Posts Tagged ‘aquifers’

Make you Fink on Friday

stop frackingWhy oil companies and governments should frack off!

There has been much said over this fracking issue, oil companies telling us that it’s safe, despite triggering earthquakes (which bought experts say is nothing related to the fracking), flammable gases cropping up in kitchens in such quantities that the kitchen tap can be ignited (once again, bought experts say this is not a result of fracking). The governments are rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of endless oil, then lying through their teeth telling us that it is safe and we need it.

But a report yesterday tells the horrible truth.

California has run out of water. In Texas many areas are also out of water. Areas of these states have become desserts, farmers can’t irrigate crops.

Why?

Because they have wasted 97 billion gallons of water fracking.

The aquifers that keep the water running have dropped 300 metres, that is nothing short of disastrous.

When a river or a lake  is depleted, it is replenished after the next good rain. Not so with aquifers, they take years to replenish, some even centuries.

What is an aquifer? Image:

What is an aquifer? Image: Source

The aquifers are the delicate balance of nature between drought and plenty; you destroy them and you’ve got nothing left.

The truth about fracking is that it is to see how many ways you can f**k over Mother Nature.

Further, fracking involves injecting chemicals along with the vast quantities of water, Where does that contaminated water go? What chemicals are involved? How do these chemicals affect life?

Countries across the globe are getting into this bullshit, Cameron is fighting tooth and nail to get fracking going in Britain. The man is an IDIOT! As are all politicians who support fracking. New Zealand is doing it, New Zealand? It’s on a major tectonic plate line, are they going to trigger more earthquakes?

Who gives a shit, drill baby drill!

Monday Moaning

A Texan tragedy: ample oil, no water

Fracking boom sucks away precious water from beneath the ground, leaving cattle dead, farms bone-dry and people thirsty

Fracking boom sucks away water from underground, leaving cattle dead, farms bone-dry and people thirsty


Beverly McGuire saw the warning signs before the town well went dry: sand in the toilet bowl, the sputter of air in the tap, a pump working overtime to no effect. But it still did not prepare her for the night last month when she turned on the tap and discovered the tiny town where she had made her home for 35 years was out of water.

“The day that we ran out of water I turned on my faucet and nothing was there and at that moment I knew the whole of Barnhart was down the tubes,” she said, blinking back tears. “I went: ‘dear God help us. That was the first thought that came to mind.”

Across the south-west, residents of small communities like Barnhart are confronting the reality that something as basic as running water, as unthinking as turning on a tap, can no longer be taken for granted.

Three years of drought, decades of overuse and now the oil industry’s outsize demands on water for fracking are running down reservoirs and underground aquifers. And climate change is making things worse.

In Texas alone, about 30 communities could run out of water by the end of the year, according to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Nearly 15 million people are living under some form of water rationing, barred from freely sprinkling their lawns or refilling their swimming pools. In Barnhart’s case, the well appears to have run dry because the water was being extracted for shale gas fracking.

The town — a gas station, a community hall and a taco truck – sits in the midst of the great Texan oil rush, on the eastern edge of the Permian basin.

A few years ago, it seemed like a place on the way out. Now McGuire said she can see nine oil wells from her back porch, and there are dozens of RVs parked outside town, full of oil workers.

But soon after the first frack trucks pulled up two years ago, the well on McGuire’s property ran dry.

No-one in Barnhart paid much attention at the time, and McGuire hooked up to the town’s central water supply. “Everyone just said: ‘too bad’. Well now it’s all going dry,” McGuire said.

Ranchers dumped most of their herds. Cotton farmers lost up to half their crops. The extra draw down, coupled with drought, made it impossible for local ranchers to feed and water their herds, said Buck Owens. In a good year, Owens used to run 500 cattle and up to 8,000 goats on his 7,689 leased hectares (19,000 acres). Now he’s down to a few hundred goats.

Source: The Guardian Read more and see the video

Opinion:

There’s not a lot to say really, other than fracking and shale oil are the death of an already raped planet.

Global threat to food supply

…as water wells dry up, warns top environment expert

Lester Brown says grain harvests are already shrinking as US, India and China come close to ‘peak water’

Iraq is among the countries in the Middle East facing severe water shortages. Photograph: Ali al-Saadi/AFP

Wells are drying up and underwater tables falling so fast in the Middle East and parts of India, China and the US that food supplies are seriously threatened, one of the world’s leading resource analysts has warned.

In a major new essay Lester Brown, head of the Earth Policy Institute in Washington, claims that 18 countries, together containing half the world’s people, are now overpumping their underground water tables to the point – known as “peak water” – where they are not replenishing and where harvests are getting smaller each year.

The situation is most serious in the Middle East. According to Brown: “Among the countries whose water supply has peaked and begun to decline are Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq and Yemen. By 2016 Saudi Arabia projects it will be importing some 15m tonnes of wheat, rice, corn and barley to feed its population of 30 million people. It is the first country to publicly project how aquifer depletion will shrink its grain harvest.

