California drought (and my respect to Danny D, who is trying to help)

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http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/03/us/california-drought-tulare-county.html?_r=0
Calif has major risk of forest fires. Hope Danny D and everyone out there is OK.
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With Dry Taps and Toilets, California Drought Turns Desperate
OCT. 2, 2014
PORTERVILLE, Calif. — After a nine-hour day working at a citrus packing plant, there is nothing Angelica Gallegos wants more than a hot shower.
But she has not had running water for more than five months — nor is there any tap water in her near future — because of a punishing and relentless drought in California.
residents cannot flush a toilet, fill a drinking glass, wash dishes or clothes, or even rinse their hands without reaching for a bottle or bucket.
“Everything has changed,” said Yolanda Serrato, 54, who has spent most of her life here. Ms. Serrato warned her three children that they should cut down on long showers, but they rebuffed her. “They kept saying, ‘No, no, Mama, you’re just too negative,’
Then the sink started to sputter. The sole neighbor with a working well allows them to hook up to his water at night, saving them from having to use buckets to flush toilets in the middle of the night. On a recent morning, there was still a bit of the neighbor’s well water left, trickling out the kitchen faucet, taking over 10 minutes to fill two three-quart pots.
Because the land is unincorporated, it is not part of a municipal water system, and connecting to one would be prohibitively expensive.
The Gallegos family’s drinking water comes only from bottles, mostly received through donations but some times bought at the gas station. For bathing, doing dishes and flushing toilets, the family relies on buckets filled with water from a tank set in the front lawn, which Mr. Gallegos replenishes every other day at the county fire station. Often, the water runs out before he returns home from his job as a mechanic, forcing Ms. Gallegos to wait for hours before she can clean.
The family has spent hundreds of dollars to wash their clothes at the laundromat and on paper goods to avoid washing dishes. Ms. Gallegos recently told her 10-year-old daughter that there was no money left to pay for her after-school cheer leading club.
The local high school now allows students to arrive early and shower there. Parents often keep their children home from school if they have not bathed, worried that they could lose custody if the authorities deem the students too dirty, a rumor that county officials have tried to dismiss.
Mothers who normally take pride in their cooking now rely on canned and fast food, because washing vegetables uses too much water.
For months, families called county and state officials asking what they should do when their water ran out, only to be told that there was no public agency that could help them.
State officials say that at least 700 households have no access to running water. Tulare County, just south of Fresno, recently began aggressively tracking homes without running water, delivering bottles to hundreds of homes and offering applications for biweekly water deliveries. In August, the county placed a 5,000-gallon tank of water in front of a fire station on Lake Success Road, and plans to add a second soon. A sign in English and Spanish declares, “Do not use for drinking,” but officials suspect that many do.
“We will give people water as long as we have it, but the truth is, we don’t really know how long that will be.”
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On 10/6/2014 10:16 AM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

In about 1989 or so, some people I knew moved into a home with awful well water. They tried to get the kids (teen girls) to fill jugs at school, tried to get the grand mother to bring jugs. Even Mom went out and put the jugs on the car front seat. Tried to get Dad to fill jugs at work. And Mom ended up buying bottle jugs at the store, for retail.
One person, me, brought typically two or three jugs of water a day, consistently, for a year or more. Danny D and I are cut from the same cloth, I suspect.
. Christopher A. Young Learn about Jesus www.lds.org .
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Stormin Mormon wrote, on Mon, 06 Oct 2014 10:28:15 -0400:

We're all trying to pitch in so that the neighbors without water have water.
Here's the equipment necessary:
1. A truck (Ford F350)
https://c4.staticflickr.com/4/3947/15615817816_f68ae0c59d_b.jpg
2. A hydrant meter & two 1,000 liter food-grade water containers:
https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5598/15636850541_87e81eee7d_b.jpg
3. A bit of special plumbing to hook up everything to the fire hose:
https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5599/15640368072_94c598b978_b.jpg
4. A pump to pump from the truck over to the water tanks:
https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5605/15636851061_48817016b1_b.jpg
5. About a hundred feet of fire hose, in two separate sections:
https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5597/15019358353_9488769718_b.jpg
6. Water:
https://c4.staticflickr.com/4/3945/15019358513_9b75fd8a94_b.jpg
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On 10/27/2014 3:56 AM, Danny D. wrote:

