Saturday, February 01, 2014

California Drought: 17 Communities Could Run Out of Water Within 60 To 120 days/Updates

UPDATE: 3-1-14:

Major storm brings needed rain to L.A., but at a cost

Hopefully someone is monitoring the rain with a Geiger counter... And while scientists claim no "one" event can be attributed to climate changes due to AGW, this has all the earmarks of what has been happening globally for the past decade... areas going through severe prolonged drought to then be soaked with drenching rains in a short period of time thus totally destroying crops and causing more runoff than actually benefitting the soil. Scientists predicted that human forcing of the hydrologic/carbon cycles would bring erratic rains and uneven dispersal. It has also effected monsoon rains in Asia and we have seen this same MO in South America, Africa, Europe. Places not used to getting such rains have been inundated with huge deluges and droughts have been more severe due to more heat in the atmosphere increasing evaporation rates. People need to reconsider where they choose to build their homes and grow their food if this indeed is to be the "new normal."

UPDATE: 2-24-14:

Where Is California's Water Going?

Even at this stage people cannot admit they themselves brought this on by their rapacious consumption of water and fossil fuels that brought about drier conditions along with climate change. We will go extinct pointing our bony finger at some invisible entity. Hubris kills. Oh, and it isn't a fish's fault... IT'S OURS. There is or was enough water FOR IT ALL if we humans weren't so damned self important. Did all the rich living in their mansions empty their Olympic sized swimming pools yet?

UPDATE: 2-15-14:

Los Angeles Is Finally Starting To Run Out Of Water

Cachuma Lake, a crystalline mountain resource, is disappearing

These 11 Cities May Completely Run Out Of Water Sooner Than You Think

Can you guess which city is number one?

Which city will be the first to have to be evacuated and used as a monument to our wastefulness and greed?

Also see:

Colorado River Releases Slashed To Historic Lows

Climate shifts, drought, fracking... but let's just keep taking from the Colorado River system and keeping those Vegas fountains going!

UPDATE: 2-11-14:

California's Drought Could Be the Worst in 500 Years

The remains of Cachuma Lake, the main water source for 200,000 people in southern Santa Barbara County. Ruaridh Stewart/ZUMA

California Drought Hits Farmers Hardest

Our food prices will be hit hard as well.


Again, take a look at reference to jet stream anomalies.

Loss Of Arctic Ice Leads To Drought In California

Tied to this:

The "Polar Vortex" Freezing Us Today Due In Part To Global Warming

(See original video with this article at main link.)


"As California's drought deepens, 17 communities across the state are in danger of running out of water within 60 to 120 days, state officials said Tuesday.

In some communities, wells are running dry. In others, reservoirs are nearly empty. Some have long-running problems that predate the drought.

The water systems, all in rural areas, serve from 39 to 11,000 residents. They range from the tiny Lompico County Water District in Santa Cruz County to districts that serve the cities of Healdsburg and Cloverdale in Sonoma County.

And it could get a lot worse.

"As the drought goes on, there will be more that probably show up on the list," said Dave Mazzera, acting drinking-water division chief for the state Department of Public Health.


State health officials are in discussion with leaders of other agencies, including the state Office of Emergency Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, to work on immediate solutions, he added. Those could include everything from trucking in water to the health department providing emergency funds for drilling new wells or connecting faltering systems to other water systems.

A similar list of vulnerable communities was compiled during California's last drought, which lasted from 2007 to 2009. But the current drought is more severe. Less rain fell in 2013 than in any year since California became a state in 1850.

Even though some rain is forecast for Thursday, major storms are desperately needed this winter and spring to replenish depleted reservoirs, rivers and the Sierra Nevada snowpack -- which on Tuesday stood at 14 percent of normal.

"This is a statewide drought. This is a serious drought," Bill Croyle, director of the state Drought Task Force, said Thursday. "It's all hands on deck."

End of excerpt:


How bad will it have to get before people connect these dots? These types of megadroughts are happening globally more frequently and lasting longer. This impacts not only land but food production, food prices, health, livelihoods and life itself. As I have been writing here for years, conservation is the key. This area is also growing in population with a rapacious thirst and a wasteful attitude. Golf courses, fountains, casinos, desert communities all expecting to have all the water they want whenever they want it along with extraction companies invading every section of this country to frack it to death. It is all simply unsustainable. Now, they will be forced to go to the expensive band aid action of desalination? What happens when we suck the oceans dry?

