Friday, September 11, 2015

Heard of these - DIY glaciers

A retired civil engineer in Ladakh is detaining flowing water in high-elevation shaded areas in winter to create "glaciers" (really ice fields - these things aren't moving). He has nine glaciers going so far, storing water that melts much later in the summer than the snow, providing water when it's most desperately needed.

I've heard of examples like this (more are discussed in the article) and it may be something we'll want to copy here in California. "Guzzlers" are common at lower elevations to provide water to wildlife - I have doubts about their wisdom in most circumstances, but it's an example of dispersed manipulation of water systems. I could imagine installing cheap stream diversions on mountainsides that move some flowing water to from southern to northern exposures and spread it out to freeze. This might support a more natural hydrograph than one without adaptation to climate change.

Not certain it's a good idea, but maybe worth considering.

In other news, a very nice salute from Jonathan Zasloff, "Requiem for a Bottom Feeder" about the retirement of Don Shoup, the land use planning academic who wrote The High Cost of Free Parking. Shoup decided to focus on the lowest prestige/least-researched issue in his field, zoning regulations, and ended up doing great things because of it. Quite a contrast to the tiny handful of mediocre academics who decided to reach out for prestige that's eluded them by refuting the entire field of climate science.