sponge_bob2Are any of you aware of how much water you use every time you sit down for dinner? Well, me neither, until I read “When the River Runs Dry” by Fred Pearce.  Here is a partial list of that:

One portion of rice= = 25 gallons, two pieces of toast = 40 gallons, two egg omelet or small salad = 130 gallons, glass of milk = 265 gallons, one serving of ice cream = 400 gallons, one pork chop – 530 gallons, one hamburger = 800 gallons, one steak = 1320 gallons, cup of coffee = 37 gallons, one teaspoon of sugar = 50 gallons.

All that water, and little that can be done to recoup it. Hydroponics has come a long way, but feeding millions using that method is just not practical. The grain glut on the world market is a problem that can be addressed, though. For every pound of wheat we export, we are exporting 130 gallons of virtual water. That is what it takes to grow that pound of wheat. And we lead the world in exporting virtual water, make no mistake about that.

All that means we have to do a much better job of conserving the one precious resource  we can’t live without. Take the Ogallala aquifer, that vast underground storage system spread beneath eight states. The aquifer leading water experts say if no water was drawn from any more, it would take two thousand years to replenish. That same aquifer T Boone Pickens wants to own so he can sell its water to Dallas/Fort Worth.  One day, if the powers that be don’t realize the importance of the aquifer for all eight states, it could run dry. If that happens, God help us all. The following is a link to a map showing the declining water level in the aquifer. I might add the map is fourteen years old, so water levels are even less today.



Filed under Climate Change, Crimes, Economics, Kansas, The Environment

4 responses to “THE HUMAN SPONGE.

  1. After spending a week in the Liberal KS area, I was dumbfounded. I got used to seeing the irrigated crop areas from 20-30,ooo feet when flying a lot for work. Seeing the damage up close is shocking.

    I know most people do not see ‘amber waves of grain’ as damage. How deceptive.
    As soon as the Oglala is depleted there will be a dust-bowl like never before.
    Not only that, but a handful of people are becoming disgustingly wealthy from depleting our natural resources. On one mile section you will find a multi-million dollar ranch house, manicured watered lawn and all. The next mile section is the run-down trailer houses where the probably illegal (read as exploited) ranch hands live.

    Crime of the century. Right up there with our infamous farm ‘subsidies’.

  2. And it ain’t just T. Boone. There’s a family in St. Paul KS that owns more land in both KS and CO than any other private entity in the world. The Beachners, check this out:
    2.5 million in recent subsidies.
    Beachner Construction, seed co., grain co. cattle, you name it they own it.
    The wife’s 1st cousin married into this family. I have NEVER seen a wedding like this one. What a fabulous place the family has there in such a small town. Far be it from me to say anything bad about them. I may need a job!

    • jammer5

      I wonder about the water rights for their land: How deep, how far, etc..

      • I really don’t know. Being such a big outfit, I’m sure they have not missed a thing. Maybe not.
        I knew one guy that worked for them and said that they have multi-million dollar equipment that they seem to misplace from time to time.