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Groundwater Pumping -- Aquifiers Shrinking

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  • #16
    Re: Groundwater Pumping -- Aquifiers Shrinking

    Thanks, D&G. That weather forecast is exactly what I've been looking for.

    PS: Uruguay keeps sounding better and better...
    Last edited by shiny!; 04-08-13, 12:12 PM. Reason: added PS

    Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

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    • #17
      Re: Groundwater Pumping -- Aquifiers Shrinking

      Originally posted by shiny! View Post
      Your thoughtful post is reassuring, but also brings up a number of questions:

      Technology will drive down costs for extracting harder-to-get oil, but what about the costs of refining such dirty oil? How long before it becomes too hard to extract and refine at any price? How many years would you say we have before expensive oil becomes essentially Unobtanium? Or do factors like conservation measures, substitute technologies and population growth make this too complex to calculate?....
      Not for a very long time...many decades...if ever. Be careful about that "dirty oil" tag. Consider the full cycle implications of finding, developing, transporting and refining each source of crude. Remember, we know where the heavy oil and tar sands are. It is not physically difficult to access in Canada or Venezuela. There is no need to drill 10,000 feet below the ocean floor in offshore deepwater like the Gulf of Mexico or 100 miles off the coast of Brazil. There is no danger of capsizing a platform during a hurricane. There is no need to go into Arctic ecosystems like the ANWR. Before you fall for the "oil sands is dirty oil" line, ask yourself how "dirty" did the oil from the BP Macondo blowout turn out to be when all was said and done? And you can be assured there will be another one. And another one after that. I find the opponents to the pipeline interesting...do they really think that bringing Gulf of Mexico oil onshore in a pipeline through the bayous of Louisiana is better than onshore across Nebraska? They really need to go look what is happening to the landscape in North Dakota from the shale oil drilling...the footprint there is spreading and will ultimately be huge compared to the Canadian oil sands. I can only shake my head at the dismal level of these debates going on in our society today.

      I am quietly hoping the pipeline gets turned down. In a world in the early stages of the PCO process it might be better for us to leave Canadian heavy oil in the safest place possible...in the ground.

      Originally posted by shiny! View Post
      I wonder how a little country like Uruguay will fare in a PCO world. It has abundant water to generate hydroelectric power, but has to import all its oil. The USA OTOH is draining its aquifers at breakneck speed, and fracking isn't helping. We can switch from a petroleum-based economy to something else (nuclear?), but water is even more precious than oil. De-salination?

      I think that after the Petroleum wars are behind us, Water wars will take their place.
      There is one huge difference between petroleum and water. Once a petroleum product is used (oxidized/burned) in that form of energy it's gone for good. Each barrel has to be replaced with an entirely new barrel from exploration and production. Water is a closed system, we might contaminate it but we cannot destroy it. It doesn't disappear. PCO will be a global process and phenomenon. Water wars will be strictly local and most often the result of misallocations and wastage due to politics.
      Last edited by GRG55; 04-09-13, 12:10 AM.

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      • #18
        Re: Groundwater Pumping -- Aquifiers Shrinking

        Originally posted by GRG55 View Post
        Not for a very long time...many decades...if ever. Be careful about that "dirty oil" tag. Consider the full cycle implications of finding, developing, transporting and refining each source of crude. Remember, we know where the heavy oil and tar sands are. It is not physically difficult to access in Canada or Venezuela. There is no need to drill 10,000 feet below the ocean floor in offshore deepwater like the Gulf of Mexico or 100 miles off the coast of Brazil. There is no danger of capsizing a platform during a hurricane. There is no need to go into Arctic ecosystems like the ANWR. Before you fall for the "oil sands is dirty oil" line, ask yourself how "dirty" did the oil from the BP Macondo blowout turn out to be when all was said and done? And you can be assured there will be another one. And another one after that. I find the opponents to the pipeline interesting...do they really think that bringing Gulf of Mexico oil onshore in a pipeline through the bayous of Louisiana is better than onshore across Nebraska? They really need to go look what is happening to the landscape in North Dakota from the shale oil drilling...the footprint there is spreading and will ultimately be huge compared to the Canadian oil sands. I can only shake my head at the dismal level of these debates going on in our society today.

        I am quietly hoping the pipeline gets turned down. In a world in the early stages of the PCO process it might be better for us to leave Canadian heavy oil in the safest place possible...in the ground.



        There is one huge difference between petroleum and water. Once a petroleum product is used (oxidized/burned) in that form of energy it's gone for good. Each barrel has to be replaced with an entirely new barrel from exploration and production. Water is a closed system, we might contaminate it but we cannot destroy it. It doesn't disappear. PCO will be a global process and phenomenon. Water wars will be strictly local and most often the result of misallocations and wastage due to politics.
        Great post.......and I do agree that any conflict over water will be largely due to misallocation/wastage with a strong political bent.

