Sunday, December 13, 2020

COVID-19 and Vitamin D Note Reformatted

Of those with COVID, 80% had vitamin D deficiency. 

How risky is such a deficiency? Bayesian analysis is appropriate. An excellent short pair of articles on this topic is here: 

This is a good opportunity to use Bayesian statistics to go from the percentage of people who are vitamin D deficient, and have COVID, P(d'|C), to what we want to know, P(C|d'), the risk of having COVID, given that you are deficient in vitamin D. 

 Bayes theorem becomes P(C|d') = P(C) [P(d'|C) / P(d')] 

These articles note that of those with COVID, 80% were deficient in vitamin D, P(d'|C) = 0.80 

The term in brackets is the likelihood factor, the multiplier that converts the general prevalence probability, P(C), to the probability for those who are deficient in vitamin D. The fraction of the nursing home population deficient in vitamin D, P(d'), is P(d')=0.60 

This gives us a likelihood factor of 0.80/0.60= 1.33 elevation of their probability of having COVID from what they would have without a vitamin D deficiency. If P(C) for such a group is 0.05, they are 1.33 times this as likely to contract COVID due to their vitamin D deficiency, about 7%, elevated but far from 80%. 

Vitamin D is a help, not a cure, not a certain preventative. This review concluded it is not of demonstrated help:

Saturday, December 5, 2020


 In just under one hundred pages, Juan Partida, the author of this highly readable self-help book, encourages, chastises, and advises his readers to remake their lives and fulfill their goals.

I’m up and writing early today, partly due to Partida’s urging, following his good example. I’ve risen; conquering may take a while!

This isn’t a twelve-step program, but five steps to success: determination, accountability, self-gratitude, imperfection, perseverance.



Partida quotes the cinematic pugilist “Rocky Balboa” to the effect that it is crucial not how many punches you deliver, but how many blows you withstand and keep moving forward.

Toward the end of Rise and Conquer, Partida writes of last century’s Glenn Cunningham’s rise from a near-fatal, crippling childhood injury to Olympic success as a long-distance runner. Talk about determination!



If you don’t keep score, it’s tennis without the net. You need to know how you are doing, learn from losses, celebrate your wins. Even little victories stimulate our dopamine. To know what to do and how well you are doing, you need a plan and you need to keep score.



Gratitude is an attitude that we all need, appreciating what we have, what we’ve done, what we can still accomplish. Self-love, short of smug conceit, helps get one through the tough spots.



I call myself a “completionist” rather than a “perfectionist.” Most achievements will require tolerating some imperfection, lest you waste your time and energy on trivia. Only the rare individual with exceptional skill might be wise to go for the “perfect” product. There is a reward for such rare outcomes, but usually “the best is the enemy of the good,” as the French saying goes.



The completionist perseveres, knowing that the big pay-off comes from finishing, not from almost-finishing. This relates to a major theme in this enlightening and entertaining book, the true story of the “marshmallow” psychological tests of youngsters for the ability to defer gratification. The kids were each given a marshmallow and told they could eat it now or wait until the investigator returned to the room (delay unspecified) and get a second to eat with the first. The futures of the kids who waited were found to be more successful than those of the kids who did not. Deferring gratification was key.

Deferring consumption, Investing rather than consuming, allows you to take advantage of the power of compound interest. Improving 1% per day means improving not 365% in a year, but rather 37 times! (Exponential growth, not linear.)

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos has become one of the world’s richest men through his planning and persistence. He started, as I recall, selling used books.

Don’t defer your gratification too long, however: get this book. It is inspiring. That’s why I am writing at this early hour, for my benefit and yours.




Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Link to Whistleblowers' Ballot Testimonies

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Link to Book Review of AMERICAN AWAKENING

A critique of the bases of identity politics.

Friday, November 13, 2020

A Few Dead Voters Is Fishy

 How do you register and vote for a few dead voters?

Did you register and vote for a large number of people,

and there happened to be some dead ones there?

How many people did you register and vote as?

Not just the few you were caught doing, being dead.

Was it Emerson who wrote that finding a fish in the

milk indicates it has been adulterated? You don't think

"it's only one fish." You do think, "Something is fishy here."

Saturday, November 7, 2020

WATER WARS: Flint, Michigan




Water Wars Sharing the Colorado River

As described in an article published by Boston University radio station WBUR [], in April 2014, Flint, Michigan, changed its water source, exposing some 100,000 Flint residents to high levels of lead and other pollutants. Flint was the seventh-largest city in the state. Jeremy Hobson interviewed reporter Anna Clark about the crisis described in her book The Poisoned City: Flint’s Water and the American Urban Tragedy.

The first topic was why Flint officials wanted to change the city’s source of water; as Anna Clark explained:

“It had been relying on water from Lake Huron from the Detroit Water Department for about 50 years. The quality was good, but there was a lot of unhappiness about the affordability. It was extremely expensive — the most expensive or among the most expensive water rates in the country. And especially for a city with a very high poverty rate, this was really getting to the point of crisis. And a lot of folks really felt like, ‘We want our own water system. We want some more control.’ So, it decided, it was under state-appointed emergency management, that it was going to switch to a new water department. And until that new water department was built, it was going to temporarily use the Flint River as its drinking water source, and sort of reboot its 50-year-old water plant to provide that.”

Changing the source of water from Lake Huron to the Flint River in 2014 led to issues of contamination from lead pipes that caused a public health hazard. The incident is the subject of an extensive article in Wikipedia [], and it garnered major coverage in the traditional national media as well.

The Flint River water was not given the same treatment that the Lake Huron / Detroit River water had received, and thus it was left more corrosive to the lead pipes in use in Flint. One public health study found that high lead levels in Flint children went from 2.5% of that population to 5% during the period before the condition was remedied.

On January 5, 2016, Governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder, declared the city to be in a state of emergency, and this was followed by a similar declaration by President Barack Obama, who authorized additional help from two Federal agencies.

Several government officials were fired over the incident and over a dozen lawsuits filed. Near the end of 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate approved a $170 million program to ameliorate the situation in Flint. In 2017, Flint had come within the relevant Federal limits for lead in its water supplies. Studies of the residents’ health during the crisis found an increase in Legionnaires’ disease cases, fetal deaths due to all causes, and a reduction in fertility. A different study did not find the water to have been a cause of an increase in stillbirths and neonatal deaths.

An article by the Mayo Clinic [] notes, “Lead poisoning occurs when lead builds up in the body, often over months or years. Even small amounts of lead can cause serious health problems. Children younger than 6 years are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning, which can severely affect mental and physical development. At very high levels, lead poisoning can be fatal.

“Lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust in older buildings are the most common sources of lead poisoning in children. Other sources include contaminated air, water and soil. Adults who work with batteries, do home renovations or work in auto repair shops also might be exposed to lead.”

The Mayo Clinic article gives an extensive list of problems caused by lead in the body, and the unborn and newborn are particularly susceptible. Usual sources of lead poisoning are related to lead-based paints or lead pipes in older homes.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [https://www.cdc. gov/nceh/lead/default.htm] indicates there is no safe level of lead in the body, though it has a target of reducing it to below 10 micrograms per deciliter in blood.

At the start of 2019, the new governor, Gretchen Whitmer, signed an order requiring prompt public notification of such harmful environmental conditions in the future.

At the same time, the performance of the Michigan Department of

Environmental Quality (MDEQ) was criticized as inadequate and


even racist [ 01/04/flint-pipe-replacement-mayor/2242666002/] by Paul Mohai, a University of Michigan professor; in this article written by Pamela Pugh, chief public health advisor for the City of Flint, Michigan, it notes that some commenters have maintained that the citizens of Flint, a largely minority community, were not given adequate notice and remedy for the problem caused by the water-source switch, largely done for relatively minor cost reductions. Pugh finished her piece in the January 4, 2019, Detroit Free Press, this way: “As a new administration takes over our state’s government, it is a chance for that government to shift from a place of paternalism and austerity and become a government that listens to, understands and interacts with its distressed communities, a government that recognizes the necessity of a recovery and rebuilding approach that is Flint-driven and solely motivated by making Flint whole.”

The crisis underscored the importance of clean, safe drinking water supplies.

I will continue serializing here the Microsoft Word transcription of the final galley proof .pdf copy ot WATER WARS, and the book itself  is most conveniently found at

or at DWC's author's book title list

Unfortunately, some changes to Blogger have made this blog harder to manage. 

Sunday, September 27, 2020



Beyond Persuasion: How to recognise and use Dark Psychology, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and Mind Control in Everyday Life

Author: Rebecca Dolton

Reviewer: Douglas Winslow Cooper

This book’s title grabbed me immediately. Persuasion, influencing the thinking of others, fascinates me, as does the general study of the mind. But what is “beyond persuasion”? It is manipulation, largely the subject of this book, and compulsion, touched upon only in passing here.

I will follow the author’s outline to share some of the valuable information she presents.



Whereas persuasion may arguably be done to you by someone for your best interests, at least as they perceive, manipulation is done against your welfare.

We benefit from recognizing both persuasion and manipulation, but most importantly we need to protect ourselves from the latter, the book’s primary theme. Ms. Dolton promises to show us the tricks that others often use with little regard for our wellbeing.


Manipulation vs. Persuasion

“Manipulation” means to influence in an underhanded manner, to the disadvantage of the one being manipulated. Sadly, it is too common in many contexts, especially where rewards of some type are being competed for. People manipulate others selfishly. Persuasion is less malign, often benign. You may be persuading someone “for their own good.”

The author notes that manipulation is often marked by sadism, selfishness, and malevolence. Manipulation may involve authority, deception, or even force. Manipulators often convince their targets that the desired behavior is “right” or that it will make them loved or respected.