“The world is seeing the collision between population growth and water supply at the regional level. For the first time in history, grain production is dropping in a geographic region with nothing in sight to arrest the decline. Because of the failure of governments in the region to mesh population and water policies, each day now brings 10,000 more people to feed and less irrigation water with which to feed them.”

Brown warns that Syria’s grain production peaked in 2002 and since then has dropped 30%; Iraq has dropped its grain production 33% since 2004; and production in Iran dropped 10% between 2007 and 2012 as its irrigation wells started to go dry.

“Iran is already in deep trouble. It is feeling the effects of shrinking water supplies from overpumping. Yemen is fast becoming a hydrological basket case. Grain production has fallen there by half over the last 35 years. By 2015 irrigated fields will be a rarity and the country will be importing virtually all of its grain.”

Running LowThere is also concern about falling water tables in China, India and the US, the world’s three largest food-producing countries. “In India, 175 million people are being fed with grain produced by overpumping, in China 130 million. In the United States the irrigated area is shrinking in leading farm states with rapid population growth, such as California and Texas, as aquifers are depleted and irrigation water is diverted to cities.”

Falling water tables are already adversely affecting harvest prospects in China, which rivals the US as the world’s largest grain producer, says Brown. “The water table under the North China Plain, an area that produces more than half of the country’s wheat and a third of its maize is falling fast. Overpumping has largely depleted the shallow aquifer, forcing well drillers to turn to the region’s deep aquifer, which is not replenishable.”

The situation in India may be even worse, given that well drillers are now using modified oil-drilling technology to reach water half a mile or more deep. “The harvest has been expanding rapidly in recent years, but only because of massive overpumping from the water table. The margin between food consumption and survival is precarious in India, whose population is growing by 18 million per year and where irrigation depends almost entirely on underground water. Farmers have drilled some 21m irrigation wells and are pumping vast amounts of underground water, and water tables are declining at an accelerating rate in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.”

In the US, farmers are overpumping in the Western Great Plains, including in several leading grain-producing states such as Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. Irrigated agriculture has thrived in these states, but the water is drawn from the Ogallala aquifer, a huge underground water body that stretches from Nebraska southwards to the Texas Panhandle. “It is, unfortunately, a fossil aquifer, one that does not recharge. Once it is depleted, the wells go dry and farmers either go back to dryland farming or abandon farming altogether, depending on local conditions,” says Brown.

“In Texas, located on the shallow end of the aquifer, the irrigated area peaked in 1975 and has dropped 37% since then. In Oklahoma irrigation peaked in 1982 and has dropped by 25%. In Kansas the peak did not come until 2009, but during the three years since then it has dropped precipitously, falling nearly 30%. Nebraska saw its irrigated area peak in 2007. Since then its grain harvest has shrunk by 15%.”

Brown warned that many other countries may be on the verge of declining harvests. “With less water for irrigation, Mexico may be on the verge of a downturn in its grain harvest. Pakistan may also have reached peak water. If so, peak grain may not be far behind.”

000theGuardianLogo

Opinion:

Just another example of, ‘we’re in the poo!

Oh, and the same thing is happening here in Brazil…

What happens when you steal from nature

The last two hundred years technology has gone ahead in leaps and bounds, but now some are paying the price.

An example, we have always considered water to be plentiful, but now we are finding it’s not.

I read a post yesterday, that shows how we waste when we have plenty, then cry when the plenty runs out.

Turning Kansas into a desert

“In west-central Kansas, up to a fifth of the irrigated farmland along a 100-mile swath of the aquifer has already gone dry. In many other places, there no longer is enough water to supply farmers’ peak needs during Kansas’ scorching summers. And when the groundwater runs out, it is gone for good. Refilling the aquifer would require hundreds, if not thousands, of years of rains.”Running ‘Cause I Can’t Fly

The farmers have used nature’s reserve water supply and now they have nothing. The water from the aquifers is not to be used, it is what keeps the planet healthy and once it’s gone, it’s gone, for good.

This is not only happening in Kansas, but in Colorado and Texas as well.

We Must Act… NOW!

The wastage of food on this planet has reached epic proportions. It’s time to stop!

Alarming figures are appearing, that we waste 50% of our food from the farm to the table and beyond, that half of the turkeys we produce for Christmas and Thanksgiving Day end up in the bin not eaten.

If this figures don’t shock you, nothing will?

We desperately need to return to the old ways where our larders looked liked this.

food

The reliance on corporative food products has to be stemmed.

Pre-war advertising – Click the image for an excellent post

Very soon we will need this to survive.

Don’t scoff at the idea.

