Even the rich economies of the world are hopeless without water

Autor: Michal Kravčík | 26.2.2014 o 18:59 | (upravené 28.2.2014 o 1:00) Karma článku: 3,16 | Prečítané:  303x

California belongs to the ten most developed countries of the world. Part of its economic prosperity lies in the Californian Waterworks System, which is quite unique worldwide. Any waterworks system is perfect only when there is water, otherwise it's useless.

And here the Californian water tragedy unfolds. The constructed Waterworks System, which is fed by water from 29 water reservoirs, has water stocks reaching 33 % of its capacity. In one of the dams, north-east of the capital Sacramento (on picture below), the water stocks dropped-down from 97 % of its capacity in January 2011 to 17 % in January 2014. What does it means for the communities? For example, in Silicon Valley, where almost 1.8 million people live, the authorities issued an order for reducing water consumption by 20 %.

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It is not clear, what steps will the competent authorities take to improve the situation in the country. Decreasing water consumption by 20 % is only the first step. California is still dry and expected rainfall, creating water stocks in constructed reservoirs mainly in the winter period, did not arrive. Lack of water in one of the most developed countries in the world only confirms that a system of water management solutions based on dam construction followed by water distribution is failing. The question is: Why?

When ecosystems in the catchment are being disturbed, sealing of soil (asphalt roads, etc.) increases water run-off into nearest stream, river or sea, all of this decreases water reserves in the small water cycles, prolongs periods without rain and changes the spatial and temporal distribution of rainfall. The amount of water, which is not allowed to infiltrate into the soil and recover the water reserves, is around 2 billion m3 annually. That's why the country is drying up and rainfall ceases.

Water crisis in California should be a warning for all countries around the world. The road to abundance of water, food and nature does not lead through dams, but complex large scale rain water retention in the landscape. Why? Because the origin of all water is in the rainfall.

That's why it is hard to comprehend the behavior of whole bunch of water management professionals, also in California, who help the realization of technological systems collecting rain water and its draining into the nearest stream or sea.  Now they raise their hands towards the sky for rain, to fill the reservoirs, to have abundance of water for everyone and everything. The Californians even decided to co-operate with NASA to have more precise information where the rest of water is. Sadly, their attention is not concentrated on drained rain water.

And what happens in Slovakia? Well, Slovakia decided, against the accepted water management concept of the EU, to search for funds around the world to be able to build the water reservoir Tichý Potok for "only" 332 million €  with a water retention capacity of 24 million m3. As they say, to have enough water in 2050. That the spatial and temporal distribution of rainfall might change in a way that no water will be able to fill the reservoir is beyond their interests. Even though, the evidence of problems to fill already existing reservoirs is present, for example in the water reservoir Veľká Domaša in Eastern Slovakia (picture below). It speaks about the wise decisions of those, who got our trust.

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