Water Cops

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Guess there's not much crime in the city of San Antonio. The city's cops now go up and down the neighborhoods giving tickets to people using water. $100 fine. They're in stage 2 of the drought, and water restrictions are being enforced. They are only allowed to water lawns, wash cars, etc. from 3 a.m. to 8 a.m. once a week. Days are assigned according to their street address. When cars are washed, they have to be on the lawn. Amazing ~ their aquafer is the size of Lake Mead!

-- ~Rogo (rogo2020@yahoo.com), July 28, 2000


Hi Rogo,

It doesn't matter how big the aquafer is. If your sucking it out faster than it's being replaced, the well is going to run dry. The USGS site at http://txwww.cr.usgs.gov/index.html#GENERAL_INFO seems to say that you've got some real water problems in your part of the state. I know, the roof in Hell must be leaking. That's where all your water is going :)


-- Craig Miller (CMiller@ssd.com), July 28, 2000.

Anyone living out West, or anyone interested in water power politics out West should read: Cadillac Desert, by Marc Reisner. PBS also did a teevee show a couple of years ago, using I think, 6 chapters. It discusses how the aquifers are being depleted; the history of LA stealing the water from the Owens Valley; and particularly important, the competition between the Bureau of Reclamation and the Army Corps of Engineers for building dams, many of which were useless political pork and were known to be before construction. Other stories, too....like how we once again screwed our Indian populations by damning their lands and forgetting to return water or electricity to them.

We are running out of water in many places. I will always think of what's in this book before relocating.

-- sheepish (rborgo@gte.net), July 28, 2000.

Hi Sheepish,

You're right about the water. It's going to be a big economic and political issue in the future. The Great Lakes represent 20% of the entire world's supply of fresh surface water. The governors of the states that border the lakes aren't about to allow the water to be piped south or west. They won't even allow it to be loaded on ocean going tankers to be sold as a natural resource. The Canadians are also getting very guarded about their share of the water.

Lake Erie, 10 miles from my house, is at a 30 year low. The story isn't much different in the other lakes. Scientists aren't exactly sure why this is happening, but attribute it in part to the increasingly mild winters which is reducing the winter snow pack. That means less spring melt to replenish the water tables.

The first person to figure out how to bottle the water from a Florida hurricane will be rich, if he doesn't drown first!


-- Craig Miller (CMiller@ssd.com), July 28, 2000.

About Florida...

There was (maybe still is...) a plan to pipe water from NE Florida rivers down to south Florida.

Like into the Tampa/St Pete retirement mecca...so it can be flushed down the toilets and dumped into the Gulf.

My, what wonderful uses for limited resources...


-- j (jw_hsv@yahoo.com), July 28, 2000.

The problem with down in San Antonio is that there are too dang many people living there. It's happening here in North Texas too. I think the fine should be $1,000.

-- Joe Cole (jcole@apha.com), July 28, 2000.

I am becoming a big fan of the Cycle Theory. For the last three years (maybe more) Virginia has been drought ridden. Last year Roanoke's water reservoir dried up. This year our cup runneth over. We are green Green GREEN !!! My crops are magnificent and my farm may actally turn a pretty good profit(knock on wood). I remember granddad talking about 25 year weather cycles. He said a man gets about 45 harvests in his lifetime and he would see the weather patterns repeat about 2 times. I have a friend in Texas who told me last week that she had not had rain in 35 days. I had that problem last year. Maybe we are cycling ?

-- Joel Rosen (Joel681@webtv.net), July 28, 2000.

Hi Joel, I agree, I think the weather is cycling. Good this year! However, the aquifers don't cycle.... :( Well, maybe every few millennia?

Las Vegas used to have almost zero humidity. Now it's a 30% b/c of all the golf courses, lawns, and swimming pools. Phoenix is probably higher. No big deal about the humidity, but amazing how altered the original ecology is! Probably not good for various flora and fauna. (Who cares, though, if all you do is live in an air conditioned house!)

Last plan is to divert water out of Canada. Guess it will test that world's longest undefended border status! Water for maintaining life is one thing....it is absurd beyond belief to provide all the electricity to enable all the lights in Las Vegas, etc. I marvel at our greed sometimes. No, make that often....!

-- sheepish (rborgo@gte.net), July 28, 2000.

