Water, Water, Everywhere

Manmade Drought on Salt Spring?

As we move towards summer, the time when lake levels island wide naturally decline, North Salt Spring Waterworks District is once again (last year publicly, on national TV news no less), predicting dire consequences.

Meanwhile, in back rooms around the island the local anti-development cabal are cheering at the blessing the weather of the past couple of years has bestowed upon them. For every rainless cloud of doom there evidently is a silver lining for them.

Fears that future global climate change will lead to more droughts are being expressed by the local anti-carbonites as they drive up to their favourite coffee shops in their SUV’s to sip their favourite blend of organic, free trade coffee that has been imported from their favourite socialist South American country. I’m reminded of Obi-Wan Ben Kenobi’s famous misdirection line, “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.” But, if you take just a moment to look, invisible carbon footprints are all over Ganges.

All right, enough hypocrite bashing. I’ll get right to the point.

I’ve had water on my brain for the last few years, so I thought I would share some of what has leaked out…

99 million gallons per year is the licensed amount of water which can be annually drawn from Lake Maxwell.

But, there is an estimated 53 million gallons per year of better quality water which likely is available…if only we would take the time to find out.

In 2001 a preliminary groundwater study was conducted of the Maxwell watershed area, by Robert Potter, P.Eng.. The study was provided to the Islands Trust and North Salt Spring Waterworks District (NSSWD). I have posted a copy of the study here Potter Report 1

The study’s concluding recommendation was to proceed with real world testing of the area’s groundwater potential. The total estimated cost to prove? A paltry $75,000.

Last July, the NSSWD Board was informed by staff that should a forest fire occur in the Maxwell watershed, the fallout could make Lake Maxwell water undrinkable for a number of years due to the fine sedimentation which would result.

Think about the consequences of 99 million gallons being removed from use in Ganges.

Now, ask yourself why on earth hasn’t NSSWD done anything for the past 15 years to followup on Mr. Potter’s study by tapping into arguably one of the best, purest, groundwater areas on the island…even as an emergency back up supply? The Board has approved millions upon millions of dollars of other improvements…what’s another $75,000 in the grand scheme of things?

Next…I conducted a simple, comparative analysis of NSSWD’s published St. Mary Lake level data of the average of the 17 years before 2006 with the 9 years since. (see graph Lake Levels Before and After) The data clearly shows NSSWD’s 2006 removal of the beaver dam on St. Mary Lake has created an average, annual shortfall of over 80 million gallons of water during the driest time of the year. In other words, last year’s St. Mary “drought” was, in essence, a result of NSSWD’s interference with Nature…a manmade drought. And, it appears the proposed raising of the weir will only recapture a portion of what was lost as a result of their removal of the beavers.

We are told by NSSWD that 2009 was a 1 in 100 year drought level. The proper way of describing the lake level in the summer of 2009 was a 1 in 3 year, manmade drought level. The same applies to last year’s levels…it is now a 1 in 9 year, manmade drought level.

It is, therefore, and in my opinion, disingenuous at best for NSSWD to have ratepayers believe manmade climate change is the villain here, and that we don’t have enough water to service currently zoned properties within the District.

A simple, grade school, calculation could easily have, and should have, predicted what would happen if the beaver dam was removed. Now we are being told approval for the raising of the weir may take another 2 years and the costs for the expropriation of lake front property are rising into the hundreds of thousands.

In fact, at the April 6, 2016 NSSWD Board meeting it was announced that there may have to be a referendum on the projected expenditure (April 6, 2016 NSSWD Minutes ) to raise the weir. Given the consulting firm’s (tasked with interacting with lakeside property owners) contract alone was over $200,000, it is not out of the question to project the cost to raise the weir will be over $1,000,000.

Add to that amount the potential legal costs associated with the lawsuit by Channel Ridge and Paradigm against NSSWD, the Islands Trust, and the Water Preservation Society Supreme Court Preliminary – Channel Ridge, et al vs NSSWD, Island Trust, Water Preservation and money is flowing out of ratepayers’ pockets faster than water down Duck Creek.

