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  • #497
    AvatarJimmyT
    Participant

    A subject that merits some discussion is the depletion of the Ogallala aquifer. A cheap energy source might be able to pump water to some of the areas currently irrigated by this aquifer. Otherwise we stand to loose a substantial chunk of our aerable farmland.

    #2648
    AvatarZara
    Member

    There are currently legislations that could lead you in the right direction. If you are looking for that stage you might want to look within the proposals for desalination plants that are being researched and also put into play as we see the massive flooding of the country and begin to understand the need for water movement to differing areas as we also draw out some for Hydrogen and Oxygen to make more strides with the proper gasous materials.

    #3164
    AvatarTasmodevil44
    Member

    For many years now, I have advocated a nationwide water redistribution system. Not only do we have periods of severe drought (not enough H2O), but there are other times when we have too much rain and floods (too much H2O). This can cause billions of dollars in damage to the U.S. economy as entire towns, communities and rural farms get wiped-out. Therefore, too much excess water needs to be redistributed not only in space, but also in time (storage system) until it is needed. We need a major public works project to do this. Although it would cost billions, it would pay for itself many times over by preventing catastrophic flooding. But politics would be a major obstacle, and some residents would not like being uprooted from their homes in order to construct the large network of canals and pipelines necessary.

    For many years now, I have proposed building a network all around the Missisippi and it’s smaller tributary rivers. This would drain excess water and help to relieve the pressure off the earthen dikes so that they will be less likely to break.

    I once considered photovoltaic solar power to pump the water around. This way, the distribution system would not be dependent upon fossil fuels. However, the fusion focus device may move vast volumes of water even more efficiently.

    Another political opposition may come from the environmentalists. The plumbing of some rivers and streams may have to be re-routed. This could result in some environmental drawbacks to my idea (such as local fish species in certain rivers affected, and etc.).

    For example, in order to reduce the cost of building canals and pipelines, existing water courses could be modified. The Missouri River could be made to reverse itself (flow upstream) across the State of Missouri away from the Missisippi River. This may require the river bottom dredged deeper in some places (other streams may be diverted as well).

    And just why would you want to do that?

    Which brings me to my next idea.The object of all this is to divert vast quantities of excess rainwater (and potentially disasterous flood water) from the Missisippi and other tributary rivers all the way to the Ogallala aquifier. Then injection wells could inject the water into the underground Ogallala reservoir to replenish it.

    In my original plan, I once again thought about solar-powered injection wells to accomplish the task. So that the entire system would not be dependent upon fossil fuels. But the fusion focus could do the job just as good or better.

    When it comes to megawatts of installed capacity, what would be cheaper to build: zillions of photovoltaics or just a few fusion focus powerplants?

    The answer to that is that fusion focus would probably allow more water pumping capacity installed more cheaply.

    So in the final analysis, the Ogallala aquifier would become a huge water storage device. You could simply reverse the pump and start taking water back out when needed. Or have separate wells both injecting and retrieving at the same time. Or some of the water from the diverted rivers and streams could go directly to irrigation without having to be stored underground. Especially after the Ogallala aquifier has done been replenished back up to a healthy level. This would reduce how much water would have to be extracted from the aquifier.

    #3193
    AvatarBrian H
    Member

    As the Army Corps of Engineers discovered with its rejigging of the Everglades and the lower Mississippi, there are nasty consequences to short-circuiting the natural flood cycles. You start to lose wetlands and flood plain agricultural environments and deltas etc. at an alarming rate. The water cycle of the planet is not a plumbing system.

    #3202
    AvatarTasmodevil44
    Member

    The water cycle of the planet is not a plumbing system

    The natural system proceeding human intervention is indeed a natural plumbing system. The water cycle is a plumbing system no matter how you cut it. It’s just that rapid change of one plumbing system replaced by another man-made one is too rapid for nature to adapt and change……because nature works on slow incremental change……not the rapid alterations of things brought on by humans.

