Drought and Low Water: The Mississippi May Be Unnavigable Within Weeks
The Mississippi water levels are low, and are about to get a lot lower.
The stubborn drought that has gripped the Midwest for much of the year has left the Mighty Mississippi critically low -- and it will become even lower if the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers presses ahead with plans to reduce the flow from a Missouri River dam.
Mississippi River interests fear the reduced flow will force a halt to barge traffic at the river's midpoint. They warn the economic fallout will be enormous, potentially forcing job cuts, raising fuel costs and pinching the nation's food supply.
It's long been my opinion that way too little attention is paid to our fresh water resources here in the US. We have tons of it here in North America from the Great Lakes to the mindblowingly huge Mississippi water basin. It's not just a source of drinking water, sewage management, agricultural irrigation, and watering our annoying-to-mow-and-probably-something-we-really-shouldn't-have-anyway Lawns.....it's also a critical component to our electrical system.
Our power is all about the water. Talk about gas, coal, nuke, whatever all you want...it still takes water. LOTS of it. The debates rage over what to use to fuel our nation, but WATER is almost always part of the equation and rarely mentioned. Our talking heads rarely pause to note that 90% of our power in the US is thermoelectric power....basically: boiling water to turn turbines. Billions of gallons of water. Hell...trillions of gallons of it.