Water is the Deal


Drought-low-pond

No, I ain’t no kinda expert. But a little study and some everyday observation of the news can tell you a plenty. Let‘s go ahead and start of with some facts about water. These are from an organization called Changing the Present.

One sixth of the worlds population does not have access to safe drinking water.

 2.6 billion people worldwide do not have access to adequate sanitation.

 The number of people living in a water-stressed country is projected to climb from 470 million to three billion by 2050.

 2.2 million people in developing countries, most of them children, die every year from diseases associated with lack of access to safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene.

 A child dies every 15 seconds from water-related diseases.

 World population has doubled since 1950. Our water consumption has increased six-fold.

 The average person in the developing world uses less than 3 gallons of water each day for drinking, washing and cooking. This is the same amount used to flush one toilet in the developed world.

 On current trends over the next 20 years humans will use 40% more water than they do now.

 40 billion working hours are spent carrying water each year in Africa.

 It would cost an estimated $16 billion more each year to halve the number of people without access to safe water and sanitation. Americans spent $15 billion on bottled water last year alone.

 1,300 gallons of water are needed to produce one hamburger.

 2.5 billion gallons of water are used every day to irrigate the world’s golf courses.

 In some parts of the world, a woman expends one third of her daily calorie intake carrying water for her family.

 Bottled water costs up to 10,000 times as much as tap water.

 Women and children in rural Africa walk an average of five miles a day for water.

2 million tons of industrial, chemical, agricultural and human wastes are dumped into fresh water sources each day.

 3600 children die each day from water-borne diseases.

 Makes you wanna just take a big dump right on main street, don’t it? No, no, it’s take a big dump right on your own freaking head, that is if you are living in the developed world. I am sickened by these facts; I am sickened that I am an American water consumer as I pit us against the rest of the world. IT’S SICK! Well actually, I personally only use on average about 3400 gallons a year, for everything including gardening. That’s only about 9.3 gallons a day. I have a compost toilet, shower only 6 times a month, reuse my dish and laundry water for digging trenches in hard pan ground, reuse my rinse waters from laundry for the next load, and more.  Don’t admire me, when you are catching and hauling your water, especially in New Mexico and in this drought, it’s pretty easy to get your usage down to 9 gallons a day.

Estimates vary, but according to the USGS per capita consumption in America is about 80-100 gallons of water per day. Remember this from the list above: The average person in the developing world uses less than 3 gallons of water each day for drinking, washing and cooking. This is the same amount used to flush one toilet in the developed world.  Get it? To flush shit down a damn toilet is extremely slipshod and equally stupid. And most of the time we’re only flushing about a pint of pee as we piss more than we shit. And all this with fresh clean water, IT”S SICK!

Now before I go on, let me say I’ve lived in the city, I have used water like the average American water glutton, I am noted for taking long hot showers, letting the water run while I talk to my girlfriend on the phone, taking too much time to fix drips, flushing nose wipe paper, all that. Yeah I am an American. And I only am doing good with water now mostly because I have to. So excuse me for my self-righteousness, but god damn it we gotta change, that means you and me. Hey, let’s look at some water projections.

Projections:

 From Science Direct:

By 2025, it is estimated that around 5 billion people, out of a total population of around 8 billion, will be living in countries experiencing water stress.

From the IPCC AR5 Report

Freshwater-related risks of climate change increase significantly with increasing greenhouse gas emissions

 Climate change is projected to reduce renewable surface water and groundwater resources significantly in most dry subtropical regions (high agreement, robust evidence). This will exacerbate competition for water among agriculture, ecosystems, settlements, industry and energy production, affecting regional water, energy and food security

 So far there are no widespread observations of changes in flood magnitude and frequency due to anthropogenic climate change, but projections imply variations in the frequency of floods(medium agreement, limited evidence)

 Climate change is likely to increase the frequency of meteorological droughts (less rainfall) and agricultural droughts (less soil moisture) in presently dry regions by the end of this century under the RCP8.5 scenario (medium confidence). This is likely to increase the frequency of short hydrological droughts (less surface water and groundwater) in these regions (medium agreement, medium evidence)

 Climate change negatively impacts freshwater ecosystems by changing streamflow and water quality (high agreement, medium evidence)

 Climate change is projected to reduce raw water quality, posing risks to drinking water quality even with conventional treatment (high agreement, medium evidence)

 In regions with snowfall, climate change has altered observed streamflow seasonality, and increasing alterations due to climate change are projected (high agreement, robust evidence)

 Well it’s sick already, and with these projections it’s only going to get sicker. I’m not gonna give you more quotes, you’ve heard enough with this. If you haven’t, you’re an idiot. Oh sure, some denier will say, “yeah but look at all those medium and low confidences the IPCC gives”. Yeah? Screw you. Those are from the IPCC of whom is very conservative in their estimates and extremely cautious with their projections since you dumb asses put the heat on Copenhagen with nothing but bullshit. How’d you get away with that anyway? I digress.

So, what the heck we gonna do about this? Well from the looks of things not much, but maybe thirst will change that? Sure it will, but that’d be too late. I mean, when you see some CEO buying a quart of water for 30 bucks you’ll know it’s too late for us commoners and likely too late for that dickhead as well. We can all do like I’m doing and massively reduce our consumption of water, but when it comes to water we’re all dickheads at some level here in the developed world. The likelihood the average American or European will sit on a compost toilet, outside in the open air with no walls around them, fighting flies and gnats while they wipe their ass is very, very slim. Many would rather die.

