Many know that mechanical farming and bad weather caused signifigant problems in the past. We can learn from the past so it is not our future. Would encourage everyone to remember the importance of things like natural predators as they are frequently hunted heavily in my area. Coyotes will target poultry as do hawks, owls, bobcats and others. Be careful removing predators they are only part of the balance.
What was the depression like once the drought had started?
Many think it cannot happen again but the drought has already started. Locations and circumstances change slightly
That must have seemed biblical to the people experiencing it, and maybe it was. My family was in central and South Texas then. I don’t think it ever got as bad as in the mid West, but I have photos of family from that era. Most were taken outside. It did appear drier than I’ve seen it in modern times.
As my guinea population suggests, predators are not uncommon. We even have a mama mountain lion that comes through our area regularly. D
This — in a nutshell — is the premise of Robert Heinlein’s magnum opus of science ficton The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. The lunar colonies are raising food hydroponically and dropping it back to earth containing unsustainable quantities of their limited supply of extractively mined water. They have to revolt against their terrestrial overlords, and they do even though they are vastly outnumbered by the innumerable hordes of the overpopulated planet. They find they can jimmy the guidance systems of the unmanned food shipment containers to turn them into ballistic missiles.
My grandparents had photos from when they were kids, they were teenagers in the “dirty 30s” as they called it. I cant imagine seeing a giant wall of dust coming your way and knowing it could last for quite some time. Stories of how it was basically pitch black in the middle of the day.
Lunar colonies dropping food down to earth? That’s science fiction of a very high magnitude. Maybe even worse that Elon Musk saying he could establish sustainable colonies of people on Mars. And the cost per person would be less than the average home price in San Francisco. Now that’s hilarious…!!
You dont have to read about the Moon… you can read about cities in Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and California that were arid deserts 100 years ago… then we diverted rivers, built dams and watersheds to give hundreds of millions of people water. Lush lawns and big swimming pools, gardens, and millions of fruit and nut trees are fed water from elsewhere.
Fun fact- The Bellagio Resort fountains hold 22 million gallons of water that evaporate and consume 12 million gallons of water per year…
Just the city of Las Vegas during peak summer uses around 500 million gallons of water per day.
There are 39 golf courses in Las Vegas.
There are 300 golf courses in Arizona.
Los Angeles also uses around 500 million gallons of water per day.
My math isnt good enough to calculate how much water it takes to quench all of these cities that have little or no rainfall…and cities built upon deserts.
How will they continue to fight Mother Nature out west? Will they build pipelines from the Great Lakes? The Mississippi River?
The Carlsbad Desalination plant currently removes around 50 million gallons of seawater per day… not sure if that is enough for the golf courses though.
Mother nature made them deserts for a reason i think… and shes tired of the games that people are playing with her water.
i think fracking sends around 200 billion gallons of water under the earth per year and has been doing so for decades. Another thing we dont talk about…or care about.
Everything they mix into fracking fluid is toxic to humans… good times.
A decade ago the US Dept of Energy did a study that Coal mining uses around 260 million gallons of water per day to wash coal. nobody talks about that either.
If u add up all the stuff that nobody even talks about or cares about…theres a lot of millions or billions of gallons of water used per day that kinda dont come back normal or come back at all.
In the end it will be called a Natural Disaster or something that shifts the blame towards something else… like the economy…we as humans are writing checks that Mother Nature cant cash. I have a feeling she will get her revenge sooner than later.
Important stuff and pretty scary when we look at where the majority of our food comes from. I did switch from almond milk to oat milk because of the water use for almonds.
So a general question I have about saving water is should people in areas that have plenty of water worry too much about saving water. I realize that treating and transporting water uses energy, etc. but in an area of 40+ inches of rain a year, how much does me saving a few hundred gallons a year do? I don’t really waste water and am generally pretty careful with resources (but the darn kids will never learn to turn the lights off when they leave a room…), but just curious since water seems to be a more local issue.
The issue with almonds is they over irrigate to get more of a crop. I water my almond tree once a week along with my other plants and it shows no sign of wilt. Almond trees are no different than other nut or fruit trees. Just like I said they like to over water almonds specifically for more crop. The simple solution to controlling almond water issues is make it illegal for farmers to over irrigate it.
If you ever get a chance look at the documentary ‘Pollinators’. It shows almond groves that go for miles and bees are trucked in from all over the US because they have sprayed so much and killed everything that there isnt enough bees to pollinate. Alot of the trucked in bees die because they almond growers wont stop spraying long enough to even let the bees pollinate…its sad. The bee keepers get upset about it but theres nothing they can do…its their main source of income is to truck the bees to these orchards that cant even pollinate themselves.
