Climate change is far more sensitive to changing levels of water vapor, clouds and ice than rising CO2 and Methane. Let us tackle climate change right!

The rain that on the righteous falls,

falls also on that other fella

but mostly on the just, because

the unjust stole the just’s umbrella.

(author unknown).

If you live in the higher latitudes, rain is a nuisance, and as they say in England: Everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it. In areas of drought, rain is a blessing. The quip ‘poem’ refers to the Bible (of course) and can be found in Matthew 5:43-45. Jesus says in the sermon on the mount:

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (Modern English Version).

It all goes back to the beginning: The Bible says in Genesis 1:

 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the water.

God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, …..

So the evening and the morning were the first day.

Then God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” So God made the expanse and separated the waters which were under the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse. And it was so. God called the expanse Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day.

Day 3,4,5 and 6 God created Sun, Moon and stars, flora and fauna all after its kind, and at the end of each day God saw that it was good. But God didn’t say it was good after day two!

At the end of day six 26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the livestock, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

27 So God created man in His own image;
    in the image of God He created him;
    male and female He created them.

After God had created man in His own image, one kind, two equivalent sexes, male and female, the ecosystem that was started in day 2 was complete, including man and woman; God could finally say: It was very good. God gave us the stewardship of earth, and it is our responsibility not to destroy God’s creation.

There is now great anxiety that we will exceed the all important 1.5 degree Celsius temperature increase since pre-industrial times soon, since we are about to have another el niño. A direct quote in Jan 2019 from scaremonger congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez states: ‘The world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change,‘ Her ‘solution’ is to follow the climate alarmists and do away with all fossil fuel in the next 8 years or sooner. As if that would solve anything.

There is a better solution. CO2 is our strongest greenhouse gas, next after water vapor, which is between 5 and 10 times stronger. In fact water vapor is a condensing gas and exists in the atmosphere as unsaturated, oversaturated, as water drops and as ice crystals. The critical thing about precipitation as rain or snow is that it is increasing in areas that already get enough, and is decreasing in areas of insufficient rain or snow. Since 1901, global annual precipitation has increased at an average rate of 0.04 inches per decade, while precipitation in the contiguous 48 states has increased at a rate of 0.20 inches per decade. The eastern parts of the United States have experienced greater increases in precipitation, while the American southwest has experienced a decrease. For example, the Colorado river basin has experienced an annual precipitation decline of 0.6 inches per decade, see fig.

Looking at all of the contiguous 48 states, the precipitation figure looks like this:

In the East it is all about water responsibilities, you must build a catch basin to catch the water that falls on roads and roofs and other paved surfaces, and release it slowly to lessen floods. In the West it is the other way around, it is all about water rights. If you don’t own the water rights on your property you are not even allowed to water the plants outside with the water that falls on the roof of your own house, even though thatt would benefit the aquifer. In fact, one of the most effective way to destroy the environment is to deplete the aquifers. The situation for the aquifers in the world is already dire. Nearly all big cities in the 10-40 latitudes zone that are not fed by major rivers are already depleting their aquifers at an alarming rate. Mexico City e.g. have exhausted their aquifers and are looking for more water supplies. In addition the lakes are disappearing. Salt Lake is a third of what it was in 1970,The Aral Sea is but a memory, rivers are being dammed so much that even the Euphrates river was running dry last fall, the list goes on. This must be solved.

This is a proposal. As in the east, let the water rights belong to the property and cannot be sold separately. This way the water can be stored where it will do most good, at the source. With this comes water responsibility. The landowner is responsible for maintaining the aquifer, and keep it replenished at all times. In times of drought, the aquifers can be temporarily drawn down if there is no water available to purchase at market value. This requires a water exchange market, complete with futures. (This is much more important than a Carbon exchange market). When the drought is over the aquifers must be refilled over time. The West is mostly federal land, except for Indian reservations, see map:

The Indian reservations will be given back the water rights they had before it was taken from them, which was the water that rained on their land. In addition they will be given back the right to use the water from the rivers up to the point of reason, that is what was used before settlers came and took the water rights. They will get the river water free, that will be their reparations, everyone else will have to pay market price for river water. (In the east, the rivers will have excess water, so the price will be zero. and the price for cleaning the water will be paid by the consumer). In the American Southwest, water is the most valuable resource, so water should be priced in an open market.

