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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 13 2013: I just want to be clear, we are talking about excess flood waters triggered by excessive rain fall.
    I do understand that water flows downstream but that is where locks and pumping stations come into play. Locks work like dams and in a channel size as I described are more than sufficient to do so.
    The effort is a cumulative one requiring each state to make the effort to fill them. When an impending storm such as Sandy were to blow threw, the canals would be lowered to allow any flood waters to be diverted to the canal allowing them to fill.
    I will offer a situation that I am familiar with. In southeast Quebec, the St Francois River floods each spring and every time a hurricane skims the east coast of Canada. The Saint t Francois leads into a series of lake and rivers that eventually lead to Lake Memphremagog which borders Vermont and Quebec. A canal could tap the waters of Lake Memphremagog on the Vermont side in order to gets its annual fill. That fill would easily be replaced by the spring flooding from the Saint Francois.
    The flood waters from the Saint Francois would exceed the need to fill the less than 300 miles of canals that could effectively be built in that state with excess maybe used to help New York if needed.
    And to give you a perspective of the volume of water needed to fill the canal? It is equivalent to the volume of fresh water consumed by NYC in a 10 day period.

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