Restoring a Dying River Close to the Sea – It Can Be Done, Let Me Explain So You Can See

Not long ago, I was talking with an acquaintance, an environmentalist at heart I’d say, and he lives in Arizona. He stated that he wanted to restore a dying river and make it environmentally sound and that people just do not realize the value of a river. Well, I do, and I am also aware of the Technocrats and Howard Scott’s concepts to have manmade rivers for barges to move enormous loads of resources, materials, people, and products throughout the nation. That makes sense, even if I am not so keen on all of his concepts, I tend to agree with the movement by river of goods and services – distribution is a key flow of any civilization.

Now then, my acquaintance said that we ought to use desalination strategies to restore the river outside of Tucson, the Santa Cruz River, something he was adamant about, and yet, I could not understand how come he didn’t already know all about it since it is in the public records ( He knew some of the early history from the old farmers in the region, and how their jerry-rigging the river caused it to blow its banks and create a flood region – he wanted that fixed, easier said than done. He also stated we should use desalination.

Turns out the ancient American Indians of the region has a great network of agricultural canals they had built, perhaps the farmers in the region noticed this in the early 1900s and put much of this system back into practice. Today, due to overuse of water, dams, and the washouts, not much is usable of that old system or the former path of the river.

Also the river, what’s left of it is intermittent and seasonal, plus, it’s also considered environmentally protected. What if it could be completely restored? Well, that would be of value, but it would be as big a job as the Salt Water River project and The Central Arizona Project (CAP) which diverts water from the Colorado River as it moves through Arizona some 331 miles.

Back to the Santa Cruz River, can we restore it? Well, obviously, “water flows down hill” in most all circumstances, except in very rare cases due to suction inside of mountains (Mojave River) or purposeful human engineering (Mulholland reservoir techniques). Where would we get the water from? There is a vast amount of ground water which was discovered under a mountain not too far from Tucson, could we use that? Yes, or we could make a deal with Mexico and bring water from the Sea of Cortez, it is doable and certainly feasible.

Perhaps we could bring lots of water up and then desalinate it using a Cross-Fire Desalination Techniques (hot plate – solar – de-ionized/RO), which I’ve written about some of this previously. Recently, I was looking for some of the old information on that, but as of this article, I cannot seem to find anything on this on Google Scholar about cross-fire desalination, perhaps I am not using the proper name for this technology? But that’s what I call it, based on my understanding of how it works. In any case, my version would be a slightly modified version of the strategy cited by the research company, perhaps even saving more money.

Apparently, in its patented format, such a system is said to be able to produce desalinated water at 1/3 the cost, with a lot less mechanism. In looking at the concept, I would concur, but believe it could go even a step or two further, and today, we have even better materials to store heat, collect energy, and even use the friction of the water across these surfaces to power the damn thing up (no pun intended).

If we did this, we could use some of the existing river banks, engineer the rest, put in the canals, and move freight into the US and Mexico with a big transportation hub on I-10, and bring in water too for desalination. Mixing the fresh water from above, with the sea water below meeting half way before the mountain range there, yes there is an elevation issue, but with proper locks, dikes, dams, and channels, we could do wonders. It’s actually feasible, and it is totally interesting too. Please consider all this and think on it.

Lance Winters has launched a new provocative series of eBooks on Future Concepts. Lance Winslow is a retired Founder of a Nationwide Franchise Chain, and now runs the Online Think Tank.

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