Open Letter to Bureau of Reclamation.

Dear Bureau of Reclamation. Let’s not work to endure the mega-drought. Let’s overcome the mega-drought! Read how to break the Mega-Drought!

According to the Bureau of Reclamation Near-term Colorado River Operations Revised Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement,1 “… the Colorado River Basin is currently experiencing a prolonged period of aridification caused by climate change, with extended periods of drought and record low-runoff conditions.” The root cause according to this statement is “climate change”, and that is a fact, but: A) What caused this specific climate change? B) Do we have the ability to address and reverse this specific climate change?

This report just accepts this climate change. It does not address the questions. It works from the point of view that this climate change exists and cannot be altered. The truth is that the cause of this climate change can be identified, and once identified it can be addressed. I challenge the Bureau of Reclamation to investigate this path.

A) The Cause.

Simply stated, the cause is misuse of the natural resource provided by the Colorado River. Humans have robbed nature, drained the river dry, taken all of its essence, and returned nothing back to nature. Nature will not be abused without punishment for its abuser.

Here Is What Happened.

Beginning around 1940, humans took all the water out of the Colorado River. In doing so they turned a 3,000 sq-mi, green, verdant, delta region into a 3,000 sq-mi, brown, dry, dead desert. This is local climate change, and this ecological disaster comes with unintended consequences.

Colorado River Delta, Baja, MX.

Lost because of this change is the moisture above the previously verdant land. This atmospheric moisture was the first piece of a hydrologic cycle, one of the hydrologic cycles which feeds the headwaters of the Colorado River. Over the years following the disrupted river flow, as this nice green place dried up, the atmospheric moisture did not blow north to hydrate Laguna Salada.

Laguna Salada, Baja, MX.

Laguna Salada is an inland sea which is flanked by the Sierra de Los Cocopah and the Sierra de Juárez mountain ranges. In the years following 1940, as the delta was turning to dust, Laguna Salada began to diminish. Laguna Salada is hydrated in two ways. The first being the diminishing atmospheric moisture received from the south. The second being directly fed from the Colorado River overflow, but with the river no longer flowing past Mexicali, MX, there is nothing available for Laguna Salada. Beginning in 1999, except for intermittent tidal flows, Laguna Salada is dry. Lost is the fishing grounds for the Cocopah Indian Tribe. Lost is the evaporated atmospheric moisture from Laguna Salada, which no longer blows north into the Imperial Valley and its Salton Sea.


The first domino was the local multi-year drought in the Colorado river delta. It was the first in a series of domino-droughts. Without the delta’s moisture, the next domino was the local drought in the vicinity of Laguna Salada. From here the dominos fell to the north, creating a cascade of droughts which created the mega-drought.

Salton Sea, Imperial Valley, CA, USA.

The Salton Sea is fraught with problems, most of which could be eliminated if direct seawater import was established. The Salton Sea’s heyday was in the 1950s, but after that it has experienced multiple problems resulting in its diminishing in size, a foul aroma, and polluted hypersaline water. The water level of the Salton Sea has diminished because of a lack of atmospheric moisture from Laguna Salada, reduced inflow from farm irrigation overflow, and diversion of water to LA. The reduced surface area of the Salton Sea has reduced its evaporated atmospheric moisture, which has encouraged the mega-drought.

The Great Basin, USA.

The Great Basin is a unique place in the southwest USA which includes parts of over 5 states with its center covering Nevada. This is an arid land; it has a moisture deficit. Its moisture enters from the west and south. Its west edge is along the Pacific Ocean, but the ocean’s moisture is mostly blocked by the Sierra Nevada with its rain shadow effect. The southern edge allows some moisture to enter the Great Basin from the Imperial Valley region of California, but the mega-drought has reduced that moisture flow greatly in recent years. The Great Basin is becoming drier, which is evidenced by the Great Salt Lake diminishing. A portion of the moisture outflow from the Great Basin feeds the headwaters of the Colorado River.

Colorado River Headwaters.

We finally reach the headwaters of the Colorado River. These headwaters are fed by mountain precipitation in the form of snow and rain. This snow and rain come from the atmospheric moisture of more than one hydrologic cycle. One of these cycles comes from the Great Basin, but this hydrologic cycle has been broken. Because this hydrologic cycle is broken there is less moisture delivered as rain and snow to the headwaters of the Colorado river, which thus delivers less water flow into the Colorado River.

A) The Cause. – Summary.

By draining the Colorado River dry, by creating a desert where once was a wetland, by allowing Laguna Salada to disappear, and by allowing the Salton Sea to shrink; the hydrologic cycle was broken. The broken mega-drought is causing a climate change in the entire southwestern USA, which is delivering less water to the headwaters of the Colorado River, which reduces the flow of the Colorado river, which is causing the depletion of the Colorado River reservoirs. The unintended consequence of diverting the freshwater out of its watershed is this ecological disaster which will not right itself in the foreseeable future without intervention.

B) Are We Able?

There is something humans can do to address and reverse this specific climate change. We can add moisture to the Great Basin and reverse the moisture deficit. We cannot affect the atmospheric moisture inflow, but we can add water into the basin. Remembering that moving freshwater out of its watershed comes with unintended consequences, that must be avoided. Instead, we can move saltwater without repercussions. If we use a water path which includes the Colorado river delta, Laguna Salada, and the Salton Sea we can mitigate some of the ecological damage we have wreaked on nature.

Refill Laguna Salada.

We can reverse the flow of the existing Coyote Canal. This will infuse some moisture into the Colorado River delta while using gravity flow to fill Laguna Salada.

Refill The Salton Sea.

We can extend the Coyote canal from Laguna Salada into the Salton Sea. This needs to be a metered canal to prevent overfilling the Salton Sea.

Bring Water Into The Great Basin.

No matter what path is chosen for the seawater it must cross the mountains to enter the Great Basin. The route suggested here brings with it benefits to other places as the water moves from inland sea to inland sea. Using this path will keep these inland seas fresh, saving them from becoming terminal salt ponds. Pumping the oceanwater into Death Valley is the most logical place to put it. Death Valley is the low point in the Great Basin. Any moisture put into the Great Basin will eventually reside in Death Valley. By depositing the saltwater into Death Valley, it places the salt in the place where it will ultimately settle. Bringing saltwater into Death Valley will instigate a water cycle within the Great Basin which will encompass the whole of the Great Basin and will eventually convert this desert into arable lands.

How To Pay For This Water Transfer?

The users of the Colorado River water have been receiving the water at no charge for decades, and we all know that nothing is free. The cost that has been paid is the broken hydrologic cycle. Bringing ocean water into the Great Basin will be costly. Yet not doing it will condemn the southwest USA to decades more of this drought so that it will become the new normal. This cost of the water transfer can be paid by a fee charged to all who extract Colorado River water. For each gallon they extract, they are charged the cost of pumping a gallon into Death Valley. By implementing this fee, the oceanwater can be placed in the Great Basin and the water cycle can begin to heal. With the Great Basin rehydrated, moisture deposited into the snowpack in the Colorado mountains will return to its full potential and the Colorado River will return to full flow. Other rivers fed by the same snowpack will also benefit from the repaired hydrologic cycle.

A Job For US Bureau Of Reclamation.

Because the mission of the Bureau of Reclamation is to manage, develop, and protect water and related resources in an environmentally and economically sound manner in the interest of the American public, this is just the project for them. They have the management skills to coordinate the development and the operation of this project. The environment will be repaired, and the water resources of the Colorado River, Great Salt Lake, and Salton Sea will be protected. The project will compensate for the ecological damage done to the southwestern USA as a result of the mismanagement of the Colorado River water. Returning full flow to the Colorado river, refilling the Great Salt Lake and the Salton Sea are in the interest of the American public. The cost of the project will be economical because it will have fee-based funding applied to usage of Colorado River water; it will be paid for by the users of the water.

