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Old 12-10-2012   #8
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Default Water Budgets

Whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting...

A good place to start when considering the topic of water availability and management is the formulation of a water budget ( ). Napkin math - rough order of magnitude - followed by some consideration regarding data, (availability, quality, limitations, bias ), analysis ( all models are wrong but some are useful), scale ( irrigation channel, river basin?), and purpose.

When a Green Revolution Runs Out of Water, By DAVID AGREN, December 5, 2012, 7:58 am, Green - A Blog About Energy and the Environment,

CIUDAD OBREGN, MexicoThe Green Revolution sprang forth from this valley of wheat farms in Sonora State, producing the food required to feed a rapidly expanding population. But the water that has nourished crops here for decades and sustained the Yaqui people for centuries is threatened.

The federal and Sonora State governments are building an aqueduct to take water from the Yaqui River to supply the mushrooming manufacturing hub of Hermosillo, 175 miles south of the Arizona border at Nogales. There, burgeoning automotive and aerospace industries and a booming population have put demands on water destined for agricultural purposes.

The aqueduct itself has pitted industrial interests and politicians against previously privileged farmers and the Yaqui.
Several researchers at the Colegio de Sonora, while not endorsing the aqueduct or water management practices in Hermosillo, say the Yaqui Valley farmers are using water for unproductive activities like growing durum wheat, for which the Mexican market is limited, and derive their profits from subsidies.

The U.S. and Mexico have reached an agreement on how to share water from the Colorado River, a five-year deal crafted to help both nations prepare for future droughts. Under the agreement, regional water agencies in California, Arizona, and Nevada will purchase nearly 100,000 acre-feet of water from Mexicos share of the river, enough to cover 200,000 households for a year. In return, Mexico will receive $10 million to repair damage along hundreds of miles of irrigation canals caused by a 2010 earthquake repairs that will bring thousands of acres of farmland back into production, according to the Los Angeles Times. The U.S. will also promise to buy additional water and allow it to flow to the delta south of the border, a region that has seen reduced water flow in recent years as U.S. water demands upstream have increased. In addition, Mexico will agree to take lesser water during periods of drought, but will be allowed to keep some of its water in Lake Mead, the vast reservoir that straddles Nevada and Arizona, providing badly needed storage capacity.
Ideas for Colorado River Include a Feeder Pipeline, By FELICITY BARRINGER, Published: December 9, 2012, NYT,

The federal government has come up with dozens of ways to enhance the diminishing flow of the Colorado River, which has long struggled to keep seven states and roughly 25 million people hydrated.

Among the proposals in a report by the Bureau of Reclamation, parts of which leaked out in advance of its expected release this week, are traditional solutions to water shortages, like decreasing demand through conservation and increasing supply through reuse or desalination projects.

But also in the mix, and expected to remain in the final draft of the report, is a more extreme and contentious approach. It calls for building a pipeline from the Missouri River to Denver, nearly 600 miles to the west. Water would be doled out as needed along the route in Kansas, with the rest ultimately stored in reservoirs in the Denver area.
Water Wars Pit Dakotas Against Barges for Missouri Flow, By Alan Bjerga - Dec 5, 2012 11:42 AM MT, Bloomberg News,

Time is running short. The Army Corps said it would report back to the lawmakers this week as the usual Midwest dry season, combined with the region’s worst drought since 1956, is projected to push Mississippi levels so low shipping would have to be halted in a section near the river’s midpoint south of St. Louis. At risk are 20,000 jobs and $130 million in wages and benefits if the river is closed for two months, the American Waterways Operators, a lobbying group based in Arlington, Virginia, estimates.

If the Army Corps does decide to release more water, shippers say it would take two weeks for the increased flow to reach the parched portions of the Mississippi, which the Missouri joins near St. Louis.

The fight over whether the Missouri should be used to shore up a dry Mississippi looks very different upstream. The barge traffic that dominates debates downriver doesn’t exist. Hydropower, recreation -- and, in recent years, supplying a boom in hydraulic fracturing for oil and natural gas that’s given North Dakota the lowest U.S. unemployment rate -- all require the Missouri’s water.
Water: The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power, and Civilization, Steven Solomon,

Far more than oil, the control of water wealth throughout history has been pivotal to the rise and fall of great powers, the achievements of civilization, the transformations of society's vital habitats, and the quality of ordinary daily lives. In Water, Steven Solomon offers the first-ever narrative portrait of the power struggles, personalities, and breakthroughs that have shaped humanity from antiquity's earliest civilizations, the Roman Empire, medieval China, and Islam's golden age to Europe's rise, the steam-powered Industrial Revolution, and America's century. Today, freshwater scarcity is one of the twenty-first century's decisive, looming challenges and is driving the new political, economic, and environmental realities across the globe.
Sapere Aude

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