How to Reduce Our Water Problems
Article By: Ryan Wiseman
By initiating this plan, we could eliminate flooding of river valleys like the Mississippi and Ohio, recharge our aquifers, like the Ogallala in the Great Plains, provide water to the cities of the west coast, and irrigate our deserts to increase our agricultural yield and lower our oil dependency.
With just a fraction of the money spent on our military-industrial complex, we could create a water rerouting network that allows for several problems to be solved at once, while at the same time helping to allow land in more arid regions of our country, such as the Great Plains, and especially the Southwest, to be increasingly irrigated and cultivated, and allowing our economy and agricultural yield to expand. Here are the basic aspects of this plan:
1. Areas of the country that are prone to flooding, such as the Mississippi River Valley, and the Ohio Valley, would have networks in place, either through canal networks or through underground pipelines, to pump extra water out of those areas during heavy rains, and ship it to other areas of the country that are in need of more water, such as the Great Plains, and the Southwestern United States.
2. Our coasts would be lined with desalination plants that convert seawater into freshwater, after which the freshwater would be sent via pipelines or canal networks to other places inland that would need that water.
3. In areas of the country where much of our farming takes place, such as the Midwest and Great Plains, drainage would be improved, and marshlands created, to allow excess water to drain off of crops during heavy rains, and run into these marshlands. This would improve agricultural yield on each individual farm field by reducing crop destruction during heavy rainfalls, while at the same time improve the environment by creating habitats for birds and animals.
These three things would have the following benefits:
1. Those cities and towns along the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, and their tributaries, that are prone to flooding, would not have to suffer from that flooding any longer, as that excess water would be shipped for use elsewhere. Large-scale destruction due to flooding would become a thing of the past. This would save people in those areas from the hassle and headache of having to rebuild, and would save insurance companies and government aid agencies billions of dollars.
2. Farmland that is used to grow crops in flood basins would not need to be flooded to reduce flooding in cities and towns downstream, which would allow for any crops grown in those flood basins to make it to harvest without being destroyed, and thus allowing for our agricultural yield to be increased from that standpoint.
3. Excess water could be sent to the Great Plains, and in particular, the area that uses water from the Ogallala Aquifer. This water that is pumped in could be used for irrigation purposes by farmers before they start using water from the aquifer. Add to this a public policy change that incentivizes some farmers in that area to convert their crop land into ranch land for cattle grazing, and we could reduce use of this aquifer even more. This would ensure that the Ogallala Aquifer gets recharged to its full capacity rather than continuing to get slowly drained more and more each year. We can also use this same approach with other aquifers that are used farther west.
4. Cities on the Pacific coast of the United States would start using water from the desalination plants, and reduce their use of water that in shipped in from other parts of their state, or adjoining states, allowing that other fresh water resource to be used elsewhere, including for agricultural reasons, particularly in the Central Valley Region of California, as well as in the arid regions of the Intermontane West, allowing for increased agricultural yield.
5. Like as mentioned in no. 4 above, land in the Southwestern United States would not be useless any longer, but could be irrigated and used for agricultural purposes, allowing our agricultural yield to increase. This water would be shipped in through underground pipelines or canal networks from flood-prone areas farther east, and from desalination plants along the Pacific and Golf Coasts. This would help to stimulate growth of the agricultural sector of our economy even more, as well as other sectors of the economy that are tied to that sector.
6. We could produce more bio-fuel, such as corn-based ethanol and soy-based bio-diesel, which if added to our normal fuel usage, could help to reduce our dependency on foreign oil.
So, let’s create a national water rerouting network to help improve our country, stop destruction from flooding, improve agricultural yield in the Great Plains and the Southwest, and reduce need for water in cities on the Pacific Coast, all while producing even more freshwater from the sea. We could do it with just of fraction of the money spent for military purposes, too.
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