Water Water Everywhere — By John Reed
Water Water Everywhere
…”and not a drop to drink.” These words from Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” summarize perfectly our country’s weather situation. Flooding in the east and south, drought in the west. The solution is obvious.
President Eisenhower, impressed by Germany’s Autobahn system he encountered during World War II, created the interstate highway system here. Initially envisioned as a way to efficiently connect military bases, it became the way to distribute civilians and commercial supplies nationwide. It’s time to consider a similar water distribution project on a national scale.
Many will find such an idea impractical: economically as well as politically. It’s been decades since the two political parties were able to cooperate on projects of this magnitude. Meanwhile, China is developing projects not on a national scale but a global one. Their “green silk road“ is connecting not only countries but continents.
For the same reasons we abandoned the moon for 50 years, we have given up the long look and speculative imagination that made us the strongest country in the world last century. We now spend all our time now on petty short term debates.
Some years back there was a wonderful little essay explaining the reason the space shuttle boosters are the size they were. In just a few paragraphs, their diameter was traced back through railroad gauges to horse drawn carriages to the Roman empire. Instructive and amusing.
And yet, the Romans built aqueducts to supply their cities with running water and working sewers… for an area nearly the size of the continental United States, with a population of more than 100 million.
If the Romans could distribute their water 2000 years ago, surely we should be able to do it too.