Texas Wildfires, Louisiana Floods: A Proposal

I’ll throw this one out and let the commenters pick it apart.

Here’s what I notice, though – for a good bit of the year, we’ve dealt with too much water in Louisiana. High river levels in the Mississippi threatened levees from the Arkansas line to the mouth of the river and we’ve got some flooding from Tropical Storm Lee going on right now.

And yet next door in Texas they’re dealing with the worst drought in years. Well more than a billion dollars in damage has been done to crops in the Lone Star State, and now over 1,000 homes have been lost thanks to wildfires there. The state is bone-dry and it looks as though things could well get much worse. Texas Gov. Rick Perry pulled out of tomorrow night’s GOP debate – the one which served as the backdrop for all the sniping about President Obama’s address to Congress – because of the problems in his home state and the all-out effort to stop those wildfires, which have bedeviled Texans all year. Six of the 10 worst wildfires in Texas history have hit this year.

We’ve got too much water here and they don’t have enough there.

So why wouldn’t it be a decent idea to build a pipeline from, say, the Old River Control Structure west into Texas?

The Keystone XL pipeline carries with it an estimated $7 billion price tag, and that’s to run a pipe from Canada to Port Arthur. This would be 20 percent of that distance, though perhaps it might be necessary to run pipelines throughout West Texas if the goal is water distribution.

But a lot of that is details and logistics. It would seem that if Texas is going to have drought problems every other year, and Louisiana has one of the world’s largest rivers flowing through it, that Louisiana river water could be used to irrigate Texas crops or put out Texas fires. The money saved from drought or fire damage, if that damage is going to be in the billions (and one pipeline can’t save all of it – I get that), might make the pipeline pay for itself, one would imagine.

It’s just an idea. And I don’t propose any government spending on a water pipeline from Louisiana to Texas; if there’s no profit in it then we shouldn’t waste taxpayer dollars on it.

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