Thursday, July 16, 2009

More water stuff...

First let me say, yes the toilet flushed and the shower worked perfectly this morning. But now once again the apprehension is back... will there be water tomorrow?? Stay tuned.

I freely admit that I know zilch about water related issues such as drought, delivery, irrigation, supply, waste, and on and on. What I do know for the most part is that when I'm fishing, I find the fish are swimming in the body of water that I'm located at and often the fish aren't biting.

Luckily for me though Al Gore invented the Internwebz and some nerds came up with Google. I do want to know more about water related issues that can likely have an impact on our quality of life here in Kingman and Mohave County.

At this moment there is a chattering class of local folks that are against economic growth and are using water availability as the main point of argument. So far they have offered what can be described as scare tactic rhetoric to make their points, yet no one has questioned the rhetoric in a public forum.

Look, it is obvious that we live in a desert and if it wasn't for the ground water in the area, nobody would be living here (there are no other means of delivering water from riparian sources in existence at the moment). And from all reports and other Internet sources found so far, there is a finite supply of the ground water around here. That source must be respected, no doubt.

There are other communities in this desert state known as Arizona that face uncertainties for water supply. As I run into online articles and reports, I'm finding that solutions have been sought in these other communities... and efforts continue to bring even more water resources to those populations.

Below I'm going to share a couple of articles pertaining to some of the solutions sought. The first article is from a couple of years ago... pay attention to how the solution was formed...

American Water Takes Steps to Address the Needs of Arizona's Growing Population
February 19, 2007

American Water, the largest water services provider in North America, is addressing the needs of Arizona's growing population through an environmentally-conscious project designed to provide reliable drinking water, all while meeting existing and foreseeable future regulations and responding to regional growth. The Lake Pleasant Water Treatment Plant, the result of a successful public-private partnership between American Water and the city of Phoenix, is expected to begin operations this spring upon completion of the first phase of a four-phase project.

Gee, I know I've heard of these public/private partnership deals before.

The largest design-build-operate (DBO) facility of its kind in North America, the Lake Pleasant Water Treatment Plant has helped the city of Phoenix earn accolades as the best-managed city in the country.

Hmm... design-build... heard of that one too. In any case, accolades are nice but I bet the reliable drinking water is a better benefit.

Partnerships between municipalities and the private sector are becoming increasingly effective strategies for addressing the critical challenges of supply and demand,” said Don Correll, president and CEO of American Water. “The Lake Pleasant Water Treatment Plant is a prime example of a public-private partnership that is working to solve the complex environmental issues facing municipalities today.”

Again with the public/private partnerships leading to solutions. Interesting.

American Water was awarded the $336 million DBO contract in August 2003 to serve as the prime contractor and to additionally manage and operate the facilities for the first 15 years. Construction of the 80 mgd plant, one that will ultimately service 400,000 households, began in the summer of 2004.

The private sector coming through again, I like it.

Now for something a little different from a more recent article, yet notice some similarities to local news...

Camp Pendleton Unveils Wastewater Reuse System
Marine base’s new facilities will provide 1,700 acre-feet of treated wastewater per year
July 1, 2009

Officials at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in Southern California recently dedicated an upgraded water treatment system, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The system employs recycled water to decrease the amount of fresh water used on the base and the amount of gray water pumped into the Pacific Ocean.

"We're going to continue to march ahead: This is the first step," said Marine Col. Gary Storey.

And this first step will be taken as well by any new large scale development in our area. In fact the water worry warts were against a proposed master planned development that would have instituted very similar systems to help conserve water.

As part of the $48.8-million upgrade, treated wastewater will be used on landscaping, horse pastures and the base golf course, the newspaper reported. In the future, recycled water may be used for carwashes and toilet facilities in enlisted quarters.

And in the future after that it is likely that wastewater will be totally recycled into what we call fresh water. Astronauts are already drinking 'fresh' water from resources found from the waste in their space toilets.

The base has been under court order to improve its treatment facilities, which date back to the 1940s.

Advantage private enterprise.

The base uses 6,000 to 7,000 acre-feet of water each year, most of it from wells and the San Luis Rey River.

The new facilities can provide 1,700 acre-feet per year of treated wastewater.

Particularly here is the similarity that I talked about earlier. A representative from one of the proposed solar plants has signed a letter of intent with the City of Kingman to investigate the costs of using treated wastewater made right here in Kingman for purposes of power generation. If the findings offer a real possibility of use of the wastewater, the solar energy plant wouldn't necessarily be using 'all' of 'our' water leading to whatever 'devastating' effects the water worry warts are blathering about today.

And actually it isn't 'our' water anyway. 'We' don't own the land where the proposed solar power plant will be located. But the group hoping to put up the plant are at least making nice gestures to be a good neighbor... to bad that many fellow neighbors won't return the gesture.

Again the rights of private property owners in Mohave County are in far more jeopardy than the 13 million acre feet of water under our feet.

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