Tuesday, September 23, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Sun and sea could be our salvation

By
From page A8 | February 27, 2014 |

By Marvin Goldman

All the talk about our drought brings something up that we have yet to face. Yes, all the water conservation measures are important and we should rapidly implement them. But what are we conserving? Simply put, we are conserving Sierra snowpack.

California has always relied on the snowpack for most of its water. The annual winter mountain snow slowly recharges our underground aquifers as well as feeding our rivers and streams; snow is our main source of both ground and surface waters.

Unfortunately, our best science tells us that in the long run we will see less average snowpack in the years to come. Of course, there will be wetter and drier years, but the fact is that our part of the continent is slowly drying and even with draconian conservation measures, we are in for severe desertification.
I’ve recently been reviewing a fascinating and promising option in which we harness two things we do have in great supply — our long seacoast and our sunny climate. Although in its infancy globally, solar-powered ocean desalination is a proven technology — albeit a bit costly at this time — that can take advantage of these two components. Concentrated solar heat boils sea water and the resultant steam is condensed and is a source of pure water.

I’m not saying anything others haven’t said (more eloquently), but what I am saying is that it is time for the state to address the water issues of future decades, and not just this three-year drought. The development of a West Coast solar desalination industry can offer economy of scale, lowered costs, opportunities to stimulate greater innovation, and the promise of a reliable adequate water supply for our next generations. That makes more sense to me than mile-long tank trains bringing us East Coast surface water.
Perhaps instead of pumping shrinking flows of Sacramento River south under San Francisco Bay, why not pump Bay seawater south to massive desalination plants? At least let’s talk about it.
The politics of this issue have already filled many books and I wish I knew how to get everyone on board. I recently suggested that having a carbon tax might help in slowing climate change, but the word “tax” is a big red flag to some and a pie in the sky to others. If I now suggest a water tax, the red flags could become even larger.

However, since the long-term future of our state depends on having enough water, how do we convince the population and our elected officials that the time to wring our hands is past, and that the time for intelligent, long-range action is upon us? Let’s go!
— Marvin Goldman of Davis is a professor emeritus at UC Davis.

Comments

comments

Special to The Enterprise

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    UC joins U.N.-supported Principles for Responsible Investment

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1

     
    Nature’s beauty is in our own back yard

    By Charlotte Orr | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Jury finds Dixon man guilty of mortgage fraud

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1

     
     
    U.S., Arab allies hit Islamists in Syria, Iraq

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    Bob Dunning: These are the tanks we get

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Wind threatens firefighting effort

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Harmony Award nominations sought

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Unscheduled landing

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Free community yard sale Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Street Food Rodeo rolls into West Davis

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Wolk kicks off ‘Morning with the Mayor’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    So you want to be an entomologist?

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A4

    Sheriff’s Office honored for safe-driving initiative

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Baha’is celebrate 50th anniversary in Davis

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Downtown gift cards get a new perk

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Pets of the week

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Forum will answer questions about new license law

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Applications open for Biberstein grants

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    .

    Forum

    Brother’s drinking out of control

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Daughter has her own opinions

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

    We must not stand for perpetual war

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Don’t cut all the trees

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    A great Day in the Country

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Donors support school matinees

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    A big Explorit thanks!

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Teacher tenure becomes key campaign issue

    By Tom Elias | From Page: A6

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Sports

    Running game powered Devils in first football win

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Davis field hockey team rights ship at Lassen

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Devil golfers soar past Sheldon

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Blue Devils bounce back against Pleasant Grove

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    UCD roundup: Aggie women reach finals of East/West golf tourney

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2Comments are off for this post | Gallery

     
    U11s get a win in an eventful weekend of youth football

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    A’s support Samardzija in a win over Angels

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Carol L. Walsh

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Tuesday, September 23, 2014 (set 1)

    By Creator | From Page: B5

     
    Comics: Tuesday, September 23, 2014 (set 2)

    By Creator | From Page: B7