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Old 03-05-2019, 01:12 PM   #1
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Mojave aquifer to be pumped?

An interesting read for those in California, and neighboring states.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/natio...=.b0ae381639c2

A massive aquifer lies beneath the Mojave Desert. Could it help solve California’s water problem?
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Old 03-10-2019, 05:26 PM   #2
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A massive aquifer lies beneath the Mojave Desert. Could it help solve California’s water problem?

Right now in California's central valley, foothill farmers are pulling water out of the ground to supply irrigation to crops that have been planted where it has always been open range. Because of this the central valley aquifer has suffered as they capture the water that has naturally flowed underground from the Sierra's. While I support the building of new dams in this state for flood protection, green power, and AG irrigation, I wouldn't want to see a commercial rape of the water under the Mojave. I can imagine that doing this might cause issues with Death Valley's aquifer which is fairly close by as well. These large cities need to build water De-sal plants and take care of themselves. Droughts are as normal as the heavy rains that we're seeing right now. More storage is a huge solution.
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Old 03-10-2019, 06:13 PM   #3
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More storage is a huge solution.
Exactly. But it ain't gonna happen with the current mindset in this state. It's too bad.
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Old 03-10-2019, 06:24 PM   #4
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Funny when I fist saw the thread title, I thought it was about that idiot who put that stupid pool in the Mojave desert!
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Old 03-10-2019, 06:50 PM   #5
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At least this aquifer isn't close to the ocean. When I lived in Ventura, the big concern was by pumping the fresh water aquifer, salt water from the ocean would start replacing the fresh water that was pumped out. That's why Oxnard/Ventura set up fresh water retention ponds in places where they would feed the aquifers.


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Old 03-10-2019, 07:05 PM   #6
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I've always wondered how soon the lack of fresh water would start seriously affecting the SW and California. It's scary to me to visit Hoover Dam/Lake Mead and see how low it is.

Over here all it does is rain. We're starting to see a LOT more tornadoes and land/mudslides where they have never been. We got 5 inches of rain in a day recently.
Our average is 47 inches a year and last year we got 67. I'd love give you guys some, seriously. Crops here are in dire straits from the flooding.
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Old 03-10-2019, 07:25 PM   #7
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Shhhh! They might hear you. Then they'll want to dig a trench.
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Old 03-10-2019, 09:14 PM   #8
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Desal is definitely something cities on the south coast are looking into. Santa Barbara recently renovated their desal plant (originally built in the 1970s) in case they need it to supplement their water supply.

More storage would be nice, but just about everywhere that's suited for a dam has already been dammed. It also isn't a permanent solution -- older dams are prone to silting up over time, reducing their capacity. (Gibraltar Dam is almost useless now, for that reason.)

Frankly there's still way too much water-hungry landscaping around here, for a city that's in a desert. But the old-timer locals hate anything that isn't a lawn, they're always complaining about xeriscaping turning SB into "Phoenix-by-the-sea."

BTW the Mojave Desert aquifer project isn't a government one, it's private. As far as I know the only thing the state could do to stop it would be to refuse to grant a permit to connect to the aquaduct system.
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Old 03-10-2019, 11:02 PM   #9
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BTW the Mojave Desert aquifer project isn't a government one, it's private. As far as I know the only thing the state could do to stop it would be to refuse to grant a permit to connect to the aquaduct system.

Last couple of years the California state folks have started to require cities to install water meters. Now they are after deep water wells on a persons private property which has always been considered the same as air above your property. You own it. Not in their opinion. It all gets back to moderation. While I don't want my homes pump to go dry because somebody higher in altitude can tap into what I've had for 40 years, pulling water out to develop huge farming industries on land that was never intended to be used for that type of Ag has to be taken into account these days. Mind you I'm not against AG, it makes this state but just make sure before you expand you have the water resource to cover your expansion w/o screwing others. My problem is there are many spots to install dams throughout the Sierra's to hold back water that it would fix the problem and it falls on deaf ears. Many of these places are canyons or areas that have few to no people living there or have such a radical terrain that it's not accessible to most of the public. As an avid off roader, I hate to see some of my off road drives turned into lakes but it seems like a catch 22 situation. Still there is no way I want to see them pull water from a desert oasis that can be fixed by other means. Makes no sense at all. Can the state make a common sense move? Well these days I wonder because there is no middle of the road anymore.
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Old 03-11-2019, 12:01 AM   #10
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Water rights (including subsurface) in Western states are a ridiculous legal tangle and have been since the Spanish. I'm not going to even go there, except that farmers generally claim to have first dibs.
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