OK well I got an idea, but I’m not so sure of it myself; it’s all I got though. We catch the heavy rain and snow in areas that will have excess rain and snowfall and pipe it to the those areas suffering long-term drought. For instance let’s take Southwest America. Caught water can get there by gravity feed if the water catchment areas are in high altitudes, at least 5000 feet, the higher the better. In the in the north like Alaska, Canada or the Cascades you could get high enough to gravity feed to just about every part of the Southwest.

There are 7.48 gallons of water per cubic foot, so 12 inches of rain on a 500 acre catchment field at 43560 square feet per acre would produce over a quarter billion gallons of water. That’s just 12 inches of rain in one 500 acre area, think if it were 50 million acres spread out in 500 to 1000 acre catchment fields all over the north and eastern part of North America and catching water all year long. Fifty million acres is a pinhead on North America and so they’d never miss it. Remember, many of these areas will have yearly rainfalls of up to 48 inches, much of the southwest is lucky to get 12 inches and in the future it’ll be lucky for 4-6.  We pipe oil all over the god damn place, why not water? That water would be clean water as well. There are nearly 150 thousand miles of oil pipeline in the USA and 1.5 million miles of gas line. Pipelines for water would only have to run as far as the nearest resource river such as the Rio Grande, Colorado, the Pecos, the Green, the Sacramento and more and reservoirs too. There may have to be some minor pumping stations along the way using energy to get water over some mountains or something, but unlikely if done right. Unlike oil, we are not going underground, we are going to the sky starting at 5000 feet or better so most all the fluid will flow by gravity feed.

“Whoa!” you say, “hey bud, humans created this situation so humans gotta suffer the consequences. Don’t you think we’ve industrialized this planet enough and now you wanna do the biggest pipeline gig in history?” Oh sure, we created the problem, and the problem with that is we’ve created one so big that now to save a great deal of life on this planet besides our own, very drastic measures need to be undertaken. Understand, WATER is the only thing to be concerned about in regards to sustaining  ourselves and many other species. The life it would sustain in the southwest would be massive, everything from plants to humans, restored ecosystems, all that. The water would be coming from areas that will now have excess water due to climate change, get it?  See, it is that serious. And WATER is the only product (excuse the term) I would ever suggest to do this. Done properly it would not effect environments very much at all, quite the contrary, along the way it would help many environments. WATER IS LIFE.

By the time we would do something like this, our societies will have gone through many changes by just experiencing that every day is about survival now, you and I may not see this, but if we started doing something like this now our future generations would be very grateful for us to have amended this particular mistake. In their future, water will be the most precious commodity on earth for both thirst and hunger…let alone a bath.

So this project is something that would take decades, maybe a half century. Climate change is going to be screwing with us for many centuries. Even if you factor no major climate change but just natural variability, as the populations grow and agricultural lands decrease water will be the only thing keeping things afloat, no pun (etc.) and we all can’t be heading off to Greenland.

As fort the rest of the future conditions of the planet Earth and our societies, none of them will matter in the face of, “sorry son, no water”.  When water gets to the point of heavy rationing for both home and industry, the next thing that happens is we look like East Africa, very quick. If we get our attentions off the many, many products we consume (estimated to be 100 million) and the production thereof and instead think in terms of food, water, clothing and shelter, while recycling our cars into water pipeline, well yeah, if we start now we might make it. Do Not wait on high technology to fix this, it will be easier to land on Saturn than fix this water issue in an effort to maintain growing economies that support our present day standards of living; especially given our short recovery time window, as of April 2014, 15 years according to the UN. In short, the time for surrender and sacrifice is here, and time to let go of our toys.

We will ultimately become a water culture, we will have to. It will change our very perspective of life, from our daily involvements to our intrinsic values. What we own and enjoy now may look very different when we become a water culture. You think I’m talking some kinda spiritual crap? No, not really. Nevertheless, see it how you will because our force against nature is bringing us a change and by force of nature we will comply.

Return to Evolve Now

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About dannyheim

I am a nut. But a good nut. Please note that all my blogs are continually in the process of being edited. You most likely would see changes if you visit back again more than once. Oh, I'm an artist by trade these days, so ahh anyway, um, ah well, my website is on here somewhere, um ah, wella anyway it's ah, http://dannyheim.com./. It's not a buying type site, don't worry, I don't market from there.
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7 Responses to Water is the Deal

  1. Interesting. Water is a bit more complicated (too much or too little, depending where you are), I think, but certainly the first domino to fall in our exploitation and expansion stupidity. This is sad about Detroit:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/06/24/1309265/-Detroit-Shutting-Off-Water-to-Thousands-Every-Week-as-Desperate-Citizens-Appeal-to-U-N-for-Help

  2. Sam Bliss says:

    Hey Danny, I like the real talk about water. Really, you cut through a lot of the crap about water and it’s refreshing. There’s talk about piping water from the northwest or alaska to SoCal at least once a decade it seems (LA’s water has come from stealing others’ water and piping it in for generations now). One possible solution I’d add to your prescription: If we’re trying to move to a post-fossil fuel economy, but with huge water shortages in the near term and locked-in climate change and pop. growth making it worse, why not use the goddamn oil pipelines to ship water instead of oil? Obviously we’d still need a lot of new infrastructure to make it all work, but this would save a lot of pipe mile and the requisist NEW ecosystem destruction that inevitably comes with in. Just a thought man.

    • dannyheim says:

      Yeah I thought about that too, but I’m not sure they can use those lines since they’ve had oil in them, on metal it soaks in, but that don’t mean they can’t get them clean somehow, it would be a good way to go and a lot of work already done that’s for sure. Thanks Sam

  3. Pingback: Food, Water, Clothing and Shelter—Explained | Evolve Now

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