Friday, August 14, 2009

Unsheath thy scissors...

Yep, it is that time again. Time for some cuts and pastes... and rants.

If you weren't aware by now the lead water worry wart was granted a blog at the website. I'll ask readers right now to pay attention to what is shared at that blog, especially if you need a laugh.

In her latest blog installment she has decided to let someone else speak for her. She offers a letter by another local resident. It is this letter that I will be focusing in on. But if you do end up following the lead water worry wart's blog, do me a favor and ask her when all the water in the aquifers in Mohave County will be gone. I've asked numerous times now and she won't answer me, maybe you'll have better luck. (I don't think she likes me very much)

On to the use of scissors... link here for the whole letter...


By: Robert Fenwick

The good people that live in Mohave County and Kingman have been told that the two solar plants that they want to build in our backyard will be good for us.

I could simply stop here. Mr. Fenwick has already identified himself as a NIMBY with his first sentence. If NIMBY's are good at anything it is demanding the rights of other property owners without offering anything in exchange for said rights. I'm sorry folks, but this truly is unAmerican in my view.

The water that will be used to cool these two plants will come from our aquifers.

Back once again is the popular NIMBY declaration of the 'our' word. Folks we don't own the aquifers or the water, unless of course 'we' are just demanding those rights for nothing in exchange as well like many are attempting to do with other property rights they don't own.

When the math is done on these two projects, it does not look good for the people of Mohave County and Kingman.

Seriously, I won't be pasting one sentence at a time... but yes let us now take a look at the math.

Let’s start with one solar plant using 3000 acre feet of water per year.

I keep breaking my promise on the one sentence thing, bear with me. Last I heard about one of the solar projects was the need of 2,400 acre feet of water. It doesn't really matter anyway because the state of Arizona already has granted a water allocation to the current land owner that is twice the amount that the solar plant would need. Again, the state of Arizona (the only controlling authority on water use) has already granted way more water use than what these water worry warts are trying to scare you with.

Also, it wasn't that long ago that the water worry warts were throwing around the figure of 4,000 acre feet a year that each proposed solar plant was going to use... now their talking points have it down to 3,000 acre feet. At some point I suspect they'll get to the actual reported usage figure. More on this at the end of this post.

One acre foot of water is 327,000 gallons.

Yeah, I know. But I had to here. This figure is wrong. The correct conversion of one acre foot of water into US gallons is 325,851. Sure it is close and perhaps I am splitting hairs a bit, deal with it.

3000 acre feet of water times 327,000 gals equals 981,000,000 million gallons of water per year. That amount of gals comes to 18 million, 900,000 per week when it is divided by 52 weeks. Divide that by 7 and you get 2 million, 700,000 gals per day or 113,000 gals per hour. It will take over four well’s pumping 25,000 gals per hour to cool this plant. And as the saying goes, it will go up in smoke/steam.

See, a multi sentence cut and paste. You knew I could do it, I knew I could do it.

So let's check the math using actual numbers reported and correct. 2,400 acre feet of water times 325,851 gallons equals 782,042,400 gallons of water per year. That amount of gallons comes to 15 million, 39 thousand, 277 (I rounded up to the nearest whole unit) gallons per week when it is divided by 52 weeks. Divide that by 7 and you get 2 million, 148 thousand, 468 (Yep I rounded up again to the nearest whole number) gallons per day or 89,520 gallons per hour. As the saying goes, do the math -- but start with the right data.

Mohave County and the desert around the west have been in a very severe drought for the last ten years. When we have no rain there is none put back in the Hualapai aquifer. One only has to look at Lake Mead to figure that out. What is going on above the ground is the same thing going on below the ground. THINK REALLY BAD DROUGHT!

Yes, we live in a desert and we are in the midst of a drought... and we still have water. Hard to tell how much water is left though because this fair letter writer never even offers a guess. I know, shocking. I ask that you continue to ask the question of the water worry warts. Without an answer from them, their arguments are hollow.

The city of Kingman water plant serves 45,000 people and uses 8,000 to 9,000 acre feet of water per year. These two plants will use in a little over a year’s time the same amount of water that is used in Kingman for a year. The water these two plants will use, as stated before will go up in smoke (steam). No cold drink or a shower.