B) Are We Able? – Summary.

Yes, we are able to accomplish this. We are able to dig a ditch from ocean to Laguna Salada. We are able to dig a ditch from Laguna Salada to Salton Sea. We are able to pump water over a mountain. Two simple steps and one harder step. Other than the pumping, everything operates using nature’s rules and processes. All the science is well proven and documented. The process can be monitored and adjusted to meet the desired results; not too much or too little. Humans just need to take ownership of the damage caused and realize the need to give back to nature.


Move the Water! is the proposed initiative of Active Climate Rescue Initiative. Active Climate Rescue Initiative is founded to actively rescue our climate by encouraging positive climate change through water relocation into earth’s water deficit areas. Anyplace in the world where there is a dry depression is a place where there is a moisture deficit. These places are the key to reversing climate change. By infusing these places with water from an open flow inlet, moisture can be reintroduced into the local environment through hydrologic processes. Active Climate Rescue Initiative is a Michigan Non-Profit Corporation approved by the USA IRS as a 501.c.3 Public Charity.

Help Reverse Climate Change

Your small donation to Active Climate Rescue Initiative will help reverse Global Warming. Reversing Global Warming and stopping Climate Change is our only goal, and we know how to do it. Your support will allow us to broadcast our message and save the world. Someone must do it. Be part of the someone. Donate today.

  1. Near-term Colorado River Operations Revised Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, OCT-2023, pp1.1, pg 1-2, line 7.

It’s Not My Fault! It’s Climate Change!

It is not really Climate Change’s fault. We created this climate change, so we must fix it. This must be done!

Is it really Climate Change?

Everybody is blaming Climate Change, so it must be true. Let’s study the problem with the Colorado River. Let’s see if it’s Climate Change causing the diminishing flow of the Colorado River or if misuse of the river’s water is causing climate change?

How Can Water Be Misused?

Something we have learned by experience is that if you move fresh water out of its watershed, there will be unintended consequences. The more water you remove the greater the surprise.

We Removed Lots Of Water.

During the last century humans have redirected Colorado River water out of its watershed. In this case “lots” means all of it. A normal river will begin as a stream and end by dumping huge amounts of water into the ocean. Just think of all that nice freshwater being dumped into the salty ocean. What a waste of valuable freshwater! So, shouldn’t it be diverted before it is lost? Well, we did and the unexpected happened.

What was the unexpected?

The river delta at the end of the Colorado River covered 9,000 miles2 in Mexico. When all the water was removed, that delta became dry. A lush green place turned into a dead 9,000 miles2 desert. That is a huge environmental catastrophe. That was a change in the local climate.

That is in Mexico. Should we care?

From an aspect of being nice to our neighbors, we should care. Following a Biblical adage: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! (Luke 16: MSG). Would we wish someone to make a 9,000 miles2 desert in our country? Then we should not have made one in Mexico. This desert is a dry and desolate place where once were plants, birds, fish, and animals living their daily lives. The unfortunate critters had to migrate to new homes or die.

But There Is More!

More? Yes. The verdant delta provided moisture to areas around it, bringing mist, rain, and snow. The moisture traveled north and kept Laguna Salada, Baja, MX filled with water. The evaporation from Laguna Salada traveled north to help keep the Salton Sea full. Moisture from the Salton Sea moved north and entered the Great Basin, where it circulated until it came to rest in the Great Salt Lake. The water in the Great Salt Lake then created moisture which fed the headwaters of the Bear, Colorado, Jordan, Snake, Rio Grande, and Weber rivers. Finally, the Colorado River carried the water back to the delta where it could start again, but we drained it all out. Since the mid 1900s the delta has been a desert. It gave no moisture to Laguna Salada. Since 1999 Laguna Salada has been dry and gives no moisture to the north. The mega-drought began in 2000. As a result of the mega-drought there is less water in Salton Sea, less water in the Great Basin, less water in the Great Salt Lake, and now less water in the Colorado River. This hydrologic cycle has been broken, and until it can be repaired, the SW-USA will experience greater and greater water shortages. This is exactly what we have seen since 2000.

We Broke It?

Yes. We broke a major water cycle by draining the river dry. So, let’s fix it by no longer taking the water out of the river. Wait! There are a couple of billion people who will have a problem with that plan. We need another plan which will let the people get their water.

Let’s Conserve. That Will Do It.

Conservation is a great strategy to get through a short-term problem. So, yes, conserve. But we need more than a short-term fix. We need a real durable solution which will restore the broken hydrologic cycle.

Can we fix a water-cycle?

In this case there is something which can be done which will repair this problem and may even improve the hydrology of the entire SW-USA. That is almost too good to be true.

How To Fix A Hydrologic-Cycle.

The base plan is to rehydrate the Great Basin. Water must be moved into the Great Basin to change it from an arid, water deficit, environment into a place with a water surplus. There are multiple routes which can be used to bring water into the Great Basin. What must be avoided is bringing in freshwater. We have already learned that removing freshwater from its watershed will cause unintended consequences. We do not want to create another environmental disaster to fix an environmental disaster.

Ocean Water.

The only water which can be moved without detriment to its originating environment is ocean water. The ocean has plenty to spare and cares little if we take some out of it. Once moved into a hot dry climate the ocean water will evaporate and be converted into fresh clean water, returning to earth as mist, rain or snow.

What Route Is Best To Move the Water?

The route we propose begins at the Gulf of California (the Sea of Cortez), passes through Laguna Salada, Baja, MX, moves across the MX/US border into the Salton Sea, from which it is pumped over a mountain into Death Valley. This route has multiple benefits for the regions along its path.

Colorado River Delta, Baja, MX.

The existing Coyote Canal, which passes through the Colorado River delta, is to be dredged deeper and widened so that its flow is reversed and will allow gravity to move ocean water into Laguna Salada. Along its path it will bring some desperately needed hydration to the Colorado River delta.

Laguna Salada, Baja, MX.

Laguna Salada was once the fishing grounds for some of the indigenous peoples of Mexico. Cutting off the Colorado River flow allowed this fishing grounds to become dry and useless. Restoring Laguna Salada will be giving climate justice to these people.

Salton Sea, CA, USA.

Extending the Coyote Canal from Laguna Salada to the Salton Sea will allow gravity flow of ocean water into the Salton Sea. This water has a much lower salt content than is currently within the Salton Sea. By increasing the surface level of the Salton Sea, the existing toxic dust problem will be permanently abated. This will save California millions of dollars which it is now spending on abating the same dust. Refilling the Salton Sea will also invigorate the local economy which has a rich history as a desired vacation spot. This invigorated economy will help to refill the nearly empty coffers of California as the tax revenues roll in. The increased surface area of the Salton Sea will launch more moisture into the air which will be beneficial for the local farmers and indigenous peoples.

Pumps And Pipes.

Active Climate rescue Initiative usually eschews pumps and pipes because they require energy to operate and must be maintained over the decades they will be used. It has always been the intent to install systems with gravity flow which will continue to operate even after man has stopped caring about them. Unfortunately, this installation mandates pumps and pipes, however, it is unlikely that man will lose interest in this system because it will be what feeds the Colorado River and supplies water to billions of people. The cost of construction, operation, and maintenance can be funded by a fee on water drawn from the Colorado River.

Bureau of Reclamation.

The Bureau of Reclamation is the best entity to manage this installation and operation because it is the reclamation of a water system, which is exactly their mission. The construction, operation and maintenance funds can be gathered as a user fee, based on volume of water drawn from the Colorado River. Those who have been draining the Colorado River dry have been doing so at no cost (other than transport costs) for decades, and they have ruined a local environment in the process. The fee is not punitive but is only payment for services rendered.

