Saturday, August 15, 2009

Game changer??

The information I'm about to share with you could possibly end the debate about water usage for one of the particular proposed solar power plants. Specifically the one proposed out at the Red Lake area. One of the readers here at MOCO, not a contributor to the comments, has attended one of the open house events put on by Hualapai Valley Solar. This nice reader contacted me awhile ago and asked me why hasn't anyone talked about the subject matter offered by the company at the open house events. Well I did NOT attend any of the events so I am not privy to anything that does not appear on the linked website above or in media reports. So I asked this person to share with me what he/she knew. The only condition in exchange was to keep this person's identity hidden, something I can and have done over the years I've been blogging.

Now I realize that what I'm about to share won't come across as the be all and end all information from THE source of information... and I agree. But what YOU can do with the information is ask questions with this information. Question whom, you might ask?? Anyone and everyone involved with the debate. Feel free to verify the information, it is NOT my information. I'm just using MOCO to pass along the information. More information the better. Certainly better than just plain old empty rhetoric.

You see there were many differing degrees of the sides of the issue that attended the open house events. The water worry warts were certainly in attendance, so were other concerned citizens. Some folks voiced their concerns and conclusions very loudly, while others just sat and listened to the happenings at the events... and even took notes. I've done a bit of asking questions myself to hopefully share with accuracy what was shared at the open house event. Here at this link is the media report from that meeting (I've posted it before).

Below are some tidbits that were also available at the meeting... I'll present the facts presented at the open house event from my source in italics and my two cents in regular font.

The current land owner was issued a water allocation by the state of Arizona's water department (ADWR) 3 times greater than what the solar plant would use. Obviously the state government here in Arizona thinks there is plenty of water to USE.

The solar power plant recycles the water used 58 times before it is all evaporated. Makes me wonder just how many times the water worry warts recycle their water before it is evaporated. Might have to ask them (maybe they will answer that question since they won't answer the 'When??' question).

Hualapai Valley Solar (HVS) shared studies that concluded after 30 years of operation the effect on the aquifer water level will drop 10 inches. Well imagine if they didn't recycle the water 58 times!! Hey water worry warts... what are you doing to ensure a future water supply??

According to the worst case of water use by HVS (3,000 acre feet of water a year for 30 years) they would only use 90,000 (THOUSAND) acre feet of water. Hmm... still sounds like a lot to you?? You'll love the next one...

According to the hydrologist report that studied the aquifer there is 15,800,000 (that is MILLION) acre feet of water stored... above 1,200 feet and a total of 27,700,000 (again MILLION) acre feet of storage overall. Let's do the math... 90,000 acre feet (used over 30 years) divided by 15,800,000 acre feet in storage equals (in terms of percentage) 0.0056962% of the available water in the aquifer above 1,200 feet. That's it. All these scare tactics being used by the water worry warts for six one/thousandths of a percentage?? Me thinks thou dost protest too much. My next question is, what else should we do with all that water??

Ready for more?? The next bit comes from the public summary that was shared at the open house event (and this is how it was sent to me)....

AVAILABLE GROUNDWATER SUPPLY (per E.L. Montgomery hydrologists)

--Groundwater is stored in thick alluvial deposits that fill the Hualapai basin
--Projected raw water demand (WORST CASE) = 3,000 AF/yr average = 1,860 gpm continuously
--Conceptual plan includes 3 wells plus 1 backup
--Projected life of solar plant (FOR ANALYSIS) = 30 yrs
--Total groundwater use over time = 90,000 AF / 30 yrs
--Groundwater recharge/discharge and storage in basin
  • Natural Recharge equals Natural Discharge = 3,800 AF/yr (I don't know what that means)
  • Groundwater in Storage above depth of 1,200 feet = 15.8 million AF
  • Groundwater in Storage above bedrock and salt = 27.7 million AF

(I added the link above to the hydrologist)

I could easily stop right here and go no further. If this information is correct, and I'm not here to say that it is or it isn't, the debate is over. Face it folks, you could hold your breath waiting for this sort of information from the water worry warts but all you will end up with is a purple face, then you'll pass out (I'd rather use cocktails to get to the pass out stage).

But I'm not going to stop right here. Things have changed since the beginning of July when the article that I linked to earlier first appeared. We now know that HVS is looking into perhaps using the waste water that Kingman creates as the water source to generate 'green' energy.

Why?? I can't say for certain but judging by things that have been said in public meetings at the City Council chambers in the last month it seems that the treated waste water would be more advantageous for HVS to use. You see the groundwater that might be used will need to be heavily treated because it has a ton of minerals and other things I don't really have any knowledge of. It will require more water to treat the groundwater because it needs more treatment than the treated waste water that the citizen of Kingman make every time they flush the toilet (got that??). I heard our city leaders talk about 'A' water and 'B' water... and honestly I don't know the difference (but I'm guessing I would if I came in contact with both variety's).

It now sounds as if all goes well for HVS and they decide that it would be better for them to use the waste water from Kingman... and can build a pipeline to get it from point A to point B, it means HVS will use far less groundwater than they shared at their public open house events.

Sorta makes me wonder what happens with our the water in the sewage ponds currently. Doesn't it just evaporate?? If that is true, wouldn't it be great if that water could be used another 58 times to total 59 uses?? All in the name of 'green' energy, jobs, investment, opportunity, and the increased tax base... oh my.

Bottom line here, I don't know how accurate any of this information is... but it is information and it was shared at public meetings, according to my unnamed source (I'm a regular Sy Hersch I guess). I'd be more than happy to share more information about this kind of stuff. So if you got some, send it to me (there is an 'email Todd' link on the sidebar, it is easy like Sunday morning).

Hey, I make this offer to the water worry warts as well. Send me what you got. I'll share it, but please lay off the rhetoric. I've already posted all that stuff you've already shared.

We should all be trying to get to the bottom of this issue... because it certainly sounds like we are wasting our time trying to get to the bottom of the aquifer... none of us will live long enough.

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