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July 25, 2008

Moving water

It seems Mother Nature just can't get it right. Some areas of our country are receiving too much rain and are flooding, whereas other regions, like the Southeast, are still in a drought. Has anyone thought of ways of equalizing the distribution of water? Listen

Dr. Mike Walden, North Carolina Cooperative Extension economist in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at N.C. State University, responds:

"Interesting that you ask that question because this is actually being talked about more and more, about moving water from one part of a country to another. And indeed, China is actually doing this. China is building a water transfer piping system to move water from one region of their country where they get a lot of rain to another region where they are starved for water. And a big-time investor in Texas in the U.S. has talked about doing this on a much smaller scale within that state. Now, of course this all comes down to money. When you talk about moving something like water, you not only have to pay for the labor and the materials required to dig the trenches and lay the pipe and so forth. But one of the bigger costs sometimes can be acquiring the land, at least the right to the land. So you're talking about billions of dollars if you're doing this on a big scale. Now some people say that this has become such a problem that we need a new federal government commitment to do this, similar to the interstate highway system that was built in the 1950s and '60s. So we'll have to wait and see, but certainly the talk is percolating up about moving water."

Posted by Dave at July 25, 2008 08:00 AM