More bollocks

Irrigated land has increased by 100% in only 15 years, mainly to enable dairy farming in areas too dry to otherwise grow grass. Irrigation is now the single biggest water user in New Zealand, accounting for nearly half of all water taken out of the ecosystem.

You don’t take water out of an ecosystem. Because there’s something called the water cycle. Might be that the water runs through one bit then into another, might be that it’s recycled through that system called clouds. But you never do abstract it from the ecosystem.

34 thoughts on “More bollocks”

  1. This is really basic stuff. I remember learning it at secondary school. It tends to reinforce my belief that most eco-fretting is based on the most profound ignorance.

  2. I am shocked to learn that you can indeed abstract water ….,and I was already gleefully composing a sarcastic exploration of what abstract water might be. Curses

  3. You’d think that sitting just 3100 miles from the largest fresh water supply on the planet, they’d simply send a couple of boats over and dig a load of it up…….

  4. You’d think that sitting just 3100 miles from the largest fresh water supply on the planet, they’d simply send a couple of boats over and dig a load of it up…….

    Or just build a pipeline, and to melt it at source let off a couple of aerosol cans (they’re that dangerous to the environment, or so we’re constantly told.)

  5. Now now. You might not he able to take water out of the global ecosystem but you can take it out of your local ecosystem otherwise desertification would not be a thing.

    Pumping up water that’s been down there since the glaciers melted and using it to grow cucumbers for export not sustainable.

    Taking so much water out of rivers that their mouths become mosquito ridden swamps also not a good idea.

  6. I made a big mistake reading someone’s twitter feed on a beer & politics website I sometimes visit. A big mistake. Nutters, people here are a picture of mental health compared to them.

    At 8pm I turned down the wireless and listened. I was quite positively surprised as I only heard one brainwashed household quite nearby banging something very vigorously. Having been a victim of East German style school system I an very dubious about extreme group idolatry. If you don’t clap for NHS you’re probably reported for hate crime.

  7. Yeah, what Roue said

    It’s possible to drain the local water table faster than it can recharge, it’s a potentially bigly yuge problem in the American Midwest, some areas already starting to see drier conditions and alarmingly low aquifer levels.

    The good thing about this tho, is it’s a fairly slow-moving disaster, so that gives farmers plenty of time to adapt, and geology and agricultural science have come a long way since the Dust Bowl.

    Geology rocks!

  8. “at least 1,257 hectares of wetlands were destroyed between 2001 and 2016 to expand “productive” land into areas otherwise too wet.”
    1257 hectares is 12 ¹/² km². New Zealand covers 268,021 km². Wow! Just wow! Crisis!

  9. Off topic but Leeds legend Norman Hunter has passed away. From the era of my youth.

    Known as Norman “bites your legs” Hunter in his prime, he had a spell at Bristol City in later years when the joke was that due to his age his nickname was now “nibbles your kneecaps”.

  10. Tim,
    Off topic, but many of the links on the side of the page are now dead, have been taken over or not updated in some time. Some examples:

    “An Englishman’s Castle” – “http://www.anenglishmanscastle.com/” – Now a German dating spam site.
    “BrusselsWatch” – “http://www.brusselswatch.org/” – Doesn’t exist any more.
    “Alfred the OK” – “https://alfredtheok.blogspot.com/” – Not updated since 2008.

  11. New Zealand is two small islands surrounded by water. Modern desalination plants have been around since the 1930’s. The Kiwis can easily produce as much water as they want.

  12. Yeah, they now farm cattle on the Canterbury Plains whereas before it was strictly sheep. I suppose that means that the market for butter is better than the market for wool.

    When a Kiwi complained to me that there was a risk of a water shortage for households I said that as long as you meter the water and charge sensible prices to farmers and households it would be all right.

    He thought the idea of metering water for households was preposterous.

    That was fifteen years ago: I don’t know how they charge now.

  13. ‘Between 95% and 99% of rivers in urban, pastoral, and non-native forest areas are heavily polluted; 90% of our precious wetlands have been drained and destroyed; 70% of our native freshwater fish are heading towards extinction.’

    I’ve told you a million times not to exaggerate.

    The environmentalist whackos are still fighting the battles of the 1960s. They haven’t noticed that we’ve already fixed it.

  14. Bloke in North Dorset

    “ Off topic but Leeds legend Norman Hunter has passed away. From the era of my youth.”

    I was a regular visitor to Elland Road in the late 60’s, he was a hero. I wish I could say I have vivid memories, but sadly they went long ago.

  15. Metering:
    Depends if what you are going to charge for is going to run out.
    Scotland / NW England/ Norway/ New Zealand – most of the time its not scarcity of water that’s the problem, it’s not getting in its way too much.
    Assume 3 million households for Scotland, cost of installing water meters is at least £200 each, so is that £600 million value for money or could it be better spent elsewhere / left in people’s pockets?

  16. Since NZ has practically isolated itself from the rest of the world – to avoid CV, then (presumably?) their agriculture sector isn’t going to have such ready access to export markets for some time. This might reduce the need for irrigation…

  17. Metering and charging is the only way to manage consumption.

    That first presumes you need to manage consumption.

    There was an issue here a few years ago where someone wanted to make a giant potato farm. The whackos complained they were going to take a gazillion gallons of water a day out of the local river. That it would flow back into the river never registered on the whackos.

  18. @GC

    It’s not true that water abstracted from a river for farming all flows back to the river, it’s more complicated than that. Hopefully @Jim will be able to explain more but arable farmers I’ve talked to have always been surprisingly excited by the topic of abstraction rights!

    (The obvious things are that if you use the water on your field then plenty of it will evaporate rather than go back to the river, and also there are restrictions on what’s allowed to run-off e.g. you don’t want lots of fertiliser flowing into the river. But there’s more to it than this and fingers crossed the resident expert will be along shortly…)

  19. @ BiS – “What? They push the pause button on the plants?”

    I walked into that one, didn’t I! My thinking was that, faced with their export markets blocked, and the potential of crops just rotting, there is little point on spending money watering and fertilising them…

  20. “You don’t take water out of an ecosystem”

    You might want to look round Southern Spain. The Guadiana river is almost dry in some places most years and, unless your definition of ecosystem is planetary, it is not raining down to compensate in anywhere local

  21. @Andrew C
    You may be joking but there’s plenty of activists trying to link climate and racism saying we are hurting BAME populations or areas more

  22. The problem in NZ is really the run-off, especially from dairy. The urine generates nitrogen pollutants (plus phosphates from fertiliser). It kills the rivers.

    Water itself is no problem. The relevant bits that are being irrigated are fed by mountains that see a lot of water. It’s not coming from depleting aquifers, and it’s not in the bits which get long droughts. We’re talking lush land made lusher.

    Fiordland gets comical amounts of rain. Seven metres a year! But it’s too rocky to farm, so we just dam it.

  23. “The Colorado River flows into the Gulf of California.”

    False. By the time it gets to Yuma, it has been sucked dry. A little is canalized and sent into Mexico, but the river bed is dry.

    “You don’t take water out of an ecosystem”

    The U.S. does. Mexico’s riparian rights be damned.

  24. @Tim

    Haven’t you heard? Elon Musk is sending rockets to Mars laden with gazillions of tons of water for an elite colony base in collusion with Goldman Sachs, Trump, Putin & BoJo

    .
    @Nessimmersion

    Water shortage in South of England is Gov-made, or more accurately EU made – not allowed to build more reservoirs. As you say, NW & Scotland has too much water. Where I am, I can go for a walk and drink the same hill water which is delivered by pipe by Water Co

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