Sunday, January 08, 2012

TEDxPittsburgh - Don Carter - 2.4 Million

I will likely be back with some more to say about this thought provoking video. Although, he touches on some great points, I'm perhaps a little less sure, The Sun Belt will become the "Drought Belt". A huge amount of western water is used/wasted by agriculture. Even so, water is a huge asset here.

"Overall, agriculture accounts for 83 percent of all water used in California. It's true that California grows the majority of America's fruits and vegetables, so liberal use of water by its agricultural sector would not be unexpected. However, few people would suspect that growing feed for cattle is the predominant agricultural use of water in California. In 1997, 1.7 million acres of the state were planted to alfalfa alone. Irrigated pasture and hayfields consume more water than any other single crop in California - more than a third of all irrigation water. Together, alfalfa and hay and pasturage account for approximately half of all water used in the state.

The story is similar in other western states. In Colorado, some 25 percent of all water consumed goes to alfalfa crops. 2 In Montana, agriculture takes 97 percent of all water used in the state, and just about the only irrigated crop there is hay and pasture forage; more than 5 million acres in the state are irrigated hay meadows. 3 In Nevada - the most arid state in the country - domestic water use amounted to 9.8 million gallons a day in 1993. By contrast, agriculture used 2.8 billion gallons of water per day. 4 Altogether, agriculture uses 83 percent of Nevada's water 5 - and the major crop is hay for cattle fodder. In Nevada, while cow pastures are flood irrigated, wetlands at wildlife refuges and the state's rivers often go bone-dry."

Water, however is just one of a host of resources wasted in by current patterns in the Sun Belt. Most people also don't realise how vital access to water for manufacturers.

He downplays many of the other assets in the region like our colleges, which are not close to being fully exploited. The term "Tech Belt" seems limiting, but I wouldn't mind the term "Knowledge Belt".

Check it out and share your thoughts. All predictions should be taken with a huge grain of salt. How many people thought a few years ago there would be a natural gas energy boom around here now?

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