The Latest

THE LATEST

THE LATEST THINKING

THE LATEST THINKING

The opinions of THE LATEST’s guest contributors are their own.

Let's Build Water Pipelines All Across the U.S.

Jeff Hall

Posted on July 17, 2021 14:43

1 user

An idea pops up now and then: Given that some parts of the country have excess water and others are parched, why not build pipelines that will ship water from one part of the country to another?

I live in LA where drought is a normal state of being.  It does feel like things are getting warmer and dryer over time. Huge fires break out here, up in the mountains, the Pacific Northwest -- the entire West, really. I remember a few years ago Georgia was facing a huge water shortage.

Every day we see pictures in the paper and on the news of lakes and reservoirs that are way down. Here it is mid-July; peak fire season (in normal times) hits in October.  We are now, once again, facing water restrictions and some think it's too little, too late.

Meanwhile, we have floods and huge rainstorms in Florida, Louisiana, the Midwest.

We have gas and oil pipelines all across the U.S.  Why not add another set of pipelines that could transport water?  We could build right on top of (or to the side of), the existing pipes, so no new land will be required.

When the Keystone Pipeline got nixed because of environmental concerns, many lamented all the lost jobs.  If we build water pipelines connecting all of America -- maybe we can include Canada, too -- that will turn into a lot of jobs for a lot of years.

This isn't my original idea.  Once a year or so, someone proposes water pipelines in a letter to the editor (Los Angeles Times). 

William Shatner, Captain Kirk of the Starship Enterprise, was a big promoter of this idea some years ago.  In this 2015 interview with USA Today, he proposed a water pipeline from Seattle to California. 

I'm not sure why the idea didn't catch on.  Maybe, like Star Trek, he was ahead of his times.

Anyway, water pipelines still seem like a good idea to me.  Maybe some environmentalists will find something to object to in this pipeline idea, but the idea of homes burning down and lakes drying up and having no water to drink is objectionable, too. Plus we need water to grow crops.

We have the California Aqueduct, which transports water from the Sacramento Delta and some lakes up north to points south.  Much of this water travels through canals and pipes. So this can be done.  Maybe a pipeline from Seattle can plug into this existing system. 

Germany is suffering floods right now.  I don't know that a few pipelines could siphon off enough water to make a difference, but what if Germany could send this water to other places on the continent that need water? Australia and parts of Africa are notoriously dry.

It seems like this is an idea that could work anywhere.

Infrastructure is much in the news these days. Let's add water pipelines to the "to do" list.

 

Jeff Hall

Posted on July 17, 2021 14:43

Comments

comments powered by Disqus

By Gillian Flaccus | Associated Press PORTLAND, Ore. — Dry, unstable and windy conditions will keep fueling a massive wildfire...

THE LATEST THINKING

Video Site Tour

The Latest
The Latest

Subscribe to THE LATEST Newsletter.

The Latest
The Latest

Share this TLT through...

The Latest