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National Water Infrastructure (National Rain Barrel)

A network of reservoirs and pipe lines to store and distribute flood water
  (+2, -1)
(+2, -1)
  [vote for,

This idea is simply to build a series of reservoirs throughout the country and interconnect them with a network of pipe lines. This system would be used to capture heavy rains and snow melts that exceed the local water storage capacity and flow down stream. The system is not meant to prevent flooding but to collect, store and distribute water that could cause flooding and send it to parts of the country that may be experiencing a drought. This way fresh water that is wasted can be stored until needed. A reliable water supply would increase agricultural production and give farmers some financial stability. Concept drawing at link
duroncrush, Jul 21 2011

water storage silo http://www.flickr.c...1953/in/photostream
water storage silo [duroncrush, Jul 21 2011]

Don't dilute the ocean... Coastal_20City_20Wastewater_20Relocation
ship wastewater inland (treated, or raw for nutrients) [FlyingToaster, Jul 21 2011]

Wiki: Aqueduct http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aqueduct
A historical perspective. [zen_tom, Jul 21 2011]

Lake Mead drying up http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Mead
Lake Mead drying up [duroncrush, Jul 21 2011]


       This presumes either that the drought-stricken regions are downhill of those with a regular surplus of water, which they aren't, or that the system will be equipped with a very expensive relay of pumps to carry the water thousands of miles to where it can temporarily relieve a drought. Also, most floods in flood-prone areas occur during the times when drought-stricken areas are least drought-stricken, so unless you've got one hell a of a purification system, you're going to be filling tanks with billions of gallons of muddy, microbe-filled runoff water and leaving it to stew until it is needed.   

       BTW, [DuronCrush], I'm not intentionally harshing on your ideas specifically; ask around, I do this to everybody. I just happened to be the first one to stumble across them.
Alterother, Jul 21 2011

       Good idea, and there's nothing wrong with //muddy, microbe-filled runoff water// for most purposes: paint the pipe black and by the time the water gets where it's going all those microbes will be boiled.   

       But it has to be taken in toto; the "local system" is only part of it. I wouldn't take water out until all the water tables from the flood point to it's final catchment are filled.   

       [ ] leaning towards +   

       You may also like <link>
FlyingToaster, Jul 21 2011

       [duroncrush] what country are you from? Because there are lots of countries that already have a well established water collection and storage infrastructure. Sometimes these systems are more local than some people might like, but I guess it all depends on the size of the country. There are some pretty impressive water works in California, and going back into history, the Romans (and very likely others) frequently moved water from locations of plenty into locations of need - famously employing the use of the aqueduct to great effect - see "The Life Of Brian" for documentary evidence of same)
zen_tom, Jul 21 2011

       Good question; in a typically geo/patrio-centric view, my semi-scathing responce assumed this was meant for the USA, where it would be a costly waste of time. In a smaller country with less dramatic topography and prone to damaging climate extremes, this might be a bunnier idea. I can't think of anysuch countries at the moment, but that's probably because I just woke up and am more focused on my third bowl of Fruity Pebbles right now.   

       I stand semi-corrected and am now leaning bun-ward as well; more detail, please.
Alterother, Jul 21 2011

       My main thought is earlier this year 2011 my state had so much rain that there was flooding. Now in July we are having a massive heat wave with little to no rain. These condition require farmers to water their crops if they can or watch the harvest die on the vine. If they do water where do they get the water from wells. This puts a high demand on the aquifer which can cause depletion, subsidence, salination, as well as salt water intrusion in coastal areas. Additionally the ever increasing in population in Nevada, Arizona, and California is putting more demand on a limited resource. Lake mead is severely depleted and is down 61%. There is a growing demand for fresh water and this idea addresses that in the simplest way possible. There will be problems with the implementation but they can be solved.
duroncrush, Jul 21 2011

       it was worked out quite a while ago [ back in the 60s ? ] that it would be possible to harness most of the rives that empty into the pacific, into a water grid that would provide a net southward and eastward transfer of water, along the line of the western mountains, and powered by gravity.
it is possible but will never happen.

       A more interesting prospect from my perspective
would be to divert a large part of the Congo river under the Central African Republic, round the edge of the Chad/Niger basin, then out through Libya to the Med. A massive engineering project, that would bring water half the length of Africa. But it would only need the agreement of five governments to sort out all of the water rights issues.

       Ps this page has changed since I stated typing this
j paul, Jul 21 2011

       //National Rain Barrel//   

       Has anyone actually worked out how big the barrel would have to be, I'm guessing the mass might make the Earth's orbit slightly more exciting.   

       <realises that this is how the dinosaurs died, it wasn't a meteor strike after all, just an excessive public works project that affected the precession. Expect to find dinosaur fossils with hard hats with "global water board" on them in a strata near you>
not_morrison_rm, Jul 22 2011

       I like how you specified the diameter of the silo to be precisely 2640' 2 5/8".
ytk, Jul 23 2011


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