California Drought (and Flood) Update for August 24, 20174

California Drought (and Flood) Update for August 24, 20174

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

                                                                  Preamble to the Constitution of the United States

A Note To Readers

An economy is not a collection of the activities of businesses and individuals; it is not about buying and selling; it is not about money profits and losses; and it is definitely not about how high the Dow Jones went today.

An economy must be an expression of the mission of the nation. Such a mission is best expressed by the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution, which is our quote for the week, above.

America’s best Presidents understood that and attempted to fulfill that mission during their term of leadership. Leaving unsaid for now the short list of such leaders, perhaps just a few words from President John Kennedy will communicate the idea:

John F. Kennedy Moon Speech – Rice Stadium

September 12, 1962

Those who came before us made certain that this country rode the first waves of the industrial revolutions, the first waves of modern invention, and the first wave of nuclear power, and this generation does not intend to founder in the backwash of the coming age of space. We mean to be a part of it–we mean to lead it. For the eyes of the world now look into space, to the moon and to the planets beyond, and we have vowed that we shall not see it governed by a hostile flag of conquest, but by a banner of freedom and peace. We have vowed that we shall not see space filled with weapons of mass destruction, but with instruments of knowledge and understanding.

We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

The growth of our science and education will be enriched by new knowledge of our universe and environment, by new techniques of learning and mapping and observation, by new tools and computers for industry, medicine, the home as well as the school. Technical institutions, such as Rice, will reap the harvest of these gains.

But if I were to say, my fellow citizens, that we shall send to the moon, 240,000 miles away from the control station in Houston, a giant rocket more than 300 feet tall, the length of this football field, made of new metal alloys, some of which have not yet been invented, capable of standing heat and stresses several times more than have ever been experienced, fitted together with a precision better than the finest watch, carrying all the equipment needed for propulsion, guidance, control, communications, food and survival, on an untried mission, to an unknown celestial body, and then return it safely to earth, re-entering the atmosphere at speeds of over 25,000 miles per hour, causing heat about half that of the temperature of the sun–almost as hot as it is here today–and do all this, and do it right, and do it first before this decade is out–then we must be bold.

This Week’s Report

The drought, that was the genesis of these weekly reports, continues to be no longer with us, and the reservoirs, for the most part, remain full, and generally above the normal levels for this time of year.

The Oroville Dam update includes three new videos from the construction site and a progress report, that optimistically announces that construction is on schedule for completion of this year’s goal. This section concludes with a report on the City of Oroville’s complaints to the the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, criticizing how the Department of Water Resources operates Oroville Dam and demanding a host of changes.

As reported last week, the excitement and expectations are building as decisions are nearing for the governor’s commission to pick which water storage projects will be chosen to be granted some of the 2104 bond funds. Though the final decisions may be as much as another year into the future, and completed construction of the projects may be a decade away, one cannot find fault with the enthusiasm being expressed that for the first time in more than 40 years something actually might get built.

California farms produce a lot of food” is the title of the next section of our report, reminding us all that solving, long-term, the state’s water problems means producing a hell of a lot of food, or not producing so much.

Our report concludes with the more on infrastructure and the credit system required to build it.

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