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05 April 2015


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Canada is not on board.
The den mother of the neo-cons Scoop ( Senator from Boeing ) Jackson was.
Has anyone asked The Palin her position on this?


A complete fantasy in my opinion. Even assuming we need to keep subsidizing cheap water for growth in desert communities, there are a lot of technical problems with this proposal, not to mention environmental problems. Unless the laws of physics have changed, I don't think it's possible to achieve net positive electrical output via hydro power since the water would be pumped in several locations to cross mountain ranges, not to mention up to the final destination on the Colorado plateau, 5,000-10000 feet depending on the exact location. Then there is the long-term maintenance costs - whose gonna pay for that? Probably not those using the water.

I'm from Colorado and have followed the problem of water in the west and the Colorado basin since I was a kid. The notion that we, as a country, should spend many tens (perhaps hundreds)-of-billions of dollars to subsidize growth in a handful of desert states is appalling in my view.

If we're going to invest in infrastructure, we should invest in 21st century technology and not 19th and 20th century technology. Some useful ideas that would benefit more than 3 or 4 states:

We’re still operating with a 1950’s air traffic control system. Upgrading the system has been discussed for years, why not put money there?

Our internet infrastructure should be much larger, faster and more robust (We're not even in the top ten in terms of speed or connectivity).

Our electrical infrastructure also needs upgrading to account for new energy sources, to improve efficiency reliability and resiliency.

William R. Cumming

Or invade CANADA setting Quebec free so we have a place to play and eat and then of course just drain the Great Slave Lake to replace the dying Ogllalla Acquifer?

gordon reed

Read Cadillac Desert. This is a huge boondogle and an environmental catastrophy.

Gordon Reed



Who cares what Palin has to say? That woman is one tree short of a hammock and the zombies who follow her should be duct taped to that hammock!


Invading Canada makes the most sense. We can get their oil too.
Ayn Rand commented in her speech at West Point that the native Americans deserved to have their lands taken as they weren't using them properly. Same goes for the Canadians.
It's what the Chinese have done in Tibet and what they plan to do with the rivers flowing off the Tibetan plateau.
All grandiose delusion of the objectivist commissars that will probably have horrific consequences.
Putting the engineers to work on a replacement for the flush toilet would probably be the most sensible.

Byron Raum

Not only is invading Canada a good idea because of the resources involved, but it also provides an excellent source of cheap slave labor. Due to their free healthcare, Canadians are in excellent shape and therefore will be very productive. We can use them to compete successfully with China after we have used them to build this water system.


Over 20 years ago, Los Angeles and the state cooked up an scheme that they would just jump over Oregon and divert some water from the Columbia their way. The farmers and environmentalist in OR and WA teamed up and got that grand plan axed.

I saw the four part series Cadillac Desert on PBS years ago and it has stayed with me. In fact, I actually have the series and have loaned them to friends. You couldn't pay me to live in CA, NV, AZ or anywhere near that part of the country.


I second Gordon. Marc Reisner's 'Cadillac Desert' details the foolishness of this idea, its origins as well as the countless other catastrophes perpetrated on the American West at the hands of Congress and its favored agency for all things pork related, the Army Corps of Engineers.

Aside from taking a fairly dry (no pun) subject and making it vastly interesting, there are all kinds of interesting, funny, sad stories contained - from the character that was Floyd Dominy, to the destruction of the Fort Berthold reservation lands in North Dakota to that pillar of conservatism himself, Barry Goldwater, and his unabashed love of vast sums of government $$ to construct the Central Arizona Project the mother of all water project boondoggles and the reason Phoenix is full of golf courses and swimming pools.

While it would certainly be a monumental undertaking, it would never pass the muster of Congress and the New World Order crowd (see North American Union). A project of this magnitude requires the capital and will only the state can muster. Something the ranchers and barons of the old west understood in private, but never admitted in public.



How about stopping the mass migration of millions of aliens to our Southwest? Less people, less need for agua.

Why is the tree-hugger Left reticent to take on the immigrant loving Left. Back in the day, the Sierra Club and other elites constantly preached about the "population bomb."

