Viewing a single comment thread. View all comments

8to24 t1_iucye1m wrote

For a generation officials have just tried to wait out droughts. Put mild water restrictions in place while waiting for a rainy year or heavy snow pack to come. Little has been done to improve local infrastructure. Praying for rain isn't good governance.

Over 70 percent of the planet is water. not just that but all water is recycled. Having useable water should be one of the easiest problems to solve. We've just committed ourselves to wasteful practices.

For starters we need to cultivate more crops that can tolerate saltwater. Edible plants like Marsh Samphire, Sea Peas, Sea Parsley, seaweed, sea fennel, Kelp, etc. These can be eaten like other veggies or dried and turned into flours that could fortify other food products (chips, cereal, bread, pasta, etc). While heavier minerals exist in these plants little effort has been made to tackle that challenge. Maize became corn and apples are cloned. A lot of the veggies and grains we eat have been modified.


aukir t1_iudkdzw wrote

Can we just stop wasting water on most grass lawns?


8to24 t1_iudkuny wrote

Lawns, golf courses, washing cars, flushing toilets, etc


Kytyngurl2 t1_iudoog4 wrote

Toilets ought to be grey water only. Using old shower, laundry, and rain water. We throw away water that’s still usable for something.


thintoast t1_iudpjub wrote

I’m not sure how common it is, but when I visited Ireland a few years back, a place we stayed at had a rainwater collection tank that held partially treated water for toilet flushing and bathroom hand washing. A super simple concept and extremely resourceful.


H3rbert_K0rnfeld t1_iudxr5k wrote

You don't want to get caught with a rain barrel in Utah or Cali


Celesticle t1_iudy63x wrote

Rain barrels are legal in Utah now have been for a few years.


H3rbert_K0rnfeld t1_iue07av wrote

Ah! TIL! Now ya'll just need rain to fill them ;-)


Celesticle t1_iue1hwx wrote

Yeah that would be lovely. Consistent rain anyway. We got sporadic heavy rain over the summer. Plenty of floods in Southern Utah, Moab hit hard a few times, but Great Salt Lake is dangerously low and our legislature is incompetent and greedy so I have little faith they'll fix anything before it's too late.


SNRatio t1_iue6og6 wrote

They're fine in California, at least where I live. I have three near my front door.


[deleted] t1_iudtci2 wrote

Population of Ireland 4.6 million

Population of the United States 326 million

Population of China 1.39 Billion

You see how rain barrels aren't going to scale?


strausbreezy28 t1_iudvzhp wrote

This is a silly comment. You would need to do an analysis that involves population, population density, rainfall, rainfall density and frequency, etc. in order to say whether or not that kind of system would scale. Not just looking at population.


MyNameis_Not_Sure t1_iudxf24 wrote

And determine where unlimited rain water harvesting is still legal… Colorado has already regulated this and I’m sure they aren’t alone


[deleted] t1_iudxtg3 wrote

Colorado legalized collecting years ago...right after the longest hardest rains came to a sudden and permenant end. I collected ridiculous amounts of water, then found out I wasn't allowed to, dumped it and then they changed the damn law.


MyNameis_Not_Sure t1_iudyi3m wrote

They codified a limited amount of rainwater collection. Colorado did nothing to legalize it, it’s been legal since the dawn of time


[deleted] t1_iudxvvl wrote

How many rain barrels you need to wash 100,000 people's hands?

10,000 people?

1000 people?

100 people?

1.28 gallons per toilet that's 69.5 Billion gallons required to flush Chinese toilets if they only flush once day. 50 gallons per barrel, you need 1.39 Billion barrels filled every single day.


8to24 t1_iudytxk wrote

This pedantic argument totally misses the point. It isn't that rain water is the answer for the whole world. It is that treated potable water shouldn't be used for toilets. In some places rain water may work. In other places lightly filtered gray water (sink & laundry) might do the trick.


cammoblammo t1_iuffyqi wrote

Why would you only have a fifty gallon barrel?

Here in Australia a small water tank is about 250 gallons. It’s not uncommon to find tanks twenty or even fifty times that size.

I know plenty of people who run their entire house with rainwater.


[deleted] t1_iufouut wrote

The law says 110 gallons max. There's a deal to get water from the Colorado River signed by five states, taking water on residential properties prevents water from running off into the river.

Something like 70% of Australia is uninhabitable.


cammoblammo t1_iugvsmf wrote

A large area of Australia is uninhabitable, which is why we use big-arse tanks to catch the rain.

In most new dwellings in some states (even—especially—in cities) it’s mandatory to have rainwater tanks installed.


