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ibstubro's avatar

The Midwest is forecast a wet summer with heavy flooding. The Southwest is forecast continued drought. What's your plan for getting excess Midwest water to California?

Asked by ibstubro (18636points) April 17th, 2014

Too late to ship snow.

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27 Answers

janbb's avatar

Yeah – shipping snow was my winter plan. I was going to shovel it into refrigerated box cars and send it off.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

Build a pipeline!

JLeslie's avatar

The Midwest likes to keep their water. If they were going to do anything I think they would build huge storage tanks, eventually maybe to sell it if it is truly over abundant.

Jaxk's avatar

I think the only viable plan is to build desalinization plants for LA. Shipping water in from other regions is very expensive and you can never depend on future excesses. Currently there is plenty of water in the Pacific Northwest so you could extend the California Aqueduct but I can’t see that as a permanent solution.

ibstubro's avatar

I remembered your snow plan, @janbb!

We pipe oil, maybe we could build 2 pipes at a time, @Dan_Lyons.

I’m in the Midwest, and flooding is the prediction, @JLeslie.

We’re trying to get excess to deficiency, @Jaxk. Considering how dependent we are on California’s crops, expense would be in order.

Jaxk's avatar

@ibstubro – The problem is, you can’t depend on that excess. The California Aqueduct was built because Northern California had excess so they ship it to southern. LA’s thirst however, is never quenched. It just keeps growing. If you take LA out of the equation, there is enough water for northern and central California. As far as pipelines are concerned, I’m not sure if you realize how big those pipes would have to be. The Aqueduct carries a huge amount of water, about 13,000 cubic feet per Second. And let’s not forget, you would have to pump it over both the Rockies and the Sierra Nevada mountains. No small task.

turtlesandbox's avatar

Portions of the Midwest are in a drought right now or have been in a severe drought in recent years.

The water can stay in the Midwest.

Jaxk's avatar

^^ BTW, just for reference, the Colorado River typically carries 10,000 to 40,000 CFS. So we are talking about pumping the equivalent of the Colorado River from the Midwest, over the mountains, to California. I think we’re going to need more power.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Living in the Midwest I can tell you, we sorely need water.

Lakes Michigan and Huron are only on an upswing this year due to the longer than typical freeze. If its as hot of a summer as many are predicting, evaporation may take us once again to a new low.

My family very purposely chose the land upon which now six generations have lived. I will fight not to ship or pipe water anywhere. We have plenty of water storage tanks in my locale.

Strauss's avatar

Reroute the Keystone XL!

Jaxk's avatar


Since the Keystone is only designed for a max of 700,000 barrels per day, you would need about 20,000 of these to handle the volume.

thorninmud's avatar

Well, I had a plan, but apparently it has already been tried and doesn’t work so well.

FlyingWolf's avatar

A really long bucket brigade brigade. Hands Across America managed a line of people coast to coast, we only have to go half way and add buckets full of water.

Jaxk's avatar


Not bad. That would certainly help to replenish the supply and has the added benefit of reducing consumption. We just need to convince people to not be quite so persnickety.

stanleybmanly's avatar

The Midwest should keep all the water it can get to recharge the Ogallala aquifer. Now harvesting the water in the Great Lakes or a pipeline from Canada will probably come about, given the severity of the weather dislocations certain to result from global warming. The only question is whether or not things will get underway before mass famine arrives. I wonder if it’s feasible to tow icebergs to California?

Coloma's avatar

Well…us Northern CA. peeps do not like our precious water going to southern CA. Pffft!
If you build cities in the desert don’t steal us mountain dwellers H20. Keep your hands off my snow pack! lol

flutherother's avatar

Dehydrate it and ship it west in lorries.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Everyone headed west has to carry a giant paper towel soaked in Midwest water to the southwest and wring it out there. Makes as much sense as having people in the desert and bringing the water to them. Sam Kinison had it right. He was referring to desert dwellers in Africa. He said we have deserts here, we just don’t live in them. 30 years later we prove him wrong.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

As @Jaxk said, desalinization plants may well be the only answer. I was on Catalina Island years ago (just off of L.A.) and they used one plant to supply fresh water to Avalon.

Why are there not hundreds of these plants across the US?

It would be a money maker, too!

ibstubro's avatar

The bucket brigade sounds like fun.

Locally here in the Midwest they’re clearing all the brush from around the bridges and out of the gullies because they believe the amount of water expected will wash them out, otherwise. This year we had a special assessment in the Mississippi river basin (to the tune of $700 on a building we only paid in the mid 5 digits for) to pay for the diesel fuel used to pump rainwater over the levee a couple of years back. If there was a way to channel the excess water to a location that needs it, it would be a boon to all.

And yes, at the same time we have been experiencing drought the past few years. Pre-civilization, millions, billions? of acres would have been flooded and slowly given up their saturation to evaporation, increasing the humidity and – presumably – rainfall.

Humans have made such a mess of the Earth. It embarrasses and disgusts me. If a superior alien race visited the Earth, they would likely wipe out the humans, taking them for a form of cancer that needed to be eliminated in order for intelligent life to evolve.

Humans are like a bunch of juvenile delinquents entering their 20’s. We know better, but refuse to acknowledge it, and try to reverse our transgressions.

I don’t need no fancy schmancy soapbox. I’m a stump preacher!

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@ibstubro Yeah, but there’s no guarantee the Midwest will have extra water every time. I can remember when it was drought central too. And if these idiots come up here looking at the Great Lakes they’ll have a fight from us and the Canadians. Drink your fucking selenium swamps.

ibstubro's avatar

Read my whole post, @Adirondackwannabe. I’m fighting drought and flooding at the same time.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I read the whole post and I checked out the drought map at the edu site. It is screwy. How can we have potential flooding next to a drought zone?

ibstubro's avatar

Frack. MY post yes, at the same time we have been experiencing drought the past few years. Pre-civilization, millions, billions? of acres would have been flooded and slowly given up their saturation to evaporation, increasing the humidity and – presumably – rainfall. , @Adirondackwannabe.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Yes, I understand that. The levees reduce the floodplain land available. We have the same problem here, everyone filling in floodplains to build on. When it floods the river can’t spread out like nature intended.

rojo's avatar

Fuck California. Let ‘em suffer. It is not like this is a result of Climate Change or anything.

rojo's avatar

@thorninmud That is so sad. And stupid.

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