Re: Science and Unemployment...

Will Ware (
Fri, 30 Jun 1995 14:15:49 GMT

Andrew Cooke ( wrote:
: - much of the us corn production is irrigated from a water
: table under the `big flat middle region' of the states
: (sorry - i don't know the correct names!).

We refer to that region collectively as the Midwest. I think the
reason is that earlier in US history, the "subjective geographic
center" of the US was on the East Coast, so instead of a West Coast
and a Middle, we have a West Coast and a Midwest.

: it's running
: out. of course, no-one knows when it will fail, but it's
: being used up a lot faster than it is being refilled.

I don't follow the world of farming, but I hadn't heard anything
about this. Are you sure? It would seem to me that agricultural
activities would be pretty insignificant in the overall cycle of
evaporation and rainfall, and all the other things water does
naturally. Unless the idea is that we are exporting significant
quantities of water along with the vegetables we export, but isn't
most of the water in the atmosphere pretty well scrambled geographically
after a few days? I.e. you would think the water would find its way
back home.

I guess there could still be trouble if the rate of rainfall were
less than the rate of water loss due to evaporation added to losses
due to export. Hmm.

It occurs to me that if you want to raise the water table in a region,
but you don't have an immediate need for drinking water or irrigation,
it's probably OK just to import large quantities of seawater and let
it seep into the ground without desalinating it. It would probably
desalinate just by being filtered thru the soil, and the effect would
probably be localized to the area where the water was being dumped
into the ground. Relatively small areas could be set aside for this
purpose, leaving the rest of the region arable.

Will Ware <> web <>
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