Feb 7 2014
Recycling is a major topic in “Water Shock, The Day Southern California Went Dry”. San Diego County has a critical need to approach water independence instead of importing water from hundreds of miles away, in pipe lines subject to disruptions by nature and the capricious court system.
Unfortunately, those charged with the responsibility for providing a reliable water supply for San Diego put indirect and direct potable recycling at the bottom of their priority list. Storage and conservation seem to be the only topics. We can’t store what we don’t get and we can’t conserve, if there is no water flowing. Below is an excerpt from page 144 in Water Shock. The principal character, Charlie Reagan is passing along the water history to two hydrologists and two photographers who are doing a tour of the ghost towns of the Southwest. San Diego is one of those towns.
“San Diego Councilwoman Judy McCarty, in the same era, was quoted as saying San Diegans were already drinking ‘the effluent of the affluent, the poor, and the sick’ that was discharged into the Colorado River before San Diego used it for drinking. i
“She was right. They were already drinking recycled water. Not only that, tens of millions of dinosaurs lived on Earth for one hundred sixty-five million years. Drinking water every day and peeing. The total water consumption of all of the animals who’ve ever lived is hard to even conceive, but at the low end, it is certainly ten million times the total human water consumption—and that doesn’t include the plants. Together, the creatures that have lived on Earth have easily required a thousand times the amount of liquid freshwater available on the planet. And we only have that one allotment of water—it was delivered here four point four million years ago. No water is being created or destroyed on Earth. So every drop of water that’s here has seen the inside of a cloud, and the inside of a volcano, the inside of a maple leaf, and the inside of a dinosaur kidney, probably many times.”ii
“I like that concept,” Barry quipped. “How about getting me a glass of dinosaur pee!”
Milton N. Burgess, P. E., FASPE
Author of “Water Shock, The Day Southern California Went Dry”