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Frequent Contributor

Water worries

Thanks for your thoughtful responses. So far, it appears from your replies that the urban appetite for water is the major threat.

Curbing irrigation, especially for corn, is another strategy mentioned. Kay, your insights from the southeast are great; for some

reason I don't see it posted in this thread.

 

If you have time, take a look at Water Wise in the Mid-March issue, and add your observations here. Thanks so much!

 

--Cheryl Tevis, SF

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15 Replies
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Advisor

Re: Water worries

Cheryl,

The urban appetite does seem to be the dominant concern now.  But I am thinking that some of the eco/environmental activists that are heavily involved in water issues in the PNW may also engage in California. 

 

I did see the link to Kay's post but it came up blank when I clicked on it.

 

 

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Honored Advisor

Re: Water worries

My posts go up and then disappear.  Trying g a diff e rent device this time. 

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Honored Advisor

Re: Water worries

Cheryl,

 

In Kansas the irrigation depletion accellerated with the drought and is affecting both the volume of acres for crops like corn but also the yields.  Enough so that some in the administration are considering a reservour and aquaduct bringing "excess" water from the Missouri river back out to the western irrigation areas.  

 

Urbanization has been a big issue.  It drove colorado to totally restrict the flow in the Arkansas river going into Kansas to try to meet the needs of the growing population on the eastern slope.  Legal action followed and Kansas won.  But there is seldom any water in the Arkansas until it picks up springs and creeks in central Ks.

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Senior Advisor

Re: Water worries

This aquaduct might be looked at as long as  Kansas City - Topeka  - and Wichita get first dibbs ---  

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Honored Advisor

Re: Water worries

K-289 ,

 

Thought it was a joke last year when first heard it.

 

Now this year it sounds more serious.

 

Sounds totally illogical to me.  Can't see it ever happening.   Can you imagine what grain prices would be needed to make that a financially sound idea.  Pumping water up hill 2500+ feet and 350+ miles in those volumes is not a cheap task.

 

The cities for sure,  but I don't see what gives one state the right over any other to divert the flow of a common waterway for it's own use.  Especially when that state has a record of sueing neighboring states for restricting the flow of rivers.

If there is excess flow in the Missouri, it's use would be much cheaper and effective in Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, or even central Ks where the transmital costs would be much less and the effective use on acres much wider spread.  It takes much more water per acre to push the yields to 250 range out west.  Makes more sense to turn the central Ks/Okla wheat breadbasket into Irrig corn & bean acres than trying to live in the past and maintaining historical production.

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Senior Advisor

Re: Water worries

History can be interesting although 90% of the time political clout or the gasp for votes will out weigh all others --- In the last 5 years the cooling towers for the coal fired electric plants along the Missouri have met or exceded there capabilities which is clearly a political liability for some one wanting to devert water --- In western Nebraska the coal fired Gentilmen Jim plant at Sutherland has developed a well field in that area to keep the cooling lake at capacity which has raised some concerns for ag producers and leaves one finding out how much political clout we have in the bank --- the  "let them eat cake" was a fovorite of my Grandfather ---       

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Honored Advisor

Re: Water worries

great points --------- there are many issues that will get in the way of the fairy tale idea.

 

Funny moment in the meeting where the idea was discussed ------ A listener in the crowd wanted to know why we couldn't just move south and **bleep** up the mississippi river and use the excess water now flowing into the Gulf, to have a good supply of irrigation water.

 

No one laughed,  and I don't think it was a joke.  

 

 

 

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Advisor

Re: Water worries

I can live with that. 

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Honored Advisor

Re: Water worries

You guys ain't seen nothing yet. A decade or so ago, I sat through a presentation on a proposed pipeline, to be built by localities, so they could BUY their own groundwater back from dewatering a phosphate mine. It was called Eagle Water...a real bamboozle to me.

I mentioned to an attorney sitting next to me that " water belongs to whoever brings it to the surface first".
He looked at me and said, " You are the first person I have ever met at one of these meetings who realizes that."

We have to complete water use surveys annually...I always quote the top number my pumps could draw from the wells, in the aggregate, if they ran 24/7. If we get handed cuts in usage, I should have a good cushion that way.
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