Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Capital costs, desalination, understanding hydrology

Might not sound like interesting stuff, but the above is what I found interesting from today's February 15 meeting. Planned sales of recycled water will not recover the capital costs of building the water treatment facility. This might not be totally unusual in the world of water, but I think it makes it difficult to compare costs of various options - should we invest in recycled water versus invest in conservation, say - if we don't account for all costs. Also, I understand that water retailers want to tap into and sell recycled water. I'd be concerned if, among other things, they got the water at prices that didn't cover capital costs. We'll find out.

Desalination has been treated as a subset of recycled water. It does use similar technology, but everything else about it is different (and worse). I'd like to see it separated out from recycling. There's the interesting issue of whether cancellation of it might damager relations with partner agencies, but I also wonder if there are people in those partner agencies that have the same concern that I'm expressing.

There are apparently some water rights issues related to water recycling. Not sure I understand that yet.

Finally, I would like to better understand how flood analysis is done. I think that might help understand natural flood control and how climate change effects on snow line might affect flooding. I'd also be interested in seeing predictive uses of flooding models.


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