The Oceans Warmed Up Sharply In 2013

The Oceans Warmed up Sharply in 2013: We're Going to Need a Bigger Graph


"Long-term the oceans have been gaining heat at a rate equivalent to about 2 Hiroshima bombs per second, although this has increased over the last 16 or so years to around 4 per second. In 2013 ocean warming rapidly escalated, rising to a rate in excess of 12 Hiroshima bombs per second - over three times the recent trend. This doesn't necessarily mean we are entering a period of greatly accelerated ocean warming, as there is substantial year-to-year variation in heat uptake by the oceans. It does, however, once again dispel the persistent myth of a pause in global warming, because the Earth has actually continued to warm faster in the last 16 years than it did in the preceding 16 years.

As can be seen in Figure 1 below, the global oceans have warmed so quickly in 2013 that the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC) is going to need a bigger graph."

End of excerpt: (Bolding in excerpt my emphasis.)


Reality continues to prove that lies perpetuated by those who do not wish to see reality because it challenges their political biases and economic fortunes are doing great harm. The telltale signs of our actions are in the air and water-they do not lie. The Earth is the only home we have that gives us life-it does not lie. It is not hard to see that through continued burning of fossil fuels-predominantly tarsands, shale and heavier crudes that require deeper extraction that we are not only destroying our climate balance but the balance of our planet on the whole.

In 2013 manatees died off the Florida coast in record numbers. Off the East coast dolphins also died in record numbers. In the Pacific starfish are dying in record numbers melted to the seafloor and while climate change hasn't been specifically named regarding this it also cannot be ruled out besides our continued apathetic treatment of our waterways in how they are managed and regarding the poisons we dump in them.

Typhoons and cyclones were also much more ferocious in the Pacific this past year with Typhoon Haiyan breaking records (other posts here also document Cyclone Phaillin which hit India and other stronger storms.) Ocean temperatures globally have been trending upward with more energy being stored in the atmosphere. You can only deny reality and the physics of it for so long- it then has a way of catching up to you-sometimes personally:

Scientists: Hurricane Sandy Storm Surge Directly Affected By Climate Change

For the sake of your children, grandchildren and the planet you love it is time to stop allowing the voices of greed and selfishness to deter you from seeing the truth. Our oceans are warming, our atmosphere is warming, the climate is abruptly changing due to human activity that can be quantified and WE have to get busy in doing all we can as a species to save ourselves. The lies you listen to today will be the undoing of our future. Two words that are very important regarding this that people need to know: CUMULATIVE and FEEDBACKS. We are now in the stage where these two effects are going to hit us hard. There is no more time left for political bantering. A few cold days is weather. This is climate and we need to know the difference if we are to have a habitable planet!

Ocean Acidification Poised To Radically Affect Arctic

Arctic Ocean Leaking Methane At Alarming Rate

Oceans In Critical State From Cumulative Impacts

Our Oceans Have Acidified More in Last 200 years Than The Previous 21,000 Years

2013 Continued the Long-Term Warming Trend

Arctic Warmth Unprecedented In 44,000 Years

Sensitivity of Carbon Cycle To Tropical Temperature Variations Has Doubled

Friday, January 31, 2014

The Decline Of Glorious Babylon

Iraq's Environment, Water Supply In Severe Decline


"Iraq is losing between 5 and 8 percent of its gross domestic product to environmental degradation each year, while the amount of water available per person has dropped by more than half since the late 1970s, according to a new government study.

Backed by the United Nations and the World Bank, the report found that Iraq’s environment has suffered severe decline in recent years due to decades of war, a growing population and increasing pressure on natural resources.

The quality and quantity of the country’s water has been harmed by upstream damming, pollution, climate change and inefficient usage, and its cropland is shrinking, the Arabic-language study said.

The amount of water available per person per year fell from 5,900 cubic metres in 1977 to 2,400 cubic metres in 2009 - a situation made worse by droughts between 2005 and 2009.

The Tigris and the Euphrates rivers, Iraq’s two major sources of surface water, could dry up by 2040 if current conditions continue, the report warned."

End of excerpt

Also see:

Environmental Degradation From Climate Change and Conflict Plagues Iraq


"Iraq is considered to be one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change in the Arab region. Around one-third of its surface is desert, while another 39 percent of the country is affected by, and 54 percent more under threat from desertification.