Rednys t1_iug487w wrote

You flushing your toilet is not simply throwing it away. And adding more plumbing and tanks to hold and distribute your grey water adds complexity and cost to housing and more maintenance. All this for an extremely small amount of water "saved".
Additionally if your waste water isn't being diluted by some "clean" water it's much more toxic and much more solid which could also lead to problems.


xeneks t1_iugs9lb wrote

The waste being diluted enough so it’s able to be treated and doesn’t solidify or clog in pipes is something that I am sure is an actual issue. I wonder if they have to add water sometimes to offset the water saving of residents who achieve amazing low water consumption patterns? Also, if they have to add water to be able to actually process the wastewater as it’s received? This is why I think a way to create little bags of faeces like in the martian movie and book, makes sense. The faeces is a high cost, high value component. Simply bagging it means suddenly pipes have less physical material to address, and also, the faeces isn’t contaminated with other chemicals such as detergents or hair or clothes or or teeth or hand washing compounds.


draeath t1_iudy2d3 wrote

In most (non-septic) US households at least, the drains and toilets all go to the same place. I don't think you want to recirculate that for flushing, the result won't be much better than letting it sit.


AaronJeep t1_iuffgvo wrote

Most of the smaller 1.5" pipe drains (sinks, tubs, washers) make their way under the house via PVC networks until they connect with larger 3" and 4" drains used by toilets. You could reroute just the shower drain on millions of homes to a tank and a small put could feed it back to toilets. It would never mix with raw sewage. It wouldn't be reasonable with homes built on a slab, you could still do it pretty easy on millions and millions of homes, apartments and such. That would save millions and million of gallons of water.


Rednys t1_iug4o2n wrote

How about instead of replumbing houses and apartments we get rid of lawns and golf courses in deserts. Maybe not farming in a desert is a better and easier solution.


LateMiddleAge t1_iudt40v wrote

Golf course worldwide use ~4.5B people's sustainment water. A simplifying statement---water is unevenly distributed, heavy, and hard to move---but is helpful for framing the scope.


Lord_Montague t1_iuduyhr wrote

Golf courses even in nice climates should be forced to use reclaimed water or runoff where possible. It's not like we are using that water anyway. Golf courses in the desert can just go away. Green grass is not meant to exist there and that is the most wasteful use of water I can think of.


1stGetAClew t1_iufuj9g wrote

I live in a nice climate. The city I live in uses less than 50% of it's allowed draw from underground aquifers and the aquifers send hundreds of billions of litres beyond all the consented draws of water straight into the ocean every year. What justification do you have for any of my local courses using reprocessed water which requires significant energy input for irrigation? It seems like a very poorly thought out idea to be honest.


xeneks t1_iugse5t wrote

I see the profit motive now. Interesting number.


[deleted] t1_iuerqa6 wrote

Gold courses should be criminalized.


ZSCampbellcooks t1_iudzdnk wrote

Those are a “drop in the bucket” compared to livestock production for profit.


m4fox90 t1_iudt8hy wrote

You can take my clean, shiny car from my cold, dead hands


8to24 t1_iudwdtg wrote

One doesn't need consumable clean water to clean a car. I didn't mean one should never wash a car. Rather the way we wash cars is wasteful.


aukir t1_iudzmpg wrote

They do recycle water, but those unlimited drive through spray washers seem so wasteful.


m4fox90 t1_iudypf2 wrote

Have you ever washed a car with dirty water? It doesn’t work. Mineral deposits prevent wax and ceramic sealants from adhering properly, as well as leaving stains. You have to use clean water.


8to24 t1_iudziot wrote

Just because water isn't potable doesn't mean it is too dirty to clean your car.


Palpitating_Rattus t1_iuffbhr wrote

You CANT use graywater to wash your car. Try using your shower water to wash your windows. It doesn't work. This is common sense.


8to24 t1_iufg04o wrote

Filter gray water would work.


Palpitating_Rattus t1_iufg8mx wrote

Soap and dirt and bacteria are still there. Your car will smell and look like dog turd


8to24 t1_iufiddr wrote

>In order to reduce fresh water and sewer costs, and to eliminate the impact of contaminated water on the environment, car wash owners install recycling systems in their washes. In many municipalities, these systems are required in order for the business to meet code and receive a permit.

It is literally already a thing. I don't understand what point you are attempting to make.


phyrros t1_iue1vk3 wrote

well, considering the direction we are going both car usage as well as a far higher death rate will me more common anyway


Momoselfie t1_iudr4xm wrote

That actually makes up a very small portion of our water usage. A huge amount is spent feeding the meat industry.


SoupaSoka t1_iudtbj0 wrote

And, people don't have to go 100% vegan to have an impact. We'd see huge reductions in water usage if every citizen in developed countries went meatless just a few extra days or even meals a week.


Lord_Montague t1_iudv8t6 wrote

Already have due to meat prices right now.


