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Groundwater Pumping -- Aquifiers Shrinking

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  • doom&gloom
    replied
    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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  • doom&gloom
    replied
    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/

    Leave a comment:


  • doom&gloom
    replied
    Re: Groundwater Pumping -- Aquifiers Shrinking

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



    Leave a comment:


  • wayiwalk
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • shiny!
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • lakedaemonian
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • GRG55
    replied
    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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  • shiny!
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • doom&gloom
    replied
    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?

    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.
    I had this great post put up in response, and then lost it. Where the heck is Auto-Save?!

    Anyway, let me (again) address this issue as I have done a lot of thinking about it.

    Uruguay should do just fine for many reasons. The first is that most of their good ag land is close (within 2 hours) to one of their two ports, Motevideo and Nueva Palmira. I personally should do even beter than some since I have strategically bought land in the Libertad area, roughly 30-35 miles from the port in Montevideo. Now compare that to say the farmers in the Brasilian cerrado, who ship grains by truck 8-12 hours down bad roads, and are basically paying for the full load out plus the empty truck back. In addition, they are paying for the transport of LOADS of 'inputs' to their farms, and believe me nothing will grow there without lots and lots of inputs. OTOH, I (and many Uruguayans) have quality land that requires far less petroleum-based inputs, as well as far less petroleum 'work' done on our fields. We can also grow in many cases two crops a year. Who is more competitive? Who can get a better return off the land for less costs? Who may be 'shut down' due to 'costs of production' in comparison to others in 'the field'? There is a lot of strategy in what I buy when I buy land, and why I buy land in Uruguay. Personally I would never consider land more than 2 hours from a port anywhere. I believe this makes me much more competitive than a cerrado farmer, and much more competitive than a farmer in the pampas in Argentina as well. In the end, when we are 'bidding' for energy, I will consume less than many around me in neighboring countries.

    Another aspect is the purchase of "good" land. Good land requires less inputs. You can't grow a damn thing in the cerrado without lots of inputs. In many parts of the Argentine pampas you MUST ground pump water to grow your crops. I (and most farmers in Uruguay) own higher quality land in a weather pattern that tends to bring plenty of natural rainfall, necessitating no ground pumping. We as a whole do not experience the transport costs of many Argentines and Brasilians. Probably the same in Chile as well.

    This is ALL strategic on my part. I fell into Uruguay, but once I got there, I was able to refine my approach. You could not convince me to buy land in Brasil or Argentina now. I feel much more competiive in a EROEI framework when you consider grain outputs as 'energy'. And in todays world, "food is fuel, fuel is food". In hard times my soy can turn to biodiesel to power my operations. My returns will obviously be much much less, but I will still be in business. What of the 12 hours, bad road, cerrado farmer?

    The countries that I would be much more concerned about would be island nations like Aruba, or Central American countries like Houndouras. Basically any country that cannot trade off resources for resources (food for fuel as an example) will be in a much bigger world of hurt than a place like Uruguay. Heck even under the worst of circumstances, I could go back to raising cows on all my land, which takes almost no petroleum until transport time. The return would not justify the cost of the land, but if the world were THAT bleak, there are a whole lot more people who would be doing awhole lot worse than I would be, or Uruguay would be.

    Finally, you need to look at country infrastructure. In Uruguay, roughly half the people live in the capital. If oil gets too expesive, they will park their cars and ride the bus like they did in the past. Can you see that happening in places like LA, or Phoenix? Ever see what traffic looks like in Sao Paulo or Buenos Aires? There are plenty of places that a change in the structure of oil whould have a huge impact on commuting, but Uruguay really is not high on that list.

    Now in the end it may sound like all this is just a 'rah rah' post for Uruguay, and in a sense it is. But in another sense, it is what got me there, and hours of thought on positioning and the future of PCO. When all was said and done, I saw even petro poor Uruguay as a good contender for the future.

    EDIT: FWIW, you may find this of interest. WHo knows if she is right, but if she is, another reason to be happy where Uruguay is ocncerned.

    http://www.financialsense.com/contri...ion-new-normal
    Last edited by doom&gloom; 04-08-13, 04:47 AM.

