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A Relic Ravine or Hollow of Old California

Part 2


Also see:
 |  Part 1 - Exploring an hypothesis
 |  Part 2 - Simple treatment



Ecological Footprint: "A measure of how much biologically productive land and water an individual, population or activity requires to produce all the resources it consumes and to absorb the waste it generates using prevailing technology and resource management practices. The Ecological Footprint is usually measured in global hectares. Because trade is global, an individual or country's Footprint includes land or sea from all over the world. Ecological Footprint is often referred to in short form as Footprint (not footprint)."

For U.S. audiences, Footprint results are often presented in global acres (ga), rather than global hectares

United States:
ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT (global acres per capita) = 22.3
BIOCAPACITY (global acres per capita) = 10.9

10.9 - 22.3 = (11.3) ecological deficit.

Source: The website of these consultants: Global Footprint Network

Local Area and Biocapacity

The local area: The Malaga Canyon rain catchment area

916 acres (land) + adjacent 916 acres (sea) = 1832 U.S. acres
1832 / 10.9 (U.S. global acres of biocapacity per capita) = 168

The local area biologically capable of supporting 168 people (?).

Control: Some estimated 25-200 people from pre-domestication of plants and animals culture lived in and off the biological capability of this local area for thousands of years - per artifacts recorded in archaeological excavations at the site known as Malaga Cove (CA-LAN-138).

The current local area population = 10,000(?) people.
10,000 x 22.3 (U.S. global acres of Ecological Footprint per capita) = 223,000

The Ecological Footprint of the current population of the local area is effectively 223,000 acres of biological capacity. The equivalent area of land between Palos Verdes, Pasadena and Santa Monica.


"On The Anatomy of the Malaga Cove Site"

For an archaeology paper on the Malaga Cove (CA-LAN-138) excavation site, see the Pacific Coast Archaeological Society Quarterly Journal (PCAS Quarterly) 2014 article On The Anatomy of the Malaga Cove Site by Henry C. Koerper and Mark L. Peterson. Download the article here (PDF, 5 MB).


The Ecological Footprint of CA-LAN-138

Simple Treatment

For thousands of years the Ecological Footprint of the people in the local area of this canyon was zero. The per capita global acres (ga) of the previous inhabitants was near zero (0). The average population of the area were likely some 25 to 200 inhabitants more or less. They were 100% self-sustained for water and food by the area. After thousands of years of permanent settlement in the area, their only Footprint were a few mounds on the bluff and the artifacts as represented by the Malaga Cove archaeological excavations.

Initial Calculations:

Current (ga) per capita for self-sustaining planet = 2. Reduce the average Ecological Footprint of each person in the local area of Malaga Canyon from 22 to 10 (ga).

22 - 10 = 12 (reduce per capita EF by more than half)

To do that - the entire current population in the local area of Malaga Canyon would need to become 100% self-sufficient for water and food - using only the biological resources in the local area. Whether this is even theoretically possible for them to do is what I'm exploring. The advantage here is there is a record of the people doing just that for thousands of years as a baseline for analysis.


Primary Constraints of Available Water and Food in the Local Area

Groundwater Storage = 48,866,650 gallons (?)

Map of Available Groundwater Storage in Los Angeles County



The above image is from a figure in an aquifer storage calculation study. The figure on the right shows the Malaga Canyon area has a major advantage. Note the purple dots on the map at the Malaga Cove location. It shows Malaga Cove as having some of the most concentrated and deep fresh water storage capabilities in LA County.

150 acre feet of water storage in aquifer in the local area. (?)
1 acre foot = 325,851 gallons
150 x 325,851 = 48,866,650 gallons of water stored in the area.


Annual Rain Runoff down the canyon = 325,000,000 Gallons (?) See: Water Flow Analysis

Annual amount of fish sustainably harvested from the sea in the local area = 32,850,000 pounds (?)


Secondary Constraints of Available Water and Food in the Local Area


Amount of water in area available for annual personal use and food production: 300,000,000 gallons

Amount of water per person per day for personal use: 10 gallons (average American uses 150 gallons of water per person per day)

10 x 10,000 x 365 = 36,500,000 (approx.) gallons minimum annual personal consumption
300,000,000 - 36,500,000 = 263,500,000 gallons annually available for food production.

Amount of food a person needs per day: 3.8 pounds. (average American eats 4.5 pounds of food per person per day)

Subtract 1 pound of food obtained from the sea for consumption per person per day.

2.8 x10,000 x 365 = 10,220,000 annual pounds of fruit/vegetables minimum.

Number of gallons of water needed to grow 1 pound of fruit/vegetables = 35 gallons

35 x 10,220,000 = 3,577,700,000 gallons of water

3,577,700,000 - 263,500,000 = 3,314,200,000 (annual deficit of water)

1 acre can grow 30,000 pounds of vegetables?

200 x 30,000 = 6,000,000 pounds of food

263,500,000 / 35 = 7,528,571 pounds of food capable of growing with the available water

(263,500,000) gallons annually available for food production divided by (35) gallons of water needed to grow 1 pound of various fruit/vegetables = (7,528,571) pounds

6,000,000 / 365 = 16,438 pounds per day

16,438 / 2.8 = 5,870 people self-sustained for food

10,000 - 5870 = 4130 deficit


Implications of Primary and Secondary Constraints


1) Land is the greater constraint, when initially determining how many of the 10,000 can be 100% self-sustained for water and food.
2) The initial Simple Treatment reducing the Ecological Footprint from 22 to 10 can not feed 4130 of the 10,000 people in the local area.
3) For all 10,000 people to be self-sustained requires further applying the unique human social / technical capabilities of the area to further increase/decrease all the various primary and secondary constraint values accordingly.
4) Further increasing/decreasing the constraint values accordingly probably means re-architecting (re-designing) all the human structures and energy flows in the local area to effectively reduce the per capita Ecological Footprint from 22 global acres (ga) to 6 or 7 instead of simply 10 or 11.