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The Next Great Infrastructure Project

Brian Greenspun, publisher and editor of the Las Vegas Sun, had this to say in his editorial from today:

Pat [Mulroy]’s idea is simple. It is a pipeline that would take the rising water away from the Mississippi River and transport it westward to the Colorado River where, frankly, water is in very short supply. Over the next decade or so, many millions of Baby Boomers will be retiring to the Southwest, putting a further demand on the diminishing water supply. It makes perfect sense that we should take the water no one wants and move it to a place where everyone needs it. The only thing in the way is an old argument about water laws that should no longer, well, hold water. Whatever that pipeline costs can probably be offset by the next few years of flood damage. That’s a pretty good return on investment.

There is a lot think about in that idea. It can not be denied that flooding along the Mississippi River has always been a problem, and even after billions of dollars have been spent on various flood control projects it was still necessary to intentionally flood some areas upstream in order to protect others downstream this year.

It also can not be denied that the Southwest is in serious need of water. Just look at the bathtub ring around Lake Mead!

Besides the obvious benefits to both the River and the Lake, just think of the scale of this project. How many thousands upon thousands of workers would be employed, not to mention the raw materials (much of which we have here) and the economic activity generated wherever the work is being performed. Mr. Greenspun further points out that the savings realized by preventing these devastating flloods could easily be equal to the cost of the project itself.

A project like this can be compared to the Erie Canal and the Transcontinental Railroad, projects that Whigs in the past supported. I think the Modern Whigs should look further into this idea and if it is feasible get behind it.