Monday, February 12, 2007

Building a really big straw

I'm sorry I missed tonight's meeting in Waukesha about the shrinking water supply in the city. I understand it was very informative. Unfortunately, water in the future is not going to get any cheaper for residents:

The city plans to ask the state Public Service Commission to implement a new rate structure for residents that makes water consumption more expensive as more is consumed, he said. Now the cost of water use becomes cheaper as use increases.

Duchniak said residential rates are being targeted because they account for 76% of the nearly 3 billion gallons of water the utility taps each year.
No word yet if we'll get a discount if we choose the radium enriched water. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel also reports we're determined to get that good Lake Michigan water:
Duchniak's presentation culminated with an outline of the city's interest in obtaining a new supply of water from Lake Michigan. He discussed the likely need to return 100% of used and treated Great Lakes water to the lake through a tributary, such as the Root River.

Using and returning Lake Michigan water is the most environmentally sound solution to Waukesha's water needs because it would have no impact on lake levels, he said.

The amount sought by the city - about 22 million gallons a day - is the amount of water that evaporates from Lake Michigan in 30 seconds, he said.
However, not discussed at tonight's meeting was how science may have found a solution to the water crisis: an Arctic Ocean sized water resevoir in the Earth's mantle.
Michael E. Wysession, Ph.D., Washington University professor of earth and planetary sciences in Arts & Sciences, working with former graduate student Jesse Lawrence (now at the University of California, San Diego), analyzed 80,000 shear waves from more than 600,000 seismograms and found a large area in Earth's lower mantle beneath eastern Asia where water is damping out, or attenuating, seismic waves from earthquakes.
The bad news is that we'll have to fight the Mole Men to get it.