Without These Pipes And Pumps.

Without these pipes and pumps operating, the mega-drought will become the new normal and the Colorado River flow will continue to diminish until it reaches an unacceptable new normal. The Colorado River will not be the only river effected. The Bear, Jordan, Snake, Rio Grande, and Weber rivers will, if they have not already, experience decreased flow rates. The entire SW-USA and NW-MX will become sahara-like.

Death Valley, CA, USA.

A modulated amount of ocean water must be placed into Death Valley. This is not intended to flood Death Valley. The amount of water within Death Valley is not the determination of how much water is needed. The gauge for the intake will be the Great Salt Lake. If the Great Salt Lake level becomes too high, the flow into Death Valley will be reduced. Death Valley will have a standing pool of hyper saline water, but that is normal to nature. Death Valley is a dry terminal pool which is hyper saline, but it has just been a long while since it had any substantive standing water. Regardless of where water is added to the Great Basin, the lowest place within the Great Basin will gain a pool of water. That lowest place is Death Valley. Death Valley will gain water from the pumping operation, but as the water evaporates and returns as rain, Death Valley will also receive returning surface water. The resulting hyper saline terminal lake may not be aromatically friendly, but being as remote as it is that should not be grossly offensive to many people.

The Great Basin, NV, UT OR, WY, ID, USA.

The Great Basin is a large bowl (200,000 miles2 , 520,000 km2) where all surface water flows in, and none flows out. The environment within the Great Basin is considered arid, which means it is a desert. This is a large desert which includes most of Nevada, half of Utah, substantial portions of Oregon and California, and smaller pieces of Idaho and Wyoming. This large desert exists because of a weather phenomenon called Rain Shadow. The Rain Shadow effect allows more water to be blown out than it allows to be blown into the Great Basin. Adding ocean water into anyplace within the Great Basin will benefit the whole Great Basin because it will evaporate, and the airborne moisture will circulate within the Great Basin to moisten the ground, rehydrating the entire desert.

Rehydration of Great Basin.

This is magic at work. This is the power of natural processes shining. Consider the ocean water as the fuel to fire the process of rehydration. The action of depositing ocean water into Death Valley, the hottest place in the USA, will immediately initiate evaporation. Being a bowl, the moisture will circulate within this bowl and be deposited throughout the bowl as mist, rain, and snow. This freshwater will invigorate plants and encourage wildlife. It will fall on the ground and wash the salt from the soil toward the salt lakes. It will enable farming and will fill aquifers. The many indigenous peoples conscripted to live within the Great Bason will experience some climate justice by the availability of fresh water in their wells. Over time this will change 200,000 miles2 of desert into moist soil good for farming.

The Great Salt Lake, UT, USA.

Situated in the northeast corner of the Great Basin is the Great Salt Lake, a highly saline terminal lake. Because of the broken water cycle this lake is in imminent danger of becoming a salt plain instead of a salt lake. As it evaporates it exposes its sediments which are expected to contain lots of toxic materials. Dust from nuclear testing is one of the more scarry of the substances which is expected. Salt Lake City, situated on the banks of the Great Salt Lake, and downwind of the lake is in direct line of fire for these toxins. Allowing the Great Salt Lake to fully evaporate is not acceptable. Pumping ocean water into Death Valley will solve this potential problem with no further expenditure of energy. Natural processes will move water from Death Valley into the Great Salt Lake and keep it full. This is expected to work so well that the pumping will have to be monitored to assure that too much water does not make it into the Great Salt Lake.


Colorado is a headwater state. Meaning that almost all of its rivers begin in the Rocky Mountains and flow out of the state. The moisture which stocks these headwaters with rain and snow originates from multiple water cycles. During this mega-drought the water cycle which pushed moisture out of the Great Basin into Colorado is broken. All of the rivers in Colorado are experiencing some level of diminished flow. With the water cycle repaired and the Great Basin rehydrated, the full flow will return to all these rivers from Colorado. Fresh clean water will tumble down the mountains to its remote destinations and invigorate life along its way. Those that rely on the Colorado River for life and livelihood will have plenty of water to share.


With the outlined plan, the original water cycle is repaired, the Great Basin is rehydrated, the Great Salt Lake is saved, and the Colorado headwaters filling their rivers. Human and economic opportunity are returned in places and will be new in other places. The full flow of the Colorado River is assured for decades. This benefits all who live and work in SE-USA and NE-MX. The only negative is a change to Death Valley into Death Lake. The plan can be managed by an existing arm of the US government with an assured income stream sufficient for its construction, operation, and maintenance. Without the plan, billions of people will have some disruption in their lives. We need to: Move the Water!

Spread The Word.

Spread the word that: “Move the Water!” is the initiative which will repair the water cycle, end the mega-drought, save the Great Salt Lake, and refill the Colorado River. This will benefit all the people who live and work in southeast-USA and northwest-MX. By accomplishing this plan, Climate Change will occur, but in the right direction this time.

Help Reverse Climate Change.

Your small donation to Active Climate Rescue Initiative will help reverse Global Warming. Reversing Global Warming and stopping Climate Change is our only goal, and we know how to do it. Your support will allow us to broadcast our message and save the world. Someone must do it. Be that someone. Donate today.

Save The Great Salt Lake

The Great Salt Lake has shrunk. In 1985 the lake filled to its capacity. In 2022 the lake is at its lowest point on record. Some fear the Great Salt Lake will soon disappear completely.

Does The Great Salt Lake Really Need Saving?

Since 1947, the Great Salt Lake has had a well-documented fluctuating surface level above sea-level between 4,190’ in 1963 and 4,211’ in 1986[5][6]. Without human intervention the lake would likely fluctuate within this range for many years to come and eventually turn into a salt flat, but that eventuality would be well beyond the lifetime of anyone alive today.

Great Salt Lake Hits A New Low.

The average daily level of the Great Salt Lake hit a new record low in November 2022, when it dropped to 4188.5 feet[7]. The lake’s elevation fluctuates depending on the balance between inflow and outflow of water generated by moisture within The Great Basin watershed. The Great Salt Lake’s drop has accelerated since 2020, with an average deficit of 1.2 million acre-feet per year. If this loss rate continues, the lake as we know it, is on track to disappear in five years. The lake needs an additional million acre-feet per year to reverse its decline[8]. For reference, the bottom of the Great Salt Lake is at 4,160 feet.

Left to right: Govenor Spencer Cox; Senator Mitt Romney; Brian Steed Great Salt Lake Commissioner

Utah Is In A State Of Panic.

Utah is scrambling for a solution to this situation. Gov. Cox proposed $45 million to protect the Great Salt Lake[10]. The US Senate passed the Great Salt Lake Recovery Act, dedicating $25 million to study historic drought conditions and protect the long-term health of the Great Salt Lake[11]. A Great Salt Lake Advisory Council was created in 2010 to advise on the protection of the Great Salt Lake[12]. Utah lawmakers passed a bill requiring appointment of a Great Salt Lake Commissioner who would prepare a strategic plan to maintain and improve the long-term health of the Lake[14].  Gov. Spencer Cox named Brian Steed as the state’s Great Salt Lake Commissioner[13]. A group of news, education and media organizations collaborated to create The Great Salt Lake Collaborative: A Solutions Journalism Initiative which is intended to better inform and engage the public about the crisis facing the Great Salt Lake, and what can be done to make a difference before it is too late[15].

Move The Water! To The Rescue.

