About our vanishing water:
"The Ogallala Aquifer, also known as the High Plains Aquifer, is a vast yet shallow underground water table aquifer located beneath the Great Plains in the United States.
One of the world's largest aquifers, it covers an area of approximately 174,000 mi² (450,000 km²) in portions of the eight states of South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Texas.
The deposition of the aquifer material dates back 2 to 6 million years to late Miocene to early Pliocene age when the southern Rocky Mountains were still tectonically active. From the uplands to the west, rivers and streams cut channels in a generally west to east or southeast direction. Erosion of the Rockies provided alluvial and aeolian sediment that filled the ancient channels and eventually covered the entire area of the present-day aquifer, forming the water-bearing Ogallala Formation."
More at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ogallala_Aquifer
Aquifers are now a significant source of water for many Americans.
"Water quality in aquifers tends to be cleaner, but they replenish at a much slower rate. As a result, the water level in many aquifers across the country are dropping, unable to replace the withdrawn water at the same rate it it being removed.
Although it has previously relied almost exclusively on surface water, energy production is beginning to make greater and greater aquifer withdrawals to their needs. See the Energy Production Demand map for the magnitude of impact this could have on aquifer levels." Sources used for aquifer depletion map
See the Energy Production Demand map
"Electric power plants are among the greatest users of water in the United States, especially in northern and eastern parts of the country. The colored regions on the map are watersheds where 50 percent or more of the water withdrawals go towards energy production. "
So saving electricity is also saving water.
Water is the most important, so what are we doing about it?
"Sewer to Spigot: Recycled Water""Cities and counties across the United States have increasingly been turning to recycled sewer water as one way to meet growing drinking-water demand. Recycling sewer water, or turning toilet water into drinking water via purification, has often repulsed opponents due to the high costs of treatment and the drinking-former-toilet-water gag factor. However, despite sometimes vocal opposition from the public, communities with huge projected increases in water demand have been pursuing the option anyway in the face of stagnating supplies.
Earlier this year, Orange County, Calif., completed the largest and most high-tech water-recycling system in the world that churns out 70 million drinkable gallons of water a day from effluent. Los Angeles just announced plans to recycle 4.9 billion gallons of wastewater by 2019, and Miami-Dade County, Fla., is planning to convert 23 million gallons of wastewater a day into drinking water. So far, environmentalists have offered measured praise for water recycling; some have said that if the practice is adopted on a large enough scale, it might eventually make up for people crapping in drinkable water in the first place."
Source: The Wall Street Journal http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121081371900793887.html
Toilet to Tap: Orange County Turning Sewage Water into Drinking Water:"Trying to build public support, waste managers have launched a campaign to inform residents of Southern California that they are already drinking treated wastewater. Large amounts of heavily treated waste is discharged from cities upstream that also tap into the Colorado River, like Las Vegas.
Orange County’s wastewater recycling system currently produces water for $600 an acre foot, and experts predict the price of imported water will rise to $800 an acre foot in just three years. An acre foot provides a year supply of water to two families. Southern Californians are going to have to accept wastewater recycling if they are going to continue to provide water for all residents in times of drought."
More at: http://bluelivingideas.com/2009/03/14/toilet-to-tap-orange-county-turning-sewage-water-into-drinking-water/
I wrote about "precious water" twice last year:
I hope you have been doing your part to save our precious water.
It is drizzling here, and even though it is warm, over 65 deg., it is still an overcast gloomy day.