Why can’t we pipe water to southwest US?


We pipeline oil from Canada to Texas, why can’t we pipeline water from the Great lakes to the south?

Edit: thank you all who replied, I’ve gathered that it is technically possible, but would come with a huge amount of legal, environmental, and practical issues due to the amount of water that would actually be needed. It sounds like there are far more practical solutions available if the need became dire enough.

In: 45

SW desert would evaporate and waste a lot of the water being sent to it. If the ground was worked and animals fertilized it, it would hold its own rain much better.

I think it’s a good idea though, I wouldn’t mind pumping some from our lake to you guys

It’s possible but would be very expensive. Eventually it will probably need to be done, unless they can find a cheaper way to desalinate ocean water.

It’s also illegal. Check out the Great Lakes compact. It protect the water from being diverted out of the Great Lakes Basin. It’s an agreement between 8 states that surround the Great Lakes and Quebec and Ontario.

Just the extreme cost.

So, there’s costs involved to move things in a pipeline. And it’s not hard to recoup those costs with oil. Right now, the market price for a gallon of crude oil is about $2.65.

The market price for a gallon of water is less than a penny. In fact, a penny would get you about six gallons of water at wholesale prices.

On average, it costs about $5/barrel to move oil in a pipeline. Of course this will depend on distance, but it’s a convenient number. That’s about 12 cents per gallon.

The cost of pipeline transport for oil is about 4% of the cost of the oil. If we had that cost for transporting water, it would raise the cost of the water by 7200%.

>We pipeline oil from Canada to Texas, why can’t we pipeline water from the Great lakes to the south?

In theory we could, but oil isn’t a good comparison. Americans use more than 550 gallons of water per person per week. The difference in volume of water to be piped versus oil would be massive.