Active Climate Rescue Initiative proposes one infrastructure project which will solve the issue of the shrinking Great Salt Lake, but surprise, it does not take any direct action toward the Great Salt Lake. We posit that the problem of the evaporating Great Salt Lake is an unintended consequence of overdrawing water from the Colorado River. Active Climate Rescue Initiative believes that the primary cause of this diminished Colorado River flow is a direct result of the excessive extraction of water from the Colorado River, with much of that draw being exported outside of the watershed. We also have identified this single solution, which when implemented will restore historic flow to the Colorado River and subsequently bring a host of other benefits, one of which will be the refilling of the Great Salt Lake.

Colorado Utah near Moab UT

Colorado River 

Water has been siphoned off the Colorado River for human use for many years. As an example: California began extracting 1/3 of the river’s flow in 1939 and continues today. Under a 1948 agreement, Utah is entitled to 23% of the water used by the four states in the upper Colorado River Basin. This is around 1-million acre-feet of water from the Colorado annually[4]. Two-thirds of the Colorado River water in Utah is used for agriculture, mostly to irrigate alfalfa fields[1][3].

Everyone Feels The Pain

The issue with the Colorado River’s diminishing flow is shared among all users of the river water. Granted, some users of the river’s water are more concerned than Utah because the loss of that water means loss of drinking water and loss of electrical power for millions of people. Both problems seem much more important than alfalfa fields in Utah, but the problem still exists.  

Working Within A Watershed.

Water drawn from a river and used within the watershed will eventually return in a smaller quantity to the river. A farmer irrigating his fields adjacent to a river can use river water and after that water is deposited on his fields, some is used by the plants, and some is evaporated, but what is left flows through the ground back to the river. Water drawn from a river and removed from the watershed will detrimentally affect the river flow. This is the case with the extraction from the Colorado River. So much is removed and not returned that the river does an unnatural thing, it diminishes to nothing.

Rivers 101.

A normal river begins with rain and snow which accumulates into a creek, gathers into a stream, and eventually a flowing river, possibly joined by other rivers, until it empties into a large body of water, like a lake or ocean. This was the case for the Colorado River, back into time before recorded history.

“I’ve been thinking a lot about [the] Cadillac Desert in the past few weeks, as the rain fell and fell and kept falling over California, much of which, despite the pouring heavens, seems likely to remain in the grip of a severe drought. Reisner anticipated this moment. He worried that the West’s success with irrigation could be a mirage — that it took water for granted and didn’t appreciate the precariousness of our capacity to control it.” – Farhad Manjoo, The New York Times, January 20,2023

Manmade Ecological Disaster.

During the 1930’s the Colorado River water began to no longer reach its delta. The delta began to dwindle halfway through the 20th century as the Colorado River was increasingly diverted to farms and cities[9]. The construction of the Hoover Dam in the 1930s marked the beginning of the end for the Colorado River Delta. For six years, as Lake Mead filled behind the dam, virtually no freshwater reached the delta[9]. The Colorado River Delta is now a desert.

Who Cares If The Delta Is Now Dry?

At first thought, why is it important that the delta is dry? Consider that the Colorado River Delta was a verdant oasis in a parched Mexico, covering approximately 3,000 square miles. Today that delta is dead. The 3,000 square miles are a desert. No more fishing or bird habitat. No more farming, blooming flowers, or tall trees. This is an ecological disaster caused by the excessive water extraction from the Colorado River.

How Does This Affect Utah?

At second thought, why should Utah care about a desert in Mexico? This question is answered by the fact that they are concerned about the Great Salt Lake becoming dry. Which may make you wonder how that is an answer to the question.

Let’s Explain.

The Colorado River water comes from snow and rain, but where does the snow and rain come from? The rain and snow come from more than one hydrologic cycle. The root of the problem with the diminished Colorado River flow is that one of these hydrologic cycles is broken. This one hydrologic cycle feeds the Colorado River Watershed from the south (oversimplified: Colorado River Delta, MX > Laguna Salada, MX > Salton Sea, CA > Death Valley, NV > Great Salt Lake, UT > Colorado River > Laguna Salada, MX). Some wish to blame this broken water cycle on Climate Change, but it appears much more logical that this is a manmade broken water cycle which is contributing to Climate Change, not caused by it.

The Colorado River Aqueduct, a 242-mile-long channel completed in 1941 by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, carries water from the Colorado River out of its watershed to urban Southern California.

Here Is What Happened.

During the 1930s, California created the Colorado River Aqueduct which began operation in 1939, removing 1,200,000 acre-ft (1.5 cubic km3) annually from the watershed. Other people/cities/states also draw Colorado River water. Those which are within the watershed have less effect on the water cycle than those which are outside of the watershed. The net result is that all the water of the Colorado River is fully used before it passes Mexicali, MX. It no longer refills Laguna Salada, and it has left a desert wasteland where there used to be a fertile river delta. With the water no longer refilling Laguna Salada and no longer moisturizing the delta, there is no water to evaporate and continue the Hydrologic Cycle. This has broken the Hydrologic Cycle, which has created a drought, which has spurred domino droughts, which has led to the current mega-drought.

The Rain Shadow effect exists because as warm moist air rises up the windward side of a mountain, atmospheric pressure decreases with increasing altitude. The air expands and cools to the point that the air has reached its dew point. At the dew point, the moisture condenses, and it precipitates on the top and windward side of the mountain. The air descends on the leeward side but due to the previous precipitation it has lost much of its moisture. Typically, descending air also gets warmer because of compression down the leeward side of the mountain, which increases the amount of moisture that it can absorb and creates an arid region[22].

Great Basin Moisture Deficit.

The mega-drought exacerbates an existing natural issue in the Great Basin. The natural condition of the Great Basin is that of moisture deficit. This is because of the Rain Shadow Effect. The Great Basin has mountains all around it. The Rain Shadow Effect associated with these mountains allows more water to be blown-out than is allowed to be blown-in to the Great Basin, which creates a natural moisture deficit, which creates a natural desert. It has not always been this way. We see evidence of great amounts of water having been within the great basin. I will posit one explanation. Approximately 2,457 BC, at the end of Noah’s Flood, the great basin would have been full to the brim with water. Because of the natural moisture deficit, during the 4,480 subsequent years that water would have evaporated leaving the land dry, and large amounts of salt deposits left behind. Since the Great Basin receives its water from the west and south, and since the southern water-cycle has been broken, less moisture is entering the Great Basin, which is becoming evident with the diminished water level of the Great Salt Lake, and the Great Salt Lake achieving its lowest recorded level in 2022 (so far).

Can We Fix This?

So, what can be done? How can this be fixed? Like your personal family budget, when the income is exceeding the spending there are two things which can be done. The first is reduce spending and the second is increase the income. This is the same with the moisture problem in the SW-USA, and within Utah. To reduce the spending, conservation is the first action which should be encouraged so that there is time to enact the primary solution of increasing the moisture. To increase the income the water-cycle must be repaired. Is this possible without depriving millions of life-giving fresh water? The answer is: YES. There is one elegant solution which will repair the water-cycle. It is a multi-state infrastructure project. The focus for Utah must be repairing the water-cycle. The result will be a refilled Great Salt Lake.

One Infrastructure Project In Three Parts.
Part One.

Reverse the flow of the Coyote Canal so that ocean water from the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez) flows into Laguna Salada, MX. This would be gravity flow and it will begin to repair the water cycle. As the water passes through the now dry Colorado River Delta it will have beneficial effects on the delta. The return of water to Laguna Salada will also bring climate justice to the local indigenous people by restoring their fishing grounds.

The $45 million to protect the Great Salt Lake[10] and the $25 million to study historic drought conditions[11] would be better spent implementing this part of the plan in Mexico. Getting even one part of the plan done will lead to improvement for Utah. See the video below to for a tour of a proposed canal.

