I’m all for utilizing the latest technology to combat the serious drought issues facing our world. That said, I’m not sure “shade balls” are the best long term strategy as there serious implications to bringing more plastics (which never completely break down) into this world. Watch the documentary Plastic Paradise for more information on that.
How about we start with a serious commitment to reducing our water usage first?
“Facing a long-term water crisis, officials concerned with preserving a reservoir in Los Angeles hatched a plan: They would combat four years of drought with 96 million plastic balls.
On Monday, Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles arrived at the 175-acre Los Angeles Reservoir to release the final installment of the project: 20,000 small black orbs that would float atop the water.
Mr. Garcetti said that the dark balls would help block sunlight and UV rays that promote algae growth, which would help keep the city’s drinking water safe. Officials also said the balls would help slow the rate of evaporation, which drains the water supply of about 300 million gallons a year. The balls cost $0.36 each and are part of a $34.5 million initiative to protect the water supply.”
Read the full story here.
Texas is experiencing the worst one year drought in the state’s history according to the texas drought preparedness plan and officials say they’re expecting the state population to grow by 82 percent over the next 50 years. This is great for the economy and business in the area the only problem is that the amount of water in the state is expected to increase by only 22 percent, leaving texas in a tight spot when it comes to water.
Complete story and video here.
May not be a popular opinion but I’m thinking we should expect this to be the new norm, not just a “season” of dry weather. We need to start preparing to use less water.
“Ninety-four percent of Texas is now abnormally dry, 54 percent is stuck in severe drought and 25 percent is mired in the extreme category, up 10 percent from one week ago, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor released Thursday.”
“The rainfall deficit for April through November in DFW is pushing 10 inches, Huckabee said. In portions of Denton County, the deficit is as much as 16 inches over the last six months.”
Drought by the numbers
94: Percent of Texas that is abnormally dry
55: Percent of Texas in severe drought
25: Percent of Texas in extreme drought
64: Percent of capacity for Texas water storage reservoirs:
79: Percent of capacity for Tarrant Regional Water District
75: Percent of Four Sixes Ranch cattle that remain out of state.
40 to 45: Percent of wheat crop rated as poor or very poor
53: Percent of pastures in poor condition
0.05 inch: November rainfall in Dallas-Fort Worth.
There’s the hydrological cycle, which describes how water moves across the earth, and then there’s the “hydro-illogical cycle,” which describes the painfully short memories of Americans after a drought.
“It’s where people go, ‘Oh look, we’re running out of water,’ and then it rains and everyone goes, ‘Oh, everything’s fine’ and go right back into the habits of what got us into a drought in the first place,” said Alyssa Burgin, executive director of the Texas Drought Project.
Read the rest of the story at the Fort Worth Weekly.
Higher prices have a way of grabbing attention, and many communities across Texas are raising rates to pay for new water supplies and to encourage conservation amid concerns that the lingering drought may portend a broader water crisis. Water experts say it is about time Texans placed more value on this irreplaceable natural resource, given the state’s rapid population growth and fickle weather. But raising rates often triggers public resistance in a state that is wary of too much government.
Full story at TexasTribune.org