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Author Topic: Thoughts regarding WY and water out west  (Read 9380 times)

RidleyReport

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Thoughts regarding WY and water out west
« on: January 15, 2003, 05:55:03 pm »

Wyoming's primary drawback is, apparently, low wages and limited job market.

This being the case, I'd like to know...*why* that drawback exists.

Is it because of a presumably rural oasis economy?  Insufficent size of cities and population?  And does this mean that Wyoming is perhaps a state that would economically benefit more than others from a sigificant influx of people?

Also, someone on the Free Republic thread about us posted that most of the Western states under consideration are near their population limits becuase of chronic water shortage.  Is this true, and if so would 20K incoming residents cause problems in that regard?

 
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Solitar

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Re:Thoughts regarding WY and water out west
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2003, 06:40:07 pm »

The west is short of residential use water because
1) The residential users are not willing to pay enough for it
2) The residential users consume, as in evaporative or transpirative loss, a lot more than they "need" too because they want lawns of Kentucky bluegrass (or similar water intensive turf)
3) Most of the water is going to agricultural uses which are wastefully profligate with their water.

Having reviewed water usage inthe west and the abiltity to conserve, efficiently use, and recycle (The Denver Water Reuse facility as a pilot operation), a western state like Wyoming could support several million people IF they were careful with their consumptive water use.
(and they don't even have to go to the extremes of a "Fremen Stillsuit".
Go figure just how much water a home and family of four really need to "consume".

Then go look at some websites
http://waterplan.state.wy.us/basins/platte/issues.html
http://wwdc.state.wy.us/watsys/2000/raterept.html

As to jobs, again I refer the readers of yet another thread to go read the contributions in a forum section devoted to businesses and jobs in the Free State
http://forum.freestateproject.org/index.php?board=22
and specifically
http://forum.freestateproject.org/index.php?board=22;action=display;threadid=978
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JasonPSorens

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Re:Thoughts regarding WY and water out west
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2003, 08:50:20 pm »

Joe - telling Dada to look at threads urging Free Staters to bring jobs with them doesn't do much to answer his empirical question about why Wyoming doesn't have a lot of jobs. ;)  As to that, part of it is just population: its population is low, so its job creation is low.  But if you create a regression line of jobs vs population, some states are below the line and some are above.  Wyoming is below the line, indicating that it has fewer jobs than its population would indicate.  Not terribly far below the line, though.  Reasons for this probably have to do with its continental geography.  It doesn't have any cities strategically located along waterways.  All the large cities of the U.S. developed because of their location on water: New York, Boston, Houston, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, etc.  Its terrain and climate make it unsuitable for intensive agriculture and better suited to livestock farming, which requires a lot of land.  Many of its human resources are concentrated in natural-resource industries, which economists argue does not promote the same "learning-by-doing" that manufacturing-based economies have ("the Dutch disease").  None of this is to say that Wyoming's economy could not be turned around with a favorable policy environment, innovative ideas, and hard work.

I wouldn't worry terribly much about the water issue.  Nevada is a desert state and has four times the population of Wyoming, and is predicted to reach 10 times Wyoming's population by 2025.
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Zxcv

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Re:Thoughts regarding WY and water out west
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2003, 10:11:55 pm »

The only caveat about water that I can think of, is that being limited, it becomes an avenue for government control (i.e., government mandates to buy politically-correct toilets and the like). That and government confiscation of land to make way for dammed lakes and other resources.

Of course they could simply raise the price of water and that would take care of the problem, but they rarely do it that way, for some reason.  ::)

Of course water is utility-supplied, so it is hard to fix the correct price for it, and people tend not to trust the price is correct - they think they are getting screwed - when the price is set via political rather than market processes. That's another issue.

That's for municipal supplies. For people who get their water from wells, there is the further issue with water tables going down, a "tragedy of the commons" situation.

Then there are stream-based and well-based water rights, often far in excess of resource capacity.

I'm not saying we can't get by without a lot less water, but it can be a difficult issue to deal with. It's not the sort of thing that should have any effect on our decision, though.
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Robert H.

