REHYDRATE THE GREAT BASIN

This is a multi-step process, and for brevity this page will address some of the major tasks which must be accomplished to make this occur. This is the most grandiose Move the Water! proposal for the USA where Global Warming can be impacted, and reversal initiated. Not all possible steps can be included in this page, and there are alternate options for every step.

The Benefits Are Immense.

Bringing water to a desert is bringing life to the desert. Where there is life, there are possibilities. The grandiose statement of return on investment is that Global Warming will be combated by this effort. Water in the Great Basin will recirculate via the hydrologic cycle throughout the whole of the Great Basin. With the water comes localized cooling and plant growth. Some of that water and will migrate toward the surrounding states, bringing with it the same Global Warming reduction benefits. On the grand scale, there is no downside. Imagine the below video to be the Great Basin. It can be this way; we just need to add water.  

Where there is water, there is life By Afrika24 Reisen

It can be this way; we just need to add water!

The Downside … Change Brings Change.

Change always brings disruption of status quo and unintended consequences, but for the greater global good, these must be endured. The problems are inundation of dry places with standing water, which may render some land unusable for farming or habitation. But standing water is the goal of this initiative and is essential to provide large water surface area for evaporation.

How to Accept Change Is Inevitable by marty wilson

Do you choose death or life?

The Downside … People Live There.

The counter argument is that few people live in the areas which will be submerged. The areas are hot dry deserts. The people who must be relocated can be moved to water’s edge properties, which are usually considered to be more valuable than raw desert land.

The Downside … Farmland Will Be Flooded.

The farmland in a desert is only valuable if irrigation water is available. The good news is that new areas of agriculture will be established. Once water is brought into the desert, and fills the depression, the hydrologic cycle will take over and fresh water will be created via rain, mist and snow, reducing the requirement for irrigation. This is the benefit which will make the change valuable to the farmers. The desert can become fertile and green with addition of water, and some wise land management. The below video gives one option.

From the Ground Up – ‘Regenerative Agriculture’ by festival21

The Downside … Flash Floods.

Rain in desert is associated with flash floods. These will occur and must be endured, but they will naturally diminish as plants cover the ground and impede the unimpeded water runoff.  China has done amazing things to stem rapid water runoff from a landscape, and those techniques could be used in the Great Basin (see video near end of article: Regreening the desert with John D. Liu). The below video is aimed at a suburban community, but the information is excellent.

Flood Control: WHAT YOU CAN DO by peter berman

The natural flood control features can be returned.

The Downside … Terminal Water Will Get Salty.

Yes, it will get salty in the terminal lake basin, in Death Valley. That is expected and not as much trouble as one thinks. The land which will be initially flooded is already salted from the body of water which previously occupied that location and evaporated. If this is a major problem, recirculation paths for the water can be established to eliminate Death Valley Basin as a terminal pool.

How to Rehydration the Great Basin?

This is a multi-stepped process with the end goal of creating a salt sea in Death Valley where the bulk of the evaporation will initially occur.

Rehydrate Great Basin … Step One.

Bring sea water from Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez) into Laguna Salada, Mexico via the Coyote Canal. The below video demonstrates the waterway as envisioned by Agess Inc as one option in moving water to Laguna Salada. The option proposed by Agess Inc seems to be one of the less expensive options and it seems to return many benefits.

Binational Restoration of Laguna Salada & Salton Sea by Agess, Inc

This is extremely simple to do.

Rehydrate Great Basin … Step Two.

Bring the sea water from Laguna Salada into the Salton Sea via an extension of the Coyote Canal. This is easily accomplished (easily is a relative term, but it is much easier than the construction of the Colorado River Aqueduct, which is a 242 mi (389 km) water conveyance which crosses the Rocky Mountains delivering water from the Colorado River to Los Angeles CA. The extension of the Coyote Canal needs to be a metered flow to preclude overfill of the Salton Sea. The above video also includes visualization of the extended Coyote Canal. The below video is a video discussion of an alternative idea for filling the Salton Sea with water.

The Salton Sea Solution by stocktondan

Rehydrate Great Basin … Step Three.

Install a drain in the Salton Sea. One of the problems identified by StocktonDan is the increasing salinity of the Salton Sea caused by continued evaporation. There are quite a few options presented to mitigate the salt saturation of the Salton Sea being proposed by many people. The solution that I present here is to drain the Salton Sea, but only after steps one and two above have been completed. The below video shows how a drain/valve can be installed in the base of a lake so the water can be drained out like that of a bathtub.

