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Article claims that it's a Utah Mormon's religious duty to water their grass.


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13 minutes ago, JarMan said:

I live about a mile from the lake and drive by it every day. As you pointed out, the lake level is declining. In fact it's currently at its lowest level in recorded history. This is a result of being in the worst drought in the last 1,200 years. Development in the past several decades, though, has increased the percentage of water available to the lake. But the line you always hear is that the recent lake decline is related to urban growth. It's just not true.

Not being a hydrologist, I think I can say that it certainly not the only reason, but I bet it's still a factor.

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8 minutes ago, Rain said:

I've never understood this.  To grow people you need to grow crops which means growing people uses more water.

 

 

Maybe it's looking at it directly? 

Directly, Cities are less water intensive than farm land. 

Indirectly, farms support the diets and lifestyle of people in cities/towns. Since the US has a meat intensive diet, much of the land is going to water intensive crops. The more people in the area, the more food is needed to support them. If the diet remains meat intensive, then more farm land will be pushed to produce said food. At the same time, we've been losing farmland to urban development in UT and still have diminishing water levels. 

Personally, I think it's more inertia to change how we do things and accepting more water conservation techniques as a whole (urban or rural). The more I read the more I think there's some available solutions in terms of increasing efficiency both in farm and urban settings we could be going after that would be a solid start for protecting water resources and staving of the worst case scenarios (Namely the great salt lake ecosystem collapsing). We've been lucky to never have a solid need to do so. Our droughts have been shorter lived and largely in times with smaller populations. But now there's a pressing need and greater likelihood that water rich years will be less common than water poor years. We have to adjust to that.

 

With luv,

BD

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7 minutes ago, 2BizE said:

I believe I read a few months ago the church was cutting back on water use at churches and other facilities to be more responsible with water. I haven’t seen a single church with brown grass this year in Utah. Has anyone else?

My husband and I observed many in our travels in and around Utah lately, and the church lawns are patchy brown in spots. But surely they aren't letting the grass die, like some yards we've seen. 

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18 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

Not being a hydrologist, I think I can say that it certainly not the only reason, but I bet it's still a factor.

Urbanization is not a factor. It has actually increased water to the lake to the tune of over 100,000 acre-feet per year. The drought has been so severe that this increase resulting from land conversion has been more than offset by dry conditions.

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5 minutes ago, JarMan said:

Urbanization is not a factor. It has actually increased water to the lake to the tune of over 100,000 acre-feet per year. The drought has been so severe that this increase resulting from land conversion has been more than offset by dry conditions.

Not having a dog in the fight, I am nevertheless curious as to how this is so. Do you have a reference?

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26 minutes ago, JarMan said:

I live about a mile from the lake and drive by it every day. As you pointed out, the lake level is declining. In fact it's currently at its lowest level in recorded history. This is a result of being in the worst drought in the last 1,200 years. Development in the past several decades, though, has increased the percentage of water available to the lake. But the line you always hear is that the recent lake decline is related to urban growth. It's just not true.

The line I read from this article was more along the lines that cutting off farmland by replacing it with urban/surburban development hasn't significantly staved of the ecological crisis the GSL is facing. Obviously the article has a bias towards pointing out it's not all agriculture's fault. It thus ignores that agriculture is still the bulk of water use and that UT is still running on "magic water" in terms of assessing how much is available for any use period. But I think either way it still points to the fact that we need to be moving toward greater efficiency and reduced water use ASAP. Farms are a significant part of that...but urban use is still important and currently holds little utility beyond conventional aesthetics in terms of outdoor use. 

With luv,

BD

 

 

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13 minutes ago, BlueDreams said:

Maybe it's looking at it directly? 

Directly, Cities are less water intensive than farm land. 

Indirectly, farms support the diets and lifestyle of people in cities/towns. Since the US has a meat intensive diet, much of the land is going to water intensive crops. The more people in the area, the more food is needed to support them. If the diet remains meat intensive, then more farm land will be pushed to produce said food. At the same time, we've been losing farmland to urban development in UT and still have diminishing water levels. 

It's true that much of Utah's water is used to grow alfalfa and other cattle feed, which is eaten by cows, which produce milk and meat. The amount of water used per calorie of human food produced is thus much higher for milk and meat than, for instance, vegetables. Part of the reason for this is perverse market incentives caused by provisions in interstate water law such as the Colorado River Compact. California should be allowed to purchase water from Utah farms growing alfalfa in order to grow more fruit and vegetables. This would be a better use of a finite supply.