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Re:Thoughts regarding WY and water out west
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2003, 05:01:20 am »

And does this mean that Wyoming is perhaps a state that would economically benefit more than others from a sigificant influx of people?

Joe addressed the water issue well, and as for the employment issue, I tend to think of it like this:

It seems that Wyoming is indeed a state where we could make a significant economic contribution, and by doing so perhaps offset some elements of our presence that might otherwise raise alarm.  I'm sure that we'll be the cause of a bit of concern at the very least, until we've proven ourselves that is.  Some, for example, will undoubtedly be expecting us to gather around Devil's Tower and wait for Spielberg's aliens to drop by and beam us up.   ;D

Despite concerns about its current economic opportunities, Wyoming boasts an important strength for us to consider in regard to our general plan and timeline of operation.  It's been called "the fallback state," the one we go to if nothing else works out better.  And why might things not work out elsewhere?  

Consider a scenario in which we choose one of the higher population states, one where all 20,000 would definitely be needed (as currently calculated by the FSP) for us to make any appreciable dent in the statist infrastructure at all.  We would not actually want to move to such a state unless we were reasonably certain that we were going to draw the expected membership numbers with us.  And if we didn't draw the expected numbers, we'd end up falling back to a state where we would be more likely to succeed with fewer numbers.

Wyoming's advantage is that, if we choose it as the FSP's state, members can start moving immediately, and with confidence that others will follow.  There will be no other "fallback states."  This will give us a two-fold benefit in the areas of economic and community opportunities:

The "first wave" of migrating porcupines will be able to begin establishing business and community in-roads that will prove essential to those following in subsequent waves, and it will allow us to ease ourselves into our new communities very gradually.  We're far less likely to set off a local backlash if we come in slowly, humbly, and demonstrating that we're capable of contributing to the community and bringing in others who will also contribute without becoming a burden on resources.

There will be 5,000 or fewer of us at that point, likely fewer, and those who move first will be the more independent types: the ones who are best able to establish businesses and make the necessary in-roads for others to follow.  So, in regard to Wyoming, I wouldn't think of it in terms of having to merge 20,000 new residents into the state's current social and economic climates.  With this state, we can start the migration as soon as the vote is decided, with fewer demands to make in order to support our presence, and with greater immediate benefits resulting from our presence.

anarchicluv

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Re:Thoughts regarding WY and water out west
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2003, 09:32:43 pm »

In regards to the water issue, I hope to be building an Earthship in the Free State which incorporates a catchwater system.  Here's just a brief bit from the website:

Earthships catch, distribute and treat water for consumption, cleaning, landscaping and waste removal.

We live in a time when many parts of our planet are experiencing water shortages. The volume of water on this planet is finite while human population increases. As we gauge the depletion of our aquifers and the increase in population, we are able to predict serious water shortages in the near future.

We must begin now... learning to harvest water in each individual home. We must use this water many times before putting it back into the earth. When we do put it back, it must be in a form that works with existing nurturing forces and phenomena of the earth.

The Earthship Water System catches water from the sky (rain & snowmelt) and uses it four times. This water that is caught from the sky is called catchwater.


I'm sure systems such as this could be incorporated into traditional structures with a little creative thinking.  Check out www.earthship.org for more info on them if you're interested.

Jeremy  
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mtPete

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Re:Thoughts regarding WY and water out west
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2003, 01:59:54 am »

WY is a somewhat arid place. Now I'm not real familier with the specifics of water in WY. But I'll almost garentee WY has more water to go around than a state like Cali. (with the possible exception of drought years)
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exitus

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Re:Thoughts regarding WY and water out west
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2003, 11:11:05 am »

From the The Rexburg Standard Journal & The Fremont County Herald-Chronicle [An Idaho Newspaper and a Wyoming newspaper owned by Pioneer Newspaper publications, sharing the same website], it looks like Wyoming is far-and-away a net 'exporter' of water.


Water surplus expected for Snake River drainage  1/03/03
"Barry Lawrence, a river basin planner for the Water Development Commission, said other states, such as Utah, are already lining up to use Wyoming's water."

