Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Aberdeen could ease flooding concerns by loading stormwater into rail tankers

A contributor at the Aberdeen American News Facebook Faceberg page wants to melt snow, put the water in a pipeline and pump it to the Southwest.
We could be cashing in on all the snow we get here. Let's build snow melting plants and get water pipelines to California or Nevada where the drought is severe. We have oil pipeline from Alaska to Texas. We could do the same with snow: WATER THE NEW OIL..But Kristi Noem will think I am on Meth to suggest that idea. [Baka Bagoubadi]
Good idea but it’s not really new. In 2011 an interested party wondered whether compressing snow into ice and loading it onto flat rail cars might work. The capacity of the Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River is 27,000,000 acre-feet.
If East River would either carve ice out of the James and Big Sioux Rivers, load it onto side-dump railcars or pump flood water into tank cars, or both, then dump it into the Colorado's closest tributary, the Green River in Wyoming, South Dakota could sell that water to Las Vegas and Phoenix. [interested party]
Instead of empowering communities to harvest snow melt and rain water rural communities continue to be dependent on politicians who exploit need.
Diesel fired portable snowmelters are the most popular models since you can move them from site to site as self-contained units. Current portable snowmelters come with a debris catch area with baskets for manual removal of debris - even during operation! The SND5400 is designed for the airport market and other large-scale users. It economically melts 180 tons of snow per hour (based on latent heat of ice). [Snow Dragon Snowmelters]
That’s about 5421 gallons per hour and a rail tanker holds about 30,000 gallons. An acre-foot of water is almost 326,000 gallons. A water pipeline from the Missouri River to Rapid City would cost almost $2 billion and rip up a few hundred miles of stolen treaty ground but there already is one railway connecting the Big Sioux and James Rivers to Rapid City.

The US Army Corps of Engineers has cancelled Spring Pulses on the Missouri River not because of low flows but because the sediment is so poisonous it would kill the very species it says it's trying to preserve. Endangered pallid sturgeon, paddlefish, catfish and most other organisms cope with lethal levels of mercury throughout the South Dakota portion of the Missouri River even as flooding in the Midwest is killing the Gulf of Mexico.
The idea of a storm water utility fee that would be assessed against property owners was one possibility of generating additional revenue while securing the dollars, as outlined in the draft ordinance, for the administration, planning, analysis, installation, operation and maintenance of a public drainage system in the City of Watertown. [Watertown City Council Discusses Storm Water Utility Ordinance]
Lake Kampeska, Lake Poinsett, Lake Mitchell, Lake Thompson and other non-meandered bodies of water will continue to suffer the effects of human-caused climate distortions but disaster declarations are how Republicans who preach small gubmint fund crumbling infrastructure in red states. Recall Rep. Kristi Noem repeatedly voted against disaster aid after Hurricane Sandy and other climate related catastrophes but she doesn’t respect self-reliance because she’s wedded to moral hazard.

As ice floes bash moorings and flooding causes the scouring of fill from river bottoms the disasters befalling the Missouri basin should be a stern warning to erstwhile pipeline operators: it's not nice to fool Mother Nature.


  1. Ground in the basin is freezing so the Corps is releasing floodwater from Gavins Point Dam at 80,000 cubic feet per second or some of the highest releases in the dam’s history and three times the normal amount for this time of year.

  2. After I lobbied Deadwood they rented a snow melter! Black Hills Pioneer


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