Justin Sullivan, Getty Images
Just "saving" water won't cut it
- Looney Toons Leftist Democrat run California talks about spending billions on bullet trains with a passion. But when it comes to water almost nothing meaningful is done.
- The Future - "Farmers have to sit down and ask themselves... do they want their children and grandchildren to be farming?"
Experts are warning that California's record drought will have a long-term impact on the state's nationally vital agricultural sector, as well as its residents and environment, unless better water management policies are introduced.
A study by the University of California, Davis' Center for Watershed Sciences find that this year's drought and the resulting water shortage will cost the state about $1.5 billion in direct agricultural costs, including $810 million in crop revenue and over $200 million in dairy and livestock.
Total drought-related costs to the California economy for the year are projected at $2.2 billion, with a loss of 17,100 seasonal and part-time jobs.
The report, which was released Tuesday, was funded by the state's Department of Food and Agriculture, as well as the California Department of Water Resources reports CBS News.
|What California's agriculture will look like if the |
Democrats continue to refuse to act.
Dry conditions in California are unlikely to go away. Researchers expect next year to be another drought year for California, even if a change in El Niño conditions brings some much-needed rain to the state.
The big concern, according to the report, is what several more years of drought might end up meaning for California's ground water supplies, especially since it is the only western state where groundwater use remains largely unregulated.
"Continued drought in 2015 and 2016 would lead to additional overdraft of aquifers and lower groundwater levels, thereby escalating pumping costs, land subsidence and drying up of wells," the report notes.
And according to the researchers, drought conditions in 2015 and 2016 could end up costing California's Central Valley -- one of the nation's most productive agricultural regions -- an estimated $1 billion annually in crops.
Richard Howitt, a University of California, Davis professor emeritus of agriculture and resource economics, helped to present the drought research at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. He says the state's agricultural sector needs to realize its water supplies have limits, and the industry must take the lead in groundwater management.
"My message to farmers is treat groundwater like you treat your retirement account," Howitt said in an interview with The Associated Press. "Know how much water's in it and how fast it's being used."
"It's very simple economics, but it's such an emotional topic," he added. "Farmers have to sit down and ask themselves... do they want their children and grandchildren to be farming?"
|Solar Powered Desalination Plant|
California political hacks sit sucking their thumbs and mumble about "conservation". Meanwhile other nations act to create brand new water for business and personal use.
Saudi Arabia announced a partnership with IBM to pursue this goal. King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), Saudi Arabia’s leading R&D institute, will team with IBM to study the possibility of building a solar powered desalination plant in the city of Al Khafji, in the northeast of the country, according to a report in Arabian Business.com.
The solar-powered facility would feature ultra-high concentrator photovoltaic (UHCPV) technology, jointly developed by IBM and KACST, and could provide 30,000 cubic meters of water per day for over 100,000 people. Today, the most common methods used for seawater desalination are thermal technology and reverse osmosis.
“Saudi Arabia is the largest producer of desalinated water in the world, and we continue to invest in new ways of making access to fresh water more affordable,” said Dr Turki Al-Saud, a vice president at KACST. (www.greenprophet.com)
|Al-Khobar Desalination plant in Saudi Arabia|
The Kingdom operates 27 desalination stations that produce more than three million cubic meters a day of potable water. These plants provide more than 70 percent of the water used in cities, as well as a sizeable portion of the needs of industry. They are also a major source of electric power generation.
Saudi Arabia: The Desalination Nation