Why can’t we just move water to solve a #drought? — News Nation

US Drought Monitor map September 7, 2021.

From News Nation (Alix Martichoux):

Have you seen the U.S. Drought Monitor’s map lately? It’s not good. Especially for one half of the country.

More than 98% of the Western United States is experiencing drought. In the Northeast, it’s only about 15% of the land under a drought. In the Southeast it’s even lower, at 8%.

So if there’s plenty of water in reservoirs to the East, why not just move around resources and share the goods as one big happy country? A candidate in California’s gubernatorial recall election recently suggested building a pipeline from the Mississippi River the Golden State. We asked two drought experts. It turns out it would be stupidly complicated.

The first problem: Our country is very, very big.

“It’s really far away,” says Stephanie Pincetl, professor at UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. “There are mountains and deserts and swamps and all kinds of things. That infrastructure would be enormously expensive to build. I mean trillions of dollars.”

Even if cost wasn’t a factor, logistics would be complicated. The water would need to be transported in some sort of massive pipe…

You’d need to dig through thousands of miles of land – much of it probably private property – to put a pipe underground…

Now, let’s say money and logistics are no obstacle. It still doesn’t make sense environmentally.

“It would require a lot of energy to move that water, gobs of energy,” says Pincetl…

We’re much better off finding ways to conserve the water we do have and use it more wisely, Hall says…

Hall is less subtle: “That’s a wildly unrealistic thing to do. … We need to be thinking about our addictions to resources that we take for granted.”

Created by Imgur user Fejetlenfej , a geographer and GIS analyst with a ‘lifelong passion for beautiful maps,’ it highlights the massive expanse of river basins across the country – in particular, those which feed the Mississippi River, in pink.

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