OT Just how bad is the drought? Just curious OT

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 2241 - 2260 of total 2266 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Feb 20, 2018 - 08:38pm PT
Farming is about 2% of California's GDP, while they use the lion's share of the water, approximately 80%.

Not even remotely true.

From the Public Policy Institute of California
tatewide, average water use is roughly 50% environmental, 40% agricultural, and 10% urban, although the percentage of water use by sector varies dramatically across regions and between wet and dry years.

GGnome

ot much water is actually being used by the citizens of Los Angeles. Most of the water coming thru the aqueduct is going to farming the central valley. So why is DMT blaming the people of LA?

I spread my criticism around, depending on which water we are talking about. Lately it's been the twin tunnels. The Westlands Water District pulled out of the deal. That leaves LA, the mid-coast SLO area, San Jose and parts of Napa county as the vested interests still pushing for the tunnels. THAT'S why.

Cheers!
DMT
10b4me

Social climber
Janie's
Feb 21, 2018 - 01:09pm PT
Looks like the state wants to impose permanent water restrictions, regardless if there is a drought or not.
Not a bad thing imo.
My pet peeve, amongst others, is the irrigation of golf courses.
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Feb 21, 2018 - 01:25pm PT
I agree on permanent restrictions of public water resources. And last I heard golf participation is way, way down with younger generations and a lot of golf courses have been shut down and converted over the last decade.

Not sure if that trend continues but my buddy in ag chemical business says it is. I also don't know if the homes built on old courses use more or less water over all.

Cheers
DMT
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Feb 21, 2018 - 02:59pm PT
I heard an interesting discussion about alfalfa as a drought crop, recently.

Living in the central valley exposes me to more farm related, stuff, than perhaps elsewhere in the state. This part of the state is of course dominated by agriculture and the topic of irrigation and drought is part and parcel to doing business. I like to listen to the weekly farm report on the radio.

Guest speaking from UC Davis was talking about the drought resistance of alfalfa. Alfalfa is much-maligned as a high water crop, second only to almonds in the use of water.

What the speaker emphasized is that while alfalfa can consume a lot of water, it doesn't have to. Alfalfa can also be grown under drought conditions where the crop received 50-75% of maximum yield water and still obtain as much as 60-80% of its yield. Alfalfa bounces back well from drought conditions were it receives most of it's water through winter precip and very little to none from irrigation. That's what makes it a good choice for cash crop production.

Almonds on the other hand have to to watered through the summer, with irrigation or the trees will be lost. They do not bounce back from drought conditions. So alfalfa is a safer crop to grow for farms dependent on state or federal irrigation water where the flow may be severely restricted in drought years.

The thing that makes alfalfa such a high water use crop is that in sunny, warm locations like Imperial Valley down on the Mexican border, they can get 12 crop cuttings a year. To achieve such high yields they have to water in the hottest months.

Same applies up here though it drops from 12 to 9 and then as low as 6-7 cuttings per year as you go north, due to colder winters. But significantly, the first cuttings up until about June can typically be accomplished with residual winter rain and no irrigation at all. And they can even get another cutting or two with just minimal irrigation up until later in July.

Lastly, the claim was made that gallon for gallon, alfalfa is the highest protein-producing crop. The principle use of alfalfa is for dairy cow feed and it's the resultant milk from where the protein is gained. (Not meat)

Of course a lot of fancy pants horses eat alfalfa too, if their well-healed owners can afford it. I'd have to say that alfalfa (and water) is wasted on overly large pets, but who am I to say?

Anyway, fascinating discussion and I learned, as I usually do, that easy pronouncements and judgements we make about ag in general and in this case, alfalfa in particular, are often far more nuanced than we imagine.

A UC resource to back up the above:
http://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=17721

Cheers
DMT

Al_T.Tude

Trad climber
Monterey, CA
Feb 21, 2018 - 03:35pm PT
Sorry about the drought, but the winter climbing in The Valley is epic. I hope that it's ok to discuss climbing on this forum. The cables on Half Dome were free of ice and snow for the Snake Dike descent in early February. It was sunny t shirt weather at the 8800 foot summit. Royal Arches was virtually bone dry and warm all the way up. Met a couple of guys who bailed on El Cap because of heat and were climbing The Rostrum in t shirts.

Take advantage of the epic weather and send something!
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Feb 21, 2018 - 03:45pm PT
Farming is about 2% of California's GDP, while they use the lion's share of the water, approximately 80%.

Not even remotely true.

From the Public Policy Institute of California
tatewide, average water use is roughly 50% environmental, 40% agricultural, and 10% urban, although the percentage of water use by sector varies dramatically across regions and between wet and dry years.

A bit disingenuous to water down the reality of ag consumption by including environmental use. That is water that is NOT CONSUMED in the interest of protecting the environment. If we were using that water there is no reason ag would not also be getting 80% of it also.
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Feb 21, 2018 - 04:12pm PT
I disagree particularly when it comes to the delta bypass twin tunnel project. The principle reason to build them is to skirt enviro-protections in drought years. Given urban water users are the principle proponents and supporters of a multi-billion dollar effort to divert enviro water I'd say the disengenuois behavior is not mine. I simply pointed out the oft mis-represented 80% figure is not well understood. Ag does not get 80% of water in CA.

I will add that both urban and ag interests have gotten much better at conservation over the years. But I'll also point out that both interests will seize and consume all the water they can get their hands on.