    There most certainly could be some environmental drawbacks and consequences. That’s why such a thing would probably have to be studied in more detail……to figure out the best way to do it if at all. It seems like human overpopulation and mass consumption has done reached an absolute limiting point to where any and all solutions to problems tend to create more problems in place of the old ones.

    However, a time may come when we have no choice but to implement the lesser of evils even if we still have evils. A time may come when the water shortage, Ogallala aquifier depletion, catastrophic food shortages due to declining agricultural production, and floods that cost billions in damage force us to take the least destructive option even if we still have destructive consequences.

    Of course, the very BEST option of all would be if we could just REDUCE wasteful consumption of all kinds. Too much water is just simply being wasted. Even the modern flush toilet consumes too much water. Most toilets can still operate just fine on much less. We could also switch to more drought resistant crops. And even after food is grown, too much of the food America produces (almost half of it) is simply wasted. Dumpsters are full of rotting garbage stores and restaurants toss out. And do spoiled-rotten Americans really need all the swimming pools? Is this really realistic to consume more than the planet can handle? And do we really need to wash our cars and keep them absolutely spotless so often?

    Other solutions may involve still allowing the water to flood and travel the way of the old pre-existing natural plumbing system part of the time……instead of having full-time diversion. Another solution (though more costly) would involve trucking in more soil or sediments from far away to artificially build-up what nature once did.

    I’m still an open-minded optimist for trying to use creativity at finding solutions……rather than always being closed-minded and pessimistic. I’m always looking for answers while most people only see the obstacles and problems. And I’ll be the first to admit that ideas don’t always “pan-out”. But we’re defeated already if all we have is a closed-minded attitude of defeatism all the time.

    #3204
    AvatarBrian H
    Member

    Tasmodevil44 wrote:

    The water cycle of the planet is not a plumbing system

    The natural system proceeding human intervention is indeed a natural plumbing system. The water cycle is a plumbing system no matter how you cut it. It’s just that rapid change of one plumbing system replaced by another man-made one is too rapid for nature to adapt and change……because nature works on slow incremental change……not the rapid alterations of things brought on by humans.

    There most certainly could be some environmental drawbacks and consequences. That’s why such a thing would probably have to be studied in more detail……to figure out the best way to do it if at all. It seems like human overpopulation and mass consumption has done reached an absolute limiting point to where any and all solutions to problems tend to create more problems in place of the old ones.

    However, a time may come when we have no choice but to implement the lesser of evils even if we still have evils. A time may come when the water shortage, Ogallala aquifier depletion, catastrophic food shortages due to declining agricultural production, and floods that cost billions in damage force us to take the least destructive option even if we still have destructive consequences.

    Of course, the very BEST option of all would be if we could just REDUCE wasteful consumption of all kinds. Too much water is just simply being wasted. Even the modern flush toilet consumes too much water. Most toilets can still operate just fine on much less. We could also switch to more drought resistant crops. And even after food is grown, too much of the food America produces (almost half of it) is simply wasted. Dumpsters are full of rotting garbage stores and restaurants toss out. And do spoiled-rotten Americans really need all the swimming pools? Is this really realistic to consume more than the planet can handle? And do we really need to wash our cars and keep them absolutely spotless so often?

    Other solutions may involve still allowing the water to flood and travel the way of the old pre-existing natural plumbing system part of the time……instead of having full-time diversion. Another solution (though more costly) would involve trucking in more soil or sediments from far away to artificially build-up what nature once did.

    I’m still an open-minded optimist for trying to use creativity at finding solutions……rather than always being closed-minded and pessimistic. I’m always looking for answers while most people only see the obstacles and problems. And I’ll be the first to admit that ideas don’t always “pan-out”. But we’re defeated already if all we have is a closed-minded attitude of defeatism all the time.

    Plumbing systems do not depend on evaporation and controlled loss of water to the surrounding ground throughout, and do not distribute upstream resources to a broad belt of downstream locations, and do not host millions of species of flora and fauna that impact each other and the rest of the environment in complex and crucial ways.