Frequent dust and sand storms are hitting the country and access to safe water and sanitation is a growing problem. Drought and water shortages have seen many communities displaced, driving an increase in urbanization as they move from rural to built-up areas.

Meanwhile years of conflict and violence have left around 1.6 million Iraqis affected by chemical pollution and unexploded ordnance."

End of excerpt


As someone who treasures culture and the rich historical heritage that shaped humanity I find it to be beyond sad to see the current state of Iraq- the once glorious Babylon in such decline. This was once an area of gardens, fertile farms and a rich culture where waters flowed until dictators and those who have no respect for culture or environment invaded it. Today we see nothing but the degradation of land and water due to climate change, corporate plundering, war and the destruction of the rich cultural heritage that defined human civilization. How have we become so apathetic to such blatant disregard for history, culture and life?

As the articles above indicate we see the same scenario in regards to climate change/drought/displacement playing out in Iraq as played out in Syria which led to civil war and the current tragedy in Syria. Are we to just watch the entire Arab world fall to the effects of abrupt climate change and war? The Iraq war launched by the criminal Bush administration was also a huge part of the destruction of water access and equality as well as destruction of agriculture and biodiversity as was Saddam Hussein in regards to the Marshlands. The war also opened Iraq up to terrorist elements like Al Qaeda which also has no respect for the culture or resources of Iraq.

The decline of water accessibility in this region of the world is then alarming at this point. Climate change also is causing a decline in cropland planted as temperatures and soil evaporation rates increase. We as a species must prepare for these effects as they worsen in order to ensure that people of the world have a place to grow food in order to survive. The proliferation of dam building in this area of the world on the banks of the Tigris/Euphrates Rivers as well particularly by Turkey has also increased the threat of water insecurity and scarcity for Iraq as well as the invasion of Iraq by corporations such as Becthtel, Monsanto, et al.

How could we go from this:

The Hanging Gardens Of Babylon

To this?:

How much more do we need to see to know that the decline of human civilization is in full swing when a land of such treasure is reduced to a place where people cannot appreciate the life that once sprang from it? If this does not break your heart I do not know what will. We are for sure bringing this planet to a place we will not be able to recover from. Our pretenses, our self importance, our political rancor, our religious fervor- will mean nothing in the end when none of us have a world we can live on sustainably and peacefully. The people of Iraq do not deserve this. Cultures of the past cry out to us from history to learn from the mistakes of the past if we wish to have a future.

Also Reference:

Iraq's Marshes, Corporate Control, And Water Scarcity

What Does The Arab World Do When Their Water Runs Out?

Water Shortage In Southern Iraq Threatens Two Million People


Water Shortage Crisis Escalating in the Tigris-Euphrates Basin


"The Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, originating in Turkey and cutting through both Syria and Iraq, have experienced drastic reductions in water flows in recent years due, primarily, to Turkish hydro-engineering and regional droughts. This is of significance for Iraq, which has historically prospered because of the rich agricultural harvests based on water supplies sourced from these waterways. Turkish initiatives aimed at massively expanding their exploitation of the water from the two rivers have coincided with severe droughts in the region and resulted in a burgeoning water-shortage crisis in Iraq. This problem threatens an environmental catastrophe. Political negotiations between the three countries have so far fallen short of reaching agreement on providing the necessary increases in flow rates to address the deteriorating situation in Iraq."

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Remembering Pete Seeger, Riverkeeper

Legendary Pete Seeger died Monday, January 27 at the age of 94. His music inspired an entire generation to speak out against social injustice, war and pollution. His love for the Hudson River which is also my river was part of what first inspired me at the age of 12 to write to President Nixon about the environment and the Hudson River and to start a group at my school to advocate for cleaning it up. His voice will be missed but his music and advocacy for our Earth will live on:

Pete Seeger's Advocacy For Hudson River Endures

Two weeks ago- still going strong in standing up for our water:

Pete Seeger Joins Protesters to Say: 'Don't Frack With New York!'

He wrote the songs of our lives:

From Album "Pete" from 1996:

Truth in music. Thank you, Pete Seeger.

Another World Water Day Gone

We see another World Water Day pass us by. The theme, Water For All, signifies that though some progress has been made we are woefully behin...