The reports come in and show that there is a drought in the south of the United States and people are wondering what to do. Oddly enough, the states with the worst drought conditions are closest to the ocean but the need for clean water must surely outweigh the ability to desalinate that clear source. Could it be done a different way?
A neat solution would be to put in a structured network of water pipelines that channel excess water from one state to another but that method is actually complex and rife with issues which are currently being met by those that wish to install transcontinental oil pipelines. Maybe there is another solution that can get the same task completed but can handle the volumes in a different way.
How about building pumping stations that suck from bodies of water that have limited outflow capacity, such as the lakes around Waubay and the Oahe Reservoir, up to a filling terminal on a railroad side line. Railroad cars are then filled and attached to passing trains to be distributed around the nation to those areas in need. It’s not going to be drinking water but it will work great in the fields and maybe for cattle to drink.
1″ of rain on one acre is equal to about 26,000 gallons of water which can be loaded onto one rail tank car. It’s hard to believe that there is that much water falling from the sky but it puts it in a better prespective. The cars can be taken to areas that offload into bulk tanks, dug reservoirs, or even irrigation channels near the tracks. All of this is intended to allow for quick load and unload times to maximize the delivery of the water.
It’s a thought. It won’t prevent flooding but it will do something with excess water. It won’t stop a drought but it will help in areas that feel as if there is no hope for a resolution. It’s something to think about.