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Thread: Lake Mead is shrinking -- and with it Las Vegas' water supply

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    Re: Lake Mead is shrinking -- and with it Las Vegas' water supply

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    The Sierra Nevada is one of the snowiest places in the lower 48, with snow packs of 20 feet and more not uncommon. Next to it is the Central Valley, where the climate for agriculture is very favorable, but there is little water. California depends on water from the snow melt to fill reservoirs and canals, providing water to that desert. Rainfall is of secondary importance.

    Moreover, most of the rain falls in winter, not when most of the crops are growing.

    Before the storm that just hit the past couple of days, there was basically no snow pack at all. Now, there is some, but not nearly enough.
    Two things.

    1) Colorado River is the largest supplier of water to California. That means snow pack from Co, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and Nevada. 90% of that area is above 90% snow pack.

    2) And that's the problem. California uses the majority of it's water for agriculture. California population is also larger then what is historically supportable. Blame Army Corp of Engineers and USGS who assumed peak wet conditions during that period was the norm.
    Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats. It is inaccurate to say that I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office. H.L Mencken

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    Re: Lake Mead is shrinking -- and with it Las Vegas' water supply

    Quote Originally Posted by Perotista View Post
    The way the video talked, that gal blamed everything on the drought. So naturally being from Georgia, my first response was to look at the rain fall. A few years back we had a nasty drought here. A couple of Hurricanes in the gulf and the water they dropped on Georgia cured most of that. Relying on snow pack for water all year around, I would have never thought of that. It is the shame that gal in the video did explain it a bit better.
    I've probably been to the Atlanta Georgia area over thirty times in the past thirty or so years and don't ever remember when it didn't rain.

    But I've been to Seattle, Wa. a dozen times and don't ever remember seeing the sun much. Always a drizzle.

    Living in the West on the Left Coast I discovered what the real color of green was once you get east of the Mississippi River. We don't have the color green like they do east of the Mississippi.

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    Re: Lake Mead is shrinking -- and with it Las Vegas' water supply

    Quote Originally Posted by austrianecon View Post
    Two things.

    1) Colorado River is the largest supplier of water to California. That means snow pack from Co, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and Nevada. 90% of that area is above 90% snow pack.

    2) And that's the problem. California uses the majority of it's water for agriculture. California population is also larger then what is historically supportable. Blame Army Corp of Engineers and USGS who assumed peak wet conditions during that period was the norm.
    Colorado river provides water to Southern California, but not much north of the Tehachapis. I thought the premise of this thread was that Lake Mead was going dry? If there is a 90% snowpack in that watershed, then you'd think they'd be in pretty good shape in the south. Here, the real snowpack is more like 9%, or less. That is a big problem for agriculture.

    There is some evidence that the past 150 years or so have been wetter than normal. What we're percieving as a drought might be a return to normal. It that's so, then this state is in real trouble.
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    Re: Lake Mead is shrinking -- and with it Las Vegas' water supply

    Quote Originally Posted by APACHERAT View Post
    I've probably been to the Atlanta Georgia area over thirty times in the past thirty or so years and don't ever remember when it didn't rain.

    But I've been to Seattle, Wa. a dozen times and don't ever remember seeing the sun much. Always a drizzle.

    Living in the West on the Left Coast I discovered what the real color of green was once you get east of the Mississippi River. We don't have the color green like they do east of the Mississippi.
    I made out to Ft. Lewis a couple of times. One day it snowed, rained and the temp climb to around 70 I believe. You could have all 4 seasons in one day. It was sure expensive out there. I left Ft. Bragg a couple of years ago where gas was 3.40 a gallon and when I filled up my rental in Seattle before leaving it was 4.05 a gallon. Food and hotels were a lot more too. I was happy to get back to FORSCOM at Bragg.
    This Reform Party member thinks it is high past time that we start electing Americans to congress and the presidency who put America first and their political party further down the line. But for way too long we have been electing Republicans and Democrats who happen to be Americans instead of Americans who happen to be Republicans and Democrats.

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    Re: Lake Mead is shrinking -- and with it Las Vegas' water supply

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    Colorado river provides water to Southern California, but not much north of the Tehachapis. I thought the premise of this thread was that Lake Mead was going dry? If there is a 90% snowpack in that watershed, then you'd think they'd be in pretty good shape in the south. Here, the real snowpack is more like 9%, or less. That is a big problem for agriculture.

    There is some evidence that the past 150 years or so have been wetter than normal. What we're percieving as a drought might be a return to normal. It that's so, then this state is in real trouble.
    Tehachapis Mountains are north of LA basin. Lake Mead gets it water from the CO river (Hoover Dam). So is Lake Powell, Lake Mohave, and Lake Havasu. The snow pack can be at 200% and it won't fix the problem. Imperial Valley area is an agriculture hub because of the All-American Canal. Mexico for years hasn't seen excess water from the CO River. Arizona and those upstream will lose water rights before California does per law.

