A lot of people have approached me about the seeming no-brainer idea of transporting water from places that have a lot of water, to places that are starving for water. While this seems to make sense, a closer look demonstrates just how challenging this is, at least for today. Here are a few interesting points to consider.
- Chlorine dissipates with heat, motion and time. Water transported any great distance is likely to arrive contaminated with bacteria and algae.
- The cost to transport a 9,500-gallon tanker of water 1,500 miles is about $6,500. This translates to about 68 cents per gallon of water. the average household uses about 500 gallons per day. Do you think you could survive while paying a water bill of $300 per day? Think about the manufacturer who uses 200,000 gallons per day. Their cost would be over $120,000 per day for water.
- Pipelines from river sources or lake sources to communities in needs are not practical right now because of land rights, lease issues, and the fact that each community along the river or lake would be fighting to offer cheaper water than their neighbor. Then there is the question of who the river/lake water belongs to in the first place? Add to that the fact that depleting river and lake levels can have terrible environmental effects. Without an active National Water Plan and large investment in pipeline infrastructure, personnel and oversight this solution would be at best years away from becoming a reality.
- As it is now, pulling water out of natural sources would literally set the nations’ communities into a quagmire of lawsuits against each other.
- On a final, but very interesting note, did you know that the Great Lakes hold 80% of the available freshwater for the entire US? Enough water to flood our country completely at a level of 8 – 10 feet deep.
The takeaway here is that we have plenty of water but very little visionary thinking when it comes to managing it.