Saturday, February 22, 2020

The Great Lakes’ Waterways

I’ve got something to run by you, the reader.  There are areas of our nation that often are in need of great amount of water.  The rainfalls concentrations have always been patterns that shift back and forth.  There are areas that flood, more often the south and southeast, but it happens everywhere from time to time.  The point is that one can’t count on consistent rainfall.  Sometimes it’s too little, and sometimes it’s too much.  But areas, especially in the western mid-west and in the west are definitely prone to droughts.

My idea, and I say it’s my idea because I’ve never heard anyone suggest this before, though I’m sure lots of people have thought of it individually, is to pipe water from the Great Lakes (Lake Michigan, Lakes Superior, etc.) into those areas that have been proven to be drought prone.  If that sounds ridiculous at first, think about the State Water Project in California, an infrastructure that was built to move massive amounts of water from the central and northern sierra, as well as from the southern Cascades into the great central valley for the farmers and then, into the large cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles. 

If you ever have occasion to visit the California Department of Water Resources Museum at Lake Pyramid, you will find several displays that show just how huge this system is.  It has been extremely effective, but the on-going problem is that one can’t always count on Pacific storms to load up those mountain ranges with packs of snow that will last throughout the summer and fall seasons.  This winter season of 2020 appears to be one of them.  We’ve not had a lot of rain this winter, and thus, the snow packs in the Sierra’s and in the Cascades, are going to produce little year-round water for the state of California.

And so, here we have the Great Lakes in the mid-west.  These are colossal living reservoirs of water that, as far as the current news outlets have been reporting, are so high that they are eating away at homes and bluffs that sit on the shorelines of these lakes.  Let’s have the Federal Government build various pipelines, canals, and pumps to move water from the Great Lakes into areas of the west and southwest such as California, eastern Colorado, Utah, Nevada, and Arizona. 

When President Roosevelt created programs in the 1930’s to built The Hoover Dam, it kept a lot of people working and did a permanent good for the nation (in not allowing the lower Colorado to flood areas such as the Salton Sea). 

A program to create this infrastructure would most likely take decades, since it would be a huge project.  It would keep a lot of people working for a long time, and the good that it would do to provide the west and southwest with consistent water, that each state could pay for as needed, would be permanent and incalculable.  There would be no more arguing about the Sacramento River as to if water should be sent to farmers, or diverted for the smelt.  A lot of people say, "screw the smelt."

Think about it.  We have literal seas of fresh water in the Great Lakes, and because of their source, the Canadian ranges plains of all sorts that feed into the Great Lakes, it’s an unending reservoir.  And because of the size of the five lakes, any amount of water that you siphon off into pipe and canals would make absolutely no impact on them.  They are just too large to be impacted. 

So, let’s all agree that it's a great idea and let's do this thing.