19 minutes ago, BlueDreams said:

Personally, I think it's more inertia to change how we do things and accepting more water conservation techniques as a whole (urban or rural). The more I read the more I think there's some available solutions in terms of increasing efficiency both in farm and urban settings we could be going after that would be a solid start for protecting water resources and staving of the worst case scenarios (Namely the great salt lake ecosystem collapsing). We've been lucky to never have a solid need to do so. Our droughts have been shorter lived and largely in times with smaller populations. But now there's a pressing need and greater likelihood that water rich years will be less common than water poor years. We have to adjust to that.

 

With luv,

BD

The problem is that agricultural "conservation" actually increases depletion, making less water available. It's counter-intuitive, I know, but a well-known phenomena in the water world. Many urban "conservation" measures don't help the water supply, either. To truly conserve water requires ending some current use. Utah has a turf buy-back program that attempts to accomplish that very thing. But beyond that, nobody is going to voluntarily stop doing something that is an economic benefit. If people want to get more water to the Great Salt Lake they will need to purchase large amounts of irrigation water rights and retire that acreage. This would be very expensive and politically tricky, but it could be done.

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16 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

Not having a dog in the fight, I am nevertheless curious as to how this is so. Do you have a reference?

The Utah Division of Water Resources used to supply this data on their website. I grabbed the data while it was still active. I popped it into a spreadsheet and did a best-fit line. You can see that depletion in the GSL Basin goes from above 1.3 million acre-feet per year to below 1.2 million acre-feet per year between 1989 and 2018. This doesn't include the additional saving resulting from creating runoff from hardscape, which is also a significant amount.

 

 

GSL net depletion from Water Resources.pdf

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42 minutes ago, 2BizE said:

I believe I read a few months ago the church was cutting back on water use at churches and other facilities to be more responsible with water. I haven’t seen a single church with brown grass this year in Utah. Has anyone else?

The grass looks pretty much the same at my church, but we had a church down the street that removed a large section and all the grass in the outer perimeter and replaced it with gravel.

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50 minutes ago, 2BizE said:

I believe I read a few months ago the church was cutting back on water use at churches and other facilities to be more responsible with water. I haven’t seen a single church with brown grass this year in Utah. Has anyone else?

Not being in Utah, but up until last week we were having a bit of a drought here in England. I am a drone-flyer, and on one forum someone had flown near the Preston temple (in the more northerly part of England) and from the aerial photo it looked like the grass there was doing quite well. One poster asked if this was reasonable, given the drought, but others said that the drought was happening in southern England, but not up north.

I guess Utah's shortage is more universal.

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KUTV has come out with an article in response to the Guardian one, and pretty much everyone quoted agreeed that the article was full of it.

https://kutv.com/news/local/story-about-church-members-green-lawns-drought-draws-ire-of-some-agreement-from-others-church-of-jesus-christ-of-latter-day-saints-utah-guardian-british-daily-newspaper?fbclid=IwAR0_9Gs2Zf8QmXtzLPON5CT4DCzA8Euqcoj1kTy2hkrWDF0ZXvMfvgMqaro

Everyone that is but one person who tweeted that they were an active member and the article is completely correct. So either they are also full of it or they live in a really weird ward. 

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24 minutes ago, bluebell said:

KUTV has come out with an article in response to the Guardian one, and pretty much everyone quoted agreeed that the article was full of it.

https://kutv.com/news/local/story-about-church-members-green-lawns-drought-draws-ire-of-some-agreement-from-others-church-of-jesus-christ-of-latter-day-saints-utah-guardian-british-daily-newspaper?fbclid=IwAR0_9Gs2Zf8QmXtzLPON5CT4DCzA8Euqcoj1kTy2hkrWDF0ZXvMfvgMqaro

Everyone that is but one person who tweeted that they were an active member and the article is completely correct. So either they are also full of it or they live in a really weird ward. 

This also caught my eye:

"Are you saying it’s abnormal that my bishops have been asking if my lawn was green & well manicured every time I renewed my temple recommend?" Twitter user @xxxxxxxx asked in response to the governor's tweet."

I'm hoping this person was just being sarcastic?

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11 minutes ago, Okrahomer said:

This also caught my eye:

"Are you saying it’s abnormal that my bishops have been asking if my lawn was green & well manicured every time I renewed my temple recommend?" Twitter user @xxxxxxxx asked in response to the governor's tweet."

I'm hoping this person was just being sarcastic?

Yes, pretty sure that person was being funny.  :lol:

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1 hour ago, BlueDreams said:

I mean there's gotta be that one ward who's bishopric are all apart of the neighborhoods HOA committee...