And speaking of water and money leaking away, meanwhile, over the past 15 years, NSSWD has done little to stem or identify the leakage in the system (estimated in 2001 to be a whopping 20%). That appears to calculate out, system wide, to another 80,000,000 gallons a year.

So, add up the three numbers – 53M (potential groundwater), 80M (loss from beaver removal) and 80M (leaks) = 213 million gallons a year….about 50% of the entire licensed amount of water from both lakes.

Lastly, in December 2012,  I took a look at the published data from St. Mary Lake trying to see if there was anything unusual that would have triggered the cyanobacteria outbreaks. What I noticed was disturbing. Lake temperature was being measured at 3 levels. After the aerators were introduced in 2006, the lowest level temperature was up to 7 degrees Celsius higher than before the aerators. It was obvious to this lay person that the warm ambient air, taken and pumped into the bottom of the lake during the summer months, was warming the lower climes. The data has since been removed from the NSSWD website.

A quick Google search found a number of published, peer-reviewed studies indicating that in shallow lakes (like St. Mary) a ONE degree Celsius increase could set off an algal bloom. (Here’s just one – effects-tem-nutrient-microcystis-cyanobacteria-blooms-HA2009 )

Around the same time, a report in the Driftwood contained what is now, in retrospect, a rather hilariously, ironic statement from Dr. Ken Ashley, the fellow who designed the aerators. At a Water Council sponsored event, Dr. Ashley is quoted as saying, “There’s a lot of manmade solutions. If I had a dollar for every snake-oil salesman who called me up, I’d be retired by now….There’s a lot of people who want to sell (the treating of symptoms) and they sort of prey on your incomplete knowledge to convince you that something will work and it won’t.”

All of which obviously makes one wonder whether Dr. Ashley is now retired.

At the same meeting Professor John Sprague railed against septic fields surrounding the lake as being a prime contributor to phosphorus…another notion which has recently been dispelled. (see – July 15, 2015 Driftwood Sewer Phosphorus )

Meanwhile, longtime lakeside property owner, Ed Davis, was poo-pooed for suggesting the removal of the beaver dam reduced the flushing action in the lake.

And finally, Denis Russell, P. Eng., and then Chair of the NSSWD, is quoted as saying, “I hate to think of what the lake would be like without the aerators.”

Eight months later, on August 14, 2013, the aerators were permanently shut down. Chair Russell’s worst fear had evidently come to pass.

When I made a detailed request for further data from NSSWD in Feb 2013, I received a rather terse one sentence response from Director Bob Watson– “We have qualified experts looking at all aspects of this.” In other words quit playing investigative reporter.

Three years later, in 2015, NSSWD finally admitted the aerators were the likely cause of the blooms ( NSSWD Aerator announcement ), BUT, to date, there has been no discussion of their effect on lake temperature…or, how much the whole debacle has cost ratepayers.

Again, given the available knowledge (lake depth, ambient summer air temperature, climes, etc.) it should have been predictable there would be a potential algal bloom on the lake. It was also not lost on me that there was also up to 90 million gallons less lake water to warm in the summers after 2006.

Water, water everywhere, but barely a drop to drink…right…here are the two, simplest, short term steps towards common sense solutions of our local, manmade water crises – (1) take Mr. Potter’s advice and drill 3 test wells in the Maxwell watershed, and (2) forget the weir and “Bring Back St. Mary’s Beaver.”

Do what all the environmentalists usually demand – leave Nature alone. How hard/expensive is it to restock a couple of beavers? Certainly less than the unnatural, annual stocking of the lake with farmed fish (hatchery) that don’t belong there in the first place, but, which has been going on for decades.

But what do I know?….There are experts involved right?






Updated 7:20 AM ET, Thu July 31, 2014
8 events that changed the world in 1968
Story highlights

1968 remains arguably the most historic year in modern American history
Revered leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy were assassinated
North Korea captured a U.S. ship; Olympic athletes raised fists in Black Power salute
With the Apollo 8 mission, for the first time in history humans orbited the Moon

1968 was a year of triumphs and tragedies. While America reached new heights by introducing the first 747 and orbiting the moon, all was not well down on Earth. The United States lost a Navy intelligence ship and two proponents of peace — the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy.

Here are eight events that made history during that unforgettable year.

