We Can Break the Back of Southern Idaho Drought
The photograph above was taken by “Liz” Miller. She and my niece were childhood playmates. Some of that time spent in the park in the picture. The slide is ancient. I played on it when I was a boy. The year I turned ten a tropical storm roared up through Appalachia and turned the park into a lake. Just as it did this week. My hometown rests southeast of Lake Erie. The Great Lakes are like giant humidors. Summers are often washouts and winters clogged with snow.
It wouldn’t be free but the alternative is moving back to the coasts and leaving this region we call home fallow.
And we’re exceptionally dry in Southern Idaho. This morning I read where the western states are in the 22nd year of a mega-drought. The good news is, these often average only 30 years. The bad news is, if we match the average, we’ve got another 8 years of dry conditions.
A writer at the Economist questioned the ongoing migration into the Mountain West and Intermountain West. The demand for water keeps growing. I’m not posting the link because you would need to subscribe to read the story, although. You get the idea.
Which takes me back to an idea I floated last month. Pump water westward from the Great Lakes. Would it be expensive? It wouldn’t be free but the alternative is moving back to the coasts and leaving this region we call home fallow. Pipelines already move fuel. I can live three days without oil but not beyond three days without water! Someone called out my plan and described me a fool and said water would freeze in winter. If that be the case, then only pump in summer and fill our reservoirs (engineers also have told me we have remedies for cold weather when it comes to pipelines).
One of my critics insisted we couldn’t pump water over the mountains. He proposed desalination plants on the West Coast. Dude, you still would need to overcome mountains! Look at the gold dang map! Desalination also isn’t cheap, click here and here.
There is water available back east. Liquid also salt free. Right now I know people who would gladly share.