Johnny Carson frequently had author Paul Ehrlich on his show.

It seems the Left craves new Dem voters over saving their beloved nature.


WRC: That's probably what it would take. We're kinda touchy about water.

NAFTA Article 315 has been interpreted to mean that once Canada starts exporting water, it could not legally stop or reduce the quantity of water it exports. This has lead to a total ban on bulk water exports, largely out of the fear that should we ever start exporting water we would quickly loose control of our water resources.

If I'm reading the idea behind the NAWAPA idea it correctly, it's proposing to create a canal or artificial river running from Alaska to the Southwest US. Now to be fair, I grew up in a small town in the Rocky Mountain Trench, where my dad worked as a fisheries biologist. So, I am predisposed to being against this project.

My personal history notwithstanding, the problem I see is that this proposed project would cut through the watersheds of several major rivers, and in the process divert some of their flow south. It would in effect create bulk water export on a massive scale. So, Canada wouldn't wear it. Even if Canada would BC wouldn't, since fishing is a fairly major part of the economy, and anything that threatens to disrupt the Fraser threatens to disrupt the fishing industry.

This is before we get into the issue of who would manage the project and how would the proceeds from electrical generation and water sales be divided up? No matter how you answer that question it's going to piss someone off.

It's a neat idea I'll grant you, and I can see the positives for the southwestern US. I just don't think it's feasible to implement given the political climate in Canada.

On preview: John, Byron I've argued repeatedly for the need for an independent Canadian nuclear deterrent, including on this website. Call it "The DeGaulle Program".

Nancy K

The left may crave new Dem voters, however the right leaning big and small business owners love that cheap labor.
Republicans can't have it both ways, they can't whine about illegal aliens and then hire them in their businesses.


I'd bet that the "aliens" psc is thinking of use far less water and other resources than the more numerous type of migrants to the Southwest--those with their big houses, their gardens, and their SUVs.

Oh, and if they're "aliens", how are they going to be "voters", Dem or otherwise?

But yeah, I'm for stopping aliens settling there. Including the resource- hogging "Anglo" ones.

Byron Raum


The alien invasion of the Southwest is something that is seriously helping our ailing social security system. If we had more children there would be more people soon paying social security taxes. Well, guess what? These brownies tend to breed like roaches and have lots of children. Why is the fiscal-responsibility Right reluctant to take on the xenophobic Right?

Harking back to the good Colonel's initial point, we have a decaying infrastructure and many people unemployed. The solution is obvious. The real problem, of course, is political. Can they afford to have a black Muslim not only be successful, but successful to such an extent that his name is stamped on America's 21st century infrastructure improvements?


The beaver

If you, gentlemen, elect Cheney as your next POTUS, I am pretty sure that some of you will see your dream come through: the invasion of Canada :-)

However, expect a WWIII since Darth Vader and his ilks will want to own the world ........unless God Almighty interferes ( insert smile)


The beaver,

It was subtly announced in mid July that Richard Bruce is in the final stages of his heart disease.


The Economists will kill this proposal for you. The simplest solution I suspect, as was proven here, is to raise the price of water until farmers and domestic consumers start using it more frugally.

This is one area where Israel leads the world and deserves our gratitude for sharing their innovations.


My infrastructure proposal would be the Lewis and Clark Trail High-speed rail. The Chinese will want to travel in modern comfort as they visit US. They can watch their wheat harvests ripen while we earn back our T-bills.

Cato the Censor

This scheme makes me think of the Soviet Union destroying the Aral Sea for the sake of growing cotton. This sounds similarly grandiose, wasteful, and stupid. Why did the USA have to turn into the Soviet Union? Even to the point where we're bogged down in Afghanistan with no apparent way out? Why did this happen?

d m nolan

"Cadillac Desert." One of the most memorable books I have ever read. A great pity that Mr. Reisner didn't live to write a 2010 update.


Might be cheaper to build and/or develop better desalination plants and/or technologies for not only the American West, but for the rest of the World.

In Southern Florida, we are draining the Biscayne Aquifer so fast, desalination is in our future.

We might be able to sell this technology to the rest of the World and improve our Economic conditions, unless we out source manufacturing to China.

