Rain Water Harvesting In Rio Rancho

A great article by John Fleck in The Albuquerque Journal titled “Rain, Rain, Come Again Any Day” in which Carl Axness, a former Sandia Labs scientist, lives completely on rain water in Rio Rancho.

“It’s not that I wanted to be real green, though I like being green,” Axness said one recent morning as the sun beat down on a layer of snow blanketing his neighborhood four miles northeast of Intel’s Sandoval County computer chip plant. Behind him, solar panels tapped into the morning sun’s energy while the steady drips from the metal roof slowly filled the cisterns that surround the spacious home.

The cisterns are Axness’ practical solution to a quintessentially Rio Rancho problem. The lot is located in that sprawling, platted part of the city’s suburban edge that did not have water lines. Axness bought years ago, and expected a water line would be extended past the property by the time he was ready to build on it. When that did not happen, he realized he was faced with a cost of more than $50,000 to install pipe to get city water to his house, so he began exploring the alternatives.


Less Water In The Southwest

Drought Monitor maps

I should leave this sort of thing to John Fleck, but I found an article at The Christian Science Monitor titled
The new water wars? Study shows broad decline in Rockies snowpack“. When I think of climate change I often think that the Earth will be fine, it’s our way of life that will be impacted.

While the shrinking snowpack in the 20th and early 21st centuries is not unprecedented from a climate-history standpoint, at no time in the past 800 years have so many people relied so heavily on these winter snows for their fresh water. The rivers and the drainage basins that feed them provide as much as 80 percent of the water used for irrigation, power generation, and other purposes by some 70 million people, according to the study.

Meanwhile most of the State of New Mexico continues to be in a drought.

Riding My Bike Due To The HIgh Cost Of Gas

John Fleck posts today about a New York Times story on how the Saudis are afraid that by squeezing demand for oil they are going to put themselfs out of buisness.

While they are reaping record profits, the Saudis are concerned that today’s record prices might eventually damp economic growth and lead to lower oil demand, as is already happening in the United States and other developed countries. The current prices are also making alternative fuels more viable, threatening the long-term prospects of the oil-based economy.

It’s not your imagination, gas prices are higher than they were in 1918 when adjusted for inflation. Unless Saudis significantly reduce the price of gas and keep it down, the path is set to lessen our need and maybe one day eliminate our need for oil as a means of transportation.

My truck gets 15 MPG (when I’m lucky) and the last time I filled it up it cost me $68. When gas was about $2.50 a gallon, I looked at getting a Honda scooter that gets about 80MPG. Considering my truck is already paid off, the break even costs didn’t work out for the scooter nor is it likely to still work out to purchase a more efficient vehicle (I need to redo the math for current gas prices and I will publish it later). I still want to reduce my expenditures on gas so I’m going to burn fat instead of oil.

Assuming the weather cooperates, i will start riding my bike to work next week. I’m also working on resurrecting Project Maverick (my long languishing project car) and it will be electric. Both of these things I wouldn’t have done if it wasn’t for the high price of gas. Apparently I’m not the only one reducing my use of oil, Exxon is selling off it’s retail gas business because it can’t make enough money off it.

Finally my point is that once people get into these habits they are not going to fall out. The movement against oil has already started and will counter the oil producers greed.

The Drought Is Over, For Today

John Fleck points out that the US Drought Monitor has large parts of New Mexico lightly colored, meaning that there are no drought conditions in those areas.

I say, wait till the election. You can expect most of the drought levels to be raised to orange, or elevated. It’s quite likely that al Qaeda will increase the drought in the United States to try to keep the Republicans out of office.