Sunday, February 25, 2024

Water Woes

 Now its Mexico City in trouble with water.   Mostly due to unmaintained infrastructure that leaks but also due to climate changes.

Here is the article.

22 million people living there.  I can't imagine such a number.   

But paving over vast acreages of land is also to blame.  Water just runs off it, and can't refresh aquafers.   Because Mexico City has drained the groundwater, the city is also sinking.

I think about an article I read recently about salmon recovery and how salmon decreases have everything to do with climate change.  The guide fishers being interviewed said they know when the fishing will be good in the summer and that's when there's enough relatively low elevation snow, instead of rain.  He was near the Santiam Pass, standing in a foot of snow, that left him unimpressed when he was being interviewed.

30 years ago he said the fishing was plentiful and a guide service could survive, but now that's not possible.  30 years ago we had dams.  Now some fisher people want to blame everything on the dams.

But its not the dams.

The article went on to describe a project in Oregon, maybe it was on the Deschutes.  If I find the article I'll link to it but right now I can't.  They worked on the tributaries, restoring to "ugly streams", that meander and are full of logs and debris.   Whomever they were interviewing about that project talked about the problems of letting water run off and back to the ocean too fast.  It does not have time to be absorbed back into the groundwater.   

When I think about both articles together, I think we could do a lot for salmon and water by letting it slow creep back into the water table.  We can let streams be streams and make a slow trip to a river and then to the ocean and we can stop covering every inch of earth with concrete and asphalt.  I'd think these two things in combination might really help.

The thing I'm not so sure about is the chemical fields.  Like around here, the massive acreage in grass seed production.  Does it count to have rain go through the highly chemicalized grass seed production fields, or other highly sprayed, fertilized, etc. farm fields?   Maybe for water's sake alone it does, but maybe not for clean water's sake.  I don't really know.  I used to think water that gets to sink and sink filtering through a lot of earth finally gets cleaner doing that.   I don't know if that's the case with the chemicals put on fields today or not.   

 It just seems common sense though to retain as much water as possible in the ground, before it runs off to the sea.  Meandering streams with a lot of debris and flatter banks that can overflow into surrounding areas are not as pretty.  Gravel roads/parking lots instead of paved aren't as easy to drive on, but they let the rain penetrate back into the groundwater.

Just some thoughts this Sunday morning.   

I'm not confident in our future.   We are in an election cycle and Trump will win the GOP nomination.  Lately the GOP seem to have swung Russian loving communist/totalitarian, or something like that direction, which I do not understand at all, since that is like reverse American.  Trump is bent on his usual revenge and middle school like constant drama on who he likes and who he doesn't like today and who he perceives has done him wrong.   I hate drama.  But I don't think we'll have an admin soon that cares one way or another about much of anything, certainly not about water woes.  Let's just hope local areas that want to create stable water futures will get things done anyhow.

I'm no scientist, no expert on water, climate or fish or anything.   Just interested and I like to think about solutions.  I saw those two articles, one really about fishing and one about Mexico City water and saw they are really related.

Bob and Gigi 

Bob vanished for a few days.   He was here, on the roof again, last Monday when I brought back Cisco, after he got neutered.  Cisco is the long hair white and black yard stray.  Then the next day he vanished and I didn't see him again til yesterday he was back, probably from being out looking for love and fights.  

Yesterday I changed my oil which is usually very quick.   The oil was a thick dirty brown almost black. I'm always worried about keeping my car running since it has so many miles.  I change the oil about every three months.  A mechanic shop told me I"d extend its life, now that it has so many miles, doing that and I believed him.

 I had trouble seating the new oil filter. My car is too low to the ground to get under. So to reach the filter, from above,  I have to jam my arm down between the radiator and engine among the hoses and find it by feel and unscrew it and then screw in the new one by feel.  I didn't get the new one seated right although I thought I had.  When I put in the new oil, most of it poured back out around the filter base.  Darn it, what a mess.  At least I had down a tarp and kitty litter under the car in case of a spill.  So clean up of the mess I made was easy at least.  I didn't have enough oil to refill it then after I properly seated and screwed tight the filter.  But the neighbor other side took me to the auto parts store an hour later and I got a couple more quarts.  All good.  It's just a patience thing, to find I made a mistake and a mess resulted, to just steel myself to do then what needs done to get it right and dispense quickly with feeling hopeless or angry.  

I got the car washed too.   It's been months since I last washed it.  The car is looking quite beat up by now, with paint chipping off and trim pieces missing.  What can I say, it still runs and that's all that's important to me.

We are to get rain moving in this afternoon, with high snowfall in the Cascades and Coast range.  Snow levels could get down to 1000 feet by Tuesday.  Here where I live our elevation is just around 230 feet above sea level on average.  The weather could be on the wild side for a few days with winds, a lot of rain, about three inches coming, maybe thunderstorms.  


  1. My uncle was doing some water work with some non profit a decade or so back. They were fighting to retain groundwater and such. I'm sure he would have some answers for you, but his blog is mostly just animations he makes.

    1. Your uncle sounds interesting.

  2. Australia used to 'desnag' creeks and rivers and it was a ecological disaster, so you are quite right about that. Waterways clean themselves up when storms happen and large volumes of water flow. Yes, all that paving means little soaking in when it rains and there is much more run off, likely to cause flooding.
    What a pain about the oil filter. I would guess the sealing ring moved out of position. Anyway, you fixed it.

    1. Yeah, I cleaned up my own mess, and all seems good now, as far as the oil change.

  3. I don't like drama either, but with the political process, it seems unavoidable. Unfortunately, we're in particularly bad cycle of it right now.

    1. A bad drama cycle. I feel that may be an understatement. Lol, just kidding.


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