Actually the last official report about water in this area indicated that 11,000 acre feet of water is used a year... without the solar plants (or even the soon to be new vodka distillery). While it does appear true that the water used at the solar plants will be used for steam, it will also be used to generate green energy and provide jobs for many people in our area. For me it is a fair exchange given that no one on the water worry wart side of things can even begin to guess how much water is left in the aquifers in the first place. I've done the math too, based on official state reports (linking again) and by all equations there is an adequate amount of water sources available to the citizens of Mohave County even with two new solar plants that need a heavy use of water.

BTW, I don't take cold showers. I mean it is impossible here this time of year. But I'm sure I'll enjoy a cold drink at some point (it is Friday).

I don’t care if you are a Democrat or a Republican, pick up a rock and give it a squeeze; no water will come out of it. That is what we will be left with if these solar plants are given the right to suck the water out of the aquifer. They will take the water, make their profits and ride off in the sunset when the water is all gone.


The time has come for our elected officials in the county and city to give this a lot more thought before letting this happen. There is a reason this is a desert. Lots of land, small amount of water. Do not give the water away and get nothing because that is what is being done now.

Small amount of water?? Really?? Where is your source on that Mr. Fenwick?? Why didn't you include it in your letter??

Also who is giving away water right now?? I live in Kingman and get a water bill every month. I'm giving back. If I lived out in the areas without water utility service I'd either have to drill a well or pay someone to deliver water to me. In either case there is a fair exchange for services. You see, land owners also own the rights to the water underneath the land in this state... that is as long as they can get to water on their land. The water worry warts are doing their darndest to take these rights away from property owners for nothing in exchange. It is wrong, it is certainly not American.

The state of Arizona has already granted a much larger water allocation for water use on the land the solar power generator will be located at. A nice little fact that continues to be ignored by the water worry warts.

Nothing more than baseless rhetoric from the water worry wart brigade.

Thanks for reading this.

Robert Fenwick

Long Mountain, Mohave County

Remember, once the water is gone it will never come back.

Oh, you betcha Mr. Fenwick... thanks for sharing your empty rhetoric with me (and faulty math conclusions based on faulty information).

Also you ask me to remember that when the water is gone it will never come back... well... when will the water be gone??

I referred to something earlier in this post that I wanted to explain further after I was done with all the empty rhetoric.

Read this link...

The plant's water usage has been the primary sticking point among local residents concerned that the aquifer cannot sustain such large scale projects without suffering substantial depletion.

(Kingman City Manager Jack) Kramer said the solar plant is looking to use upwards of 2,500 acre-feet of water, or more than 800 million gallons each year, and that Hilltop could supply as much as 1,700 acre-feet of the total required, with a roughly 60/40 split between A-plus effluent and B effluent.

"We could probably deliver somewhere around a million and a half gallons a day," (Kingman Mayor John) Salem said.

"In some of the areas, some of the test wells, the B effluent could be in better shape than what they might be pumping out of the aquifer."

If you are wondering what this refers to well I let you in. One of the solar power plants has approached the city to possibly use the waste water (that I help create on a daily basis) to generate power. Not the water that is in the aquifers. According to the above, Kingman might be able to offer 1,700 acre feet of treated waste water a year.

If this is true the solar plant would not be using 4,000 or 3,000 or even 2,400 acre feet of water from the aquifers a year. More like 700 acre feet a year. Want to do the math again?? If you do it won't be nearly as 'scary' as the water worry warts want it to be.

To top that off... if Kingman already had a larger population it would be possible that all of the water needed to run the solar plant could be provided by the treated waste water. ALL OF THE WATER!! Thank goodness the fine community political action committee's put an end to new growth projects for the last couple of years (yes, I'm being sarcastic).

Yet here we have a few riled up water worry warts telling us that new industry is only interested in Kingman to use up all of 'our' water. Willing to kill a project that would expand the tax base here in Mohave County (folks in Havasu and Bullhead are you paying attention??) and perhaps threatening the chances at improving the services that are provided. At the same time they are demanding the rights of others that aren't theirs to begin with for no fair exchange in order to be granted those rights. Marx would be proud of that effort.

Folks... do you think we have a real water supply problem facing us right now?? Please, if so, share it with me... just leave out the empty rhetoric. Seriously, if it was possible to turn the rhetoric into water the whole valley would be flooded out with barely any time to build an ark.

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