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  • shiny!
    replied
    Re: Groundwater Pumping -- Aquifiers Shrinking

    Originally posted by GRG55 View Post
    Only in the United Subsidized Socialist States of America

    In the same way that I think that forecasting near to medium term oil prices is impossible with any confidence, I also think that it's impossible to forecast what this world is really going to be like in another 50 years. The pace of change continues to accelerate. Nano technologies, medical advances (a friend just went through an extraordinarily complex spinal cancer treatment that involved extracting and replacing her stem cells...something I don't believe was even possible a decade ago), computer software capabilities that truly enhance our life experiences (I am researching installing a software intensive synthetic vision system in my light airplane that will dramatically improve situational awareness in instrument flight conditions - something that less than 10 years ago was only available to pilots in a Boeing/Airbus or Gulfstream) and so many other advances. As a medical professional you will know better than most how fragile is the human body and how resilient is the human spirit.

    I can't point to exactly what is going to be the next new source of "affordable" energy, but I do have a few convictions about it:
    • We are probably in the early stages of a long transition from the age of petroleum to the age of electricity. Spending time in Europe, especially Switzerland and Germany, and seeing how "electrified" their societies are already had a big impact on this North American.
    • It won't be wind turbines and solar panels. I am convinced these are going to remain marginal, interim sources...they just cannot be scaled sufficiently (and by that I mean the cost has too linear a relationship with installation volume and output). In 50 years they may prove to be just a curiosity (which won't break my heart as I think wind turbines are a blight on the landscape).
    • EROEI is going to be revealed as the nonsense it really is...using abundant, cheap forms of energy to source limited, valuable forms of energy (such as liquid transport fuels) could become commonplace. Technology is going to keep driving down the cost of oil sands, heavy oil and shale oil extraction. It might even drive down the real cost of converting natural gas to liquids (GTL), which today is prohibitive.
    • PCO is going to be disruptive. But that disruption won't be evenly shared around the world. I think anyone listening to the pundits today are going to be surprised because I do not think that the USA is going to be one of the economies that is most effected by it...in fact I think it might be one of the most adaptable and fastest to change when the time comes.
    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?

    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • GRG55
    replied
    Re: Groundwater Pumping -- Aquifiers Shrinking

    Only in the United Subsidized Socialist States of America

    In the same way that I think that forecasting near to medium term oil prices is impossible with any confidence, I also think that it's impossible to forecast what this world is really going to be like in another 50 years. The pace of change continues to accelerate. Nano technologies, medical advances (a friend just went through an extraordinarily complex spinal cancer treatment that involved extracting and replacing her stem cells...something I don't believe was even possible a decade ago), computer software capabilities that truly enhance our life experiences (I am researching installing a software intensive synthetic vision system in my light airplane that will dramatically improve situational awareness in instrument flight conditions - something that less than 10 years ago was only available to pilots in a Boeing/Airbus or Gulfstream) and so many other advances. As a medical professional you will know better than most how fragile is the human body and how resilient is the human spirit.

    I can't point to exactly what is going to be the next new source of "affordable" energy, but I do have a few convictions about it:
    • We are probably in the early stages of a long transition from the age of petroleum to the age of electricity. Spending time in Europe, especially Switzerland and Germany, and seeing how "electrified" their societies are already had a big impact on this North American.
    • It won't be wind turbines and solar panels. I am convinced these are going to remain marginal, interim sources...they just cannot be scaled sufficiently (and by that I mean the cost has too linear a relationship with installation volume and output). In 50 years they may prove to be just a curiosity (which won't break my heart as I think wind turbines are a blight on the landscape).
    • EROEI is going to be revealed as the nonsense it really is...using abundant, cheap forms of energy to source limited, valuable forms of energy (such as liquid transport fuels) could become commonplace. Technology is going to keep driving down the cost of oil sands, heavy oil and shale oil extraction. It might even drive down the real cost of converting natural gas to liquids (GTL), which today is prohibitive.
    • PCO is going to be disruptive. But that disruption won't be evenly shared around the world. I think anyone listening to the pundits today are going to be surprised because I do not think that the USA is going to be one of the economies that is most effected by it...in fact I think it might be one of the most adaptable and fastest to change when the time comes.
    Last edited by GRG55; 04-07-13, 10:21 PM.

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  • jk
    replied
    Re: Groundwater Pumping -- Aquifiers Shrinking

    too cheap to meter?