But how does all of this affect climate change?

The American Southwest is becoming desertified. That means it is slowly made a desert. The aquifers are being depleted and rain is diminishing. This leads to less clouds and even less rain. The worst example is the disappearance of the Aral Sea. Central government (of CSSR) thought it was a good idea to grow cotton and irrigate the land. After a few years of great harvests the rivers dried up, the lake almost disappeared, the clouds disappeared and the rains stopped. This was done in the 70’s and a million people had to be resettled to where there still was water.

The solution is to change the land use to produce more clouds and more rain and snow. To collect the water in lakes, dams and rivers leads to more evaporation, but not more clouds and rain. Only well restored aquifers will solve the problem, together with replanting indigenous trees and other vegetation. For example Pine trees emit ideal aerosols for cloud generation when water vapor becomes oversaturated thanks to evapotranspiration from the same trees. The aquifers must be sufficiently refilled to sustain trees. The trees makes the soil cooler, so unwanted evaporation will be less. The same forests must be well maintained to avoid large wildfires.

Since the American Southwest is drying up, more water must be provided, especially since 40 million people are already dependent on the water from the Colorado River, and the West is growing rapidly. Here is the solution to the water problem in the American Southwest:

It is expensive, but much cheaper than trying to solve climate change by mining up the whole world trying to find enough Lithium, Cobalt and rare earth metals for all the electric cars, trucks and batteries to store the energy needed when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow. A hint: Use Thorium to replace coal for electricity production, It is already mined when mining rare earth metals. There are many reasons to produce Thorium Nuclear Power. Here are 30 of them

I leave you with the ballad of Ira Hayes as performed by Johnny Cash

Lake Mead and Lake Powell are emptying fast. The solution: The Trans-Rocky-Mountain Aqueduct. Expensive, but very doable.

(Quoted partly from Joanna Allhands, Arizona Republic.) The seven Colorado River basin states have a plan to temporarily stabilize Lake Powell. The states are: Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and California.

It is a temporary delay of a very painful decision, it doesn’t rain enough in the Colorado River basin to provide enough water for the ever increasing population, now exceeding 40 million, five times more as when the Hoover dam was built.

Yet no one balked. And that’s a win.

That should signal how dire the circumstances have become.

The U.S. Department of the Interior noted in an April 8 letter to the basin states that Lake Powell is dangerously close to hitting 3,490 feet of elevation, a level so low that power could no longer be generated at Glen Canyon Dam and water could no longer flow to the nearby city of Page and an adjacent Navajo Nation community.

Because water could no longer flow through the power turbines, millions of acre-feet of water would flow downstream through smaller backup pipes at the base of Glen Canyon Dam – a risky prospect that could spell calamity for Lake Mead, which relies on Powell’s releases, if any one of those four pipes were damaged by the heavy flows and had to shut down.

nterior proposed taking the unprecedented action of withholding 480,000 acre-feet (that’s more than 156 billion gallons) in Lake Powell that otherwise should have flowed to Lake Mead, among other measures.

Two weeks later, the seven states responded with a singular voice: We get how dire this is, and we’re on board.

“We recognize the urgency created by current conditions in the Basin; in fact, hydrologic conditions in the Basin have continued to decline since your April 8, 2022, letter to the Governors’ representatives,” they wrote in an April 22 response. “It is our collective judgment that additional cooperative actions should be taken this spring to reduce the risk of Lake Powell declining below critical elevations.”

That means the upper basin states will agree to release 500,000 acre-feet from the upstream Flaming Gorge Reservoir, as part of a newly cemented 2022 Drought Response Operations Plan. (That’s a lot more than the 161,000 acre-feet that was released from upstream reservoirs last year to prop up Lake Powell.)

Meanwhile, the lower basin states, including Arizona, will agree to keep 480,000 acre-feet in Powell, though the states have asked for that amount not to count against shortage determinations.

What does that mean for shortages at Lake Mead?

The idea, however ill-conceived, is not to use Mead’s actual elevation to determine which shortage tier we’d be in, but rather as if that 480,000 acre-feet were in Mead and not Powell.

