Energy and sustainability – Dr. Michael Dettinger is a research hydrologist for the U.S. Geological Survey, Branch of Western Regional Research, and a research associate of the Climate, Atmospheric Sciences, and Physical Oceanography Division at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California.
Dettinger was a speaker at Toyota’s sustainable mobility conference in La Jolla, CA.
Dettinger gave me statistics that were new and staggering, “40% of California’s water is used to create electricity. 40% of electricity is used to create water”.
It’s those types of figures that make you realize that not only are our resources limited, but they are dependent on each other to survive, and for us to survive.
The San Joaquin Valley is home to many farmers. Water is a necessity for plants to grow. In order to get that water, it has to be pumped onto the fields for irrigation. A slide that Dettinger showed us said that 90% of the electricity used by farmers is for pumping groundwater.
As we look at electricity to energize the cars we need to realize that we will need more electricity for that to happen. Instead of just looking at increasing electricity, perhaps we should also look at ways to reduce electricity demands by reducing water demands.
I’m not advocating reducing growing agriculture in California, rather the way we water the plants. It is being looked at as water and electricity become scarcer commodities.