Video tour of a proposed canal from Sea of California > Laguna Salada, Baja, Mx > Salton Sea, CA, USA.
Part Two.

Extend the Coyote Canal so that the Laguna Salada water flows into the Salton Sea. Care must be taken to assure that the Salton Sea maintains its historical optimal level from the 1950s. This would be by gravity flow, and it will continue to repair the water cycle. The increased water level of the Salton Sea would return commerce to the area, bring recreation to the sea, increase the local moisture with benefit to local indigenous people groups and native Californians in Imperial Valley and up into the Central Valley. The flow through from Laguna Salada, MX to the Salton Sea would assure Laguna Salada, MX does not become hypersaline.

Is This Enough?

No. The above two parts should be enough to break the mega-drought, but more is needed if the full flow of the Colorado River is to be realized. The hard part is next.

Part Three.

The hard part is pumping Salton Sea water into the Great Basin; logically into Death Valley. The flowthrough from the Salton Sea to the Great Basin would assure the Salton Sea does not become hypersaline, and in time reduce the saline level to that of the ocean. The exact amount of water needed has not been calculated. This proposal suggests five 8-foot diameter pipes carrying the ocean water over the mountains and into the Great Basin at a rate of 0.5 acre-feet per second. These 5-pipes with the 0.5 acre-feet per second flow mimics the Colorado River flow at its delta in ages past. The project can be installed in pieces. The first stage would be two 8-foot diameter pipes. The minimum proposed flow is 1/5th of the freshwater annually extracted from the Colorado River, the flow of one of the pipes. The maximum proposed flow is equal to the amount of freshwater annually extracted from the Colorado River, 15 million acre-feet of Salton Sea water annually pumping from all 5-pipes. Depending on the ecological results, the full flow of all five 8-foot diameter pipes may not be needed. The water delivered into the Great Basin would end its water deficit and set it up for rehydration, which would be a boon on many levels.

That Is Expensive!

It may well be expensive, but what is the cost of doing nothing? The good news is that the cost of pumping the water over the mountain could come from a fee on water drawn from the Colorado River. Those who have drawn Colorado River water over the last century have done so without any charge for what they received, forgetting that nothing is free. The fee can be collected and administered by the Reclamation Bureau, along with operational control of the pipeline. The construction costs could be funded by the Federal Government as a Climate Change infrastructure project with the Corps of Engineers doing the work. Alternatively, the construction costs could be collected as part of the fees by the Reclamation Bureau. The proposed fee/tax would be on each gallon of water drawn from the Colorado River in an amount equal to the cost of pumping one gallon into the Great Basin.

The Benefits.

There are multiple benefits to the ‘Move the Water!’ plan. Seven are enumerated below.

1. Reversing Global Warming

This effort will combat Climate Change by cooling many very hot places. When working to reverse Global Warming, effort placed in the hottest places reaps the greatest direct benefit. All the target areas in this plan are very hot places and all will be cooler with the presence of the newly imported water. Increased water in deserts increases evaporation, which is a natural cooling process. The evaporated water returns as fresh clean water in form of mist/rain/snow, which is a natural cooling process. The fresh clean rainwater hydrates the land benefiting man/animals/plants. The hydration and increases plant growth. The increased plant growth cools the desert floor which will allow fresh rainwater to percolate into the ground and be stored for later use, which also keeps it from returning to the ocean. The plants cool the ground by their shade and release water as a byproduct of their transpiration, both of which are natural cooling processes. The increased plant growth increases the amount of CO2 extracted from the air by the now active plants, storing the carbon in their little plant bodies, and ultimately in the ground. All of these benefits are reaped from natural processes, green processes, leaving a net-positive green footprint.

The North American monsoon is a complex weather process that brings moisture from the Gulf of California over northwestern Mexico and southwestern US resulting in summer thunderstorms, especially at higher elevations[23].

2. Increase the North American Monsoon.

There is a lot of research still needed to fully understand the North American Monsoon, but there is some evidence which points to the desertification of the Colorado River Delta in Mexico as a cause of a temperature inversion which limits the North American Monsoon[16]. Restoring Laguna Salada should break this blockage.

3. Laguna Salada, Baja, MX

Refilling Laguna Salada, MX, in addition to providing local climate change benefits as described above, will provide some climate justice for the local indigenous people who lost their historic native fishing ground because of the over-drawn river.

4. Salton Sea, CA, USA

Refilling the Salton Sea to its historic 1950’s level will return that area to its 1950’s popularity, which will be a financial boon for many which will also grow California’s tax revenue. There will be a moisture benefit for Imperial Valley which will naturally flow up into California’s Central Valley.

5. The Great Basin

Rehydration of The Great Basin will have many benefits. The increased moisture will increase mist/rain/snow. This freshwater will provide climate justice to the indigenous peoples living in remote desert reservations. The increased moisture allows for increased farming. In this case the Great Basin could become a new breadbasket for the USA. As the moisture circulates within The Great Basin multiple freshwater streams, rivers, and lakes will occur. With the increased moisture the Great Salt Lake will naturally have an increased surface level.

Southern Idaho is hand-to-mouth with their water supply. “Every drop of water we can get, every snow flurry is beneficial, but overall, across the state, we’re expecting the drought to continue. It’s great, but it’s not going to pull us out. We really want to see a kind-of long-term pattern develop; a pattern change develop.” hydrologist David Hoekema[24]

6. Rehydration Of Southern Idaho.

There is correlative data which links the level of the Snake River Aquifer to the level of The Great Salt Lake. Looking at the geology of the area it is easy to postulate that a rehydrated Great Basin would lead to a moister Southern Idaho.

Stock image of Lake Mead, the largest reservoir by volume in the United States.© bloodua/Getty

7. Colorado River.

Not to be forgotten, all the previous benefits will work to restore the hydrologic cycle, which will push freshwater (rain/snow) into the headwaters of the Colorado and Snake Rivers.

Perceived Problems.

Looking at the grand design this can be viewed as a terraforming project, but there are several suggested problems with a project of this scope. The good news is that all are manageable.

A terminal lake which has no surface outlet (rivers flowing from it) will become a lake with a very high saline level[21].

1. Salt.

The biggest concern is creating a hypersaline sea and/or leaving salt behind after evaporation. Be aware that all the areas where ocean water importation is proposed are areas which are already saline with brackish water aquifers. So, bringing in salt water is not an environmental catastrophe. Rather the resulting rain will work to overlay the salt water with fresh because salt water is heavier than fresh water. Aquifers being filled with rainwater will have fresh water on top of the brackish water. Decades from now the brackish water in aquifers will be of little concern. The salt left behind will be deposited in the terminal pool, which will be Death Valley, which is already a saltpan. It is likely that Death Valley will turn into an inland salt sea, and it will become hypersaline, but that is natural and cannot be avoided, however industrious individuals may find a way to profit from the minerals being delivered, including the salt.

At first it was a novelty as a wall of water an inch high began flowing down the wash a few feet below me. Soon there was several feet of rushing water sweeping away anything in its path and there was no place to go[20].

2. Flash Floods.

Rain in deserts can cause flash floods. This is normal and unpleasant. Expecting this allows for the situation to be worked around. Flash floods come when water is rained onto desert ground which is dry and devoid of plants. Consistent rainfall will allow plants to grow, which will slow the water flow. To alleviate this some geographic modifications can be accomplished to slow the flow of the rainwater, which will encourage better usage of the water along its path. This needs to be accomplished at the local level foresighted individuals and communities.

USA, California, Death Valley Salt Pan photographed by Gary Weathers.

