Monday, August 31, 2009

4.5 Million Gallons a Day

Over a year ago I posted Your Place or Mine? (4/3/2008) about the open pit Rosemont copper mine that appears to be approaching inevitability. Congressman Grijalva, Congresswoman Giffords, State Rep. Daniel Patterson, Supervisor Ray Carroll, and other elected officials have come out against the mine. Apparently to the consternation of some, Giffords is making a distinction between being against the Rosemont mine for specific reasons and being against mining in general. More on that soon.

Skipping the scenic beauty of the Southern Arizona desert, and in particular, Madera Canyon and the Santa Rita mountains (I have priceless memories), I will focus on water. Of course the experts are clear, but the general discourse in Southern Arizona appears dangerously out of touch with the gravity of its water situation. CAP only provided a temporary upward blip in the shrinking gap between supply and demand. The migration towards the Southwest shows no signs of abating meaning a continued growth in the number of faucets, dishwashers, and toilets, let alone commercial use of water. By the way, notice the trends in climate? How were this summer's monsoons? Remember what they were like in the 80s? Even without a new open pit copper mine at the base of Mt. Wrightson, Southern Arizona faces a huge water challenge.

An open pit copper mine typically consumes 10 to 20 thousand acre feet of water a year. Rosemont claims it will only consume 5 thousand acre feet a year. I doubt this, but even accepting their promise, we're looking at 4.5 million gallons PER DAY. Does Green Valley, Arizona strike you as a place with an extra 4.5 million gallons of water per day?

In terms of what's in the media regarding local elected officials and the Rosemont Mine, Congresswoman Giffords has shown the greatest awareness of the water implications. She raises the issue of water every time the mine is discussed and properly so. I wouldn't argue with Ray Carroll or Raul Grijalva that the mine stinks purely on the grounds of what it would be and where in a rare and precious place. There are not a lot of Madera Canyons. That said, I think environmental appreciation and love of nature will fail to defeat this mine. Those who really wish to keep this project from happening should listen to what Giffords is saying about water, about electricity, about transportation and operational infrastructure, about waste products and contaminants, and what all of this means for the region.

I devoted a lot of my heart and soul to an Arizona copper company. Then an Australian corporation took over. Ignoring the long term, for short term gain they shut the place down. Imagine their concern for the 2600 Arizona workers tossed in the street. Now a Canadian firm wants the copper at the foot of Arizona's tallest mountain south of Flagstaff. How much of the money generated by that copper stays in the region? Sure about that? Bulletproof sure? After ALL of the bills have been paid?

I am bulletproof sure that 4.5 million gallons of water per day won't fall from the sky over Madera Canyon for the next 20 years. Regarding staying in the region, I'm equally certain that the butt ugly hole in the ground won't be going anywhere.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Mariana said...

I am reading "Collapse"-How Societies Choose to Fail Or Succeed -by Jared Diamond. The author talks briefly about the above mentioned Arizona copper company. Worth reading.

8/31/2009 10:14 PM  
Blogger Sirocco said...

Apropos of absolutely nothing in your post, Google's page rank algorithm scores your blog as a 4/10 in terms of their "view of the importance" of your blog page.

The same score is given to the azstarnet home page, which I find very amusing ... it either says good things about the importance of your blog, bad things about the importance of azstarnet, or something of both.

R-Cubed scores a 5/10 by the way, as does Blog For Arizona. EspressoPundit is also a 4/10.

DailyKos scores 8/10. While one might use this to argue your blog has at least half the importance, impact and influence of DailyKos, I suspect the truth is the scale is exponential. :)

9/01/2009 3:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard Rachel Maddow has someone reading x4mr's blog (no kidding). x4mr posted about republicanville at 10:50 am the morning of the day she put it in her show. How do you think Rachel Maddow got wind of that tiny site in Phoenix? You think she read Tony GOPrano's blog? Who would have thought to tell her about something like that?

They have staff that scan the various blogs ranked at BNN, etc., and x4mr's ranks high on a "per post" rating even though his traffic is not very high. Certain blogs get put on a "watch" list for a variety of different reasons. People read Tedski for inside scoop. They read this blog for "something else."

9/01/2009 5:09 PM  
Blogger x4mr said...

Geez, Louise, Anon! No way Maddow's staff has time to read a blog like this. No way.

I was very surprised when Observer commented here that her show covered GOPVille. The surge in traffic apparently proved too much for the equipment hosting the site. They are trying to spin the crash as the result of an attack, which is absurd. They just didn't have the capacity for so many hits.

Yeah, Sirocco (by the way, where have you been?!), the scale has to be logarithmic, like the Richter scale for earthquakes. If Azstarnet has the same rating as this blog, it is in serious trouble. They publish dozens of articles daily with hundreds of comments each on many stories. I put out a couple posts a week that get a few comments each. Their traffic has to be a 1000 times what visits my place.

I think their rating algorithm is flawed.

Oh, Anon, cute reference to SE.

9/01/2009 6:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post is smarter than it appears.

The Augusta company will reap the bulk of the profits. There will be payroll to a handful of low level Arizona workers (Canadians will get the management jobs) and some taxes, but the sweet stuff flows to Canada. What x4mr hints at is exactly right. The people of Southern Arizona will end up subsidizing the water, roads, etc., to support this mine, as well as whatever clean up has to occur after they've had their way with us.

9/01/2009 8:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about starting a string about the craziness that the right wing is promulgating about Obama now?
Or is it just too depressing?

9/07/2009 7:30 PM  

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