 

With luv, 

BD

Pretty sure under God’s law this allows you to kill them.

Note: Local actual law may vary from God’s law. Consult legal counsel before killing anyone.

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19 hours ago, JarMan said:

Absolutely. Here's how it works. Agricultural land uses approximately 4 feet of water per year. Of that, about 2 feet is lost through evapotranspiration. If I put a city where the field once was the water use changes. There is still irrigation occurring on a portion of the area for lawns and gardens. But some of the land is converted to hardscape which allows precipitation to run off to streams and rivers. Indoor use for toilets and showers and things is very nonconsumptive, meaning that most of the water used inside (about 90%) returns to the hydrologic system. So let's work with some real numbers here.

Let's pretend we convert an acre of alfalfa to subdivision. The heretofore depletion to the hydrologic system is 2 acre-feet per year. But now let's build four homes on this acre. We'll say that there's a half acre of lawn and a quarter acre of hardscape. The lawn will only deplete about 0.7 acre-foot of water (lawn is less consumptive than alfalfa at about 1.4). We'll say that precipitation falling on hardscape runs off at 80% efficiency. This provide about 0.27 acre-foot to the system (assuming 16 inches of annual precipitation) that wasn't there when the land was farmed. Lastly, we need to calculate the depletion associated with the four families. They'll each divert about 0.25 acre-foot for indoor use but 90% returns to the hydrologic system, so the depletion is 0.1 acre-foot. The net depletion with the subdivision is 0.7 - 0.27 + 0.1 = 0.53 acre-foot. This is an almost 75% reduction in water lost to the hydrologic system by converting farmland to a subdivision.

Water is cut back every single year in the southwest. In Utah, water is literally cut back (or put back on) every single day to adjust to the hydrologic availability. It is true that in severe droughts water is cut back more than under normal conditions. But Utah and other western states have a system to deal with this, which is called the prior appropriation system or "first in time, first in right." Utahns have been living under this system since before statehood and have adapted to it. And since water and water rights can be bought, sold, or leased the market generally ensures the available supply goes to its highest value. Other western states have similar systems. But growth is not driving more severe cuts, it's driving less severe cuts.

So you are saying that urbanization saves water but only if said urbanization replaces farmland. Note that last proviso was not stated in your statements and wasn’t even strongly implied.

misinterpretation_2x.png

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9 hours ago, The Nehor said:

So you are saying that urbanization saves water but only if said urbanization replaces farmland. Note that last proviso was not stated in your statements and wasn’t even strongly implied.

"It takes less water to grow people than to grow crops." Less snark, closer reading would be nice.

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On 9/26/2022 at 1:13 AM, JarMan said:

It turns out that building cities actually decreases water consumption. It takes less water to grow people than to grow crops. But the agenda being pushed is all about decreasing or eliminating growth. It’s really inconvenient to the  anti-growth agenda that growth actually saves water. So they put forth all manner of lies and obfuscation. As a super relevant example, the article cited in the OP is full of factual inaccuracies about water use in Utah. 

Let’s look at the whole thing.

Building cities decreases water consumption if all the land being used for expansion was previously farmland and assuming those people do not need to eat or that all food can be imported.

There we go. I stand behind the snark as it was mostly aimed at your conspiracy nonsense in the quote.

Edited by The Nehor
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41 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Let’s look at the whole thing.

Building cities decreases water consumption if all the land being used for expansion was previously farmland and assuming those people do not need to eat or that all food can be imported.

There we go. I stand behind the snark as it was mostly aimed at your conspiracy nonsense in the quote.

If your real problem is that you don't think people are pushing an anti-growth agenda by lying about water, why don't you respond to that with substantive criticism of that position? Engaging respectfully with people you disagree with will convey that you are not insecure about having your worldview challenged. 

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On 9/26/2022 at 4:59 PM, JarMan said:

It's true that much of Utah's water is used to grow alfalfa and other cattle feed, which is eaten by cows, which produce milk and meat. The amount of water used per calorie of human food produced is thus much higher for milk and meat than, for instance, vegetables. Part of the reason for this is perverse market incentives caused by provisions in interstate water law such as the Colorado River Compact. California should be allowed to purchase water from Utah farms growing alfalfa in order to grow more fruit and vegetables. This would be a better use of a finite supply.

I'd agree. I think it's part of the reason I believe meat (and somewhat dairy) consumption as a whole will likely continue to drop. It's simply unsustainable to keep it up in land/water resources. Which means, whether by conscientious planning or long term market/social pressures, it simply can't continue as it does.