Water is going to be as important as oil in the coming future.


I happen to support NAWAPA for a variety of reasons. First, there is a genuine longterm water crisis in the western region of North America. A diversion of just 20 percent of the water that spills out from the Arctic region into the Pacific and the Bay would solve this water crisis, from Canada through the United States into northern Mexico. It would create an estimated 3-4 million productive jobs in the first phase, covering 33 states. The jobs would include work in the northern Mexico states of Chihuahua and Sonora, meaning productive jobs and longterm agricultural production in northern Mexico. This would be a big disincentive for illegal immigrants, as there would be millions of new jobs in Mexico.

Some historical background: NAWAPA was first designed by the Parsons Engineering Company in the mid-1960s. It was supported in Congress at various times in the 1960s and 70s, particularly by the late Senator Frank Moss. It has excited engineers, scientists, machine tool designers as a real opportunity to improve the conditions of life in the western states. It would improve the environment. With the additional water, vegetation and trees could be planted in areas of what is now the Great American Desert, and this vegetation would increase rainfall, creating a net increase in water resources for the western third of the United States. We used to talk about greening the desert as a good thing. The costs of this project would pay for themselves, and then some, even before completion. By putting millions of highly skilled, currently unemployed people back to work, we'd expand the tax revenue base without raising taxes. These skilled workers would train the current and next generations of now-unskilled youth, who face a bleak future of no-job, no-skill oblivion.

Mark Logan

Just to embellish Harper's comments, Canada would stand to gain much irrigated land out of this, and from Alaskan river water. They are not the same country that passed a law that made it illegal to export water (where are the headwaters of the Columbia kids? There is something fishy about this statute!) they are 50 years removed from that nation and have a reason to cast an eye to development, perhaps.

It would sent a lot of environmentalists into a tizzy though, no doubt about it.

The population grows. We have to face that fact.

Medicine Man

I'm not sure about the pros and cons of this kind of diversion project, personally, although I do think that a national public works of epic proportions may be what the US needs right now.

And certain folks in this thread need to step away from their Risk boards a little more often. ^.^

Jon T.

Despite being a non professional and non academic wihtout connection to any trades or disciplines relevant to NAWAPA, Harper's view appeals to me.

What professionals and academics trained in the fields would say, however, may not be so crucial as is the question of are we, am I ready to face the changes that are inherent in something as big as that?

I say I want change. Yet I'm married to my car, used to getting groceries from a corporate provider; I deal with banks and credit cards. When those things really begin to change, sometimes I feel lost and resist.

None of that will necessarily change when large changes are attempted and effected: the water redirection and its manifest employment possibilities; retooling the electric grid; overhauling the air traffic control system ( the last two I read in an earlier post in this thread and like as new directions as well)

However, the thing about new directions: in some clear ways, people will have to change. Some adapt better than others. Some do not want to, and are conscious about that. Others are unconscious about not wanting to change - resistors.

The first and major change is to somehow, someway rearrange, reframe, recreate our national mental thought landscape from one of being fear and defense industry based to including the possibility that things like the above transformative directions can in fact really happen, that they are possible, that we won't be overrun by someone or something if we tend to our own needs.

That is the biggest challenge. imho, meet that, and the rest will begin to change.

To help in accomplishing that I'd say is first somehow resolve or disengage from the Israeli - Palestinian dialectic (dream on) and second rely more on men like Marcus Luttrell, the Navy Seal who lived through Operation Redwing, to fight the Takfiri Jihadis and disengage the COIN apparatus. Both of those refocus energy of thought first and energy of liquid fiscal assets, second. I live in a fantasy land, right?

Refer to The Manhattan Project or NASA's goal of a man on the moon: energy was envisioned, imagined, believed to be possible.

Then people were gathered, imagination turned to creativity, action brought manifest reality.

I remember when Joe Montana led the 49ers. They were down by 13 with a minute and 30 seconds left. He threw two touchdowns, PAT's were good. In the TV interview, Joe stood there out of breath. Announcer: "How did you do that?" Joe: "I have no idea. The team walked into a zone. We didn't think about anything."

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