3. Death Valley National Park.

The dry saltpan at the floor of Death Valley National Park will change from a dry lakebed to an inland salt sea. It is expected that this inland sea will become hypersaline. It can remain a National Park, but its features will be slightly changed, and it will likely see heavier use because of the new features. It still will be the lowest place in USA, but likely not the hottest as the increased moisture will cool the area.

Desert ecosystems receive less than 10 in (250 mm) of annual precipitation. Far from desolate, the deserts support high levels of biodiversity including iconic species such as Joshua trees, Mexican free-tailed bats, desert pupfishes, cutthroat trout, pronghorn antelope, desert tortoises, Gila monsters, sage grouse, bighorn sheep, desert iguanas, bristlecone pines, cuckoos, ocotillo, desert poppies, saguaro cactus, kangaroo rats and pigmy rabbits.   Desert biodiversity is the result of evolutionary divergence[19].

4. Existing Ecosystems.

Some have complained that the increased moisture would harm the existing ecosystems within the SW-USA, The Great Basin, Death Valley and in all the deserts which are rehydrated. When viewed with a different eye one can consider that the local critters are those who have not died out and would like a bit more rain. Yes, some of the critters who used to live there, but left when the water left, will return. That is only the natural ebb and flow of critters and ecosystems as a whole.

The West Desert Pumping Station is a series of three pumps designed to reduce the water level of the Great Salt Lake in case it should rise to threaten the shoreline industries, Salt Lake City International Airport, railroads, and even I-80 with flooding. The pumping plan is a system to pump water from the lake to the adjacent Newfoundland Basin, located to the west. The south end of Hogup Ridge, a few miles further down the causeway northwest of Lakeside, was selected as the pump site, and six and a half miles of canals were dug to and from the pumps. Completed rapidly in less than a year, at a cost of nearly $60 million in state funds, the pumps went online in April 1987. At the same time, a drought began, causing the lake level to subside naturally. The pumps were mothballed in 1989[18].

5. Overfilling The Great Salt Lake.

Yes, there can be too much of a good thing. It is possible that the hydrology of The Great Basin will be improved to the point that the Great Salt Lake could exceed its historical maximum, which could flood the communities built along its shore. Fortunately, there is a plan already installed, but mothballed in 1989: The Great Salt Lake Pumping Station[17][18]. But even this may not be enough, and a plan for a canal should be made to direct excess water far enough from the Great Salt Lake so that it flows by gravity back toward Death Valey.


The overdrawing of freshwater from Colorado River has been and is detrimental to the environment, creating a desert where once was a fertile river delta, and breaking a hydrologic cycle. This has and is making itself known by the shrinking size of the Great Salt Lake. To make that wrong right the drawing of water from the Colorado River water should stop. We all know that is not even thinkable. The people using the Colorado River water will not give up their water without a huge fight. Move the Water! provides a workaround which allows no change in the use of the Colorado River water yet repairs our ecosystem and makes the landscape greener in the process. This proposed infrastructure project should be undertaken with all haste to repair our environment and return water indirectly and by natural processes to The Great Salt Lake. There is no real downside to doing this project. If an unforeseen consequence occurs, the project can be moderated by reducing the volume of water moved into Death Valley.


Move the Water! is the proposed initiative of Active Climate Rescue Initiative. Active Climate Rescue Initiative is founded to actively rescue our climate by encouraging positive climate change through water relocation into earth’s water deficit areas. Anyplace in the world where there is a dry depression is a place where there is a moisture deficit. These places are the key to reversing climate change. By infusing these places with water from an open flow inlet, moisture can be reintroduced into the local environment through hydrologic processes. Active Climate Rescue Initiative is a Michigan Non-Profit Corporation approved by the USA IRS as a 501.c.3 Public Charity.

Help Reverse Climate Change

Your small donation to Active Climate Rescue Initiative will help reverse Global Warming. Reversing Global Warming and stopping Climate Change is our only goal, and we know how to do it. Your support will allow us to broadcast our message and save the world. Someone must do it. Be part of the someone. Donate today.

  22. Whiteman, C. David (2000). Mountain Meteorology: Fundamentals and Applications. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-513271-8.


Rehydrating the Great Basin will help reverse Climate Change and provide social Justice to many indigenous peoples located in the Soutwest USA.

The Great Basin is the largest area of connected watersheds with no outlet to the ocean in North America. It spans nearly all of Nevada, much of Utah, and portions of California, Idaho, Oregon, Wyoming, and Baja California. Its basin includes a range of topography that varies from the North American lowest point at Badwater Basin in Death Valley to the highest point of the contiguous United States, less than 100 miles (160 km) away at the summit of Mount Whitney. Within the Great Basin are many small basins such as: Great Salt Lake, Pyramid Lake, Salton Sink and Humboldt Sink.

Evaporated moisture from the ocean is carried by the onshore breezes. The moist air is driven upslope towards the peak, where it expands, cools, and its moisture drops to the ground. Most of the humidity will be lost to rain or snow before the wind passes over the mountain range. This casts a broad “shadow” of dry climate region behind the mountain ridges. This moisture deficit encourages deserts to form.

Rain Shadow

It is all about the rain shadow. Basically, the Great Basin is a 209,162-square-mile (541,730 km2) desert created by the rain shadow effect. The Cascade Range to the north, the California Coastal Ranges to the west, and the Sierra Nevada Range to the south provide a significant rain-shadow which has created this moisture deficit condition. Currently the problems in the region include the mega-drought and the associated shrinking Great Salt Lake. Also problematic is the diminished flow of the Colorado, Green, Rio Grande, and Snake Rivers. If the Great Basin could be converted to a moisture positive area, the benefit would be huge. Benefits would be delivered first to the basin itself, but then they would have side benefits to all adjacent areas.

Is It impossible To Thwart A Rain Shadow?

If we could flatten out the mountains the rain shadow would go away and the whole of the Great Basin would become moist and fertile. But it is obvious that the rain shadow cannot be removed. The mountains cannot be flattened. But there is another method. Moisture can be added to the basin via mechanical means, by pipes and pumps.

Pipes And Pumps

By moving the water with pipes and pumps we can rehydrate the Great Basin. this is a huge project with 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 by rehydrating the Great Basin a broken water cycle will be mended. Mending this water cycle will break the mega-drought, refill the Great Salt Lake, return full flow to the Colorado, Green, Rio Grande and Snake rivers. This will assure availability of water to the billions of people who depend on the rivers for their life and livelihood. The local Climate Change caused by overdrawing water from the Colorado River will be reversed reducing Global Warming in the southwest USA.

The water cycle, also known as the hydrologic cycle or the hydrological cycle, is a cycle that describes the continuous movement of water on, above and below the surface of the Earth. The water moves from one reservoir to another, such as from river to ocean, or from the ocean to the atmosphere, by the physical processes of evaporation, transpiration, condensation, precipitation, infiltration, surface runoff, and subsurface flow. In doing so, the water goes through different forms: liquid, solid and vapor. The ocean plays a key role in the water cycle as it is the source of 86% of global evaporation.

Natural Processes

Once we add moisture to the Great Basin, it 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 will exit the Great Basin toward the headwaters of the Colorado, Green, Rio Grande, and Snake Rivers, which all originate in the mountains of Colorado. These rivers will regain their full flow which will provide much needed water drinking, farming and industry, as well as for the fauna and flora of the regions. The cooler environment which will accompany this moisture will combat Climate Change by reducing local 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.

Wetlands Help Prevent Flooding

Flood Control

As the rain increases in the Great Basin, people will work to slow the flow of the rain, which will benefit the environment much. They will engineer wetlands which can contain a lot of moisture and reduce the potential for flash flooding.

