hopefully. Will it all work? It depends on how much worse the climate gets in this area. Are we in a worst case water scenario now, or will we be in a worse case later?


Having lived half my life in Arizona, I am all for desalinization. That water could be piped to Arizona as well. Look at what they did with the CAP.
 
IADCA
Posts: 2410
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:24 am

Re: My "Solution" To The California Drought

Tue Sep 14, 2021 5:45 pm

bpatus297 wrote:
casinterest wrote:
IADCA wrote:

Yes, although it'd require a lot of dietary changes. Less meat, more plants, no use of food crops for ethanol, etc.



At this point, I'm not sure you're even being serious.

Almost all of that is saltwater, and it would need to be desalinated and pumped tremendous distances (uphill, naturally) to farm inland areas. Solar and wind energy will have trouble scaling to the demands of the present power grid, let alone the insane additional load that would require. The vast majority of energy used to power machine-driven processes is fossil fuels. There may be solutions, but we're not anywhere close to getting to them on the timescales required (which, as demonstrated by this thread, is pretty much immediate).


You are forgetting that this is a wide area that is under stress. Cities on the coast can use desalination plants. this helps fix the water issues towards the central side. Cisterns and better water storage solutions can help in the interior when they do receive rain the wet times. Water reuse, and mulching can help conserve water. Technology and engineering do not require a one size fits all solution. Multiple solutions and implementations need to be looked into.

Will they be expensive? probably. Will they slow growth in the area? Hopefully. Will it all work? It depends on how much worse the climate gets in this area. Are we in a worst case water scenario now, or will we be in a worse case later?


Having lived half my life in Arizona, I am all for desalinization. That water could be piped to Arizona as well. Look at what they did with the CAP.


Until a method of desal comes about that requires neither vast land nor vast energy, it's not practical on an agricultural scale. As a sailor, I certainly have infinite appreciation for the concept.

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