Ditto sheepish, OFTEN

-- Joel Rosen (Joel681@webtv.net), July 28, 2000.

I grew up in Texas. When I was a kid, there were huge springs all over between Waco and San Antonio, in all the parks, where we used to dive for quarters my dad and uncles would throw into them.

All the springs of my childhood have dried up, long ago, according to my folks. I no longer live there. They dried up due to overpumping the Edwards aquifer.

Here in Oregon, we're punching more and more wells into the largely uncharted aquifers. No one seems to want to look at what's going to happen when we run out of water, due to a drought or just too damn many people

-- jumpoffjoe (jumpoffjoe@yahoo.com), July 29, 2000.

I lived most of my life in the desert of Arizona. As a kid, the humidity ran around 5%. When it got up to 10%, folks complained. Arizona drew folks from all over the country who had asthma or any lung disease; their doctors told them they needed the dry climate. Then folks started moving there in droves. They came for our way of life ~ which they wanted changed as soon as they moved in. They wanted it to be like Michigan, or Wisconsin, or wherever the heck they came from. They didn't plant the indigenous plants; they brought stuff from their home states that required lots of water. And they wanted GRASS! A meterologist once told me that grass is the reason the humidity is so high today. Granted, the humidity isn't as high as Michigan or Wisconsin, but today it's one of the worst places to be if you have asthma or allergies. A dermatologist told me there's now 5 allergy seasons. I said, 'How? There's only 4 seasons!!' Yep, 5 allergy seasons. The many golf courses (you should see how many are rarely used!) don't help; they each use one million gallons of water/day.

The water table is dangerously low in many cities. One builder knew there wasn't any water where he was building a sub-division. This guy leased water from the Indians. I can just see it in a couple of years ~ sorry, white man, we're not gonna give you any more water. The unsuspecting buyers don't have a clue!

When my friend had had enough and moved out of state, her well that had produced an abundance of water for 50 years (her parents had built the house), had sand coming out of the faucet! What caused it? Seven golf courses had been built in the little town as the easterners took over.

The resorts look like Florida.

Boy, you guys got me fired up! Sorry I got carried away. I'll quit now!

-- ~Rogo (rogo2020@yahoo.com), July 29, 2000.

==should read: Cadillac Desert, by Marc Reisner. PBS also did a teevee show a couple of years ago, using I think, 6 chapters. It discusses how the aquifers are being depleted==

You won't believe what a good portion of the aquafers in San Antonio are holding water back for ~ bless those dang activists ~ some type of creatures like toads, frogs and such. Fortunately, I live a couple of hours from San Antonio. I'm out in the boonies of a county ~ something like 12 people/square mile ~ and we aren't under any water restrictions.

The governor declared 3/4 of the state a disaster area due to the drought. The 30 acres of Coastal grass my 'kids' live on is turning brown. They love it when it turns brown! The Coastal grows year 'round, and a small amount of rain will have the grass growing back; 12 inches grow in a week. But, I ordered a round bale of hay (also Coastal) to be ready. It's just something that happens in the drought of the summers. The bales weigh 1000-1500 pounds, and 2 bales usually does it for the summer. ($25-$40 each, depending on the grower). My grower uses irrigation, so he always has hay.

-- ~Rogo (rogo2020@yahoo.com), July 29, 2000.

Even out here in WA state, we are having a dry time of it in some places. Forest fires are burning in E. WA and all over the West U.S. (saw some from the plane ride coming back from CO this week). We had a very wet spring but it's now getting dry around here. Scary thing, folks here aren't too fire conscious as it's usually so wet that not much burns. Still, we have lots of water flowing down the slopes of the Cascades into our rivers and streams. Pretty soon we won't be able to touch any of it, though, as the Salmon Protection programs kick in! (I love salmon....am barbecuing some today!) and would rather protect them than some other creatures I know, but man, we are really out of balance here, don't you think? *I* didn't overcut the timber; *I* didn't pollute the streams with lawn fertilizer; *I* didn't build poorly designed hydroelectric dams that stopped their migration; *I* didn't over-fish them! BUT...what am *I* going to do about it? Not to mention what am *I* going to do about everybody and his brother moving out here....sigh......

-- sheepish (rborgo@gte.net), July 29, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