Thursday, April 5, 2007

Interesting National Online Debate About Great Lakes Water

I've begun posting commentary on Daily Kos about issues in this region, and can pass on the content of a piece about the Great Lakes, and several dozen responses all linked here.

The debate wanders here and there, as these things usually do - - but one comment below really got my attention.

I'm not endorsing it word-for-word, but the writer raises a point that hadn't occurred to me about possible migration from the drying out US west to the Great Lakes region because there is a lot of water here.

I wonder if the regional planning commission has that possibility in its population model forecasts?

Here is the comment in its entirety:

"More likely scenario is that the Great Lakes region should be prepared for a massive influx of people when the cities of the southwest start to empty out.

The main point is that these cities are not sustainable in any number of ways for the huge populations they now support.

They are completely dependent on cheap abundant energy to keep running - this is an era we may rapidly be leaving behind.

These places are finding it more and more difficult to get water - but these pipeline or other large infrastructure programs (well fields, giant reservoirs etc.) only get more expensive with time because the energy needed to complete them will never be cheaper than it is right now. And what about the taxpayer money going to keep the roads maintained - it's a choice that will have to be made - does the money go for upkeep on the transportation system or toward the infrastructure for water to allow even more development, which stresses the transportation network and on and on it goes - unsustainably...

Add to that the increased energy requirements and expenses for supplying food to a region that grows almost none of its own supply.

Also, places like Phoenix, Tucson and Las Vegas are nearly uninhabitable for months of the year without a huge energy load dedicated to altering the climate in the form of perpetual air conditioning.

These places have all managed a ridiculous amount of sprawl on the back of cheap oil - I expect the crash back to what they can truly sustain to be just as spectacular as oil pushes $100/bbl.

by kaaterskill on Wed Apr 04, 2007 at 02:25:33 PM CDT."


Anonymous said...

As a Wisconsinite, I would be more open to an influx of people (if we implement smart growth measures), rather than a pipeline to that region.

Check out this article and the picture:

Very scary. The Southwest is getting desperate. If they are willing to build pipelines of hundreds of miles, why not build one of a thousand miles? This is truly a major threat to the Great Lakes.

xoff said...

Perhaps Milwaukee also should prepare for an influx of people from Waukesha County when it runs out of water.