From a book entitled, "Wyoming" (more about the series of books about the states on the "Discover The States" thread), it says that Wyoming has a disproportionately large number of anglers in Wyoming.  Demonstrating how WY must have a lot of good fishing streams near population centers for this to be so.
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freedomroad

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Re:Thoughts regarding WY and water out west
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2003, 01:53:21 pm »

From the The Rexburg Standard Journal & The Fremont County Herald-Chronicle [An Idaho Newspaper and a Wyoming newspaper owned by Pioneer Newspaper publications, sharing the same website], it looks like Wyoming is far-and-away a net 'exporter' of water.


Water surplus expected for Snake River drainage  1/03/03
"Barry Lawrence, a river basin planner for the Water Development Commission, said other states, such as Utah, are already lining up to use Wyoming's water."

From a book entitled, "Wyoming" (more about the series of books about the states on the "Discover The States" thread), it says that Wyoming has a disproportionately large number of anglers in Wyoming.  Demonstrating how WY must have a lot of good fishing streams near population centers for this to be so.

Wyoming is a net exporter of water.  Wyoming has tons of mountains and some of them get lots of snow.  The snow melts and that forms most of the many rivers in Wyoming.  Wyoming has lots of extra water.  

Also, Wyoming is nationally know for having some of the best, if not the best fishing in the lower 48.  Wyoming's fishes are many and large.  That is why Wyoming has so many anglers.  
« Last Edit: May 03, 2003, 11:10:24 pm by FreedomRoad »
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freedomroad

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Re:Thoughts regarding WY and water out west
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2003, 11:18:41 pm »

Quote
May 3, 5:09 AM (ET)
By SETH HETTENA
(AP) The Bellagio Resort on the Las Vegas Strip, with its 8-acre lake and water show, is shown in this...
Full Image
......
The department said a lesser, but still "substantial" possibility of water wars exists in other Western cities, including Los Angeles, Sacramento, Calif., San Diego, Phoenix and San Antonio. A third level of cities had a "moderate" chance of future conflict, including Seattle; Dallas; Casper, Wyo.; Boise, Idaho and Salem, Ore.

It should be pointed out, that even if this study is mostly meaningless, Boise, ID is also on the list.  That is a much more important point than Casper, WY being on the list.

Around 1/3 of Idaho's population lives near Boise while only around only 1/9 of Wyoming's population lives near Casper.  They both get around the same amount of rain but Casper gets much more snow.  If these 'EARTHSHIPS' as talked about in this thread, do work, than Casper should have no problems.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2003, 12:08:56 am by FreedomRoad »
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vepope

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Re:Thoughts regarding WY and water out west
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2003, 08:32:32 pm »

All of which leads back to the last sentence of my original post - that we don't want to get derailed by Federal Regulation on our water sources after putting the time and effort into getting the political process straightened out for the FS.  Wherever we land, we want to be certain of being able to REDUCE the influence of the FED there, not leave a door open for them to INCREASE it.
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BobW

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Re:Thoughts regarding WY and water out west
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2003, 12:21:30 pm »

Hi Joe,

Ref the FAQ on Western Water Law;

I loved para 3 under "Rainwater Harvesting";

"...and some of the streams have been over-appropriated,...".

Wild, wild, wild !!!

I'm sure the Colorado State Engineer's Office is apolitical.

Your post with links made my day !!!

BobW
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robmayn

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Re:Thoughts regarding WY and water out west
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2003, 12:21:37 pm »

The only caveat about water that I can think of, is that being limited, it becomes an avenue for government control (i.e., government mandates to buy politically-correct toilets and the like).

It already has.  Wyoming's constitution clearly states that water is state property.  The more I look at their constitution, the more reservations I have.
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mactruk

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Re:Thoughts regarding WY and water out west
« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2003, 07:51:39 pm »

  Most states say they own the water.  There was a quote from a Wyoming weather expert in the Billings paper two weeks ago that stated (an expert (spurt)) if we allow WY to drill for more meth gas the amount of water they would have to pump to the surface would cause more severe thunder storms - and wildfires would be more frequent...   so I guess there is a lot of water in WY - enough to alter the weather patterns according to our gov?
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Xylenz

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Alaska has plenty of water!
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2003, 11:24:36 am »

Another reason why Alaska will be my first choice. (no, I dont live there.)
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