Southwest Cities Learn to Thrive Amid Drought…
Water officials in San Diego, though, say they are not worried. “We have sufficient supplies now and in the future,” said Sandra Kerl, general manager of the San Diego Water Authority. “We recently did a stress test, and we are good until 2045” and even beyond.

San Diego is not alone. While the public image may be that booming southwestern cities such as San Diego, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Albuquerque are on the verge of a climate apocalypse, many experts agree that these metropolitan areas have enough of a water cushion to not only survive, but continue to grow into the surrounding desert for the foreseeable future, even during the worst drought in 1,200 years.


Those living close to the ocean should not be too concerned. Desalination of seawater is a well established technology. If you have sea water, all it takes is energy.

Those who live miles away in the desert have to pay for pumping but they too can be ok with modern technology.

Energy, clean, inexpensive energy is the key.

Those living close to the ocean should not be too concerned. Desalination of seawater is a well established technology. If you have sea water, all it takes is energy.

And, of course, you have to actually build a plant. Los Angeles lives on the edge of a desert. However…

Plan for controversial Huntington Beach desalination plant rejected…
The California Coastal Commission Thursday unanimously rejected a controversial plan to build a desalination plant in Huntington Beach…Back in 2017, the California State Lands Commission unanimously approved the $1 billion private project which has been planned along Pacific Coast Highway.


Yes, and in California some will challenge discharge of salts removed back into the sea.

The battle for environmental permits for larger desalination capacity can be long and hard.

Nicholls et al. had a paper some 10 years ago on the possible impacts of sea level rise. In the Conclusions section they write the following about adaptation:

"Assuming no or failed adaptation, this exposure translates into catastrophic impacts with tens of millions or even more people being turned into environmental refugees owing to sea-level rise.

“In contrast, a protection response suggests that most of the threatened population would be protected, and the main consequence of a large rise in sea level is a larger investment in protection infrastructure. This analysis shows that it is incorrect to automatically assume a global-scale population displacement owing to a large rise in sea level, and coastal populations may have more choices than widely assumed.”

Sea-level rise and its possible impacts given a ‘beyond 4 degrees C world’ in the twenty-first century…


Southwest Cities Learn to Thrive Amid Drought

Looking at a different kind of adaptation…

Evolving to outpace climate change, tiny marine animal provides new evidence of long-theorized genetic mechanism
Barely more than a millimeter long, the copepod Eurytemora affinis paddles its way through the coastal waters of oceans and estuaries around the world in large numbers – mostly getting eaten by juvenile fish, like salmon, herring and anchovy…

“Salinity is a very strong environmental pressure in aquatic habitats,” says David Stern, lead author of the study…They kept a population of Eurytemora affinis from the Baltic Sea in their lab…The other 10 groups were exposed to declining salt levels, mimicking the sort of pressure caused by climate change. Each had their water reduced to lower salinity at each new generation…

The researchers next sequenced the genomes of each line of copepods…At the end of the experiment, the researchers found that copepods with certain genetic combinations of the ion transporter were, repeatedly, more likely to survive through successive generations…The evolution experiment is new evidence of a genetic mechanism called positive epistasis, in which the positive effect of a variant of a gene is amplified when working in combination with other key genes.


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Designing roots to penetrate hard soils could help climate proof crops
Hard soils cause crop roots to grow shorter and swell. Root swelling was originally thought to help penetrate hard soils. However, X-ray imaging of plants growing in soil at Nottingham revealed that roots which remained narrow penetrate hard soils more easily. The team went on to identify a hormone signal that promoted this root swelling response which, when its levels were reduced, helped roots remain narrow and penetrate hard soil more effectively.

Dr. Bipin Pandey, BBSRC Discovery Fellow and the lead researcher from the University of Nottingham says “Our research overturns decades of scientific thinking, revealing that root swelling does not help penetrate hard soils. These results can potentially safeguard or boost agricultural yields worldwide, particularly considering that climate change can exacerbate the strength of soil by less rainfall. This new understanding of how roots grow in hard soils promises to help develop novel soil-compaction-resistant crops.”


Found an interesting graph on Arizona water use and population. Currently, the population is about 7 million and water usage is about 7 million acre-feet. Thus, about 1 acre-foot per person per year. This has been declining for some years:
2000 1.4
1980 3.3