It’s not clear how the federal Bureau of Reclamation, which operates the reservoirs, would make that calculation, but the outcome could have real consequences.

The most recent forecast projects elevations as if that 480,000 acre-feet had flowed from Powell to Mead. It puts Mead a few inches above the trigger elevation of 1,045 feet in August, when the following year’s shortage determination is made.

That would put us in a deeper Tier 2 shortage, regardless.

But depending on which side of 1,045 feet we land, we could either fall in a Tier 2a or Tier 2b shortage – which for Arizona is the difference between making previously agreed cuts of 592,000 acre-feet or 640,000 acre-feet.

A Tier 2b shortage also would trigger more stringent water conservation actions in Scottsdale and Tucson. That could mean the imposition of drought surcharges in both cities and, in Scottsdale, the potential for mandatory restrictions.

I know. If we base shortage decisions off where the lake should be, but not really is, we’re making conditions look better than they are. Which doesn’t help us in the long run, even if we could temporarily avoid the pain of Tier 2b.

We extinguished a fire to focus on other work

But, importantly, the states also have agreed that “water year 2023 releases should be carefully monitored and be the subject of consultation with the Basin States to preserve the benefits to Glen Canyon Dam … .”

Translation: Whatever actions we take and shortage levels we set for 2023 will get another look, likely in late winter or early spring, when we have a better idea of the year’s runoff picture, to determine whether we need to do more.

It’s a level of flexibility that we haven’t traditionally had – but will likely need – when lake levels are so low and volatile.

None of this solves anything, of course. Even a combined million acre-feet from the states will likely just prolong the inevitable, hopefully long enough to better assess the strength of Powell’s backup pipes.

And to resume the tough work of storing an extra 500,000 acre-feet each year for the next five years in Lake Mead as part of the 500-plus plan. Without that extra water each year, the lake mostly likely will sink below 1,020 feet of elevation – Mead’s version of the dangerously low level that Powell has already reached.

And – most importantly – to finally sit down and talk about longer-term solutions for the Colorado River, most notably how much water we can reliably expect it to produce. It sure as heck isn’t the 15 million acre-feet that we’ve been apportioned.

Imperfect as this response may be, it’s significant that all seven states agreed to it quickly, so we can get back to the many other pressing tasks at hand.

Reach Allhands at On Twitter: @joannaallhands.

There is a solution:

The Trans-Rocky-Mountain Aqueduct will save Lake Powell and Lake Mead, and rejuvenate the American South-west. This solution is expensive, but when all costs are included, it can deliver 3.6 to 6 Million acre-feet / year at a cost of $2,290 per af, high, check the calculations here. This is the solution that can be done in the shortest time.

The other solution is The TransContinental Aqueduct. A realistic way to save Lake Mead and reverse the desertification of the American SouthWest. It will really do the job at a lower price per Acre-ft but require much more capital investment. Check out the cost estimates here. This estimate is on the high side. but was a earnest stab at the costs.

Is it worth it to save the American Southwest from being desertified? In my opinion, if we are serious about saving the earth, this is one of the most urgent projects that deserves consideration.

The greening of the drying American South-West. Yes, it can and should be done.

Ever since beginning of time the battle has been about water. The garden of Eden was watered by four rivers, but ever since Adam and Eve were exiled from it, water has been the major concern. In the Middle East the first treaty between Abraham and Abimelech was about water and who was to control it. In Exodus 7:19 (NIV) The LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt—over the streams and canals, over the ponds and all the reservoirs—and they will turn to blood.’ In Ezra 8:15 concerning the return to Jerusalem Ezra wrote: I assembled them at the canal that flows toward Ahava, and we camped there three days. In Daniel 8:2 Daniel wrote “In my vision I saw myself in the citadel of Susa in the province of Elam; in the vision I was beside the Ulai Canal.” And in Isaiah 19:6 Isaiah Prophesied “The canals will stink; the streams of Egypt will dwindle and dry up.” This means the Nile River would still flow, but the intricate canal system would fail.

The Romans built many aqueducts. Rome had 11 aqueducts to supply it with water. One of the most impressive aqueducts is the Segovia Aqueduct in Spain.

