Massive Water Diversion Schemes In North America: A Solution To Water Scarcity?
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Massive water diversion projects have been proposed by engineers or public officials in the United States since 1951, but so far, only regional water transfers have been built, often at great cost and questionable economic benefit. Public opinions and governments are still worried in Canada and in the Great Lakes area that these projects could somehow be carried on. However, these massive undertakings prove to be poorly profitable compared to other means of water management, and are not necessary since water withdrawals are stabilizing in the United States, and other demand management techniques are emerging. Keywords: water supply, water diversion, aqueduct, water transfer, irrigation, water conflict, Canada, United States. 1 Massive water transfer projects were once considered Large-scale diversions of Great Lakes and Canada's waters have been discussed for several decades. Various proposals for transferring Canadian or Great Lakes water have emerged since the 1950s, beginning with the United Western Investigation in 1951, an extensive study conducted by the Bureau of Reclamation. The proposals have often been made by engineering corporations because of the obvious possibility to profit from large construction projects. Proposals to import water were also meant to satisfy rapidly growing urban areas like Phoenix and Las Vegas. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the top five fastest-growing cities in the U.S. from 2000 to 2002 were all in Arizona and Nevada. With this great influx of people to an area with no substantial supply of freshwater, the temptation to look at the large water reserves in northern United States and in Canada was strong.
water supply, water diversion, aqueduct, water transfer, irrigation, water conflict, Canada, United States.