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Lake Mead, on the Colorado River, is the largest reservoir in the United States, but users are consuming more water than flows down the river in an average year, which threatens the water supply for agriculture and households; researchers suggest that to solve this imbalance, a water cap-and-trade system, successfully implemented in Australia, should be considered for interstate water trading
The North American Water and Power Alliance (NAWPA or NAWAPA, also referred to as NAWAPTA from proposed governing body the North American Water and Power Treaty Authority) was conceived in the 1950s by the US Army Corps of Engineers as a 'Great Project' to develop more water sources for the United States. The planners envisioned diverting water from some rivers in Alaska south through Canada via the Rocky Mountain Trench and other routes to the US and would involve 369 separate construction projects. The water would enter the US in northern Montana. There it would be diverted to the headwaters of rivers like the Colorado River and others. The water would generate hydro-electricity during its trip via dams. The water supply would double the total amount of fresh water available to lower 48 states with its major focus being on the western states. This would solve the water shortage problems of the west for the foreseeable future. The amount of water available would in fact be so great that some water would be left over for use by Mexico via the Colorado River (which is currently significantly depleted as it enters Mexico). The Corps of Engineers has studied this project and in the late 1950s and early 1960s this project was very close to realization. Washington State Senator "Scoop" Jackson was a significant sponsor and believer in this project. The project was opposed by public sentiment in Canada on the rare occasions it surfaced in print, though Canadian financier Simon Reisman, who negotiated the Free Trade Agreement, the precursor to the North American Free Trade Agreement, was one of its backers and main promoters. Nonetheless, the Canadian position on free trade exempted water exports, in part specifically to pre-empt any attempted completion of Reisman's long-time pet project. Recently, there has been a resurgence in the effort to implement NAWAPA, headed up by Lyndon LaRouche and his LaRouchePAC. See also
Originally posted by wildbillsteamcock
reply to post by kdog1982
The NWAPA may be a good idea in theory, but it leaves me with some questions (I wish I had the answers).
What will be the environmental impact?
How do you get Canada on board? Compensation probably, but how much?
What type of compensation will Alaska receive?
Construction cost and who is going to pay for it? A legit concern considering the current (and foreseeable) economic landscape.
How will this hold up with continued global climate change altering snowfall and glacial melt? It may not be a factor now, but what about 50-60 years into the future? With a project of this magnitude, you certainly don't intend for it to be a short-term solution.
More water means more water people will feel entitled to waste. I still see good management as the foundation to a solution.