Lake Mead Intake Hydraulic Tunnel, Las Vegas by Salini Impregilo

A surface level drain is much less expensive.

Rehydrate Great Basin … Step Four.

Putting a drain in the bottom of the Salton Sea is all good and fine, but where does the drain go/empty? The next and nearest lower place is Death Valley. The drain must be routed via tunnel to Death Valley. This step could be achieved without the drain if a surface level intake were used instead of the drain. This will not keep the Salton Sea as clean as using a drain would, but it is much less expensive.  The water tunnel is a 100+ mile long, 15 foot diameter, tube installed underground via a boring machine.  Underground tunnels have been made, and The Boring Company boasts to be able to put them almost anywhere and any distance, for a cost well below anyone else. This would be a good test of the long-distance capabilities of The Boring Company. The completion of the tunnel would be an engineering feat which will benefit the reversal of Global Warming in many ways.

Tunnels by The Boring Company

This shows cars, but they do water tunnels too.

Rehydrate Great Basin … Step Five.

Let the water flow. I expect that it will take much more than the full flow of one 15’ diameter pipe to fill Death Valley with water. If no other input is developed, I doubt that a large lake will form. There will be a balance point where daily evaporation will equal the pipe’s input. Filling Death Valley with water is the subject a paper by Chuan C. Chang: Creating Death Valley Lake His paper suggests multiple intakes with outtakes to keep the salinity to a balanced level. He expects that the land along the new inland sea and along the canals could be sold to individuals and the profit form the land sales would fund the project. Filling Death Valley with water is also the subject of the two videos below.

The Little-Pacific Project by Tribute Flight

Fill Death Valley with Ocean Water by thebillo313

Humorous presentation, but good idea.

We Have Water in Death Valley, Now What?

Now The Fun Begins. No further direct human action is required. What has been accomplished by moving the water there is the most important part. The hydrologic processes do the rest. Let’s review what will occur through natural hydrologic processes.

Water Evaporated and Returns

Water will evaporate from the surface of the newly formed Death Valley Sea. The water will be taken into the air for redistribution in mostly within the Great Basin with smaller amounts passing over the rim and entering the surrounding states. What water is removed will be replaced via the open water path. The evaporated water returned to the Great Basin in the form of dew on the ground in mornings, in the form of rain, and in the form of snow on the tops of the mountains. This returned water is cleaned water, suitable for drinking, for watering plants and irrigating crops.

Plants Grow.

Plants will grow when they have an ongoing supply of moisture. The plants retain water in their structure, they are made up of approximately 90% water, water which is not immediately returned to the ocean but retained as long as the plant lives. The plants clean the air of CO2. They return breathable O2 into the air and use the Carbon as building block for the plant structures, Carbon that will be held in the plant (sequestered) while it lives and be integrated into the soil as the plant eventually decomposes. Plants are natural air conditioners. As water evaporates from plant leaves; the air is cooled. Below is a video about how one desert plant, a moss, collects water from airborne humidity.

PLANT WATER RELATIONS by 7activestudio

Ground Water Collects

As plants shade the ground, the ground temperature is lowered, which allows the water to percolate into the ground, and be held there waiting for use. The soul will become moist and some underground aquifers will be refilled; again, slowing the water’s return to the ocean.

Water Movement in Soil by NRCS NSSC

Step-3:

Given enough time the hydrologic action should re-hydrate the entire Great Basin region. This could generate the natural refilling of several dry depressions within the Great Basin, including the Great Salt Lake. Just by keeping the waterways open allowing the Death Valley inland sea to remain full, these areas could be returned to a healthy fertile area, growing food for many people. The plants and the ground retain water, so the ocean levels are lower. The environment in these very hot places is cooled, which will cool the entire globe.

Videos About Greening Deserts

Get some water into the Great Basin, and then the entire landscape can be terraformed by natural processes, and/or with some human intervention, the Great Basin can become a really nice lush place.

Regreening the desert with John D. Liu

How Peter Andrews rejuvenates drought-struck land by ABC News

Rainwater Catchment for Reforestation & Increased Production by Vida Verde Finca, Vilcabamba

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