    FF will provide power to re-purify and desalinate and condense and do amazing things with water. Redirecting rivers is a REALLY bad idea.

    Most of the dams in America, e.g., are slated for demolition because they are obsolete and environmentally malign. Good riddance.

    #3291
    AvatarJimmyT
    Participant

    I went thru the calculations a long time ago on how much energy it took to desalinate sea water. It was the equivalent of the water falling several hundred feet. A very energy intensive enterprise. There are some attendant equipment problems which add to the complexity and cost too.
    The point being, that if fresh water is available somewhere it makes sense to move it quite some distance, even with the infrastructure costs involved, to avoid desalination. The preceding post I think has it right. Water redistribution makes much more sense (usually) than desalination.
    This is going to be inexpensive energy. But It’s still not free.

    This doesn’t have to mean more dams or redirection of entire rivers. I could see using a tiny fraction of the Mississippi for irrigation without disrupting ecological systems. That river transports a lot of water! I grew up fairly close to the Ohio river and I thought it was big!

    #3292
    AvatarBrian H
    Member

    JimmyT wrote: I went thru the calculations a long time ago on how much energy it took to desalinate sea water. It was the equivalent of the water falling several hundred feet. A very energy intensive enterprise. There are some attendant equipment problems which add to the complexity and cost too.
    The point being, that if fresh water is available somewhere it makes sense to move it quite some distance, even with the infrastructure costs involved, to avoid desalination. The preceding post I think has it right. Water redistribution makes much more sense (usually) than desalination.
    This is going to be inexpensive energy. But It’s still not free.

    This doesn’t have to mean more dams or redirection of entire rivers. I could see using a tiny fraction of the Mississippi for irrigation without disrupting ecological systems. That river transports a lot of water! I grew up fairly close to the Ohio river and I thought it was big!

    In the drylands of Arizona and Calif, etc., redistribution has gone about as fur as it kin go. And it didn’t and doesn’t “make sense”. Water removed from one path deprives that area’s water tables and environment, with significant “downstream” consequences. TANSTASAF glass of water. Rivers which descend almost directly off mountains into the ocean might be an exception, but they’re not all that numerous, and are necessarily running away from the dry interior.

    The Israelis have made desalination work, even with current expensive energy. FF will broaden its applicability greatly.

    “Free” isn’t necessary, btw. It only has to be less than the all-in cost of the alternatives.

    #3326
    AvatarTasmodevil44
    Member

    JimmyT is absolutely correct. We will never solve any problems or have any real progress in this country anymore with all the closed – minded naysayers these days. What ever happened to the old – fashioned Yankee Ingenuity which America used to be famous for? Or are we going to continue to be a stagnating and slowly dying civilization that can’t even compete with foreign countries like Japan and China anymore?

    I’m NOT talking about reducing the mighty Missisippi River to a tiny trickle like what they’ve done to the Colorado River in the West (they’ve completely slaughtered this river). Neither would it necessarily require huge dams. Plenty of water could still be allowed to flow downstream to maintain the delta and marsh areas. I’m talking about redirecting only the excessive rains that cause catastrophic flooding …. to replenish the Ogallala aquifier. This excessive amount of water spreads out across the land …. causing billions of dollars of damage to entire communities …. instead of going downstream to the delta or any marsh areas anyway.

    As the Army Corps of Engineers discovered with it’s rejigging of the Everglades and lower Mississippi

    The upper Mississippi area further upstream is NOT quite the same as the Everglades and lower Mississippi.

    there are nasty consequences to short – circuiting the natural flood cycles.

    What about the nasty cosequences of the floods themselves?

    The water cycle is not a plumbing system.

    Like I stated before already, the pre – existing system is already a type of natural plumbing system. However, sudden manmade changes to the natural plumbing system can indeed cause some problems …. due to nature’s inability to adapt to sudden changes fast enough. That’s why such a partial water diversion would not be a cure – all, but only a supplemental part of the solution to a much bigger problem.

