Draught

Ecology Matters by Duke Vasey

For an Ethanol Fuel History http://tinyurl.com/ch8omge is about as concise a summary to be found.

What www.cowboybyte.com said:

“Governors from states that may petition the Environmental Protection Agency to waive the mandate known as the Renewable Fuel Standard, or RFS signed in 2006, include Republicans Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Dave Heineman of Nebraska, Rick Perry of Texas, and Democrat Mike Beebe of Arkansas,” an ethanol industry source said.

Matt DeCample, a spokesman for Beebe, said the governor is “working on getting the word out to the EPA and others” that the mandate is hurting ranchers and poultry farmers with extra costs, but he has not yet signed on to a specific campaign to petition the agency.”

This is an economic problem and, while business owners can outsource jobs and close industries, the forces of nature can’t be dispatched so easily. The ongoing drought conditions cause a myriad of economic problems across the country. A key problem with water is our contempt for its importance and an insistence that we use it to feed green spaces that may or may not be considered weeds: http://tinyurl.com/6mo6wu9.

Governors know which side bread is buttered on and their immediate choice appears to support the livestock industry at the expense of grain-based ethanol producers in their states.

More than half of the United States is dry. Little rain coupled with sweltering temperatures is scorching crops, shrinking rivers and fueling wildfires. The weather has communities putting curbs on water use and their citizens running to nearby pools for relief. Some parched areas of the country are seeing occasional thunderstorms, but often they aren't enough to reverse the drought.

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor, (http://tinyurl.com/3mgqd3x) released Thursday, shows more than 20 percent of the nation is facing extreme or exceptional drought, up 7% from a week ago.

Hot temperatures have accelerated the dry conditions. The Midwestern Regional Climate Center says the first six months of the year were the hottest on record dating back to 1895 for the nine-state region.

Hospitals are seeing a jump in heat-related emergency room visits, and some states have reported deaths tied to the hot weather.

The effects of the drought are being felt particularly on farms and ranches. Federal officials have declared 1,234 counties, in the U.S., drought disaster areas due to crop damage and losses. Corn is shriveling in the field in Indiana, while in parts of the Great Plains ranchers are struggling to find enough hay for their herds. Would Aquifer Storage Recovery address the human demand and free-up water for irrigation?

If it might, there are a few issues to work on first: What type of treatment is necessary to ensure that no pathogens will survive in groundwater? Will disinfection lead to the formation of carcinogenic compounds that will move to broader ground water areas? What information is needed to ensure that the water being recharged is geochemically and microbiologically compatible with native ground water? Unanticipated reactions may lead to poor-quality water, biomass formation, pathogen growth and well clogging. What monitoring will be required to ensure that unforeseen water-quality problems do not affect broader ground water resources? How will communities be assured that the recharged water will not adversely affect other aquifers or surface water bodies?

I don’t recall any programs to answer questions like these in the county budget!

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