1. June 7, 1968: John Bateman entered the world and it became a better place.

2. January 30: North Vietnam launches the Tet Offensive against the United States and South Vietnam

In many ways, the bloody Tet Offensive signified the beginning of the end of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.

The coordinated attack by 85,000 Viet Cong and North Vietnamese targeted 36 major cities and towns in South Vietnam. It caught U.S.-led forces by surprise.

Related: Vietnam War fast facts

Related: North Vietnamese defense minister during Tet Offensive dies

Named after the Vietnamese Lunar New Year, Tet was a holiday during which the North and South had previously observed an informal truce.

U.S. and South Vietnamese forces eventually regained control of the communities they lost during Tet.

Nevertheless, it became a wake-up call for Americans back home, who began withdrawing their support for the war.

3. April 4: Martin Luther King Jr. assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was standing on the second floor balcony of room 306 at the Lorraine Motel when he was struck by a bullet at 6:01 p.m.

The 39-year-old civil rights leader was rushed to nearby St. Joseph’s Hospital but never regained consciousness. He was pronounced dead at 7:05 p.m.

Related: I was with King’s widow the night her husband was killed

King’s fellow civil rights pioneers made public pleas for a nonviolent response to honor his memory. But riots broke out in more than 100 cities across the nation.

Related: King’s last crusade

Two months later, James Earl Ray was captured at London’s Heathrow Airport. Fingerprints that had been traced back to Ray linked him to the crime. He confessed but later attempted to recant.

Then he pleaded guilty to avoid the possibility of a death sentence. Later Ray tried to withdraw his guilty plea and obtain a new trial. He died in prison in 1998.

Related: The case against James Earl Ray

Related: Conspiracy theories live on

On the night King was assassinated, Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy arrived in Indianapolis on a campaign stop. Upon hearing the news, Kennedy informed a crowd of listeners about King’s death.

They reacted with gasps and cries. Kennedy urged the crowd against bitterness, hatred or revenge. He called on them to embrace King’s message of love, wisdom and compassion toward one another. Kennedy’s speech is believed to have prevented rioting in Indianapolis that night.

4. June 5: Robert F. Kennedy assassinated in Los Angeles

Just two months later, Kennedy himself was gunned down by an assassin at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.

The attack took place shortly after Kennedy had wrapped up a speech in the hotel ballroom. As he cut through a kitchen corridor on his way to another part of the building, a Jordanian born Palestinian named Sirhan Sirhan opened fire, hitting Kennedy in the head and back.

Kennedy collapsed and was rushed to the hospital, where he underwent brain surgery. Twenty-six hours after the attack, Kennedy died. He was 42.

Related: Witness says there was a second shooter

Related: Sirhan denied parole

Convicted of the murder in 1969, his death sentence was commuted to life in prison in 1972. Sirhan remains in a California prison.

5. September 30: Boeing introduces the first 747 “Jumbo Jet”

When demand for air travel reached sky-high levels in the 1960s, the world’s then-largest passenger aircraft — the Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet — was a game changer. The ability to carry far more passengers than previous airliners suddenly made globetrotting a feasible option for would-be wanderers who previously thought they would never afford such exotic sojourns.
Boeing continues to produce new versions of its historic 747 model airliner more than 40 years after the original. This 747-8 Intercontinental was the 1,500th to come off the production line earlier this year.
Boeing continues to produce new versions of its historic 747 model airliner more than 40 years after the original. This 747-8 Intercontinental was the 1,500th to come off the production line earlier this year.

The massive aircraft was indeed an aviation design milestone. More than six stories tall, it seated 374 passengers and weighed 300 tons.

Related: Boeing through the ages

After its 1968 reveal, the 747 made its first flight on February 9, 1969, near Boeing’s factory in western Washington state. That specific plane flew more than 12,000 test flights, but it never carried passengers for a major airline. Rather, it was a test plane for engine developments, various improvements and future jet airliners.

The 747 is no relic. Amazingly, it remains a major player among global airlines more than 40 years after its unveiling.

6. October 16: U.S. athletes take a stand at the Summer Olympics

During the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, two black athletes staged a silent demonstration against racial discrimination in the United States.