    LA (LA Aqueduct) also takes water from the North, Mono Lake down south to Owens Lake through the Mojave. California Aqueduct also takes water from the North to LA.

    Reality is California is over populated and has too much Agriculture for what is historically normal.
    Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats. It is inaccurate to say that I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office. H.L Mencken

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    Re: Lake Mead is shrinking -- and with it Las Vegas' water supply

    Quote Originally Posted by Perotista View Post
    One day it snowed, rained and the temp climb to around 70 I believe. You could have all 4 seasons in one day.
    Sounds like Ohio and the East Coast.
    Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats. It is inaccurate to say that I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office. H.L Mencken

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    Re: Lake Mead is shrinking -- and with it Las Vegas' water supply

    Quote Originally Posted by austrianecon View Post
    Tehachapis Mountains are north of LA basin. Lake Mead gets it water from the CO river (Hoover Dam). So is Lake Powell, Lake Mohave, and Lake Havasu. The snow pack can be at 200% and it won't fix the problem. Imperial Valley area is an agriculture hub because of the All-American Canal. Mexico for years hasn't seen excess water from the CO River. Arizona and those upstream will lose water rights before California does per law.

    LA (LA Aqueduct) also takes water from the North, Mono Lake down south to Owens Lake through the Mojave. California Aqueduct also takes water from the North to LA.

    Reality is California is over populated and has too much Agriculture for what is historically normal.
    I'd think that a few years of 200% snowpack would go a long way towards filling up Lake Mead.

    but, you may be right. California has overextended itself for the water supply available.

    I've been watching vines being planted in the foothills of the Coast range, and wondering where the water was coming from to keep them growing. Maybe now, we'll find that there really isn't enough for all of the permanent crops that have been planted.
    "Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud... [he's] playing the American public for suckers." Mitt Romney

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    Re: Lake Mead is shrinking -- and with it Las Vegas' water supply

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    I'd think that a few years of 200% snowpack would go a long way towards filling up Lake Mead.
    But it would have to be that rate from this point on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    but, you may be right. California has overextended itself for the water supply available.
    I think I am.. One of the few things I'd is support Government loans for would be Desalination plants being built like they do in the Middle East. Not grants but favorable loans with low interest rates.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    I've been watching vines being planted in the foothills of the Coast range, and wondering where the water was coming from to keep them growing. Maybe now, we'll find that there really isn't enough for all of the permanent crops that have been planted.
    I think that will be the case. Some of my wife's family lives in San Mateo and they have a summer/winter place up in Truckee area and I always ask them how the hell can you live in California. Granted it's where they grew up, but as a East Coaster I just don't get how living and dying by the sword is acceptable.
    Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats. It is inaccurate to say that I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office. H.L Mencken

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    Re: Lake Mead is shrinking -- and with it Las Vegas' water supply

    FYI: water is measured in "acre feet" (AF). One AF=326,000 gallons. Annual amounts are measured in "acre feet per year" (AFY).

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    Re: Lake Mead is shrinking -- and with it Las Vegas' water supply

    Oprah and Ellen are scared.

    Scuttlebutt is, Santa Barbara who had it's #### together back in the 80's/90's built a water desalination facility and then put it in mothballs for an emergency might reactive the desalination plant. Of course the water is only for the elite who live in Santa Barbara.





    Description
    The Charles Meyer Desalination Plant is in long-term storage mode and is not currently producing drinking water for the City. The City constructed the reverse osmosis seawater desalination facility as an emergency water supply in response to the severe drought from 1986 to 1991. Two neighboring water purveyors, Goleta and Montecito water districts, participated in the project but have since opted out of the permanent facility. Due to sufficient freshwater supplies since 1991, the facility remains in long-term storage mode for reactivation within two years in the case of prolonged and severe drought.

    Annual Capacity
    With the departure of the co-participants and sale of a portion of the capacity, the desalination facility now has a production capacity of 3,125 acre feet per year.

    Operating Criteria
    Relatively high variable costs for desalination make this supply the last to be utilized during periods of shortage. The facility is normally in long-term storage mode and is expected to be recommissioned only when the demand cannot be met using all other available supplies.

    Cost Information
    The original capital cost for construction in 1991 was $34 million. The capital cost to reactivate the plant at a capacity of 3,125 AF per year was estimated at $17.7 million, not including about $2.5 million dollars in distribution system improvements that would be required, if not already completed by the time of reactivation. Operating costs were estimated at approximately $1,500/AF.

    Last Updated: Jul 26, 2013

    Santa Barbara - Desalination

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