“It takes roughly 20 gallons of water to make a pint of beer, as much as 132 gallons of water to make a 2-liter bottle of soda, a typical hamburger takes 630 gallons of water to produce.”Wall Street Journal

We have all heard about ‘carbon footprints’ but what we haven’t heard much about is the ‘water footprint’.

The water footprint is the hidden amount of water used to produce food, and nearly all other products. It’s the amount we don’t see.

1lb of beef cost $7.99 and 2,500 gallons of water

Take another example; “To date, probably the most reliable and widely-accepted water estimate to produce a pound of beef is the figure of 2,500 gallons/pound. Newsweek once put it another way: “the water that goes into a 1,000 pound steer would float a destroyer.”vegsource

Our supplies of water are dwindling, fast.

Gone are the days when we just used river water, now we are stealing from the aquifers, the underground water that supplies the rivers and lakes.

We are not only stealing that water, we are polluting that water with practices like fracking. The aquifers take thousands of years to regenerate.

Once the aquifers are gone, so are we!

Frackin’ Republicans

House Republicans Can’t Handle the Truth on Fracking

Rather than face the unpleasant fact that hydraulic fracturing of natural gas wells actually can lead to contamination of underground water supplies, Republicans on a subcommittee of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee yesterday decided to shoot the messenger.

The messenger – no surprise here – is the Environmental Protection Agency, which in early December released a draft report based on a three-year investigation into possible groundwater contamination by natural gas drilling near Pavillion, Wyoming. The report concluded that hydraulic fracturing and other gas development drilling practices likely contributed to the contamination of groundwater by a suite of chemicals including materials found in fracking fluids. EPA is now in the process of having the draft report peer reviewed.

As Region 8 EPA administrator Jim Martin said in his prepared testimony today, aquifers appear to have been contaminated by fracking fluid:

Analysis of samples taken from the deep monitoring wells in the aquifer indicates detection of benzene, methane, and synthetic chemicals, like glycols and alcohols consistent with gas production and hydraulic fracturing fluids.

Source: Think Progress Green read more

Make You Fink on Friday

Water

Water - the oceans are full of it

There’s plenty of water, the oceans are full of it.

But the water on land is the problem. It is disappearing. Man is using too much and nature can’t replenish it fast enough.

In some parts of the world water is already at crisis level and beyond; and this phenomenon is spreading. It won’t be that long before many parts of the world are similarly affected.

The last drop: If ground water levels in rural Rajasthan do not improve, these women could be waiting a long time

“Surrounded by the rocky Aravalli hills, Rajasthan is one of India’s driest states. Despite good rains this year, water has always been an issue here.

But the problem now is that beneath the lush, green, irrigated fields of north-western India, the groundwater is fast disappearing.

In Neemrana, about 150km (95 miles) from Delhi, this has been made worse by human intervention.

Situated on the national highway, this area is part of the industrial development under the Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor.

The highway is dotted with industries including many water intensive breweries and bottlers.”

Source: BBC News Read more

Now don’t go thinking “oh, that’s in India, it doesn’t concern us;” because it does!

What is happening in India is a result of irresponsible planning, and make no mistake – your politicians are just as irresponsible.

The popular belief that the earth’s water is supplied by rivers, is in the main false. While we do get water from the rivers for irrigation and industry, we get far more from underground; from the aquifers that lie hidden from sight. These aquifers are not being replenished, we just keep taking water, more water and even more water until there will be none left.

Because the aquifers are out of sight, they are out of mind. We don’t think about them. They are like the trash we sweep under the carpet.

What is an aquifer?

44 percent of the U.S. population depends on groundwater for its drinking water supply

  • Private household wells constitute the largest share of all water wells in the United States — more than 13.249 million year-round occupied households have their own well.
  • Other kinds of wells are used for municipal systems, industry, agriculture, and quality monitoring. Groundwater accounts for 33 percent of all the water used by U.S. municipalities.
  • Michigan, with an estimated 1,121,075 households served by private water wells, is the largest state market, followed by Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New York, and Florida.
  • Irrigation accounts for the largest use of groundwater in the United States. Some 53.5 billion gallons of groundwater are used daily for agricultural irrigation from 407,923 wells.
  • More than 15.9 million water wells for all purposes serve the United States.
  • Approximately 500,000 new residential wells are constructed annually.

Some facts from National Groundwater Association, Read more

Every drop counts

The aquifers cannot sustain this usage and abuse. And man WILL pay for his folly.

What is happening in Rajasthan, India will happen in many parts of the world, some of those parts may well be your neighbourhood.

Next time you turn on a tap (faucet for our American cousins – God alone knows why you call it a faucet…) remember, each drop holds the future of the planet.

NewsFlash – Update

Here’s a comment from a Stumbler…

“Excellent – actually had someone tell me, not long ago, that there was plenty of water and we’d never run out. Oh yeah? How naive!”

Shows my point perfectly. People just DON’T KNOW and DON’T UNDERSTAND!

Thanks Small Footprints

 

 

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