This aqueduct has been maintained through the centuries and supplied Segovia with water as late as the 19th century.

Even in the dry American south-west canals have been built for irrigation in the past, check out this video from the Arizona State University:

When the Hoover dam was built the population in the American south west was around seven million. Now the population dependent on the water from the Colorado river is over 40 million, and growing. Not only is the Colorado River water supply insufficient, but the aquifers are being depleted, and the desertification is starting to set in. Looking at a precipitation map of the u.s there is one obvious solution.

Green areas have enough water, orange, brown or red areas are water sparse.

Bring water from the east to the west! There is only one big problem: The Rocky Mountains are in the way. The water must be lifted around 8,000 feet before it will start to flow downhill again. To lift one acre-ft of water one foot requires about 1.08 kWh. Some energy is regained on the way down, but the net energy needed is around 5,000 kWh per acre-ft of water delivered to the thirsty American South-west.

This proposal is to deliver up to 23.75 million acre-feet of water annually to the thirsty American South-west. It will consist of three aqueducts:

The first one is called the South Platte Aqueduct and will serve the Eastern Colorado and help save the High Plains Aquifer, also called the Ogallala Aquifer. It is sketched out here. It is quite modest, only up to 750,000 acre-ft pumped annually, and while the aqueduct will be built to this capacity only 375,000 acrefeet will be initially needed. For now, it will serve about 5 million people.

The second is the Trans-Rocky-Mountain Aqueduct. It will serve the upper Colorado River Basin and the upper Rio Grande Basin. When fully used it will pump 8 million acre-ft yearly from the Mississippi/Arkansas River. It is more fully described here .

The third is the Transcontinental Aqueduct. It will serve the Lower Colorado River Basin, Southern New Mexico and Western Texas. It will pump up to 15 million acre-ft of water annually from the Atchafalaya river (Mississippi river bypass) all the way to the southern Colorado River. It is described more fully here.

The total electricity need to accomplish this giant endeavor is about 120 billion kWh annually. or about three percent of the total US electricity demand. In 2020 the US produced 1,586 billion kWh from natural gas, 956 from coal, 337.5 from wind and 90.9 from solar.

For this giant project to have any chance of success there has to be something in it to be gained from every state that will be participating. Here are the benefits

Arizona: Arizona needs more water. The water from Mississippi is less saline and better suited for agriculture and the people growth makes it necessary to provide more water sources. Right now the aquifers are being depleted. Then what? One example: The San Carlos lake is nearly dry half the time and almost never filled to capacity. With the aqueduct supplying water it can be filled to 80 +- 20% of full capacity all the time. In the event of a very large snow melt the lake level can be reduced in advance to accommodate the extra flow. Likewise during Monsoon season the aqueduct flow can be reduced in anticipation of large rain events. Arizona together with New Mexico has the best locations for solar power, but is lacking the water necessary for hydro-power storage. This proposal will add 13.6 GW of hydro-power storage capable of adding 68 GWh of electric peak power daily.

Arkansas: The main benefit for Arkansas is better flood control and river control and allowing to deepen the draft for the canal barges from 9,5 feet to 12 feet, which is standard on the Mississippi river.

California: The water aqueduct serving Los Angeles will be allowed to use maximum capacity at all times. Additional water resources will be given the greater San Diego area. The Imperial valley will be given sweet Mississippi water, which will improve agriculture yield. The polluted New River will be cut off. There will be water allocated to the Salton Sea. Proposed will be the to mine world’s largest Lithium ore, mining the deep brine, rich in Lithium. (about a third of the world supply according to one estimate). This requires water, and as a minimum requirement to allow mining in the Salton Sea the water needs to be cleaned. This requires further investigation, but the area around the Salton Sea is maybe the most unhealthy in the United States. It used to be a great vacation spot.

Colorado: The future water needs from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs metropolitan area will be met. In addition the Pueblo area will be allowed to use more of the Arkansas River water, since the John Martin Reservoir will be filled by the Trans-Rocky Mountain reservoir.

Kansas: It will get a reliable water supply to serve Wichita and all towns along the Arkansas River in times of drought and to serve additional water needs at all times. It will also improve flood control along the river.

