As a number of people have noted, it's been a newsworthy week in Western water circles.
John Fleck has a great post, On Moving Water, and a perceptive quote:
The more we engage in large scale movement of water out of its natural watersheds, the more trouble we seem to have.
The quote followed mention of the proposal by Pat Mulroy of the SNWA to harness Mississippi River flood flows and ship them West to replenish the High Plains and presumably, her beloved Las Vegas, which now finds itself up the creek without groundwater.
That proposal has been around for at least forty years. The version (c. 1970) I remember is a pipeline that would lift water from the Mississippi River to the High Plains to replenish its depleted aquifer. Ten nuclear power plants would provide the energy needed to pump the water.
But instead of moving massive amounts of water around the continent, let me channel David Zetland and suggest that we provide financial incentives for people to depopulate places like Las Vegas, Phoenix, etc., and move to places like Detroit, Buffalo, Toledo, Akron, Pittsburgh, etc.
I am of course making the assumption that these Eastern cities have enough water for the Western refugees. I do know they have less expensive housing than many Western cities, and what with global warming, might have more moderate winters than they do know.
So why move water around when you can move people around, without forcing them to move? Makes sense to me. Get the Las Vegas area down to a more manageable population, in line with its current water supply. And raise the price of water, too.
Imagine - people leaving Las Vegas with money in their pockets!
Would it be cheaper than massive water projects? I don't know. I'd love to see an economist 'do the numbers.' And I'd also love to hear some serious discussion of my proposal.
"Detroit: a French word meaning 'Let's move to Phoenix.' " -- Dave Barry