For the simple defiant act of raising their fists during the National Anthem, the International Olympic Committee condemned American medalists Tommie Smith and John Carlos.
This salute made Smith and Carlos famous. But what of sprinter Peter Norman, who finished second?
8 photos: The forgotten Black Power hero

Their protest shocked many people who felt it damaged the spirit of the Olympics and unnecessarily brought politics into the Games.

As Smith and Carlos were awarded the gold and bronze medals for their performances in the 200-meter race, they bowed their heads and each raised a black gloved fist during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner.

The protest didn’t stop with their fists. They also wore black socks and no shoes. On their clothes were badges of the Olympic Project for Human Rights, a group dedicated against racial segregation and racism in sports. Also wearing the patch in support of Smith and Carlos was Australian 200-meter silver medalist Peter Norman.

Related: Peter Norman, the forgotten Black Power hero

Spectators booed the medalists as they walked away from the ceremony.

“If I win I am an American, not a black American,” Smith said later. “But if I did something bad then they would say ‘a Negro.’ We are black and we are proud of being black.”

Smith said his raised right fist symbolized black power in America.

He also wore a black scarf, which he said represented black pride. He said the black socks with no shoes symbolized black poverty.

Carlos, who had raised his left fist, said the gesture was a display of black unity and that the two men’s fists combined had created an arch of unity and power.

Carlos also wore beads, which he explained “were for those individuals that were lynched, or killed that no one said a prayer for, that were hung and tarred.” He said they also were for those thrown off the side of boats that carried slaves across the Atlantic from Africa.

Two days later, Smith and Carlos were expelled from Team USA. When they returned home, they were hailed as heroes by members of the African-American community.

7. November 22: “Star Trek” airs American television’s first interracial kiss

In an episode of TV’s original “Star Trek” entitled “Plato’s Stepchildren,” the crew aboard the Starship Enterprise became enslaved by humanoid Platonians, who possessed a telekinetic ability to force them to do anything the Platonians wanted them to do.
In 1968 "Star Trek" actors Nichelle Nichols and William Shatner performed the first interracial kiss on American TV.
In 1968 “Star Trek” actors Nichelle Nichols and William Shatner performed the first interracial kiss on American TV.

Related: The post-racial revolution will be televised

Enterprise Capt. James Kirk, a white man played by William Shatner, was forced to kiss Nichelle Nichols’ character, Lt. Nyota Uhura, a black woman.

Censors at NBC insisted on filming an alternate version sans smooch — fearing that local TV affiliates in the Deep South would refuse to air the episode.

Shatner is reported to have purposefully ruined all the alternative takes so the network would be forced to air the kiss.

Appropriately, Kirk has this line in the episode: “Where I come from, size, shape or color makes no difference.”

8. December 24: Apollo 8 is the first manned spacecraft to orbit the moon

On Christmas Eve, three astronauts circled the moon 10 times. Jim Lovell, Bill Anders and Frank Borman became the first human beings to travel to the moon.
This 1968 image of the Earth rising over the moon is among the first ever photos of our planet taken by humans from deep space.
This 1968 image of the Earth rising over the moon is among the first ever photos of our planet taken by humans from deep space.

Launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Apollo 8 was a mission of firsts:

-The first photos of Earth taken from deep space by humans, including the now iconic “Earthrise”

-A new rocket speed record of 24,200 mph, a velocity that, according to NASA, was necessary to escape Earth’s gravitational pull

–The first time the lunar surface was broadcast on live television

-The first time humans had traveled to the far side of the moon

The weeklong mission was fueled by a Space Race rivalry with the Soviet Union and the nation’s desire to fulfill President John F. Kennedy’s wishes to land on the moon by decade’s end, a goal accomplished by Apollo 11 seven months later.

As Apollo 8 emerged from the mysterious dark side of the moon before heading back to Earth, a relieved Lovell announced to the world, “Houston, please be informed there is a Santa Claus.”

This amazing and joyous mission was a rare high note in a year filled with historically tragic events. According to “A Man on the Moon,” Andrew Chaikin’s book on the Apollo program, the astronauts received countless telegrams after they returned safely home. But one stuck out from the others.

