17 Mar 2008

Silly Sources of Water Supply

Global warming appears to be affecting people's thinking. Here are two not-so-good ideas on increasing water supply in the West:
  1. Dick Speed proposes that Imperial Valley build a canal from the ocean to the Salton Sea and then desalinate water from the Salton Sea to "provide a never-ending supply of that quantity of desalinated water every year for the foreseeable future. The water would be fully desalinated for residential use and partially desalinated for agricultural or industrial purposes. The gulf water should be made to generate electricity as it falls 220-plus feet to the level of the Salton Sea."

    Interesting idea, except for the canal that goes through Mexico, massive energy for desalination, and problem with salty waste discharge. I have a better idea -- why not move to somewhere with water?

  2. How about build more dams! And this idea comes from the Big Agency for Building Dams:
    “The West and the Northwest are increasing in population growth like never before,” said John Redding, regional spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in Boise, Idaho. “How do you quench the thirst of the hungry masses?”
    Says the Bureau, famous for selling water below cost to farmers. We don't need new dams -- we need markets where farmers pay full price and urban users can buy as much as they want!
Bottom Line: Desperate times call for careful thought, not silly ideas. If something is broke, don't build something on top of it -- look and see why it broke (too much demand for cheap water and falling supplies) and then address that problem: Raise prices to reduce demand.

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