PEW wrote: Would/could we drain the Colorado River to the Grand Canyon to store fresh water?
The Colorado River flows through the Grand Canyon and it created the Grand Canyon. There are already dozens of Dams near the Grand Canyon that store fresh water, but they are now not full and they actually waist billion of gallons of fresh water each year. So there is no need to fill the Grand Canyon with water, which would destroy its ecosystem anyways. Desalinization , fewer people , or both, is what is needed, in my opinion.
There are 15 major dams over 250 feet high on the Colorado River system. Under the Colorado River Compact of 1922 California is
the major beneficiary. and California also receives power.
Many of the vegetables we are accustomed to buying in all parts of the US, come from areas in California benefiting from water from the Colorado river system.
Most agree that the compact is flawed due to being based on faulty flow projections. Agriculture also has little incentive to conserve due to use or lose provisions. Storing water is a tough one, due to many factors, including evaporation. siltage, drought cycles, in the face of constant ever growing demand, and the capacity for the rock walls surrounding the dams to soak up water like a sponge., among other factors. It has been speculated that if not for the Dams on the Colorado River Los Angeles, would not be able to exist as we know it today.
Our aging infrastructure also plays a part as many dams are reaching their design end.
Is this sustainable? Dubious and Doubtful..
BTW If the snow pack is as great as projected this year . we may do just that, drain some water from the upper basin , in a process known as equalization.