It said, “You saved 1968.”
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CO2 – Real world v Model world

So, which world do you live in?

The model world, which blames man for huge CO2 emissions?

Or, do you live in the real world, where natural emissions dwarf man’s contribution to atmospheric CO2?

Model world (NASA computer of estimated CO2 emissions):

Global CO2 Model

Real world (Actual satellite observation):

Global CO2 Satellite

Note the massive, natural emissions in the Amazon, tropical Africa and Southeast Asia.

Temperature drives CO2 emissions…the sun and natural variations and cycles drive temperature…both up, and down…

Observation is the key to science…

Salby Response to MC

January 2015 Salby

A Penny For Your Thoughts

There is an old Chinese curse – “May you live in interesting times.”

As I was sitting back and watching the global banking meltdown of 2008, I was reminded of the “interest-ing” riddle/parable of “Joseph’s Penny,” which clearly indicates why the US is now dealing in the trillions of dollars of debt, and, has no way out of complete financial collapse (or the more likely – complete economic reorganization) within the next decade.

The riddle goes like this – If at the time of the birth of Christ, Joseph had invested one penny in a bank, and the bank had given him an annual interest rate return of 5%, how much would be in the account if Jesus returned today to check on the account?

Any idea?

Think big…astronomically big.

By now that solitary penny would have earned $45,087,798,213,371,300,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (US Dollars)…. the equivalent of 196,001,952,916 solid balls of 0.999 gold, each weighing as much as the mass of the planet earth.

Take a moment (or an hour) to fully understand that last sentence – the dollar amount is 45,000 trillion, trillion, trillion dollars or about nearly 200 billion planets of solid .999 gold, the size of the Earth. (calculated at $1195 per ounce – December 21, 2014 price).

Now isn’t that the best example of the magic of compound interest we were all taught in school?

To further stretch your imagination, since the Earth has a width of 8,000 miles, imagine a trail of gold balls stretching 1,568,015,623,329,220 miles out into the universe…that’s a cool 266.73 light years!

This means if you left the Earth now, and traveled at the speed of light, it is now theoretically impossible to travel from here to the end of that trail of gold, since the number of golden planets, and therefore distance, is now increasing faster than the speed of light.

Being a bit of a skeptic, when I first heard the story, I didn’t/couldn’t believe the amounts, so, I prepared an Excel spreadsheet, which confirmed them.

In examining the exponential growth rate of one penny at 5% compounded interest, I noticed that during the first 100 years one cent grew only to $1.25. By 200 AD, it had grown to $164.69. But, by the 300th year, it showed over a 2 million times increase over the original investment of a penny – $21,657.10

It was at that point I finally understood why any monetary system that has an “interest” component attached to it is doomed to eventual collapse. I also immediately understood why many religions consider the charging of interest a damnable sin – Islam, Judaism, and, for centuries, Christianity. That was just before the banking industry was formed and I suspect, church leaders of the day were persuaded they could perhaps increase the wealth of their coffers by simply saying the charging interest is now approved, as long as you include the new slogan – In God We Trust, as is on the back of the US dollar.

Now, instead of a penny collecting interest, imagine millions, and billions and trillions of dollars collecting 5, 10 or 15% interest per year. Just how long do you think it would take for the temples of the money lenders to come tumbling down by themselves, without the helping hand of Jesus? And, just how long has our current economic system been in play? A few hundred years, at best.

Yes, the “den of thieves” is now shaking at its foundations, and, while the baling wire bail-out may have stilled the economic waters for the time being, the global devaluation of the US dollar has now begun in full force.

Some people predict Jesus will return “like a thief in the night.” That makes me kind of wonder if he’s planning on closing out his US banking account. Regardless, one matter you can certainly trust is the interesting mathematics of this penny for your thoughts.

Copyright 2014 Eric Booth

Liberal v Conservative finstats

Liberal v Conservative

RAR Mapping – for Public Hearing

Check to see if your property is going to be regulated by the proposed RAR mapping. Here’s a link to the proposed RAR Mapping of Salt Spring to be considered at the Public Hearing, Tuesday, November 4, 2014 at Lion’s Club, 7:00 PM. – Map 28 Proposed RAR map