Two perplexing problems we currently face.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Lately with our current state of affairs I find myself thinking of major societal problems and building
on the same solutions. This is my version of a daydream. I like to think of logical ways to execute plans and how they can be implemented on a massive scale.

Out of all the dilemmas there are two that will have an extreme impact on humanity. Both having simple solutions. The solutions would work for both problems and create amazing economic boots as well.

The first problem humanity as a whole faces is drought. I come from the East Coast which is an area that faces drought. However it seems to be more glaring when you live in the desert next to a National treasure (the Colorado River). Daily I see the rise and fall in the River from my office. I hear conversations when Guests of the Resort come to collect their mail about how the citizens of Nevada and California face the impending doom of strict water rations.

I can see California and Nevada in the horizon, they are neighbors of Bullhead City. It's no big deal around here to see license plates from three states on a regular basis. Other than the stores, jobs, and attractions the main thing the tri-state area shares is our water source.

I have friends that talk about taking Navy showers where they turn on the water to get wet, cut it off to suds up, then cut it on again to rinse. Others refuse to buy homes with pools because they feel that it is a waste of water. Water Conservation is the name of the game and we are the players. We all feel this yearning to take care of our planet, and even if we don't all take Navy showers we carry the guilt of this problem with us on a subconscious level.

News flash: human consuption of water is not the problem. 

According to Hoekstra "Agricultural production takes the largest share, accounting for 92% of the global WF" (Hoekstra, 2012).
Water Consumption. The water footprint of humanity in the period 1996–2005.
The data are shown in millimeter per year on a 5 × 5 grid.
Agriculture means production of the food we consume so in essence humans are the problem right?

This is an argument for another discussion but for now I will say no, this statement does not reflect reality. The reality is that corporations who create massive amounts of food, more than enough to feed the entire planet, waste water on agriculture. Water is used inefficiently on a grand scale and then the food that is not purchased and consumed by humans is thrown away instead of given to the hungry.  

We can and should take measures to save water where we can. New faucet and shower head technologies allow us to save water without restricting ourselves to 60 seconds of water use per shower. There are also counties left that allow us to collect rain water. In areas like Bullhead City I think each house should have a cistern that would collect enough rainwater to last for a few months... this is possible.

Don't believe me?  Check out the water filtration/ preservation systems used in the Earthship Biotecture community in Taos New Mexico.

One of my best solutions will also solve the second problem humanity faces. Rising sea levels.

Whether or not you believe in climate change we should all agree to face the facts that sea levels are rising and we are capable of implementing solutions to this problem.

We have all seen the photo series produced by the mainstream media featuring city streets in the future if the sea level continues to rise. Take your pick: The Weather Channel  or images like the Jefferson Memorial on the right after 5, 12, and 25 feet on Mashable.

While there are many amazing solutions for combating this issue one of them would actually help with the drought conditions faced around the world.

: to remove salt from (something, such as water) via Webster
If all residents of LA County used desalinated water I estimate that we could pull 2,630,343,300 gallons of salt water from the ocean. This is from one city, imagine if all coastal communities were to get their water from the ocean.

The construction of massive Desalination centers would create jobs, being able to use more water in City Parks and Recreation or in agriculture would also create jobs and a boost in the communities economy. I can see all of the benefits, but I also hear this argument when I bring it up:

Desalination is expensive and this would ultimately raise the price of water right?

My first response is that money should be of no value when it comes to providing clean water to all of humanity but if I'm basing my answer out of reality I would say yes. Desalination is expensive and it may lead to a price hike on water.

Steam distillation would be an effective procedure for removing the salt from the water on a massive scale. I haven't weighed out the costs of chemical filtration compared to steam distillation but I can assure you that it would be cheaper than paying top dollar for one of the remaining bottles of clean water when we run out.

Maybe this issue has weighed heavily on my mind lately because of the drastic reduction in water levels in Lake Mead. While it is something I have thought about a lot in the past I play in the water in the Tri-State area on a regular basis, I know the travesty these areas would face if it were dry... or dead.

Anyways... I just felt like writing. I am very passionate about this topic and feel that there are simple/ effective solutions. While everyone is arguing about pop-culture I daydream about a better tomorrow and I just wanted to share my thoughts with you all.

On a personal note we are doing great.  We decided to go back to school for our Master's degrees and we love living in Bullhead City. My little brother is in town spending some time with us, he flew all by his self from North Carolina! We miss everyone back home and plan to visit. We feel like this is right where we are meant to be and we love it!



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