Liberty Chronicles

Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink - Part 3 of 5

Delves into California Water Issues. Water is now a Crypto currency. Corporate farmers are not Family farmers. State climate change policy is the man made crisis.

By Ed McKervey
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Originally published in the Porterville Recorder's 5/24/2023 issue. Part 3 of 5.

I would like to see us CREATE a new generation of Nuclear Power using Molten Salt that provides power during the day and could produce desalinized water at night with excess power. If we think really big we might use the excess power to create hydrogen as an alternate fuel source but that’s another topic. Desalinized water can flow south to where it is needed most, leveraging existing infrastructure.  The south valley has the highest demand for water due to its dry climate and that is the root cause of the socioeconomic drought. We can solve several problems simultaneously and restore the mantle of the Golden state as a leader once again not through scarcity fear and control, but through abundance hope and freedom. The only lingering question is what will we do with all of the excess salt?

There is a myth out there about a delta smelt that needs to be busted once and for all.  Well if you do any reading on this you will find that not only is the delta smelt not protected by our bad water policy the 6 fish it is claiming to protect are not native at all. It can be argued that the delta smelt is not even a native species that they claim we should be protecting.  Talk about a specious argument.  They real reason the enviro powers are dumping so much water into the ocean is to keep the salt water at bay, literally.  Few people realize we have ocean going vessels loading up agricultural products in the valley and the salt water comes far inland all the way to Stockton. 

You can’t turn on the pumps to pump water south if the water is salty. The fresh water in the river water is being used to push the salty water out not to protect the environment as they claim. They changed the meaning again to suit the needs of the moment.  Remember the root of the word environmentalism is “everythingism” so the meaning becomes whatever they say it means at the time.  The word environmentalism is another floating signifier that changes its meaning over time. Pushing fresh water out of the valley through the natural outflow keeps the salt water out of the valley to a certain extent.  The mythology about protecting the delta smelt parroted by the propaganda media needs to be busted with a healthy dose of truth. When you hear the word environment you might be thinking of something different altogether.

Another competing argument is easily the one nobody wants to talk about and that is the fact that there are several sewer plants in the bay area and obvious surface street drainage that leak sewage and pollution into the bay. Pushing more water into the bay helps to flush the bay toilet while keeping the salt out of the delta pumps.  Chinook salmon used to make their way through the bay in these wet years but after mismanagement and neglect the real fishery is all but dead. The Salmon fisheries were killed off in a tradeoff for more farming. Why do the enviro’s favor the delta smelt over Salmon? The 2023 Chinook Season is entirely closed again and lots of finger pointing ensues. 

Makes you wonder and think now about the spin around the death of wildlife in the river system may be more of a man caused disaster than the government wants to admit.   The salmon population can’t find its way up the river when it’s faced with so much pollution and when the whales and other wildlife beach themselves on the shore it may be a more plausible explanation than others bandied about in the state controlled media. Most of the wetlands in the south are now farmland and cities as we evicted the water fowl that used to be the primary route of the western flyway now all but gone in favor of farming.

Desalinization might help to reduce the amount of salty water they are trying to push out of the delta by dumping fresh water into the ocean while blaming a non-existent fish. Creating solutions that benefit everyone in the state with abundance and moves us away from this scarcity track we are on will arrest the spiraling demise. Desalinization is the only real solution but remains expensive. I would argue for this as a solution if we could restore some of our wetlands that restore the flyway and work to recharge our aquifer.  I would like to see us focus on Salmon runs and other recreation so this farming could be brought back in balance with the land.

Personally I’m not a practicing earth worshipper as I believe this climate religion is a hoax playing on the subscription to the guilt brought on by progressive gnosis.  The data and the statistics do not match the rhetoric and the hubris to think man can control the weather is not grounded in reality.  The eschaton of climate change has been so overused now it’s ridiculous. I will posit however though that the doctrine of climate change and its rising ocean dogma to extort and manipulate behavior should attract many true believers to this idea of desalinization. If oceans are rising or not does not change my position on desalinization we see no evidence of ocean rise supporting the Climate Cult doctrine. 

Man controlling the climate or weather is beyond me. My hypocrisy goes only so far and to think man can control the weather is the realm of mastermind fantasies and pathological narcissism. Besides they still sell ocean front property and insurance so it’s business as usual around the world while the alarmist fear mongering continues. One might think there could be a shared argument between the true believers and the skeptics but even that seems a bridge to far in this current tribal culture.  Seems to me whether or not you think desalination is a solution should simply be about solutions.  This has nothing to do with the Climate Change Cult that says floods are drought and cold is hot. Today about 1% of the worlds fresh water comes from desalinization in very dry climates.  Pulling water from the ocean to create fresh water just seems like a great renewable solution to me as all water drains back to the ocean or returns to the ecosystem through evaporation.