DMT

aspendougy

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Feb 21, 2018 - 08:12pm PT
The figure about Agriculture being 2% of CA's GDP is factual, but can be misleading. Food is cheap so it contributes a small amount to the the GDP, but we grow lots of food here. Lots of almonds, lots of citrus, lots of stuff that people eat lots of.
Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
Feb 21, 2018 - 08:12pm PT
Interesting stuff on alfalfa, DMT. Thanks.

BAd
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Feb 21, 2018 - 10:19pm PT
Food is cheap so it contributes a small amount to the the GDP, but we grow lots of food here. Lots of almonds, lots of citrus, lots of stuff that people eat lots of.

yes, mans gotta eat and nobody is close to starving in this country, in fact we are in an obesity epidemic. Yes food is cheap and it is reflected in the jobs it creates, the worst jobs in the country. And society ends up subsidizing those workers, another hidden subsidy for the agribusiness.
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Feb 22, 2018 - 06:38am PT
Farmers! (grrrrrrr)

DMT
10b4me

Social climber
Janie's
Feb 22, 2018 - 07:29am PT
I have no problem with family owned farms, but big agribusiness. . . .
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Feb 22, 2018 - 07:58am PT
^^^
+1

xCon

Social climber
909
Feb 22, 2018 - 09:58am PT
my root are farming back more than a century and up into Canada

we got my grandpa talking to the camera back in the 80's and at one point he comes alive describing the profits they made buying a new machine and how many less laborers it allowed...
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Feb 22, 2018 - 11:01am PT
Iím a lot less judgemental about agri-business and the demonization of success. Thatís a knife that cuts both ways.

So is a 5th gen family owned corp that owns 5000 acres and leases another 20000, and grows a variety of cash crops to manage risk and make a living for all their employees using irrigation from canals and wells, one of those evil agribusinesses? Because that model is far more prelevant than amlot of folks understand. However the notion of a family staffed farm on a hundred acres actually making a living from that land died long ago and not just in California.

And if farms are out of place here due to climate sell then so are the cities. Thereís that knife cutting both ways.

DMT
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Feb 22, 2018 - 12:26pm PT
I will add that both urban and ag interests have gotten much better at conservation over the years. But I'll also point out that both interests will seize and consume all the water they can get their hands on.

I can't speak for all cities in Ca, but I can speak for LA.

This is not even remotely true. LA has contracts that would cover as much water as it might need, without taking any from groundwater or the LA Aqueduct (Owens Valley). This was largely the situation 2 years ago, where over 80% of the city's water came from NoCal and Colo River. Last year, we took virtually none from those sources, although we had the legal right to it (due to the bumper crop of snow on the eastside)

Just three weeks ago, LA broke ground on a Superfund cleanup of the San Fernando Aquifer, which the city has waited decades for the Feds to clean up, but which we finally decided to pay for ourselves, I think to the tune of $1B. This has the potential to produce up to 25% of the city's water needs, displacing the same amount of water from importation. This is a big deal.
10b4me

Social climber
Janie's
Feb 22, 2018 - 02:00pm PT
Iím a lot less judgemental about agri-business and the demonization of success.

Dingus, I am not demonizing success. What I am questioning is at what costs was that success made.

So is a 5th gen family owned corp that owns 5000 acres and leases another 20000, and grows a variety of cash crops to manage risk and make a living for all their employees using irrigation from canals and wells, one of those evil agribusinesses?

Is that ConAgra?
August West

Trad climber
Where the wind blows strange
Feb 22, 2018 - 02:20pm PT
Looks like the state wants to impose permanent water restrictions, regardless if there is a drought or not.
Not a bad thing imo.
My pet peeve, amongst others, is the irrigation of golf courses.

Permanent water restrictions for who? Everybody?

If you have a string of wet years, using that water to grow cheap fruits and veggies seems to me a pretty reasonable use. Not sure I see the point of a permanent water restriction.

In drier years, using water to grow grass, whether is someone's front lawn or a golf course seems pretty extravagant compared to the societal benefit, but in our mostly free market economy, that is hard to combat.

You can try and make the water more expensive, either after a household uses so much in total, or so much per person, but it doesn't come out that fair.

If it is per house hold, some cheap rental with a bunch of students get unfairly hammered. Trying to figure out per person would be a nightmare.

And golf courses and people with McMansions aren't that much effected by higher priced water.

And the key question, for most places, isn't how much comes out of the faucet, but how much comes out that doesn't go back into the drain. If you live in Sac, and left the shower running all day, most of that water will go down the drain and back into the Sac river where it could still be pumped south. A little bit is lost to leaky pipes and humidity, but not much. Water that you put on the lawn is not available downstream. Huge difference but rarely taken into account with water restrictions. Although in some places you can get fined if your lawn watering drains off your property or for even watering the lawn in the first place.
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Feb 22, 2018 - 02:54pm PT
Thanks August West and KenM for your thoughts.

10B, like big Pharma we could debate the +\- of the overall ag business till the cows come home. But unless and until consumers demand and pay for changes the chemical ag business isn't going to change much. But back to water, its very difficult to lump ag usage by the size of the business. More useful perhaps to look at senior v junior water rights. That's where the real money for reform lies.

DMT
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Feb 22, 2018 - 06:17pm PT
Just got this new report on an approach being piloted in LA:

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5a21b552bce176df59bb9c8e/t/5a8749e1c8302534e9d4a1a8/1518815745818/WaterLA_Report_0218_web.pdf
Messages 2241 - 2260 of total 2266 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
 
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks


Try a free sample topo!

 
SuperTopo on the Web

Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews