The latest in industry happenings from the desk of ND's editor.

Drill Rig Maintenance and Repair

Schramm Inc.’s next “Drilling Rig Operation, Maintenance and Service” training seminar takes place Mar. 15-17 at the company’s factory in West Chester, Pa.

The course addresses proper operation, troubleshooting and maintenance of various drilling rigs used in all applications of water well, geothermal, mining, mineral exploration, etc. Special attention is given to industry best practices in rig maintenance, service and safety. The course instructors have more than 100 years of combined drilling industry experience, and will educate attendees on improving drilling productivity, reducing maintenance costs, minimizing rig downtime, and maintenance and troubleshooting of hydraulics, air compressors, mud systems and rig components.

There is no cost to attend the seminar. Additionally, Schramm will provide all training materials free of charge. Attendees are responsible for travel expenses (air, limo, etc), lodging and some meals.

Sessions are conducted from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on all three days. A certificate of completion is awarded at the conclusion, along with other memorabilia. The class size is limited; therefore, please return your registration form as soon as possible, and no later than February 18, 2011. Do not make firm travel arrangements until your registration is confirmed.

Special corporate rates at local hotels are available, and there is limo service available from Philadelphia Airport at a nominal charge. More detailed information will be provided after your registration is confirmed. To register, go to www.schramminc.com, and click on “Training.” If you have any questions regarding this seminar, contact the Schramm service department at 610-696-2500.

Water Crisis Driven by Immigration Policy

The looming water crisis in the American Southwest – and the role of immigration-driven population growth – is the topic of a paper published by the Center for Immigration Studies, and authored by New Mexico journalist Kathleene Parker. The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent non-partisan research institution that examines the impact of immigration on the United States.

The paper, “Population, Immigration, and the Drying of the American Southwest,” explores the link between the possibility of the potentially catastrophic economic and environmental water crisis and the fact that the Southwest is the fastest-growing region of the world’s fourth-fastest-growing nation – a growth rate earlier cautioned against by various presidential commissions. It also looks at how that growth rate is driven by historically unprecedented immigration – legal and illegal – into the United States, the world’s third-most-populous nation after China and India. Immigration is responsible for more than half of the population growth in the Southwest this past decade, and nearly all of the growth in the largest southwest state, California.

Such high immigration has happened absent discussion or acknowledgement of its impacts on population or limited resources, such as water. Parker presents evidence that indicates there is insufficient water for the region’s current population, much less the larger future populations that will result if immigration continues at its present high rate.

The paper focuses on the drought- and growth-depleted Colorado River, including the high probability that the first-ever drought emergency could be declared on the river by early 2011 and the possibility that Lake Mead, the nation’s largest reservoir and a Depression-era wonder of engineering, could run dry in the not too distant future, with hydroelectric production threatened even sooner.

This would imperil all of the Southwest, Nevada and Las Vegas – which depends on Lake Mead for 90 percent of its water – in particular, but also cities like Albuquerque, which uses Colorado River water via the San Juan-Chama diversion project. Such relatively junior water rights could be at risk in the midst of a profound or long-term water shortage on the Colorado River.

The legal allocation of the Colorado in the 1920s was based on a combination of flawed river-flow data and a failure to understand that the Southwest, historically, is a far more arid region – based on recent scientific research – than first believed. That concern is based on normal weather patterns, with the possibility of even further depletion of the river, the Southwest’s main source of water, should global warming happen.

Yet the water crisis unfolds in an atmosphere where, as pointed out by prestigious scientific groups like the National Academy of Sciences and the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, the extent of the crisis is not being sufficiently acknowledged or the advisability of the region’s high growth rate considered by leaders. That high growth rate, in turn, is driven by U.S. immigration policies that do not consider the implications of a growth rate that, if trends hold, could mean one billion Americans by late this century. Six states are dependent upon Colorado River to provide water to roughly 60 million people, and that number could double over the next four decades if immigration is not returned to far lower levels in the near future. 
ND