    Desalination of seawater could also play a role in the overall water problem. Provided of course, that environmentalists don’t also object to large desalination plants for some reason in the future (such as ruining beautiful beach and shoreline scenery and being an eyesore, and etc.).

    Now go back and read ALL of what I posted with an open mind.

    #3328
    AvatarBrian H
    Member

    Your plan/analysis assumes about an order of magnitude more comprehension of the water cycles than actually exists. But already the Law of Unintended Consequences is biting hard everywhere that interference with natural hydrological systems has been attempted. The current attempt to back down from and reverse the “drain the swamps” mentality is just one example. There are many more.

    As for “nature’s inability to adapt”, that’s a serious misconception. Nature, by necessity, adapts to and absorbs every event and influence. But you may not like how it does so. That’s the crux. Unless you understand its “priorities and procedures”, you will ‘misunderestimate’ the adaptive process every time.

    Engineers are seriously underqualified to design and project the effects of such projects. And the greater their capacity to create change, the more dangerous that becomes. The Corps of Engineers has a lot to answer for.

    #3351
    Avatarjamini
    Member

    Hi Friend’s
    However, a time may come when we have no choice but to implement the lesser of evils even if we still have evils. A time may come when the water shortage, Ogallala aquifier depletion, catastrophic food shortages due to declining agricultural production, and floods that cost billions in damage force us to take the least destructive option even if we still have destructive consequences.

    _________________
    Reduce Carbon

    #3360
    AvatarTasmodevil44
    Member

    That is exactly what I said in one of my previous posts. With Ogallala depletion, shortages, etc. we may have NO other choice but the lesser of evils. But I don’t know if Brian H. ever took the time to read it all. Most closed – minded people usually don’t read my posts, so I wind – up repeating myself like an old phonographic record with a deep scratch in it later on …… later on …… later on …… later on …… Oooops ! 🙂

    #3410
    Avatarwillit
    Participant

    just a thought…….
    I live near the Colombia river and have fished it a lot. it seems that we have a large fresh water source near by and that it could be rerouted ( in part) to go backwards and replenish our existing water usage from the vast underground reservoir that nature has given us. eliminating several dams and restoring the natural habitat for fish and wildlife. we would not have to desalinate anything but merely provide a source of energy to pump water back into the source that we have tapped and are depleting. maybe even just lay pipe in the riverbed that water already flows down. it just takes energy.
    we have tapped and used the water at a rate and could construct a mechanism where by we reverse the operation at the same rate. for the same amount of years there would be no net change. just paying back what we have used.

    #3538
    AvatarJimmyT
    Participant

    The red river certainly could have spared a few billion gallons of fresh water about a month ago.

    #3554
    AvatarBrian H
    Member

    JimmyT wrote: The red river certainly could have spared a few billion gallons of fresh water about a month ago.

    True, but where do you think all that thick topsoil on the flood plain came from? Very attractive for farmers, and then cities, but it IS a floodplain. Same story around virtually every seasonal river in the world. People want the after-effects (fertile soil) without the process (spring floods). From the Nile to the Mississippi to the Red to the Colorado.
    Or they want gazillions of fish (salmon, e.g.) plus tightly controlled and dammed rivers for hydropower and ‘flood control’. Surprise: no floods, no salmon.
    But the ACOE and DOE etc. have been happy to build, dredge, channel, culvert, levee, and otherwise ruin rivers and streams worldwide. See the 3 Gorges Dam in China for a current example. Where I live, Vancouver, Canada, it is estimated that the city sits on land that had dozens or hundreds of streams, now culverted or buried or diverted, that were salmon breeding sites 100 years ago. A few, mostly token, efforts are being made to revive some of them. But it was a noticeable contribution to disproving the adage, “There’re lots of fish in the sea” when they were closed off.

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