SoupaSoka t1_iudvoig wrote

I don't think it'll singlehandedly solve issues we're facing, but as climate change and water shortages worsen, costs of foods and goods will go up so much that it wouldn't surprise me if our water, land, and energy use drops significantly. Almost a "self-correcting" problem if you toss on top of it the amount of people that will die and the reduction in birth rates. Note that I hope we can find better routes that don't result in widespread death or famine.

So what you're experiencing is probably going to be true for many people and amplified as things worsen.


runtheplacered t1_iudtdq3 wrote

I'd be curious for someone actually knowledgeable to check in with this. This feels like a very misleading statistic to me. It seems like the water used for agriculture, while technically greater, would still cause less of a localized disruption than a municipal water supply being hit by landscape irrigation.

In other words, I think this understates how much of an impact it would have if everybody stopped watering their lawns, considering landscape irrigation accounts for 50% of all annual residential water usage. Or at the very least stopped over watering it, which is typically what happens anyway.


Momoselfie t1_iue1t3r wrote

I don't know about other states, but here in AZ, agriculture makes uo 72% of our total water usage.


Bajabound4surf t1_iuf401v wrote

I'm down here for the first time near Yuma and I cannot believe the water waste by the farmers. It's 82 degrees out, full sun and literally a hundred yards from my van they are watering a lettuce field.


fire_bent t1_iuev8ey wrote

I just mulched half my backyard to turn it into a garden! It's gunna be badass


NotObviouslyARobot t1_iufwe7b wrote

Almonds use as much water as the entirety of residential uses in California. Restricting water-intensive agriculture on a regional basis has the greatest returns for the least effort.


Eupion t1_iueio8y wrote

I wish the cities would just plant fruit trees instead of trees that do nothing but provide shade. Feed people and wildlife, and provide shade and oxygen. And totally get rid of grass lawns!


Worriedrph t1_iughfic wrote

Planting fruit trees in an urban environment is a great way to create stink and attract rats.


Downvote_me_dumbass t1_iue2btl wrote

The word you’re looking for is Xeriscaping, and it should be mandatory all over the planet.


Dry-Gulch-Slim t1_iue83sa wrote

>and it should be manditory all over the planet.

You know the whole planet isn't the American southwest, right? Please tell me you know that. What an awful take.


Downvote_me_dumbass t1_iue8zwg wrote

> You know the whole planet isn't the American southwest, right? Please tell me you know that. What an awful take.

You realize there are significant portions of the planet that could benefit from saving water and using plants that are grown regionally that still could make their property look beautiful, right?

Please let me know you understand this isn’t an American problem, but a global problem (even more so when another country controls water rights to other countries).

This is such an ignorant take.


Rugkrabber t1_iuec6mj wrote

I don’t think that will happen anytime soon unless we educate children from the start how to do this and why. It requires a lot of knowledge and a lot of effort and hard work every day, which not many people already can do now. On top of it it’s costly, which I would assume might be the largest hurdle for the large majority of people.


jetro30087 t1_iudriy9 wrote

Capitalism will solve it once the price of water increases enough to justify building desalinization plants to make more money and not a second sooner. Look forward to trading fresh water on the futures market.


8to24 t1_iudrswo wrote

No thank you. Capitalism's solution will be very environmentally harmful. Building reverse osmosis facilities and just dumping the waste brine in bays.


Belostoma t1_iueotqs wrote

Add sea beans to the list -- they're delicious!

I'm not sure if your idea works overall though, rather than trading one problem for another. I'm sure there are places it could be helpfully done, but where would we find the physical space to grow enough saltwater crops to replace a large proportion of freshwater-driven industrial agriculture? Coastal and especially estuary habitat is fragile and critical to begin with, and the last thing we want to do is convert any of it from biodiverse native vegetation to a monoculture of human food, even if it helps slightly with the water problem.

Maybe this would be a good application for futuristic vertical farming tech in high-rises near the sea. I don't know which crops might be amenable to that.


8to24 t1_iueq7lw wrote

>but where would we find the physical space to grow enough saltwater crops to replace a large proportion of freshwater-driven industrial agriculture?

The ocean. Floating hydroponic style crops.


AlphaTangoFoxtrt t1_iudyuwg wrote

> We've just committed ourselves to wasteful practices.

You mean to tell me growing incredibly water-intensive plants in/near a desert is a BAD idea???

Someone tell California.


joanzen t1_iudzl58 wrote

I keep saying we should use recycled plastics to make automated floating solar desalination networks pumping fresh water inland while capturing salt deposits that can be unloaded and contained in dry storage areas.

If we deploy enough of these self-contained networks the rising ocean levels will get impacted and they will slow down the rate at which ocean salinity has been rising, while creating fresh water.