Most of the Southwest United States is in drought, which will come as no surprised to those who who’ve heard the term “Desert Southwest”. After all, Phoenix, Arizona, was built on a place that got so dry the Native Americans gave up and moved away.
Now the Phoenix rising from the ashes is a roasted bird, Las Vegas is turning from Sin City to Sand City, and the Hoover Dam will someday be called the Hoover Wall. Climate change? Well, yeah–Mother Nature has stepped out of the bath and is drying herself with a huge sandy towel.
The question is, what’s to be done? We can’t just hope California slides into the sea and changes weather patterns–we don’t get that lucky. Oh, and people live there, that too.
So, how do we solve this problem?
Okay, we could detonate nuclear weapons off the California coast, which would cause waves to wash over the land. There are a few problems with this idea, the main one being that the water wouldn’t go far enough inland. Plus, it’s salt water. Plus, you know, people. The surfing would be awesome, though.
Scientists have learned many asteroids and comets contain water ice. We could steer one this way and drop it over the Southwest–I’m thinking California–where it would not only provide water, but also remove an awfully lot of the demand for water.
|“Honey, it looks like rain!”|
This didn’t work out so well for the dinosaurs.
But I had an idea–one that makes just much sense as, say, the Congressional budget process, or the Kardashians. I originally came up with it during the Great Recession, in around 2008. At the time we’d had problems with drought or flooding, or maybe both, and while pondering it I had my own brainstorm.
Why did I not speak up? Because it was huge. Huge. I figured people would just make fun of it.
But I’m older now, and honestly I just don’t give a dam. (Dam, get it? Never mind.)
Then, in 2015, William Shatner floated a similar idea. I figured if it’s good enough for Captain Kirk, it’s good enough for me.
|Maybe Captain Kirk could help find the water.
Now, what are the two water related problems facing the US today? That’s right: too little water, and too much water. (We northern Hoosiers are getting soaked pretty good at the moment.) So …
I know what you’re thinking: “Mark, that would be insanely expensive!”
Hear me out. First of all, manpower would come from every able bodied person in the country who, for one reason or other, is getting government money. They would be trained in the necessary skills to build pipelines across the country, and paid to do it. If they’re capable of doing the work but choose not to, then they just don’t get taxpayer money–pretty much as simple as that.
Nothing would flow through these pipelines but water. Further–and this is important–water will go to drought stricken areas, but only from areas that are getting too much water. If it’s flooding in Alabama, that water goes to Arizona. If there’s no flooding going on anywhere in America, then the dry places have to hang on as best they can. No siphoning water from the Great Lakes, or the Mississippi River, unless they’re overflowing their banks. Flood waters would go first to drought areas in the same state, if there are any.
|They can have our snow, too.
That would make it complicated, and at first enormously expensive. It might also go slowly, as only enough people would work on it to get the unemployment rate as low as possible. But in the long run it would give people jobs and future skills, reduce flood losses, and help make the Southwest green again. The pipelines could even be tapped for firefighting as they pass through rural areas.
Granted, it won’t solve all our problems: The Kardashians will still be there.
It’s a sensible solution that would take only political will, which is exactly why it will never happen.
But it’s nice to think about, isn’t it? Top off Lake Meade, help out the farmers who feed us, and Californians can stay in California. I mean, they’ll still have the earthquakes, but no plan is perfect.