    Leave a comment:


  • GRG55
    replied
    Re: Groundwater Pumping -- Aquifiers Shrinking

    Originally posted by jk View Post
    this one-atom-thick sheet will stand up to the osmotic pressure? and can be manufactured one-atom-thick in large enough area with small enough defects to allow the processing of large quantities of sea water without large quantities of leaks? i'll be curious to see if they can indeed commercialize this as quickly as their ambition dictates.
    Lockheed has a long tradition of aeronautic innovations churned out of its Skunk Works. The Skunk Works (which now resides in Palmdale) and the company have really branched out into some interesting areas that one would not associate with defense works.

    I think the promotional "leaks" that are coming out of the company in recent years might be related to the fact that funding is now much more problematic than it was through decades past when the US government supported the defense contractors.

    I am a biased observer, however. I first read about Lockheed, Kelly Johnson and the Skunk Works after seeing a Canadian Forces F104 Starfighter fly at an airshow in the '60s. I think they represent exactly what the USA is really good at doing - creating something new that is considered by others as first unimaginable, and then not feasible. I have never been a believer in all the hype around fusion reactors, "cold" or otherwise (an opinion I formed after visiting Lawrence Livermore Labs in 1979). But my admiration of the Skunk Works is such that if anybody figures it out, it could well be them...and consequently I am considerably less skeptical than ever before. Have a look at short video on this link (they should title it "The plasma is contained" :

    http://www.dvice.com/2013-2-22/lockh...wer-four-years

    Leave a comment:


  • jk
    replied
    Re: Groundwater Pumping -- Aquifiers Shrinking

    this one-atom-thick sheet will stand up to the osmotic pressure? and can be manufactured one-atom-thick in large enough area with small enough defects to allow the processing of large quantities of sea water without large quantities of leaks? i'll be curious to see if they can indeed commercialize this as quickly as their ambition dictates.

    Leave a comment:


  • GRG55
    replied
    Re: Groundwater Pumping -- Aquifiers Shrinking

    Pentagon weapons-maker finds method for cheap, clean water

    WASHINGTON | Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:15am EDT


    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A defense contractor better known for building jet fighters and lethal missiles says it has found a way to slash the amount of energy needed to remove salt from seawater, potentially making it vastly cheaper to produce clean water at a time when scarcity has become a global security issue.

    The process, officials and engineers at Lockheed Martin Corp say, would enable filter manufacturers to produce thin carbon membranes with regular holes about a nanometer in size that are large enough to allow water to pass through but small enough to block the molecules of salt in seawater. A nanometer is a billionth of a meter.

    Because the sheets of pure carbon known as graphene are so thin - just one atom in thickness - it takes much less energy to push the seawater through the filter with the force required to separate the salt from the water, they said.

    The development could spare underdeveloped countries from having to build exotic, expensive pumping stations needed in plants that use a desalination process called reverse osmosis.
    "It's 500 times thinner than the best filter on the market today and a thousand times stronger," said John Stetson, the engineer who has been working on the idea. "The energy that's required and the pressure that's required to filter salt is approximately 100 times less."

    Access to clean drinking water is increasingly seen as a major global security issue. Competition for water is likely to lead to instability and potential state failure in countries important to the United States, according to a U.S. intelligence community report last year.

    "Between now and 2040, fresh water availability will not keep up with demand absent more effective management of water resources," the report said. "Water problems will hinder the ability of key countries to produce food and generate electricity."...

    ...Lockheed still faces a number of challenges in moving to production of filters made of graphene, a substance similar to the lead in pencils. Working with the thin material without tearing it is difficult, as is ramping up production to the size and scale needed. Engineers are still refining the process for making the holes...

    ..."The amount of work it takes to squeeze that water through the torturous path of today's best membranes is gone for Perforene," Stetson said. "It just literally pops right through because the membrane is thinner than the atoms it's filtering."


    Notaro said Lockheed expects to have a prototype by the end of the year for a filter that could be used as a drop-in replacement for filters now used in reverse osmosis plants.

    The company is looking for partners in the filter manufacturing arena to help it commercialize Perforene as a filter in the 2014-2015 time frame, he said.

    Lockheed officials see other applications for Perforene as well, from dialysis in healthcare to cleaning chemicals from the water used in hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," of oil and gas wells.

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