How long does a round trip run take? And how many runs a week are needed to keep the basic needs supplied? I think you mentioned being 5 miles or so from water. And of course, off loading must take a while, even with a pump.
Is this how you planned to spend your retirement golden years? Are there more than one driver who is safe enough to take the route? Can you go with someone and chat while driving?
From my school days, a liter weighs a kilogram. and a KG is 2.2 pounds, about that. So each load puts "about" 4,400 pounds on that truck, or (at 2,000 pounds per ton) 2.2 tons. Is it a one ton chassis? I can imagine 3.3 tons might be too much.
Do you roll gently up hill in lower gear? How much gas or diesel per run? Is the vehicle gas or diesel?
If that wears your truck, you might be better off to rent Uhaul, and not tell them the purpose of the rental.
- . Christopher A. Young Learn about Jesus www.lds.org .
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On 10/27/2014 12:56 AM, Danny D. wrote:

Hi Danny,
Do the neighbors have water tanks and their wells just ran dry? I am just curious how they are storing the water you deliver.
Also, where do you get the water from? Your own well?
-T
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On Mon, 27 Oct 2014 07:56:13 +0000 (UTC), "Danny D."

Is that truck with the two 1k liter tanks owned by an individual home owner, or by some enterprising soul starting a water delivery service?
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Stormin Mormon wrote, on Mon, 27 Oct 2014 07:28:02 -0400:

Each drive just a few miles of hilly windy one-lane roads takes about a half hour to forty five minutes. The setup at the hydrant takes about 15 minutes, and the filling of each 1,000 gallon container about 10 minutes. Then it takes another 15 minutes of setup at the home, and then a longer period to empty it, about 15 minutes. And then there's the breakdown, and inevitable beer breaks. So, it takes a while.
https://c4.staticflickr.com/4/3949/15636851501_6015a60c52_b.jpg

A lot more than you'd think.

It certainly takes longer to empty than it does to fill. But, this pump helps a lot!
https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5605/15636851061_48817016b1_b.jpg

Everyone pitches in. I don't have the truck, the pump, the hoses, nor the container, so, my role was mostly scoping out the options (which you guys helped with a few months ago).

Yeah. The engine could handle the 3,000 liters but the suspension was not handling it at all, so, 2,000 liters is the max.
https://c4.staticflickr.com/4/3935/15640367862_70422c743e_b.jpg

It's a Ford F350. Dunno how much gas, though, but, the driver makes a lot of jokes about it, so, I think it's a decent amount.
https://c4.staticflickr.com/4/3947/15615817816_f68ae0c59d_b.jpg

We did go through all those options together a while back. The water itself is nearly free (a handful of bucks); it's the transportation which is costly.
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On 10/27/2014 11:09 AM, Danny D. wrote:

You know, that's the kind of project I'd jump in and help out, if I were closer there. NYS has its share of troubles, and I've got some to keep me busy here. I'm glad that someone does this kind of work where it is needed.
- . Christopher A. Young Learn about Jesus www.lds.org .
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CRNG wrote, on Mon, 27 Oct 2014 08:27:16 -0500:

It's a homeowner who owns a business who bought the equipment and lends us the truck. Dunno if he will also do side delivery or not.
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On Mon, 27 Oct 2014 15:09:42 +0000 (UTC), "Danny D."