If the pollinator population takes any more of a hit they wont have to worry about water…
Its insane how many bees it takes to pollinate those groves that are totally out of place… and everything around is sprayed or killed so no hope or homes for local pollinators.
The powers that be… have done things like making toilets that use a gallon or so less and shower heads that save a gallon here or there…theres all kinds of little micromanagement things that exist that dont even blip the radar on the abuse of water widespread.
If all of us together decided to conserve water… they would build more golf courses or water theme parks. Or just pump it underground or something.
Gosh that sounds negative… but its a reality.
It takes 1800 gallons of water to produce a pound of beef…so in the big picture of things… saving water means that somebody else will use it…
it’s not zero sum. you can’t waste it… you can contaminate it though. That doesnt seem to make it on the list very often. A lot of focus on climate change but ever hear anything about what importing billions of gallons of water to the desert does to the climate.
The over spraying of chemicals are not specific to almonds. People want their fruit, vegetables and nuts at the store looking supreme. If you have a store that has great tasting fruit that looks bad you will sell less than the orchard with bad tasting fruit that looks good. People buy on looks sadly. Farmers have sources we don’t and can’t have as a home gardener which is a good and bad thing. Farmers can have GMO and insecticides that are far stronger than what you and I have. I always said short of getting beneficial insects you need to douse the bad insects with insecticide multiple times. Even with dousing the bad bugs a bunch of times you cannot get rid of them. I had aphids on my peppers when I first started gardening and ladybugs were sold out at the local nurseries. I tried spraying them off, dish soap, neem oil, Seven and some other spray. Nothing worked on them.
It’s not over watering if the additional water makes more crop. It is a matter of how much more crop the additional water produces. But I think you’d be surprised if you knew how sophisticated modern farming is. When I was doing crop production research for Texas A&M thirty years ago we were using yield mapping combines and applying water, fertilizer, and a host of other inputs according to yield maps, soil tests, infrared imaging, and a host of other technologies. John Deere sells equipment that costs up to a million per machine to make a lot more possible now. It’s easy to criticize when you really don’t know anything about what’s being done.
I will admit my work experience in terms of gardening comes down to gardening at a amusement park and helping in the garden department at a Home Depot which has nothing to do with farming. Most of my knowledge comes from the home gardening side of things when it comes to getting produce. What I will say about living in the west where rain is scarce is I can say even though fruit will taste much better water is a thing you have to balance here. I believe others above said it best when they say that most of that fruit or nuts is being exported. We see water is becoming more and more of a scarce resource as time is going on. You can see many channels on YouTube in places like Arizona talking about strategies to get fresh water. My issue is that by watering more to get more of a crop it is draining resources from local residents. My issue with this is not just located to almonds in California. I have the same issues with the farmers growing wheat, rye barely and oats here in Colorado. Those are crops that can be grown many places not in a drought prone area without the benefit of increased crop quality . I understand that farming is very expensive and sophisticated now days though. When applying to jobs at USPS a few years ago I remember there was a career job in Haxtan or Haxton (I forget which) CO 2 hours and something away from me. The average house was selling for 100k there (it was a very low income down with only 900 people as well). Well there was also a farm house there for sale. The house with a built in farm was going for over 1 million which was at least 10x the asking price of the surrounding homes. That is also the reason I would say not many are understanding of farms now days. It is so expensive to get into. Even at the nursery level many struggle to make ends meet assuming you don’t own it. Generally if you are doing farming on a farm or doing gardening work you are doing work for the higher ups who made a lot of money but you are making none. Besides it is a thing I would say is even hard to keep up with at this point. Many varieties of fruit have even changed from 100 years ago. The Elberta peach used to be a big peach contender but now the Elberta peach is considered subpar and the red haven has replaced the elberta as the standard peach. If I was a farmer now I would start looking into varieties of fruit, nuts and vegetables that can handle more heat and dryness. The world is only going to get hotter and the water resources are only going to get thinner with more population. Also the surrounding areas of livable land will only keep diminishing. We see it now where there is hurricane after hurricane by the oceans, drought everywhere and everything is on fire. My area of Colorado was zone4 before the last area update. We went from zone 4 to zone 5 b with the new update. It has been years since we had a temperature below -9 so we really could be zone 6 right now and the map is just not updated.