Water, water, every where, And all the boards did shrink; Water, water, every where, Nor any drop to drink.
The very deep did rot: O Christ! That ever this should be! Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs Upon the slimy sea.
About, about, in reel and rout, The death-fires danced at night; The water, like a witch’s oils, Burnt green, and blue and white.
And some in dreams assured were, Of the Spirit that plagued us so; Nine fathom deep he had followed us, From the land of mist and snow.
And every tongue, through utter drought, Was withered at the root; We could not speak, no more than if, We had been choked with soot.Samuel Taylor Coleridge
We are forecast to gather another 0.30 inches of rainfall to round out the quarter of the first of 2022 to bring our quarterly total to the lowest in ten years for Central Texas. For perspective, the ten year low was 2014 with a 5.83 inches of precipitation leading into the planting season of spring, the height came in 2020 at 18.07 inches. We will likely round out the end of March 2022 at a mere 5.67 inches. Our average is 12.10.
The National Interagency Fire Center has been keeping records since 1983. Ten million acres of land have burned three times during the keeping of those records for the United States. All have occurred in the past seven years, 2020, 2017, 2015. Through multi-decadal periods of record keeping, trends can be seen over the almost 40 years. The past ten years 7.52 million acres have burned on average every year, 6.53 the decade before that, 3.6 million during Clinton, 2.75 million acres on average in the 80s. Year round fire command centers are now permanent establishments.
The Ogallala complex had 30% of it’s wells go dry in 2020. By 2070 the entire complex, the largest underground store of fresh water in the United States will be 70% depleted, or even faster. The aquifer that I pump from for my crop also supplies drinking water to the city of San Antonio. A 684 mile pipeline costing billions is proposed to pump groundwater from the Texas Panhandle to Dallas. T. Boone Pickens sold his water rights under his 200,000 acre ranch to Amarillo area some years ago. His ranch sits atop the Ogallala. Not that many years ago Dallas was in deep trouble, a city projected to house 13 million people soon. All a distant memory as Texas to South Dakota keep pumping. Rains may come. The water wars certainly have.
Pour the ocean into your cup. Mulled wine to finish. To water the grapes and the farmer, 200 million kilowatt-hours will be consumed each day per desalination plant. Two gallons of ocean are poured into one gallon of tap in the Middle East, as energy prices are cheap, cheap, cheap. Processes are getting better, as time and research allows. Consumption and lack of reuse are at all time highs. Burnt oil as well.
Since 1960, half of tropical forests, carbon sinks, have been cut down, or burned. I suppose we envision a world depleted, over consumed, barren. Or maybe no vision at all.