The truck carries 2000 liters ~= 500 gals.
People use about 50 gal/day/person _in-house_ for washing, etc. That's under normal conditions. In a drought like this I would guess about 30 gal/day/person would be more typical.
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and having to visit 10 different news stands to pickup each one.
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CRNG wrote, on Mon, 27 Oct 2014 12:58:43 -0500:

Yeah, it's not all that much, but it's all the truck would carry. I don't know what a Ford F350 is rated to handle but that's about two tons of weight in water.
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On 10/27/2014 7:18 PM, Danny D. wrote:

That truck's not fat, it's all water weight.
I'm guessing it's a "one ton" truck.
- . Christopher A. Young Learn about Jesus www.lds.org .
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Todd wrote, on Mon, 27 Oct 2014 11:33:06 -0700:

Everyone has water tanks of various shapes and sizes. Most are upwards of 10,000 gallons but the sizes vary.
Neighbor 1:
https://c3.staticflickr.com/3/2901/14361159269_f90375bc3d_b.jpg
Neighbor 2:
https://c4.staticflickr.com/4/3879/14394466730_ae3a8b91b8.jpg
Neighbor 3:
https://c3.staticflickr.com/3/2932/14558061386_72ee0ae293.jpg
Neighbor 4:
https://c4.staticflickr.com/4/3890/14394467060_72af927f95_b.jpg
etc.

From the nearest fire hydrant (which is miles away).
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On 10/27/2014 04:22 PM, Danny D. wrote:

That explains it.
Did the rain last week help at all?

Make sure you turn it off and on SLOWLY. The fireman out these parts whip it on and off with reckless abandon when they are training. Pisses the water department off as it loosens all the junk in the pipes and it makes for weird water for everyone on the pipe. Kind of funny, unless its gets all over you in the shower!
:-)
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Todd wrote, on Mon, 27 Oct 2014 16:51:18 -0700:

It was a half inch, so, every little bit helps. http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_25046661/california-drought-biggest-rainfall-2014-soaks-bay-area
We all romped outside as if it was snowing, so happy that we have seen rain, for the first time, really, since the winter!
Even the rattlesnakes, apparently, went romping in the rain:
https://c4.staticflickr.com/4/3944/15643873901_bb062a7409_b.jpg
They had forecast, way back in May, that the *next* rain would be Halloween, so, luckily, we got the first good rain of the season a bit early.
However, the early rain made our suspended treehouse decking a bit slippery, since there are no railings yet ...
https://c4.staticflickr.com/4/3953/15460990220_5b1f28763d_b.jpg
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On 10/27/2014 06:00 PM, Danny D. wrote:

Noticed the dog wouldn't go out on the desk with you. It may be a bad omen
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Todd wrote, on Mon, 27 Oct 2014 18:04:59 -0700:

I had not noticed that, but, the dog has never even stepped onto the deck. He's with us all the time, though. But, he just watches with that smug look on his face.
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Stormin Mormon wrote, on Tue, 28 Oct 2014 07:41:18 -0400:

It is nice that a lot of people are helping out. I have been working on the fence clearing through the chaparral and the treehouse mostly, and not on the water as much lately.
I was originally involved with the water in order to scope out our options, which then turned into other people sourcing the necessary ingredients, which are:
1. Water (this is the easiest part, since we get it from any hydrant) 2. Meter (this is also easy, as the SJWC rents it to us monthly) 3. Hoses (one neighbor bought all the necessary hose & fitting) 4. Tank (the same neighbor bought the 1,000 liter food containers) 5. Pump (that same neighbor bought the water pump) 6. Truck (his company Ford F350 flatbed is sporadically available) 7. Time (it takes a couple of hours for every 2,000 liter run)
A major problem is that the truck is a company truck, which, for reasons I am not privy to, must only be operated by company personnel (probably insurance and legal though), so, the truck isn't as available as some would like. So far, on every trip, there were two employees on the entire run, so, that's gotta cost the most, other than the costs of operation of the truck itself.
But, it's what we came up with, after that long thread on how to transport water a few miles up a hill, thanks to you guys.
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On 10/28/2014 12:07 PM, Danny D. wrote:

During my water hauling days, I was able to move a bit of water a little at a time. Do you fill five gal jugs and put in your personal car, in addn to the truck and tanks?
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Stormin Mormon wrote, on Wed, 29 Oct 2014 08:55:14 -0400:

I do fill 5-gallon jugs, at 50 gallons at a time, so that the wife never has to visit a gas station ever again (her idea).
https://c4.staticflickr.com/4/3892/15027374048_f47df1c083_b.jpg
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