Desalinization is not a panacea however.  In Israel 40% of their crops are grown in the dessert which is even more extreme than the south valley but water is life so they employ desalinization. Currently 25% of the water in Israel is from desalinization. The back of the envelope math using Israel as an example is about 1 thousand dollars per acre foot after infrastructure costs.  That means the equivalent of 1 Lake Success is about a 100 million dollars to produce 100,000 acre feet.  A larger perspective using 1 Pine Flat equivalent would be about 1 billion dollars for a million acre feet.  Most of the expense is from electricity but you get the picture.  

This adds a good comparison and a decent perspective on the issue before us as we talk about water on a mega scale.  This also adds some perspective on the expense of the water being pumped from our aquifer.  The biggest landowners pump this water from 1500 feet and the deeper wells which cause the upstream wells to go dry as they drain the water from the water bank for profit.  This becomes extreme in the dry years exposing the large leak in the water bank and the nature of the water (crypto) currency.

Using the cost of desalinization of 1 million acre feet the cost of the over draft of the aquifer could be estimated at about 1 billion per year. The water bank has a big leak and conservation is a growing problem not a conservation problem.  The problem for the growers is being shifted onto the people in a marvelous Bernie Madoff Style. Growers aided and abetted by the government and the state controlled media colluding to limit your water consumption and raise your rates.  This is a grand Ponzi scheme and many have bought into it hook line and sinker.

We over pump the aquifer on average about a million acre feet which is the equivalent of stealing a billion dollars from the aquifer each year. Estimates I’ve seen calculated as much as 80 Million Acre feet have gone missing in the past 50 years. That is the Equivalent of 80 Pine Flat reservoirs or 80 billion dollars on top of the use of all of the water imported and captured in the region. 

Using simple math this is about billion dollar theft annually through overdraft of the aquifer. The bank is on the verge of collapsing and it’s not covered by the FDIC. We are seeing calls this year for billions just to fix the subsidence in the canals from the over pumping which is a secondary expense.  The only viable solution outside of less farming is more water input and the only way to produce that much water is through desalinization on a grand scale. The only way to leverage this is with a new Molten Salt reactor in the north to support the huge energy demands it would require.  Blaming God and water rationing through water meters is not the answer.

Obviously desalinization would cost billions but this is a generational investment that I could get behind.  Definitely much more beneficial that the mythical high speed rail that will likely never be finished because the new rails are sinking along with the aquifer. Why do we continue to build the train of babel at billions and billions in loss and they keep coming back the tax payer well for more bailouts.  It certainly seems like its 1933 all over again. 

Don’t forget that the politicians are still claiming drought in the midst of flood when the real issue is that both the east and west canals are no longer running as designed because of the subsidence and it will take billions to restore the natural gravity feed and billions more to improve the pumping uphill in sections that have subsided on the west side of the valley.  The current state of the west side canal emanating from San Luis Reservoir is that it takes twice as much energy to pump half as much water due to the subsidence.  This all must be repaired and paid for by the people because it is their fault the aquifer has been abused so much.  Here comes more bonds and more debt right alongside water rationing and water meters.

We must make restoring our wetlands in the south a priority and we will not be able to do that without more water than the climate provides. Desalinization could help the south valley to thrive and make possible reclaiming those wetlands from the modern day water barons (Robber Barons) that have become more powerful than the government flaunting the 160 acre thresholds. The natural alluvial marshes that were dried up and turned into farmland need to be restored if we ever hope to replenish the aquifer. The damage people have done for decades to the south valley from over farming can be fixed but it will take a coalition of WE THE PEOPLE to get this done.  

Never ending blame shifting about water leads only to more division and more destruction and lowering the quality of life.  We need to get back to living on the side of Creation.  The good book makes clear that you shall know them by their fruits and we cannot reap figs of thistles. We must reverse course from the side of destruction but I’m afraid it will take a disaster or a crisis man made or otherwise to wake most folks up from their decadent slumber. After all most folks that consume our products don’t live near the valley and could care less about our quality of life. We need to take stock and humble ourselves so we can clearly assess the situation and work on real solutions for everyone and stop fighting with each other.  The bullies win when we are divided and neutrality always makes a space for the bully ceding more and more power all in the name of progress and centralization.

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Ed McKervey

Liberty Chronicles presents a range of perspectives. Views are writers’ own and do not necessarily represent those of the editors, Blessings of Liberty, or its Board of Directors.

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