Active Climate Rescue Initiative (ACRI) has identified a root cause for the mega-drought and has a solution designed to break the drought by repairing the cause. The solution is to install “Move the Water!” in three locations in SW-North America. This will fix a broken water-cycle and bring rain back to parched lands.
It is the consensus at ACRI is that the SW-USA Mega-Drought is a direct result of man’s interference in the Colorado River Hydrologic Cycle. Entities have been removing water from the Colorado River Watershed since 1894 (1) which has broken the local Water Cycle. The good news is that it can be fixed.
Moving freshwater within a watershed has few negative effects. The water is recirculated within its watershed and used over and over. As an example, water removed from a river to irrigate an adjacent field, flows onto the field and into the ground whereby it slowly returns to the river.
Moving freshwater out of its watershed always creates unintended consequences. The obvious negative effect is that the water is not recirculated within the watershed. Once the water is removed from the river it is gone. If enough water is removed the river could run dry before it reaches its terminus.
Moving oceanwater out of the ocean does not harm the ocean and has more positive effects than negative in its new location. The positive effects include local cooling and increased rainfall. The negative effect is that a terminal pool will become hypersaline, which could be turned positive, managed, or ignored if in the right location.
Colorado River Water
Americans have been sucking water out of the Colorado River for over a hundred years. In the 19th Century the Colorado River flow into Mexico was nearly 1af (acre-feet) per second (3) but has been diminishing ever since. The decreased flow into Mexico was codified by the Colorado River Compact of 1922. In the subsequent years the “Law of the River” agreements and treaties have been codified and implemented with the result of the Colorado River water being divided among seven States and Mexico. Mexico now has only 1/10th of the flow, and the river has not naturally flowed to the sea since 1998 (3). Also of note is that Laguna Salada has been dry since 1999, and the Mega-Drought began in 2000 (5).
The Colorado River gets its water from multiple sources, but the one we are focusing on is the moisture flow from Mexico. Oversimplified, this water cycle begins at Laguna Salada, Baja, MX. The water evaporates from Laguna Salada and blows north to the Salton Sea, from where it evaporates and blows north into Death Valley, from where it quickly evaporates and finds its way to the Great Salt Lake. The evaporation from the Great Salt Lake blows north and feeds the Colorado River and then flows south to refill Laguna Salada, whereby the process starts anew.
ACRI acknowledges that the Colorado River water is being used profitably and the uses are righteous. The resolution needs to be from an alternate source if the beneficiaries are to continue to receive their water. This is where the Move the Water! initiative comes into play. Move the Water! suggests using ocean water to repair the broken water cycle. This is to be done in three pieces.
Repair The Broken Water Cycle
Ocean water will be allowed to flow into Laguna Salada and refill that inland sea. Remember that Laguna Salada (English = Salt Marsh) has always had salt water. Occasionally a high tide will naturally flow ocean water into Laguna Salada. To accomplish the refilling of Laguna Salada the existing dry Coyote Canal must be dredged, deepened, and widened so that its flow is reversed, allowing ocean water to inundate Laguna Salada, keeping it full. This alone will begin to break the mega-drought.
The Coyote Canal can be extended from Laguna Salada into the USA, terminating in the Salton Sea, with the flow metered to maintain Salton Sea at its historic optimum fill level. The flowthrough of ocean water will inhibit Laguna Salada from becoming hypersaline. Also remember that the SALTon Sea has been salt water for many years, so adding salted water is not an ecologic disaster. In fact, the addition of ocean water will lower the salt concentration in the Salton Sea. But something else still needs to be done so that the Salton Sea is not the terminus pool, or it will again become hypersaline.
The hardest and most expensive piece of this puzzle is still needed. This piece will certainly end the mega-drought and assure an increased Colorado River flow. Pipes and pumps, enough to transport 15maf (million acre-feet) of ocean water annually (0.5af/second) into Death Valley. This is an amount equal to the amount of freshwater annually extracted from the Colorado River.
How this Works
It is important to remember that water cannot directly be added into the Colorado River Watershed. Adding freshwater will disrupt some other watershed and cause additional unintended consequences. Adding oceanwater will contaminate the watershed with salt. The water must be added indirectly through the cleansing process of evaporation. This can be done in this region with minimal negative effect.
This is a replacement, gallon per gallon, for the freshwater being removed. By importing the ocean water into Death Valley, the water can be converted to freshwater via evaporation, the salt and other contaminants will be left on the floor of Death Valley, a floor which is already heavily salted (6). The freshwater will be transported to the Colorado River Watershed within the atmosphere to the headwaters of the Colorado River via normal wind currents, which along the way will rehydrate the Great Basin.
This is expensive but remember that the Colorado River water must come from someplace, and because of the broken water cycle it obviously is not coming anymore. If humans are to continue to benefit from the Colorado River freshwater, then humans must repair the water cycle and break the mega-drought.
Consider this a terraforming project. Much effort is being expended to explore Mars and search Mars for some hint of water in hopes of terraforming Mars for human use. This is a much easier terraforming project. If we cannot accomplish this simple installation, how can we even think of the larger Mars project, and then why are we spending cash on contemplating/studying that concept? Let’s get this done here on Earth first and prove that man can beneficially change the weather. Then we can think of doing similar projects on distant planets.
How To Fund
So how do we pay for this project, for the ongoing cost of pumping all that ocean water? As always, the best plan is to bill the entities who are benefitting from the project/service. Each state/city who extracts water from the Colorado River should be assessed a per-gallon-fee equal to the cost of pumping a gallon into Death Valley. The US Government Bureau of Reclamation (4) is already in place to coordinate this assessment and the daily operation/maintenance of the equipment.
Paying for these projects fits right into the US Government’s plans. They are pushing infrastructure projects to create jobs and they wish to accomplish things which will aid in healing the climate. This is a win-win for them and a win for America in many ways.
A Win For America
It will be a win for America in many ways.
- This will directly affect Global Warming by cooling some of the hottest places in America.
- This will increase the rainfall, effectively rehydrating some of America’s largest deserts.
- The native peoples who reside in these deserts and who are struggling for water will have it more abundantly available.
- Parts of America which are now too arid for farming will be available for new fields.
- Although the goal here is to return water to the Colorado River Watershed, the headwaters of the Snake River will also be benefited.
- The construction project will stimulate the local economy by bringing in jobs.
- The ongoing operation will keep some local jobs.
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