If you live in the United States, you see the same thing year-after-year.  Winter leaves and all of a sudden Middle-America is a dystopian Bass-Pro tournament.  While that is a yearly occurrence in Middle-America, another occurrence happens in the western half of the country.  California, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Arizona, Idaho, Washington, New Mexico, and Texas have all suffered from severe drought in recent memory.

What if there were a way to alleviate flood lands and drought lands at the same time?

There is.  It’s expensive, but not necessarily complicated.  Let’s have a look.  To run a pipeline from the furthest extent east to the west coast would require over 1,500+ miles of linear pipeline.  At a cost of US$2 million per mile,1 the cost for one linear pipeline would be US$3,000,000,000.

I cannot afford three-billion dollars!

Understandably, three-billion dollars looks like a lot of money to some.  Fortunately, there are around 100,000,000 taxpayers in America.  So, three-billion divided by one-hundred-million is a grand total of:

US$30

That’s right.  Bringing water from too much to too little would cost about thirty bucks a person.  With that $30, your insurance rates should go down as you no longer will be paying for the same area of people and their damaged belongings.

Water falling into a rain collection drain on the curb of a street.
Install drains along an embankment to allow flood water drainage into aqueduct system.
A drainage pipe leads out to a water source. Drought would leave these pipes bare.
When flood waters recede the river would carry on as usual.

An additional expense is the pumping of water from the source to the destination.  It was suggested that 3,200-kilowatt hours per acre-foot would be needed.  This is untrue.  The Romans were able to transport water huge distances using only stone and rudimentary cement techniques.  We can cast our pipes large, to deal with the yearly volume increase.  When we place the pipes, we use the same technique the Romans used: gravity.  Vitruvius recommended a gradient of no less than one in 4800, evident by the seventeen-meter fall over the course of the fifty-kilometer aqueduct, Pont du Gard.  So, we need minimal energy to feed the water into the pipes if we utilize underground aqueduct-pipes.  Descending 34 cm per km, like the Romans, our pipes would be 820.76544 (about 1/2 a mile) meters lower than where they started.  Not terrible.  Of course, we aren’t going the whole 1,500 miles.

In Part II, I will talk about how the Archimedes Screw could help pay for this whole operation.

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