Louisiana: The main benefit for Louisiana is: By siphoning off up to 23.75 million acre-ft/year from the Mississippi river it will lower the flow through the lower Mississippi, especially New Orleans, reducing flood risk. By making these aqueducts the whole Mississippi/Missouri watershed will be incentivized to make sure the river waters are clean enough to be able to use as water supply. This will positively affect 40% of the continental United States landmass.

Mexico: During the negotiations who was going to get the water in Lake Mead Mexico did not get enough water, so they have been using all remaining water for irrigation, and no water is reaching the ocean anymore. In addition the water is too salty for ideal irrigation. This proposal will provide sweet Mississippi water to Mexico, ensure that some water reaches the Colorado river delta. This will restore the important ecology and restore aquatic life in the delta and the gulf. The town of Mexicali will get some water in exchange for shutting off New River completely.

Nebraska: One of the benefits for Nebraska is that it will help save the Ogallala aquifer. The farmers close to the aqueduct will use pumped water from Missouri rather than draw from the aquifers.

Nevada: Las Vegas is a catastrophe waiting to happen unless Lake Mead is saved. With this proposal there will be ample opportunity to make the desert bloom.

New Mexico: The state is ideally suited for solar panels. In addition to give much needed water to communities along the length of the aqueduct, it will provide 10.5 GW of hydro-power storage to be made available at peak power usage for up to 5 hours a day.

Oklahoma: The main advantage for Oklahoma is a much improved flood control, especially through the City of Tulsa. It will provide the same advantage for river barge traffic as benefits Arkansas.

Texas: The state has a big problem. It has already built up too much wind power and can not give up their coal burning power plants until the electricity is better balanced. They have no hydro-electric power storage at all, and we saw the result of that in last year’s cold snap This proposal will give them 18.5 GW of hydro-electric power for up to 5 hours a day.

Utah: The state will no longer be bound to provide water to Lake Mead, but can use all of its water rights for Utah, especially the Salt Lake City region.

Wyoming: The state will be free to use the water in the Green River and all the yearly allocated 1.05 million acre-feet of water can be used by the state of Wyoming.

The cost to do all these aqueducts will be substantial, but it can be done for less than 400 billion dollars in 2021 money, and that includes the cost of providing power generation. Considering it involves 40 million people dependent on the Colorado River now and another 10 million east of the Rocky Mountains, it is well worth doing, much more than other “green” projects, since it will save the American Southwest from becoming an uninhabitable desert.

This proposed solution cannot be made possible without changing our approach to power generation. The mantra now is to solve all our power needs through renewables. Texas has shown us that too much wind power without any hydroelectric power storage can lead to disaster. In addition, windmills kill birds, even threatening some species, such as the Golden Eagle and other large raptors that like to build their aeries on top of the generators. Solar panels work best in arid, sunny climate, such as Arizona and New Mexico, but the panels need cooling and cleaning to work best, and that takes water. They are even more dependent on hydro-power storage than wind. The transcontinental aqueduct will triple the hydro-electric power storage for the nation, and the Trans-Rocky-Mountain will add to it. Without hydro-electric power storage we still need all the conventional power generation capacity for when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow.

Conventional Nuclear power plants doesn’t work either since they depend on water for their cooling, and most of these aqueducts pump water in near deserts, and there would be too much evaporation losses to use the aqueduct’s water for cooling.

The only realistic approach would be to use LFTR power plants. (Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors). There are many advantages for using LFTR. Here are 30 0f them.

For this project to succeed there must be developed a better way to build small nuclear plants more effectively. The price to build a LFTR plant must be less than $2.50 per watt. The LFTR technology is not fully developed yet, but will be ready in less than 5 years. In the mean time there should be built one or more assembly plants that can mass produce LFTR reactor vessels small enough so they can be shipped on a normal flatbed trailer through the normal highway system. My contention is that a 100 MW reactor vessel can be built this way and the total cost per plant will be less than 250 Million dollars. To save the American Southwest we will need about 350 of them, or 87,5 billion dollars total. This cost is included in the total calculation. There will be many more of these plants produced to produce all the electric power to power all the electric vehicles that are going to be built. This is the way to reduce fossil fuels. Just switching to electric vehicles will not do the trick. The energy must come from somewhere.

Let’s get going!