        But will it necessarily be local?

        Like you I'm keeping a close eye on Egypt as a centre of gravity for the Middle East and North Africa, and I'm waiting for Nile River water politics to cook off.

        Certainly that water issue has scope to encompass a significant region in terms of geography, people , and politics well beyond the local.

        I've read about some folks doing adventure tours exploring the Nile river systems.......I reckon it would make one hell of an eye opening documentary in terms of opportunity for conservation, efficiency, development, and conflict.

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        • #19
          Re: Groundwater Pumping -- Aquifiers Shrinking

          Originally posted by GRG55 View Post
          Not for a very long time...many decades...if ever. Be careful about that "dirty oil" tag. Consider the full cycle implications of finding, developing, transporting and refining each source of crude. Remember, we know where the heavy oil and tar sands are. It is not physically difficult to access in Canada or Venezuela. There is no need to drill 10,000 feet below the ocean floor in offshore deepwater like the Gulf of Mexico or 100 miles off the coast of Brazil. There is no danger of capsizing a platform during a hurricane. There is no need to go into Arctic ecosystems like the ANWR. Before you fall for the "oil sands is dirty oil" line, ask yourself how "dirty" did the oil from the BP Macondo blowout turn out to be when all was said and done? And you can be assured there will be another one. And another one after that. I find the opponents to the pipeline interesting...do they really think that bringing Gulf of Mexico oil onshore in a pipeline through the bayous of Louisiana is better than onshore across Nebraska? They really need to go look what is happening to the landscape in North Dakota from the shale oil drilling...the footprint there is spreading and will ultimately be huge compared to the Canadian oil sands. I can only shake my head at the dismal level of these debates going on in our society today.
          I totally agree with you here. My question about increased expenses for refining "dirty" oil was strictly technical, i.e. what extra steps are involved in refining heavy crude -vs- sweet light crude, and how "dirty" can the oil be before it stops being feasible to refine it? Please pardon the ignorance of my questions- I don't know this field but I'm trying to learn more about it.

          I am quietly hoping the pipeline gets turned down. In a world in the early stages of the PCO process it might be better for us to leave Canadian heavy oil in the safest place possible...in the ground.
          Agree again. It would be better to pretend it isn't there and instead focus on more conservation as long as possible.

          There is one huge difference between petroleum and water. Once a petroleum product is used (oxidized/burned) in that form of energy it's gone for good. Each barrel has to be replaced with an entirely new barrel from exploration and production. Water is a closed system, we might contaminate it but we cannot destroy it. It doesn't disappear. PCO will be a global process and phenomenon. Water wars will be strictly local and most often the result of misallocations and wastage due to politics.
          Water may not disappear from the world, but it is certainly disappearing from various aquifers faster than it can be replaced by rainfall. Sure, the water can be pumped and used for irrigation where some of it evaporates into clouds and is then rained down elsewhere. But at that point, while that water exists in another place, it's gone for that farmer for good.

          Look at the Ogallala aquifer. Much of it is overlaid with caliche which prevents it from recharging. Some parts are recharging, but many parts just aren't. Colorado, Nevada, Arizona and California depend on snowmelt in the Rocky Mountains. So "Local" can cover a pretty large area when you're fighting over river and groundwater allocations.

          Water depletion will be felt globally, not just locally. If the Ogallala runs dry, for example, we'll see the end of the "breadbasket of the world" phenomenon that has been U.S. agriculture. While it may replenish eventually, that will be too little, too late for the millions who will starve in the meantime.

          Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

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          • #20
            Re: Groundwater Pumping -- Aquifiers Shrinking

            Does anyone have any clue about global warming climate models? Whether "watering" is taken into account in the models? How much influence the years of adding additional water vapor via farming irrigation systems, enters the atmosphere?

            You always hear that you should only water in the morning as otherwise, alot/most of the water just evaporates.....

            Half seriously wondering.

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            • #21
              Re: Groundwater Pumping -- Aquifiers Shrinking

              Some are old, but there is some eye opening stuff in these...



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              • #22
                Re: Groundwater Pumping -- Aquifiers Shrinking

                Here's another nice map I found while looking around of where the world is running out of groundwater...



                article here...

                http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...er-in-one-map/

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                • #23
                  Re: Groundwater Pumping -- Aquifiers Shrinking

                  I agree on the pipeline. Leave it to the US to shoot itslef in the foot, and later 'profit' from that mistake one day.

                  That is if the Chinese do not buy up the oil from under us in the mean time....

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