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The introduction of a nation wide canal system in the US

How can we tackle the ever increasing drop in water levels in the US?
Well, my solution is for a nationwide series of navigable channels that would allow the movement of water in all directions to help areas in need of water replenishment. What are the stumbling blocks in meeting this goal. There are 3 big hurdles in making this happen: Money, capture and storage.
I will eliminate the latter and discuss how this can be paid for.
Every year flood waters in varying parts of the country are allowed to flow freely back to the oceans. For example, the rainfall unleashed by Hurricane Sandy over the mainland US left a volume equivalent to 1/10 the volume of Lake Ontario. Had a series of channels and pumping stations been in place to capture as much as possible that water could have been used to commence the filling of these channels. 1/10 of Lake Ontario is equivalent to 40 cubic miles. Even if 50% of the volume of Sandy were to have been captured, enough water could have been had to fill a canal that would run over 1/2 million miles in length, 20ft deep and 50ft wide, more than enough to fill what would be needed. Once filled all excess could be used in two stages. A drawn for use in the Midwest to replace waters currently being drawn from the Ogallala Aquifer and second to a new super lake built somewhere in the Colorado. This would allow the Ogallala to naturally recover to water levels (currently 50 ft deep and falling). It would also take pressure off the ecosystem. Rivers and reservoirs would also naturally recover.
Pipelines could also be established to pump in seawater from the oceans to the a desalination plant near the super lake to be converted to fresh water and then using the remaining brine to salt the roads in Colorado... Continued


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  • Feb 10 2013: I believe this is a well thought out idea. As you stated, rainwater is rarely captured, which is surprising considering our need for it. However, I do have a couple questions regarding this idea. Given the current financial situation of our state and federal government, do you think they would be willing to donate that much money to the project? Furthermore, how much money could be saved by employing this system versus the cost to construct and maintain it?
    • Feb 10 2013: Hi again Dustin. What state do you live in??
      • Feb 11 2013: Arizona
        • Feb 11 2013: The geographic design of Arizona would allow for one of the least expensive aspect of the overall project and would also be one state that would best benefit from its construction.
          Arizona has the second lowest area of surface water. Also located at a lower elevation that Colorado, it would benefit from the use of gravity to keep such canals flowing.
          We need only look at the Colorado River in Yuma where it quickly dries out.
          A super lake in Colorado would help increase the volume of the Colorado River. The extent of these canals would be limited because it could tap the Colorado for water from the west with a further canal running from the central area of the Colorado Arizona border.
          A third canal could run parallel to I-10 running from New Mexico to California. Mileage wise, you would be looking at canals totaling about 1000 miles. At a cost of $2 million per mile, you could see a bill of $2 billion with the state picking up half the tab.That figure would account for 1/2 of 1% of state spending.

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