Dolton cites psychologist George Simon’s triad of characteristics that separate a manipulator from a persuader: concealed aggression, targeting of weaknesses, and ruthlessness.

Are we all manipulative? More or less. And less is better.


Right or Wrong – The Ethics of Manipulation

Our desire to fit in with our group, whatever it is, exerts a depersonalized force on each of us to conform. Ralph Waldo Emerson in his essay, “Self-Reliance,” noted that society is in a conspiracy against the individuality of each of its members. Some of this is necessary for society to function; some results needlessly in our not knowing what we want or should do. Then group-think swamps individual cognition.

“Churches, cults, political parties, and other institutions that draw clear lines between members and outsiders provide their members with strict, clear guidelines of behavior and attitudes….and separate members from outsiders.”  Today, you are pro-Trump or anti-Trump, and deviation from your group induces scorn.

Persuasion used to harm others is often called “manipulation,” and this could well have been the title of this fine book. So, the intent is more the determinant than is the method. In a personal context, greater care is needed than in a business context, where the participants realize that some persuasion is selling or manipulation. Whether deception is used is a significant criterion for whether persuasion or manipulation is underway. If one is dealing with criminals or with enemies in war, manipulation is often defensible.


Dark Psychology 101

The psychology of those who routinely manipulate others is sometimes called “dak psychology,” a field that studies a subset of personality types: Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy. The author discusses these usefully and at length. Unfortunately, such people are hard to spot at first, often tending toward “friendly” and “compassionate,” the better to fool their victims. The characteristics of those in the “dark triad” are explored in depth. As are many other traits, these are significantly heritable and hard to correct. Such people cause real harm, especially as they tend to be drawn to leadership roles, where manipulation pays off.

They tend to be good-looking because they realize the value of physical attractiveness in influencing others and thus spend more effort on enhancing their looks than most others do.

As they are skilled at manipulation and hard to detect, much less change, your best defense is avoidance.


Mind Control and Brainwashing

“Brainwashing” received national attention after the Korean War, when the collaborating behavior of many of the Americans who were Chinese prisoners of war was studied. Few if any limited their release of information under interrogation to “name, rank, and serial number.” Their captors were skilled at instilling guilt and obtaining cooperation through persuasion and manipulation and punishments and rewards. The manipulator is seen as the enemy but still complied with. A 12-step process is described. Escape is the only cure. Release from captivity needs to be followed by counseling and deprogramming.

“Mind control” became known in the discussion of cults, like those that led to mass suicide in Jonestown. The techniques relied more on rewards and the desire of the participants to conform and to obtain praise from their leaders. The manipulator is seen as a friend and eventually complied with, often without realizing a change has occurred in the participants’ thinking. “The most important weapon you have against it is your ability to think critically.”


NLP – Theory, Research, and Development

“Neuro-Linguistic Programming” (NLP) maintains that ”language has a direct and measurable effect on the brain’s neurological processes.” Its practitioners have found subtle ways to enhance our words’ influence on the behavior of others.

“It is used variously as a self-help tool, a persuasive tactic, and a tool for manipulative influence.” The author wants us to protect ourselves from NLP manipulation. NLP's key concepts are subjectivity, consciousness, and learning.  

NLP techniques of influence include: establish rapport (often by mimicry), gather information about the target’s problems and goals, make interventions to shift the target’s image-associations, and integrate changes by having the target view himself differently. It is more an art than a science.


NLP – Practical Applications

You can use dissociation to break the mental connection between one state of mind and a stimulus for it. You can reframe an argument to change its context radically. Use anchoring, “a simple physical stimulus to recreate a powerful emotional state,” such as putting your hand on someone’s arm while reassuring them. Imitating them, subtly, is “mirroring” and can lead them to enhanced trust in you.

“…affirmations are also an NLP technique.”

The book presents a set of questions to help you analyze what is likely to succeed with a given target. Persuasive “scripts” are described.

Knowing these techniques, you can recognize them when used on you. Avoid physical contact. Analyze vague words. Keep alert and in the present.


Body Language

Most of our communication with others is, surprisingly, non-verbal…body language. The signals vary from culture to culture. For example, how close one comes and where one person touches another will convey much about their relative status and their relationship: intimate, personal, social, or public.  The tone of voice counts heavily, too.

Some body language is easier to master than others: facial expressions, head and neck movements, body posture, shoulder positions, gestures, handshakes, breathing, various physical movements.


Persuasion - Professional vs. Personal

Commercial contexts announce to all involved that persuasion is underway, possibly manipulation, too, and the participants often give each other more leeway in what they find acceptable.

The best business persuaders are often in fact manipulators. Rebecca Dolton lists six tactics of persuasion/manipulation described by influence guru Robert Cialdini: reciprocity, social proof, commitment and consistency, liking, scarcity, and authority. If done with the other person’s wellbeing considered, that’s fine.


How to Recognize and Defend Against Controlling and Highly Manipulative People

“The better the manipulator, the harder they are to catch.” They are good at making their targets feel responsible. Generating guilt is a favorite tactic. Your best response: say “no!” You may need to enlist allies. Never get separated from your loved ones. Watch out for those who make you doubt yourself. Don’t accept responsibility for their hurt feelings. Be alert to repeated harm and their repeated criticisms. Retain supportive allies. Continue to work toward your goals. Communicate honestly. Challenge any manipulation. Know your rights.



Say goodbye to manipulative people.



Scores of information sources and their web links end this book.


My evaluation: this highly readable and informative book is a treasure.


Monday, September 7, 2020

Personality Trumps Policy?

We are told that suburban White women are turned off by President Trump's personality, which is their right, and that they will therefore not vote to re-elect him president, which seems almost slanderous, reinforcing the stereotype that women voters are more influenced by superficialities than by fundamentals. Say it isn't so, Joe. 

Have we really reached such a low level of rationality that we let personality trump policy? Heaven help us if that is so.

More likely, the achievements of the Trump presidency, the recent demonstrations of internal uproar, and the hard-left promises of the Biden-Harris-Sanders cabal will convince most of those who would put style over substance that we cannot afford to do so.

WATER WARS, Recommendations

Water Wars Sharing the Colorado River 


To solve the problem of water scarcity we need to save water, which every person on Earth can do. To achieve this, it is necessary to reduce the amount of its consumption in industry, agriculture, households, avoid leakage, not pollute and rationally use water resources.

The second way is to form more and larger reservoirs with fresh water. Experts such as Qian Dang, Xiaowen Lin, and Megan Konar recommend improving the technology of water treatment and catchment. While a surface reservoir can safely be filled and emptied without damage, that is not true of underground reservoirs, aquifers, which cannot be raised and lowered so easily. In some regions it may be economically and technologically feasible to process salt water into fresh water, another promising way to solve the water deficit problem. It is essential to use other sources of the hydrosphere - to use glaciers and to increase the number of resources used and the amount of each harvested (Gayfer, 2008). If developed nations continue to work to develop water technology, then shortly it should be possible to solve the problem of the freshwater deficit.

Furthermore, it is necessary to change the methods of water consumption. In agriculture, for example, use drip irrigation. Practical use of water resources contributes to a sharp increase in the competitiveness of the economy. A system of practical water use can be built at a regional level (when a river or lake is perceived as a single object), and at the national level (International Atomic Energy Agency, 2011). In this connection, it would be logical to assume that the states such as Colorado that are located upstream should not only not seek to build regional regimes for managing international water resources, but also resist this, to prevent the increase in the influence of their downstream neighbors. However, this go-it-alone strategy has relatively clear limits and needs to be balanced against the loss of the benefits of regional cooperation.

Alternatives that the downstream state can offer in exchange for a mutually beneficial regional water use system are multiplying as the world market becomes more dynamic and multi-agent (International Atomic Energy Agency, 2011). In this regard, the value of such benefits as the creation of free-trade zones, facilitated access to the national labor and capital markets, access to innovative technologies for practical water use and hydro-power facilities is continually growing (International Atomic Energy Agency, 2011).

Gleick and Iceland (2018) noted that increasing populations and industrialization along with predicted climate changes threaten freshwater supplies. Water insecurity is “much more likely if governance is weak, infrastructure is inadequate, and institutions are fragile.”

Gleick and Iceland list some risk-reducing options:

        putting caps on water usage;

        improving irrigation practices and technology (irrigation being

70% of water withdrawals worldwide);

        planting water-conserving crops;

        “introducing social safety net programs;”

        reducing food loss and waste;

        slowing population growth;

        establishing urban water conservation programs;

        improving water treatment and conservation;

        negotiating watershed agreements;

        updating water information systems;

        investing in water reuse and in water capture by dams, dikes, and levees;

        protecting the forests and wetlands, and •        strengthening the relevant governance bodies.

They classify the threats as

        diminished water supply or quality •    increased water demand

        extreme flood events.

They write that analysts are emphasizing now that conflicts arise not only due to political differences, but also to economic, demographic, and social factors somewhat affected by resource constraints.

Anderson and Libecap (2014) favor greater use of property rights and market mechanisms in determining the ownership and usage of water resources. Property rights are ownership of an asset that, with the owner paying the costs and obtaining the benefits, avoid the problem of the “tragedy of the commons.” “There is no simple analysis, however, that can tell us whether markets are better than regulation or vice versa. The answer depends on the relative costs and benefits of alternative institutions.”

Award-winning economist, the late Elinor Ostrom (2014) studied in detail the common-pool-resource (CPR) governance issues described in her Governing the Commons. Ostrom proposes another model, one in which the participants can regulate themselves with binding laws/contracts, established unanimously. The players have an incentive to monitor each other and a referee to enforce penalties. She gives as an example the successful use of agreed-upon daily rotation through a set of fishing locations in Turkey, with monitoring (and enforcement) handled by the fishermen themselves. Factors internal to the group involved or external to it may make some arrangements feasible and others not. She lists the difficulties faced by “centralizers” and “privatizers” that make any sweeping generalization likely to be wrong. “Policies based on metaphors can be harmful” she concludes. One might say, “the devil is in the details.” As with other complex issues, further study is desirable.

Focusing on the Colorado River is the in-depth study, “The Colorado River and the Inevitability of Institutional Change,the extensive and definitive work (Kenney et al., 2011) of a team of scholars (Douglas Kenney, Sara Bates, Anne Bensard, and John Berggren). Noting that the Colorado River is one of the most thoroughly studied natural resources in the world, the authors comment, “By almost any standard, it is the jewel of the American Southwest–and it is in trouble.” Its many major contributions to the region are threatened by predicted increases in the demand for its waters, while its flow is likely to decrease. The fundamental problems are: a complex set of legal arrangements for its use, a projected shortfall between the allowed allocations and the expected flow in the future, and the legal ambiguities involved in settling claims to the flow.

Five issues are highlighted by Kenney et al. (2011):

        The Upper Basin Delivery Obligation

        The Interbasin Apportionment

        Deliveries to Mexico

        Administration of Compact Calls

        Compact Rescission or Reformation

Much of the latter part of the document involves describing the opinions of many of the leaders of the Colorado River Basin. In sum,

        they recognized the need for change due to increased risk of shortages;

        they preferred conflict resolution to litigation;

        they desired more diverse input into resolving the issues.

Options favored included:

        getting more public involvement in the issues,

        obtaining more agreement on the ways to handle a variety of river-flow scenarios,

        studying the current and future use of the river water,

        harnessing the political modalities to regulate the relationships between the Upper and Lower Basins and among the states involved.

An extensive analysis and evaluation of options for assuring adequate water supplies in the Colorado River Basin was published in 2012 by the Bureau of Reclamation. Four water-supply scenarios and six water-demand scenarios were studied to try to predict the future needs. Comparing the medians from the supply and demand scenarios, the likely imbalance by 2060 is 3.2 maf [million acre-feet volume of water], with a wide range of uncertainty. Some of this can be met with reservoir storage to smooth out variability. By 2010, the ten-year running average of demand had already exceeded the ten-year running average of supply, and the trends were for this difference to increase. Over 20,000 computer simulations were run to study the impact of the various options considered. Figure 4 of the report shows the various options and their cost estimates and the percentage of the 2010-2060 years in which the system is vulnerable. There are wide ranges of vulnerabilities, and the costs vary as well, but are limited to about $2 billion to $7 billion per year. The report does not choose the best option, leaving that to others.

Western Resource Advocates put forth the following proposals in 2014 [] “The Hardest Working River in the West: Common-Sense Solutions for a Reliable Water Future for the Colorado River Basin” identifies five innovative solutions that could eliminate Western water shortages stemming from the over-taxed and stressed Colorado River and meet the water needs of the West’s business, agricultural and growing population through 2060.

The facts are clear: the demand for water from the Colorado River exceeds the supply. By 2060, we can expect a 3.8-million-acre-foot deficit in river supply. Coming up short could put 36 million people’s drinking water, agriculture, future economic growth, the $26.4 billion outdoor recreational economy, and a quarter-million jobs in jeopardy. In addition, the river’s imbalance is wreaking havoc on the West’s natural ecosystems, harming world-class fisheries and unique natural wonders. In addition to identifying the challenges, the report details five affordable solutions to ensure a reliable water future, improve the health of the Colorado River, grow the economies of the seven Basin states, and protect essential Western natural habitats:

        Municipal conservation, saving 1 million acre-feet through improved landscaping techniques, rebate programs that incentivize water-saving devices, installing new appliances and fixtures, and standardized, routine water audits across municipalities.

        Municipal reuse, saving 1.2 million acre-feet—Wastewater and gray water can be treated for potable use, and reused for irrigation, industrial processing and cooling, dust control, artificial lakes and replenishing groundwater supply. Rainwater harvesting using innovative new technologies is a simple additional step.

        Agricultural efficiency and water banking, saving 1 million acre-feet— Agriculture is the river’s largest water use, extending across 5.7 million acres of arid Western land and consuming more than 70% of the river’s water. Voluntary improved irrigation efficiency, regulated irrigation, rotational fallowing, crop shifting, and innovative irrigation technologies are already being used by farmers. In addition, water banking is a marketbased approach that allows farmers (and others) to bank their unused water voluntarily.

        Clean, water-efficient energy supplies, saving 160 thousand acre-feet—To reduce the need for water to cool thermoelectric power plants, Colorado River Basin states can continue to pursue energy efficiency and renewable sources of energy like wind, solar photovoltaics, and geothermal, which require little or no water.

        Innovative water opportunities, generating up to 1 million acre-feet— Inland desalination in certain areas with brackish groundwater and surface water is a viable option to stretch water supplies, potentially generating 620,000 acre-feet of water. In addition, dust-on-snow management can help save a minimum of 400,000 acre-feet of water while removing dense invasive plants in upland areas will save a minimum of 30,000 acre-feet of water. 

In the end, we can say that almost all the solutions to the problem of providing drinking water in the future are in the hands of man. Nature gives us practically inexhaustible sources of life; from all of us, from each of us, only one thing is required - to preserve what nature is providing.


I will continue serializing here the Microsoft Word transcription of the final galley proof .pdf copy ot WATER WARS, and the book itself  is most conveniently found at

or at DWC's author's book title list

Unfortunately, some changes to Blogger have made this blog harder to manage. 

Sunday, August 23, 2020

WATER WARS, Discussion

Water Wars Sharing the Colorado River


Industrial nations more readily adapt to variations and shortages in water supplies, while less-industrialized nations, those dependent on agriculture primarily, find droughts and floods more difficult to manage, competing for scarce resources. In some areas, water shortages lead to conflict and migration.

Among the leading countries now, not much effort is being made concerning planning for future water shortages. As often happens, while there is no problem, it seems that we do not need to pay attention to the factors that could lead to its formation.

Here are some suggested measures that would help improve the internal situation of the leading countries and further their economic enrichment:

Firstly, it is necessary to ensure stable financial support for the water sector in the U.S. For this, it is necessary to form an economic mechanism for apportioning water use at national and interstate levels. Financing of the water sector at the expense of various income sources should cover its costs, considering the prospects for further development.

At the same time, targeted social protection of the population should be ensured. Note the importance of the attraction of appropriate incentives for private entrepreneurship in solving the problems of the water sector. Progress in water financing will be facilitated by state support for producers of relevant material resources and owners of water supply and sanitation systems through subsidies, subventions, soft loans, customs, and tax incentives.

Also, attention should be given to training the staff needed to manage modern, innovative technologies to increase the attractiveness of water and environmental projects for international donors. Measures should be undertaken to ensure the availability of credit - all this will also contribute to progress.

Considering the world-wide need for potable water, it is necessary to strengthen external financial assistance to poorer regions of the world, which is why it is worthwhile to assess the financial needs of each country, balancing sources of financing and providing directions (water supply, sanitation, irrigation, hydro-power, mud protection, recreation).

It will take much work to develop innovative financial mechanisms. For example, it is possible to develop both domestic and international donor programs that will invest in human development and help the needy obtain fresh water; such programs in the future will help provide confidence to the countries’ leaders to develop economic mechanisms in the sphere of providing fresh-water resources.

Besides needing innovative financing and management methods, innovative technological fixes may include the creation of artificial forests in arid regions, the harnessing of glaciers and the drilling of deep wells. Moreover, weather modification, while quite exotic now, may be entirely feasible in the future - increasing the precipitation from clouds and perhaps even the release of moisture from fog.

I will continue serializing here the Microsoft Word transcription of the final galley proof .pdf copy ot WATER WARS, and the book itself  is most conveniently found at

or at DWC's author's book title list

Unfortunately, some changes to Blogger have made this blog harder to manage. 

Sunday, August 9, 2020


The over-statement of the threat of the COVID virus that was released by China has given the ruling classes in America and abroad the power to remake society, to the benefit of the ruling class and at the cost of freedom and prosperity to the rest of us, now under house arrest despite not having committed crimes.  See the following excellent article:

Over a million viewers have seen the related video by conservative Tucker Carlson:

Freedom and prosperity have taken serious hits from the response of our elite to this coronavirus, a relative of the Swine Flu we weathered some years ago. For comparisons of several of these infections, see

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Censored by Amazon: "Wuhan Virus"

It took less than a couple of minutes for my review of Michael Angel's fine novel, Wildfire Pathogen, to get rejected by Amazon for violating its community standards. No issue was specified, but the only questionable element seemed to be my passing reference to the PC "COVID-19 virus" as the "Wuhan virus," definitely not PC. 

We have "Lyme Disease," "Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever,"  "Ebola," and other illnesses labeled with their origins, but we must not note that the Chinese Communist Party chose to keep the Wuhan virus a secret, ban domestic travel, continue to allow international travel, and thus unleash this plague that has killed over 150,000 Americans, in a fashion not so different from the historic British use of smallpox-infected blankets thrown into a fortress they were besieging. 

The liberals at Amazon have clearly programmed their screening algorithm to keep us from reminding others that what has been visited upon us was an act of war. I didn't spell that out. Just wrote "Wuhan virus." Enough to get deleted.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Successful Use of HCQS When Given Early for COVID

Eminent professional confirms what I have believed for months.

I had seen a study of the viral loads in patients' blood samples after being given either placebo or one of the components of the triple-component drug, hydroxychloroquine sulfate, azithromycin, and zinc, or given the HCQS compound with Azith and Zinc.

In a few days, and only for the HCQS compound, viral loads went to zero, patients cured.

Double-blind RCT studies are not the only paths to truth.

Risk management does not always point to waiting for all possible useful information.

On My Getting Older, a Pre-requiem

Last night, a person who loves me said it was hard to watch me losing some of my abilities, especially observing my trouble walking under the influence of arthritis.

I replied that I have long accepted the inevitability of some decline, and I still appreciate what is left, diminished as it is.

My beloved, stoic, and heroic wife, Tina Su Cooper, quadriplegic and ventilator-dependent for the past 16 years, agreed with me one day a few years ago that if that day were our last day on Earth, it had all been worth it.

I have about a 50% chance of living into my mid-80s and a 25% chance to making it into my late-90s, (my mother lived to 98), and I am living carefully to maximize the time left and to be here for Tina if I can.

So, last night, I told the one who asked that the following poem by Robert Louis Stevenson might well be my requiem, too:


Under the wide and starry sky
Dig the grave and let me lie:
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.

This be the verse you grave for me:
Here he lies where he long'd to be;
Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.

I doubt I will gladly die, however.
Perhaps "gladly" if in continuing pain or perhaps after great 
disappointment, but probably sadly with
reluctance to leave those I care about.
But life has been plenty. 

We live in particularly favorable times,
all things considered, so different from
Hobbes's description of the
state of nature, where life was
"solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."
Short may have been the best part.

Over a century ago, Robert Browning wrote,
"Grow old along with me.
The best is yet to be,
The last for which the first was made."
How many of us would agree?

Later that evening, I engulfed my usual mound of prescriptions and over-the-counter supplements, some of which, I hope, do some good. 

After we are born, there is only one guarantee. Two, if you include taxes.
So be it.

WATER WARS, Ch. 11, Evaluation of Options

Water Wars Sharing the Colorado River
an extensIve analysIs and evaluation of options for assuring adequate water supplies in the Colorado River Basin was published in 2012 by the Bureau of Reclamation, and we summarize it here. [Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study, Executive Summary, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, DC, December 2012]
The report makes the following warning: “The Colorado River is the lifeblood of the southwestern United States….Nearly 40 million Americans rely on the Colorado River….there exists a strong potential for significant imbalances between the supply and demand for water in the coming decades.”
From 1906-2011, the Colorado River had average natural flow of 16.4 maf/year. The Study was done to predict imbalances for the next 50 years, 2010-2060. The Study area was the hydrologic basin area plus adjoining states that receive water from the Colorado.
Four water-supply scenarios and six water-demand scenarios were studied to try to predict the future needs.


        Observed Resampled (past 100 years).
        Paleo Resampled (past 1250 years)
        Paleo Conditioned (mix of Observed and Paleo)
        Downscaled GCM (warming climate from 112 Global Climate Models), which predicts a nine percent decrease in flow at Lees Ferry and higher-than-historical frequency and variation in droughts, which are predicted to have lengths of five years or more 50% of the time in the upcoming 50 years.


To get a good depiction of future consumptive use demand, a set of six scenarios was developed:
        A. Current Projected
        B. Slow Growth (18.1 maf, 49.3 million people)
        C1. Rapid Growth 1 (20.4 maf, 76.5 million people)
        C2. Rapid Growth 2
        D1. Enhanced Environment 1 •          D2. Enhanced Environment 2
Comparing the medians from the supply and demand scenarios, the likely imbalance by 2060 is 3.2 maf, with a wide range of uncertainty. Some of this can be met with reservoir storage to smooth out variability. By 2010, the ten-year running average of demand had already exceeded the ten-year running average of supply, and the trends were for this difference to increase.


        Increase Supply
        Reduce Demand
        Modify Operations
        Modify Governance
The criteria used to evaluate the options were
        Technical (feasibility, risks, viability, flexibility)
        Social (recreation, policy, legal, socioeconomics)
        Environmental (permitting, energy needs, energy sources, other environmental factors)
        Other (yield quantity, timing, cost, hydropower, water quality)
Where possible they were evaluated based on cost, $/maf, year available, and potential yields (2035, 2060).
Adding all options gave additional yearly flow of 5.7 maf by 2035 and 11 maf by 2060. Ruling out some options considered infeasible gave additional flow estimates of 3.7 and 7 maf for 2035 and 2060.
Four portfolios of options were then chosen: B, C, inclusive A=B+C, and selective D = options shared by both B and C.


Criteria came from analyzing:
        Water delivery
        Water quality
        Recreational use
        Flood control
        Ecological resources
Reliability was measured against keeping Lake Mead at 1000 ft above mean sea level and keeping the 10-year flow at Lees Ferry at 75 maf. Conclusion: without action, it will be difficult to meet these goals using the Baseline arrangements for the next 50 years.
Over 20,000 simulations were run for each portfolio.
Study Table 4 shows the % of years in which the criteria were not met when analyzed using the Baseline model and Models A,B,C,D. For all criteria except flood control, the Baseline model performed worst of the options. Of the resource criteria, Baseline failed most often at keeping Lake Mead at 1000 feet above msl. By that criterion, all portfolios and the Baseline option failed 30% or more of the instances, and they failed almost as often at keeping the Colorado River flow above the targeted value. As expected logically, the inclusive Portfolio A did the best and the exclusive Portfolio D the worst at meeting the criteria.
Study Figure 4 Shows the various options and their cost estimates and the percentage of the 2010-2060 years in which the system is vulnerable. There are wide ranges of vulnerabilities, and the costs vary as well, but are limited to about $2 billion to $7 billion per year.
The report does not choose the best option, leaving that to others.


The authors note that the study is limited by available data, assessment methods, current models:
The Colorado River Simulation System (CRSS) was used to model behavior and assess impacts.
The CRSS uses historical inflows based on USGS data for four tributaries downstream of Lees Ferry, making the Lower Basin predictions subject to substantial uncertainty.
The model assumed reduced agricultural use, as such flows will be diverted to urban use instead. This may not be correct.
A limited set of options was considered, and future developments and technological change may make other options important.


Improved modeling of future supply and demand will continue. Demand can be assumed to increase, making shortages more likely, and no one option is likely to be optimal. Investment in conservation, reuse, and augmentation will be needed to improve reliability and sustainability.


Nothing in the Study is to be used as part of any litigation in a variety of possible actions outlined in this Disclaimer. 

Note that although governmental command-and-control activities might seem adequate to handle the need for clean drinking water in the future, there are practical political and economic factors that get in the way, as pointed out in a recent article in The City Journal:
In 2014, amid a drought, 2/3 of California voters voted for Proposition 1, to have a bond for $2.7 billion worth of water storage projects, as part of a larger $7 billion Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act. Four years later, no funding for water storage had been passed by the state water commission. This contrasts with the relatively rapid creation of the San Luis Reservoir, with a capacity of 2 million acre-feet, done five years from 1963-68, facing far fewer challenges in the courts.
Mid-2018, the California Water commission announced plans to fund projects with Proposition 1 money, only a third of the projects actually related directly to water storage. The proposed storage sites will add a capacity of 2 million acre-feet, compared with the annual residential water use by Californians of 4 million acre-feet per year. The Sites Reservoir, the largest of the projects, is expected to be completed by 2029, at a cost of about ten times the cost of the comparable San Luis Reservoir finished in the mid-1960s in one-fourth the time. Litigation is a major factor in the added costs and time for completion. [https://]


Sharing the use of water resources raises many possible equity issues, some of which we discuss next. Essentially, these come down to who uses how much of the resources and how. To make progress in analysis of policy options, the problem needs to be stated clearly, and its boundaries marked (Hardin, 1968). We start with the simpler cases and build from there.
A single body of water, such as a lake or inland sea, has inlets and outlets, with users around its shores and on its surface. Like a common grazing area of earlier times, it is susceptible to the “tragedy of the commons,” where each user benefits more directly from using than from contributing to its well-being, its maintenance. Biologist Garrett Hardin (1968) popularized the term and showed that for finite resources we cannot obtain “the greatest good for the greatest number.” Each user is tempted to use as much as wanted and to contribute nothing. A solution is to obtain enforceable agreements among all involved or to have rules enforced by a governing body. Then, one must be able to verify what is being done. A lake may be in one governmental jurisdiction, allowing simplified enforcement of one set of laws. A larger body of water may have multiple governing authorities, requiring agreements among them on rules of use and manner of enforcement. If the body of water can overflow its banks, then issues of compensation for damages are added.
The lake will likely have inlets and outlets, and the control of these flows adds another dimension to the complexity. What is done upstream is of particular concern, and likely needs agreements, laws, and policing.
Similarly, a river has upstream and downstream regions, with upstream behavior affecting the flow and its quality in the downstream areas. Again, agreements or laws and enforcement will seem desirable.
In the case of the “lake” or the “river,” the agreements or laws may have sharp-edge restrictions, yes/no, or an attempt may be made to put prices on various types and amounts of “use.” Enforcement again becomes critical.
Monitoring the level of a lake or inland sea is relatively straightforward in comparison with determining the carrying capacity and the amount of water carried in an aquifer, which is a region of porous solids, liquid, and air. Again, there are inputs and outputs and issues of capacity, volume, flow, and quality.
If these considerations were not complex enough, we have the added issue of the degree to which current use and users will impact future use and users and how to manage the somewhat different concerns of the two populations, complicated further by the likelihood of technological and demographic changes.

I will continue serializing here the Microsoft Word transcription of the final galley proof .pdf copy ot WATER WARS, and the book itself  is most conveniently found at

or at DWC's author's book title list