Fearful Symmetries

Witness a machine turn coffee into pointless ramblings...

31 December, 2012

Water, Water Everywhere

Jakarta is sinking.

Some suburbs in the capital already go underwater when there is a big tide but the problem is expected to get even worse.

Jakarta is sinking by up to 10 centimetres a year and Indonesia's national disaster centre says with oceans rising, large parts of the city, including the airport, will be inundated by 2030.

As developers suck up the watertable it dries out and the city slumps into the empty cavity.

"From our observations, since the 1960s the ground water has declined around 30 metres," the head of water resources at Indonesia's energy and mineral resources ministry, Dodid Murdohardono, said.

"The decline of ground water causes pressure in the groundwater lining and that's why Jakarta is sinking."

Meanwhile here in America the fight is on for water. In the wake of last year's drought, the Mississippi River is very shallow.

“We estimate that $7 billion in cargo will stop moving on the Mississippi River if a nine-foot channel cannot be maintained through the winter months,” says Craig Philip, CEO of Ingram Barge Company.

Cutting the flow from dams in South Dakota will reduce water levels in St. Louis by 3 to 4 feet. Realizing that this might effectively kill shipping on the Mississippi over the near term, a group of Midwest politicians including Illinois Senator Dick Durbin are asking President Obama to declare an economic emergency and authorize the Army Corps to reopen the dams.

But upstream states are saying, “not so fast.” South Dakota, for example, is calling dibs on millions of gallons of water for use in the states oil-fracking boom.

Even Senator Durbin admits that asking the President to settle what amounts to a water-war between states is a dicey prospect.

Presumably, if South Dakota doesn't get enough water, then the demand for Wisconsin's fracking-grade sand will decline. If the Mississippi isn't deep enough to allow barge traffic, then goods will have to be moved via train and truck and this will likely increase prices. Uff da!
|| Palmer, 8:38 AM

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