The Truth Behind California Trying to Take Minnesota’s Water
You might have heard about the mega-drought parts of the desert southwest have been dealing with. Both Lake Mead and Lake Powell, two of the biggest reservoirs that store water from the Colorado River before sending it on to cities like Phoenix, Las Vegas and parts of southern California, are both running dangerously low.
In fact, we took a trip earlier this spring to that area of the country and happened to spend a day in Page, Arizona, where the Glen Canyon Dam is located. In addition to generating power, the dam created the massive Lake Powell, which is currently at about only 25 percent of its capacity. The white 'bathtub ring' on the rocks surrounding the lake show where the water once was, but is now much lower.
The drought has gotten so bad that communities across the southwest are bracing for cuts in the water they usually get from the Colorado River. It's with that in mind that one reader of the Desert Sun, a newspaper in Palm Springs, California, suggested a possible solution: How about tapping into some of Minnesota's 10,000 Lakes?
Actually, as this KARE 11 story explains, the original letter-writer suggested diverting some of the water from the Mississippi River-- not from here in Minnesota-- but from down in New Orleans, where, the writer surmised, the area is often flooded.
From there, the letter 'went viral,' as they say, with various other letter-writers both for and against the plan-- including some from here in Minnesota, who kindly told the southwest to keep their hands off our water (in not so many words, of course.)
As it turns out, the engineering involved in trying to get Mississippi River water from Minnesota or Louisiana out to the Colorado River would be a bit tricky-- seeing as you'd have to get it across those darned Rocky Mountains (which are just a LITTLE tall and would require a massive network of pumps.)
Plus, as the KARE story said, there's a law here in Minnesota that prohibits the DNR from issuing a permit to send more than a million gallons of water further than 50 miles away. So, even if engineers COULD figure out a way to do it, it looks like our Minnesota water will remain here to keep filling all 10,000 of our lakes.