Death Valley will become a terminal hypersaline lake.

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, but the cost is expected to be such as to discourage such a project.

How to Rehydrate 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 … (optional) 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, but a surface level drain is much less expensive.

Rehydrate Great Basin … Step Four.

Step #4 is the construction of pipes with pumps to transport Salton Sea water into Death Valley. This is an expensive project, but the costs can be funded by fees on water diverted from the Colorado River. Those who have been diverting water from the Colorado River have been doing so at no charge for decades. They have been misappropriating the natural resource and have caused damage to the climate as a result. Now is the time to begin charging a fee for Colorado River water. That fee can be used to fund the repair of the hydrologic cycle which they broke.

By pumping water into the Great Basin, the water cycle will be repaired. The Great Basin is an arid desert as a result of the Rain Shadow effect. Adding moisture into the Great Basin will cancel out the effect of the natural rain shadow and encourage the Great Basin to bloom. The additional moisture pumped into the Great Basin will circulate within the Great Basin and eventually make its way to the north and east sides of the Great Basin where some of it will migrate out and stock the snowpacks which create the water for the Colorado, Green, and Snake rivers. With the snowpacks once again full, the flow of the Colorado River will return to its former glory. The hydrologic cycle will have been repaired and the billions of people who rely on that water will be saved and secure for decades to come.

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


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

Help Reverse Climate Change

Your small donation to Active Climate Rescue Initiative will help reverse Global Warming. Reversing Global Warming and stopping Climate Change is our only goal, and we know how to do it. Your support will allow us to broadcast our message and save the world. Someone must do it. Be part of the someone. Donate today.

Mexico Holds One of the Keys to Reversing Climate Change.

Despite Mexico’s commitment to the Paris Accord to combat climate change, it has ignored a crucial solution of refilling the Laguna Salada with water from the Sea of Cortez.


Mexico has not used that key and the solution remains securely locked. Mexico has expressed a commitment to helping solve Climate Change by their signing the Paris Accord but seems oblivious to this easy opportunity which only they can accomplish.

Ecologic disaster in Mexico

In the mid 1900’s, Mexico experienced an ecologic disaster created by the draining of the Colorado River at the USA/MX border. This left over 60 miles of riverbed devoid of moisture. The Colorado River had been depositing a huge volume of water into the delta and Sea of Cortez. The loss of this flowing water destroyed 3,000 sq-mi of wet, verdant, green land and created a 3,000 sq-mi parched, dry, brown desert. This change from green to brown is a local climate change. The humidity level is greatly decreased so the area can no longer contribute to its hydrologic cycle. The 3,000 sq-mi desert is now in a constant state of drought. This was the first domino to fall in the domino-droughts.

Paris Accord

Implementation of the Paris Agreement requires nationally determined contributions (NDCs). Each NDC is meant to align with the Paris Agreement temperature goal, taking into account different national circumstances. In the NDC, countries take action to build resilience to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

What is Laguna Salada, Baja, MX.
Time lapse photography, 1984 to 2023, showing dehydration of Laguna Salada, Baja, MX.

Laguna Salada is a below-sea-level depression just north-northwest of the Colorado River delta has been filled with salt water. Laguna Salada was being kept full by the now drained Colorado River and moisture evaporated from the previously green delta. In 1999, with the Colorado river being dry south of Mexicali, Baja, MX., and the delta a desert; Laguna Salada went completely dry. The domino-droughts began in 2000 and morphed into the current mega-drought.

What Is The Easy Opportunity?

Fill Laguna Salada with ocean water from the Sea of Cortez. Reversing the Coyote Canal and refilling Laguna Salada will meet the Paris Accord NDC goal. 

Why Is This Easy?

Visualize the Coyote Canal as a nice wide water path from the Sea of Cortez into Laguna Salada.

The Coyote Canal is an existing water path between Laguna Salada and the Sea of Cortez. This dry creek bed was straightened and shortened in recent years. The work that needs to be accomplished today is to make that canal deeper and wider so that the non-existing out-flow from Laguna Salada is reversed to an in-flow from the Sea of Cortez. The effort required to is minimal because the canal already exists, its path is defined, and its length is about 60 miles (120 kilometers). There is minimal excavation required.

How does this help reverse Climate Change?

The first thing…

The first thing it accomplishes is a reduction of the ocean level. The oceans are rising because of the melting of the glaciers. The water that melts off them can flow into Laguna Salada. Any water which flows out of the ocean into Laguna Salada is water, which is not in the ocean anymore, so the ocean level is lower.

The second thing…

The second thing is that Laguna Salada is located in a very hot, very dry, very windy place. This means that the water in Laguna Salada will evaporate quickly and be carried away from Laguna Salada. As the water evaporates, the ocean level will be further reduced to refill Laguna Salada.

The third thing…

The third thing is that the water which evaporates into the atmosphere will be carried away from Laguna Salada. Water vapor carried east or west will return to Laguna Salada as rainwater flowing down from the flanking mountains. Water vapor carried south it will return to the Sea of Cortez. Water vapor carried north it will indirectly replenish the Colorado River watershed, which will begin to reverse the mega-drought and help the whole Colorado River watershed and it’s the varied water users.

The fourth thing…

The evaporation of water from Laguna Salada should lower local ambient temperatures. According to the USGS; heat is removed from the environment during evaporation, leading to a net cooling. In climates where the humidity is low and the temperatures are hot, evaporation can lower the air temperature by 20 degrees F.

The fifth thing…

Wherever the evaporated moisture falls it will encourage plant growth. Plant growth will help heal the atmosphere by absorbing carbon and by cooling the local environment.

The sixth thing…

This will add moisture to the Colorado River delta because of the flow from the ocean through the delta to Laguna Salada. this moisture will aid in rehydrating the Colorado River delta.

Mexico holds part of another key…

After Laguna Salada is filled with sea water, a canal should be built north to the USA border so the USA can join with it and refill the Salton Sea. Refilling the Salton Sea continues all the above benefits to a second location.

Help Reverse Climate Change

Your small donation to Active Climate Rescue Initiative will help reverse Global Warming. Reversing Global Warming and stopping Climate Change is our only goal, and we know how to do it. Your support will allow us to broadcast our message and save the world. Someone must do it. Be part of the someone. Donate today.

Cause of USA Mega-Drought

We broke the Hydrologic cycle! We did it by greedily taking what nature offered for free, without giving back. It is time to give back and help nature restore itself.

Cause of USA Mega-Drought

There is no one cause for the Southwest USA Mega-Drought, just as there is no one cause for to Global Warming and Climate Change, but just go with me for a minute on this one. The draining of the Colorado River water for human use is the major factor causing this 23-year mega-drought in the southwest USA. This is greatly simplified but follow my logic on this…

Water Moves in a Cycle

Water moves in a cycle greater than local watersheds. Again, greatly simplified, some of the water for the southwest USA begins in Mexico, in the Colorado River delta. The water in the river’s delta evaporates into the atmosphere and creates precipitation (fog, mist, rain, and snow). This moisture is moved by wind patterns into the southwest USA. It comes to earth in the Colorado River watershed where it creates the Colorado River and flows into Mexico. On arrival in Mexico, it spreads out across the Colorado River delta. The water in the Colorado River delta evaporates into the atmosphere and creates precipitation.  The cycle is perpetual until something breaks the circle…

A water cycle: Colorado River delta > Laguna Salada > Salton Sea > Death Valley > Great Basin > Great Salt Lake > Colorado River headwaters > Colorado River > Colorado River delta.

