Instead of building a water pipeline Rapid City could use rail, harvest rainwater, snowmelt

A water pipeline from the Missouri River to Rapid City would cost almost $2 billion and rip up a few hundred miles of stolen treaty ground. 

For every 1” of rain and 1,000 square feet of surface (roof, driveway, etc), about 620 gallons of fresh water are generated. The graphic on the right is of snow water equivalent.
West Dakota board member Nathan Gjovik compared the Black Hills pipeline idea to the Lewis and Clark pipeline on the east side of the state. That project is 30 years old and still not finished. The board also paid $37,341 for a prior study by South Dakota Mines professors and students. That study predicted the Rapid City area could suffer water shortages in the future, due to extended drought or population growth. The city currently gets water from Rapid Creek, Pactola Reservoir and wells. [Bill Janklow's idea of public radio
A contributor at the Aberdeen American News Facebook Faceberg page wants to melt snow, put the water in a pipeline and pump it to the Southwest. 
We could be cashing in on all the snow we get here. Let's build snow melting plants and get water pipelines to California or Nevada where the drought is severe. We have oil pipeline from Alaska to Texas. We could do the same with snow: WATER THE NEW OIL..But Kristi Noem will think I am on Meth to suggest that idea. [Baka Bagoubadi]
Good idea but it’s not really new. In 2011 an interested party wondered whether compressing snow into ice and loading it onto flat rail cars might work. The capacity of the Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River is 27,000,000 acre-feet.
If East River would either carve ice out of the James and Big Sioux Rivers, load it onto side-dump railcars or pump flood water into tank cars, or both, then dump it into the Colorado's closest tributary, the Green River in Wyoming, South Dakota could sell that water to Las Vegas and Phoenix. [interested party]
The Lewis and Clark water system enables ecocide. Instead of empowering communities to harvest snowmelt and rainwater rural communities continue to be dependent on politicians who exploit need.
Diesel fired portable snowmelters are the most popular models since you can move them from site to site as self-contained units. Current portable snowmelters come with a debris catch area with baskets for manual removal of debris - even during operation! The SND5400 is designed for the airport market and other large-scale users. It economically melts 180 tons of snow per hour (based on latent heat of ice). [Snow Dragon Snowmelters]
That’s about 5421 gallons per hour and a rail tanker holds about 30,000 gallons. An acre-foot of water is almost 326,000 gallons. And there already is a railway connecting the Oahe Dam, Big Sioux and James Rivers to Rapid City. Another railroad connects Lake Frances Case to Rapid City.

As Spring ice floes bash moorings and flooding causes the scouring of fill from river bottoms the disasters soon to befall the Missouri basin should be a stern warning to erstwhile pipeline operators: it's not nice to fool Mother Nature.

1 comment:

larry kurtz said...

Now, Aberdeen wants to build a pipeline from near Mobridge: source.