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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013

    New Utah NSA center requires 1.7M gallons of water daily to operate

    New Utah NSA center requires 1.7M gallons of water daily to operate

    By Andrew Adams
    July 12th, 2013 @ 8:12pm

    This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or super-ceded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

    video at link below

    More secrets, more water? The NSA data center in Bluffdale could require as many as 1.7 million gallons of water per day to operate and keep computers cool.
    Initial reported estimates suggested the center would use 1,200 gallons per minute, but more recent estimates suggest the usage could be closer to half that amount.
    "Our planning is anywhere from 1,000 acre-feet per year to 2,000 acre-feet per year, and that represents - if it was 1,000 acre-feet per year, that would be about 1 percent of our total demand," said Jordan Valley River Conservancy District assistant general manager and chief engineer Alan Packard.
    Packard said that amount of water - while large - could be easily accommodated and was on par with industrial operations such as soft drink bottling plants.
    "At build-out, it will be several years before the data center uses that amount of water, so we have the opportunity to prepare for that through both conservation and developing new supplies," Packard said.
    Packard said the district was actively working to develop the new supplies - including those at the Southwest Groundwater Project, the Central Utah Project and additional groundwater development in the Salt Lake valley.
    "It's no more than we were already planning," Packard said. "Our normal activities are designed to accommodate this kind of demand on our system."
    Bluffdale City manager Mark Reid described the NSA project and the new water and electrical infrastructure around it as a significant benefit to the city.
    At build-out, it will be several years before the data center uses that amount of water, so we have the opportunity to prepare for that through both conservation and developing new supplies,
    –Alan Packard, Jordan Valley River Conservancy District assistant general manager and chief engineer

    Reid said Bluffdale otherwise wouldn't have had the resources to improve the land all the way to the south end of the city limits. Instead, the government funded $7 million in infrastructure to the data center, and an additional $5 million in infrastructure back from the site that will allow a third of the water used at the facility to be recycled.
    The water would be used at the city park and on some of the city's lawns, Reid said.
    Reid said the city was now pursuing other technology business to relocate to the south end of Bluffdale.
    "We're looking to try and combine with Salt Lake County to make that a jobs area," Reid said.
    Upon hearing the initial estimates of the NSA center's water use, some residents were skeptical.
    "We live in a desert and so it seems like an excess," said Barbara Ericksmoen. "Am I concerned about it? On the fence."
    Terry Keddington said he didn't see a problem with the water use or the growth.
    "Compared to what it was when I moved out here 30 years ago, it's just grow, grow, grow," Keddington said. "It doesn't surprise me that it's going to grow a little bit more."

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Heart of Dixie
    Crops or spying?

    Looks like the government is more interesting in spying and control rather the welfare of the people. JMO

    Feds again declare drought disaster in Utah
    Agriculture » All 29 counties are at risk or declared disaster area.
    By Dawn House
    | The Salt Lake Tribune

    Updated Aug 12 2013

    All Utah counties have been declared drought stricken for the second year as farmers and ranchers battle parched ranges and damaged crops.

    And if 60 years of record keeping hold true, extremely dry weather likely will plague the West for the next decade.

    The feds have declared all 29 counties at risk or disaster areas.

    At risk:
    Disaster areas:
    Box Elder
    Salt Lake
    San Juan
    Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture

    "In two or three years, we could be heading into another wet period, however brief," said Shih-Yu "Simon" Wang, assistant director at the Utah Climate Center. "But we’re still in the trough of the drought cycle."

    Climatologists are not optimistic, even though 43 percent of the state is experiencing severe to extreme drought, compared to nearly 73 percent last year. Nature dealt blessings and disasters last year, when welcoming rains filled reservoirs — but damaged alfalfa, the state’s No. 1 cash crop.

    Now, farmers and ranchers are bracing for even worse conditions because reservoirs are much lower, leading to less irrigation water for crops and feed next spring, driving prices higher.

    "The lack of water is our No. 1 concern, and I’m fearful it could get worse," said Arthur Douglas, executive director of Utah’s Farm Service Agency. "No part of the state or the West is escaping this."

    Leland Hogan, president of the Utah Farm Bureau and a Tooele County rancher, said the drought is much worse this year for growers and ranchers.
    "Some people have run out of water as early as June," he said. "Anyone who relies on surface water from reservoirs or streams is in tough shape. They’ve had to cut back on what they can grow. The high ranges (for grazing) were not too bad early on but there hasn’t been any rain to keep the regrowth coming."

    Longtime drought conditions have pushed Utah counties considered vulnerable or at risk last year into full-fledged disaster areas.

    Twenty-five Utah counties are deemed disaster areas, compared to 16 counties last year. Now, nine at-risk counties have fallen into disaster status, including Beaver, Davis, Garfield, Iron, Kane, Piute, Salt Lake, Wayne and Weber.

    Only Cache, Morgan, Rich and Wasatch counties are considered vulnerable, but they’re so stressed that they also are eligible for low-cost loans and other relief. This includes $16 million in federal financial and technical assistance to help crop and livestock producers cope with drought and another $14 million that can be used to help move water to livestock and providing emergency forage.

    The monsoon season, which began in July, has brought some respite.

    Rains improved perennial grasses on rangelands in Sevier County, although annual grasses are poor quality, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s August report.

    The rains came too late for San Juan County grower Blaine Nebeker, who compares his current crop to last year’s disastrous harvest.

    "We started getting some rain about two weeks ago and it’s feeling good," Nebeker said. "But it’s too late for our wheat and safflower crops, which will be half of what it was last year, and that wasn’t a good year, either. We’re hoping for some snowpack so we can get some moisture for our winter wheat. That’s about where most of our water comes from."

    Statewide, 35 percent of the state’s irrigation water is considered adequate, with the remaining supplies listed as short or very short. In addition, more than 70 percent of the topsoil has short or very short moisture content and 28 percent of topsoil conditions are considered adequate.

    In Box Elder County, producers reported dry conditions and lack of stream flows has limited hay production, according to the farm report. Producers are baling straw, which is low in nutrients, in anticipation of limited feed supplies this winter. In Cache County, dry conditions, dust and flies are aggravating the disease pinkeye infecting some cattle.

    Across the state, ranchers likely will move cattle off summer pastures earlier this year, forcing them to buy feed earlier.

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture has stepped in, opening lands enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program, which pays farmers to keep acres idle. In addition, the federal agency has lowered rental payments on lands used for emergency haying or grazing from 25 percent to 10 percent, and extended the grazing period through November.

    "This has helped us a lot — otherwise, it wouldn’t be feasible for us to graze our cattle," said Monticello rancher David Robinson. "Everything here is totally brown. It’s very difficult to survive one drought, and now we’re going through two."

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