On 9/26/2022 at 4:59 PM, JarMan said:

The problem is that agricultural "conservation" actually increases depletion, making less water available. It's counter-intuitive, I know, but a well-known phenomena in the water world. Many urban "conservation" measures don't help the water supply, either. To truly conserve water requires ending some current use. Utah has a turf buy-back program that attempts to accomplish that very thing. But beyond that, nobody is going to voluntarily stop doing something that is an economic benefit. If people want to get more water to the Great Salt Lake they will need to purchase large amounts of irrigation water rights and retire that acreage. This would be very expensive and politically tricky, but it could be done.

Yeah I question that. I can imagine certain forms of "conservation" may be. But I see others that would definitely reduce water use. It wouldn't be sufficient for what's needed without removing some current water use, but Numbers I've seen still point to a reduction to some degree. The thing I've seen mentioned most isn't complete retirement but a system of rotational fallowing. Which would still likely lead to retirement or (longer term) switching out to more desert friend staples and methods of farming.  

 

With luv,

BD

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1 minute ago, BlueDreams said:

I'd agree. I think it's part of the reason I believe meat (and somewhat dairy) consumption as a whole will likely continue to drop. It's simply unsustainable to keep it up in land/water resources. Which means, whether by conscientious planning or long term market/social pressures, it simply can't continue as it does.

Yeah I question that. I can imagine certain forms of "conservation" may be. But I see others that would definitely reduce water use. It wouldn't be sufficient for what's needed without removing some current water use, but Numbers I've seen still point to a reduction to some degree. The thing I've seen mentioned most isn't complete retirement but a system of rotational fallowing. Which would still likely lead to retirement or (longer term) switching out to more desert friend staples and methods of farming.  

 

With luv,

BD

My in-laws for years would raise a couple of cows yearly and then their family of eight children and their families would split up the meat. Now my MIL is in a care facility she of course no longer can raise the beef, she did amazingly well after my FIL passed away with help from her sons. Well, our freezer is getting to be depleted of all the beef. My husband said to pick up some chicken yesterday but I chose instead to try more fish, I saw some Ahi tuna, and salmon and thought them to be better to eat, although I cringed at the price but wonder if fish is the way to go more and more. I rarely buy fish and I think it's healthier than beef. 

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17 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

My in-laws for years would raise a couple of cows yearly and then their family of eight children and their families would split up the meat. Now my MIL is in a care facility she of course no longer can raise the beef, she did amazingly well after my FIL passed away with help from her sons. Well, our freezer is getting to be depleted of all the beef. My husband said to pick up some chicken yesterday but I chose instead to try more fish, I saw some Ahi tuna, and salmon and thought them to be better to eat, although I cringed at the price but wonder if fish is the way to go more and more. I rarely buy fish and I think it's healthier than beef. 

Fish can be really healthy, you just have to watch the mercury levels. Some have higher levels than others. 

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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

My in-laws for years would raise a couple of cows yearly and then their family of eight children and their families would split up the meat. Now my MIL is in a care facility she of course no longer can raise the beef, she did amazingly well after my FIL passed away with help from her sons. Well, our freezer is getting to be depleted of all the beef. My husband said to pick up some chicken yesterday but I chose instead to try more fish, I saw some Ahi tuna, and salmon and thought them to be better to eat, although I cringed at the price but wonder if fish is the way to go more and more. I rarely buy fish and I think it's healthier than beef. 

In terms of health, Fish and bird are both relatively healthy compared to other forms of meat. I found an article that listed out the varying meats by health: 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/from-fish-to-bacon-a-ranking-of-meats-in-order-of-healthiness/2019/07/02/2de2dce0-9435-11e9-aadb-74e6b2b46f6a_story.html

the list is at the bottom. 

What's equally important in terms of health is portion size. Americans tend to overestimate just how much meat should be incorporated in a diet.  

In terms of sustainability, that's extremely variable. Any meat would still include smaller portions and preferably include sustainable practices in animal rearing or hunting. A majority of major meat industry practices don't fit that currently...though it is growing. These are generally pricier sources of meat/egg/dairy. 

 

With luv,

BD 

Edited by BlueDreams
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3 hours ago, bluebell said:

Fish can be really healthy, you just have to watch the mercury levels. Some have higher levels than others. 

Hmm. We do a lot of grocery pick up for newly arriving refugees.  Few stores have halal meat for Muslims so I end up getting a lot of fish. This makes me wonder for those that have been in refugee camps and have not had much meat how that might affect them.  We do give them lots eggs, beans and peanut butter too. Well lots compared to what I think most people here eat.

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