Great American Canal Project

Introduction:

The Problem: Every year floods destroy hundreds of homes and ravish thousands of low laying areas in the flood plains of our large rivers like the Mississippi and others. In years of heavy rain falls or severe weather we flood the Mid-West to the point of overflowing many of our largest waterway’s banks. In many years, areas like LA and Mississippi are devastated by hurricanes and high tidal flooding that causes millions to billions of dollars in damage. In the last 20 years we have seen our Mid-West and plains farmers loose thousands of acres of crops because of draughts, much of the cattle business and other livestock businesses suffer every year because of draught conditions. Communities are forced to impose tighter and tighter water restrictions to try and control what little precious water we have stored in our underground aquifers. Flood waters also help destroy our ocean environments by adding more silt and waste byproducts to the local oceans and impacting our reefs and decrease the salinity of our oceans.

The solution: To create a series of canals that feed off our largest rivers that overflows during times of flooding to divert this excess water to areas of the country that can use it to its highest potential. Thus creating an overflow valve for our major rivers that could help reduce the flooding in areas, the destruction of homes and property and businesses each year, reducing the payments insurance companies have to pay out for these events, and reduce the federal assistance programs that fund disasters like flooding. Creating canals that feed into large water reservoir holding basins can:

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1. create hundreds of thousands of local jobs, create infrastructures for public recreation areas and business that support those activities. 2. Create the much needed manufacturing jobs in this country that can be part of the supply line for the creation of the infrastructure of the canals & retention basins. 3. Create jobs in hundreds of areas that are not government jobs, but private sector jobs that pay decent wages through the life time of the project. 4. Help fund our depleting funding into social security by employing thousands of workers. 5. Bring back the blue collar worker to America who is the middle class.

Looking Glass: Imagine when the Interstate Highway system was first thought of! Americans were on the verge of the explosion of the automobile and how it would affect the viability of the railroad systems in use at that time. The thousands and thousands of miles of highways that weave in and out of our large & small towns today were created decades ago by those who envisioned a better way to connect towns with other towns and to move product quicker.

The Stalemate: In today’s world we are torn by various issues when we try to solve major problems like this water problem, fuel shortages, energy issues and many others. What we will need to do is work with various groups at local, state and federal levels to ensure that this project is the best for us as a nation and for the individuals who will be impacted by the project. It is important that every person involved either directly or indirectly be informed of all levels of this project, it must have complete public transparency at all times. The public must partake in all the events because it is the public who should benefit from the results of this project so they must have a major say so in its design and build out and maintenance. We foresee that there could be various groups of people who will be against the project in certain areas for various reasons, this is natural and we must work with them to allow them to insert positive feedback into the creation of the project. An example of this could be that a canal may run through some area of the country where we have some endangered species. We need to work with groups that protect those area and have them help assist in locating areas where the project could divert its building so those protected areas were less impacted. And in the same time these special interest groups also must recognize that this project is making a positive overall impact on other areas that are regularly destroyed.

Design Areas: The project would start with the identification of areas along our large waterways that are prone to flooding, and then proceed to determine areas where large collection basins could be built in the mid-west and western states where water is needed. Purchase of property in the path of the canals and holding facilities needed would then happen along the path of each canal system giving attention to fair market value of property and to adhere to areas where conservation of habitat issues arise. Creation of some type of flood gate or canal gates along the large rivers to divert water clip_image002

the actual design and terrain selection of each of the canals that feed into the retention basins would be next.

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Pumping stations, bridges, retention areas, access roads, construction sites, maintenance areas, recreational areas and water monitoring & testing areas would also be part of this phase.

Costs: With any project that has such a large scope the overall costs will be shocking to anyone. When you look at what we Americans pay for disasters that are water related along the Mississippi River for example those numbers usually run into the BILLIONS every time, not to mention the long term effect it takes on homeowners, businesses, families, schools and insurance companies (estimates for part of this run about 1% of the National GDP over a one year period or $1.25B). What if we decided to make a conscious choice and divert some advanced funding from our government that would normally be used for these disaster events and kick start a canal system for America? We know that the American road system was an expensive choice but look where it has taken all of us today! We need water in the West, Midwest and plains states if we are to continue to feed America and enjoy what America has to offer us. Costs of the project can be offset by those who will benefit from the resources provided, not to mention the devastating havoc that each of the disasters cause and the costs of those. A not for profit organization like Homeland Security Policy Institute Group could be set up to manage the overall project so the government would not have a controlling interest, the public and private sectors could work as a common combined effort to advance the project miles at a time across America. When water reached the large storage areas some type of use charge like we have in parks today could be levied to help pay for the water. Farmers, cities, water companies, environmentalists, recreational uses, conservation groups, communities who need water could purchase this water for use in the community at a nominal fee. Everyone would benefit from this water, those in the path of flooding would not have to worry about these disasters, and those who need water would benefit by having the water that was once sent to the ocean.

By Whom: This project could have an enormous potential of employing thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people all across this nation. People from all walks of life would be needed to help make this happen. Engineers, water specialists, tidal flow experts, sediment experts, construction experts, steel companies, steel fabrication people, concrete specialists, concrete companies, trucking companies, trucking manufactures, heavy equipment manufactures and sales, computer specialists, dam specialists, pumping specialists, recreational experts, support staffing facilities and thousands of others.

Conclusion: This is a very brief overview of how we as a country can again solve large problems by working on a united effort to achieve the common goal. It should be in the interest of every American to make this project a reality, we understand that without water our lifestyle will be altered forever and this country could face many devastating issues. We as Americans want our fellow citizens to live in prosperity and be able to provide for their families, by creating this project these and thousands of other realities and dreams will come true for decades to come.

4 thoughts on “Great American Canal Project

  1. But since these rivers are in low lying areas (in order to collect the runoff from the land around them), the canals would have to have lots of locks and pumps to lift the water up and over to higher land in the west that needs the water (for this all to work as you describe). Since power goes out during floods, you would need generators to operate these pumps. You couldn’t pump the water as fast as it was coming in with the flood, so you would have to start pumping water out of the rivers well before the flood waters hit to get a head start. What impact does that have on the rivers? This project will necessitate a large, permanent staff of employees. The whole project seems a little untenable to me.

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