MMBlog

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Bouncing off the future water shortage wall

Note: I hope anyone reading this would only take it as a tongue-in-cheek-style look at a growing problem. Don't try this at home!

By MIKE McILVAIN

We would have to make it look good.
Lip-sealed, very quiet, well-coordinated, neatly planned engineering would wash away Laredo’s second water source issue.
More water in the Rio Grande, the city’s first – and still only – source would make the issue mute in an overnight commando-type raid on the Colorado and Nueces rivers at their southernmost bends to link them as one into essentially a new river, flowing into the Rio Grande somewhere north of Del Rio. Sending the water in that least populated way looks like it would skirt much of the attention that a direct flow to Laredo would cause and avoid angry pointing fingers and screams from Corpus Christi and cities along the former course of the Colorado and Nueces between the San Antonio-area and coastal plains.
Egypt’s great Nile River used to flow through what is now North Africa’s famous, storied, very hot Sahara Desert, but – according to scientists on the National Geographic Channel and all over the Web – it changed its course because of natural and atmospheric reasons. That overnight rivers-changing raid, quietly rechanneling them short of any big cities over ranches and farms would have to be coordinated within 24 hours of some great earthquake, tsunami, or other natural disaster that could serve as the blame, but it can be done.
Those sweeping Nile changes have been linked to natural events as far away as Iceland – well up in the North Atlantic – so having some convincing meteorologists, scientists and other media-quoted experts on our side and ready is essential, too.
“It was just a natural event,” they could collectively say, smiling and shrugging their shoulders. “It is an act of nature.”
And naturally, local elected officials would have to be brought into the inner-circle of those saying, “Wow. We got lucky didn’t we? Perhaps we should share some of our water with those who lost theirs?”
Some water would be lost to aquifers and local water companies between those two suddenly engineered turns south with the Colorado entering the Nueces shortly before it turns abruptly south eventually joining the Rio Grande – so very innocently north of Laredo – and some livestock would be endangered and a handful of homes would be effected. Another crew of specially prepared engineers and strong-armed manual laborers would have to be ready to escort that first rush of water south to avoid any dangerous flash floods, but that would figure into the costs – well worth it to have a viable, long-term water source.
Before you call here to find out where to sign up as a river reroute volunteer, please keep in mind that this all written in fun – as of June 2007 – but, if water source planning doesn’t find vastly visible results by June 2017 there might not be any fun to it.
Much like the current problems caused by shortages and weakened access to oil sources, people seem geared toward intense, possibly bloody short-term solutions, and too many learned voices have repeated said our most important coming battles would be over water.
Details and politics around whether oil is replaced by synthetics, or water shortages are relieved through oceanic desalination, or discoveries finding water from grass and shrub cuttings isn’t near as important as answering these needs. It’s time for effective long-term thinking and resolution – as soon as possible.
Or do we need to have that first clandestine river-rerouting meeting? That project reads like fiction, or a bad TV movie now, but it won’t in a few years.

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