Water Being Diverted

In a closed terrarium water just keeps being recycled. There is no reason to add more. In real life, there is no closed loop. The Colorado River delta has gone dry. The water used to refill it is syphoned off to other places outside of the watershed. The escaping water must be replaced for the system to continue to function. In this case, that replacement water can most easily be replaced by repairing the water cycle. How can this be done? Can humans control the weather?

Here Is What Happened.

Let’s begin at the Colorado River Delta, which in the early 1900’s was once a lush, verdant, 3,000-sq-mi green oasis in the Sonoran Desert. Beginning in the 1930’s the “wise” humans saw the pure freshwater of the Colorado River and decided not to let it escape into the sea and become ruined. They put the water to human use by removing the water from the river about 90 miles before its delta. On the surface this was a smart plan, but they got greedy and drained the river dry. The water no longer flowed into the delta and the delta is now a dead, dusty, 3,000-sq-mi brown desert wasteland. Gone is the lush green space and most of the life associated with it. All that is left is brown sand and the limited, hardy life suited for dry conditions. Humans created this is manmade ecological disaster, a critical link in this water cycle has been broken. This is Climate Change on a micro level, which has had the domino effect of exacerbating Climate Change in the southwest USA.

Laguna Salada is dry beginning in 1999 through present. The Water Cycle broken for 23+years.
Laguna Salada, Baja, MX

Just northwest of the Colorado River delta is Laguna Salada. This salt marsh, only 33 feet below sea-level at its deepest point, was kept full in three ways:

1) Tidal Flow.

Occasionally there is inflow from tidal flow from the Sea of Cortez. This is still occurring today, but it is so infrequent and such a small amount of water that it cannot keep Laguna Salada filled, or even constantly wet.

2) Local Precipitation.

The Laguna Salada watershed received just a little rain and receives less now than it did in years past. The decrease in precipitation is a result of the change in the Colorado River delta from green to brown.

3) Coyote Canal.

Overflow from Colorado River ran through the Coyote Canal which was the prime water infusion path for Laguna Salada. It entered Laguna Salada via the Coyote Canal when river flow allowed. The effectiveness of this water path has dwindled to nothing in the last half of the 1900s. The water diversions from the Colorado River have caused the Colorado River to be dry before it reaches the Coyote Canal. Because the water of the Colorado River stopped flowing in the Coyote Canal, in 1999 Laguna Salada became fully dry. The Colorado River no longer feeds Laguna Salada or the Gulf of California.

Salton Sea, CA, USA.

Just north of Laguna Salada, in the Imperial Valley, is the Salton Sea. The Imperial Valley once was part of the Colorado River’s path in time long gone when Lake Cahuilla existed. If Lake Cahuilla, with its surface level just above sea level, were there now, 19 communities would be flooded and gone. Lake Cahuilla has been gone for centuries because of a change in the Colorado River’s path. In the late 1800’s and early 1900s the area in the Imperial Valley was known as the Salton Flats. The Salton Flats were the bottom of Lake Cahuilla and full of its salty residue. In the 1910s the residents of Imperial Valley began to farm with water obtained from the Colorado River via canals. The Salton Sea, often referred to as an accidental lake, originated when an irrigation canal escaped its boundaries and carried Colorado River water into the Salton flats. The Salton Sea has been present in the Imperial Valley since the 1920s and hit a popularity heyday in the 1950s as a vacation spot. The Salton Sea level varies and is approximately 236-feet-below-sea-level and has a depth in the deepest point of 51-feet. The Salton Sea is evaporating rapidly and may soon be fully dry. Moisture is added in two ways:

1) Local Precipitation.

The precipitation for the Salton Sea is brought up from the south from and over Laguna Salada. With the Colorado River delta a desert since 1940, and Laguna Salada dry since 1999, the rainfall in the Salton Sea watershed has diminished.

2) Agricultural Runoff.

Agricultural runoff was the primary water supply for Laguna Salada. Unfortunately, that water was highly polluted with fertilizer and salt, causing the lake to have an unpleasant aroma. The drought beginning in 2000, necessitating conservation of irrigation water, has decreased the inflow from the farms. Beginning in 2020 the farm runoff is being diverted westward to meet California coastal water needs. The Salton see is rapidly returning to the Salton Falts.

Broken Hydrologic Cycle.

We now have a broken water cycle. The Colorado river delta no longer sends moisture north to Laguna Salada. The dry Laguna Salada has no moisture to send to the Salton Sea. The lack of moisture in the Imperial Valley leaves little to blow north into the Great Basin. The Great Salt Lake, which obtains its moisture within the Great Basin, is at its lowest level in recorded history. The Great Salt Lake and the Great Basin have no water to send to the headwaters of the Colorado River. While the Colorado River is fed by multiple water cycles, all of them functioning at normal levels are needed to have the full flow in the river. With the measured flow of the Colorado River below optimum, the reservoirs are not staying full. This is not a short-term problem, but a result of permeant ecological damage to the environment resulting in a new-normal flow for the Colorado River. Here is where human activity has damaged the environment and caused local climate change.

Humans Must Fix This.

Humans broke the Hydrologic cycle! In our wisdom we did it by greedily taking what nature offered for free, without giving back. It is time to give back and help nature restore itself. There are three ways which we can remedy this problem:

1) Stop Draining the River Dry.

The simplest option is to stop raping nature and let the Colorado River’s flow return to its natural state, but this cannot happen. This freshwater is being used for life and livelihood by millions of people who would complain loudly if it were no longer available to them.

2) Let Some Water Through.

Don’t take all the water. Let some of it flow to the delta. This sounds like a good idea, but it will not be enough. The Colorado River has a diminished flow which has created a strain on the existing water demand. Calls for conservation have been going on for years, and yet there is still not enough water to fill the current need. How can some be allowed to escape into the delta? Yes, this should be done, but any that is allowed to flow into the delta will be a minuscule amount compared to its original state. Yet some is better than none, but it would not be enough to break the mega-drought and refill the river.

3) Restore the Water Cycle.

The ultimate solution would be to discover a new source of water which is unencumbered and easily available to insert into the water cycle. That source is the ocean. The Sea of California is close at hand.

Move The Water!

The “Move the Water!” initiative proposes to refill Laguna Salada with seawater. The flow of the Coyote Canal can be reversed, and the saltwater can be allowed to flow through the delta and into Laguna Salada. In Spanish Laguna Salada translates into Salt Marsh, so it is already salted and adding saltwater will do no harm. By doing this some moisture will be returned into the delta, and Laguna Salada can be filled up to sea-level. The restored Lagna Salada will once again pump huge amounts of water vapor into the atmosphere, which will blow north toward the Salton Sea. Social justice will occur as the local indigenous peoples will again be able to fish in their ancestral lake. This will begin to fix the now broken water cycle and move toward eventually ending the mega-drought.

Mexico’s Commitment to End Climate Change.

Mexico made it clear in Paris that they wanted to do their part in reversing Climate Change. The loss of water within the Colorado River delta and watershed is one of the causes of Climate Change. The removal of that water allows the area to become warmer. This is their opportunity, and it is a low-cost project to undertake. The work in Mexico could be done in a surprisingly short time frame, easily less than a year. Once completed the drought can begin to end and climate Change can be mitigated.

Move the Water! Again.

The “Move the Water!” initiative proposes to refill the Salton Sea to its 1950s level by allowing seawater to flow through Laguna Salada. Here the Coyote Canal must be extended so that it terminates in the Salton Sea. This is a little more difficult project because there is a 150-foot hill in the way. This is not unsurmountable. Look at the rock cuts along our major highways. Brining the ocean water into the Salton Sea has multiple benefits, the largest being the work it will do against the mega-drought. The moisture evaporated from the Salton Sea will enter the Great Basin and work to refill the Great Salt Lake and also replenish the headwaters of the Colorado River.

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