Desalination plants, not Mississippi River water, are the solution to West's water needs

Water tanks at a desalination plant in Santa Barbara.
Water tanks at a desalination plant in Santa Barbara.

This idea of getting water from the Mississippi River to the West is puerile and would be inefficient.

Who is supposed to pay for this? I guess I will be one of them, but the pumping stations will have to be immense. This is not a quick fix. The pipes will have to go across miles of the nation’s breadbasket, ruining farms.  At the same time, the Mississippi and many of its tributaries are navigable rivers with pusher boats going up and down all the time.  The river is a highway.

Some of the water in the Mississippi comes from above Pittsburgh via the Ohio River, which has two main tributaries, the Tennessee and the Cumberland. Elsewhere, the Missouri River Valley could be ruined.

The Mississippi changes course often, almost overnight. To see what I mean, fly over the river and see the number of places where the river has isolated turns into horseshoe lakes.  Pumping water from the river or the Great Lakes would take trillions of dollars and many years. Removing water would destroy the ecology of the area.

My suggestion: build desalination plants and get water from the Pacific.

Born and educated on the banks of the Mississippi,

Raleigh Perry, Buford, Georgia

Hey Midwest, we paid for your FEMA flood aid — and provide your fruit and veggies

I read letters from Paul Cofell ("If California comes for Midwest water, we have plenty of dynamite in Minnesota") and Charles Babb ("Memo to West on water: Create your own solutions to your own problems") with dismay and sadness.  They both miss the point that we are a nation that shares its misery equally.

I’m sure they don’t mind tax dollars that have come from the rest of the USA for FEMA bailouts from flooding all along the Mississippi River, destroying billions in the process in farmland, infrastructure and housing.  Nor do I think they mind eating fresh fruits and vegetables that are available year-round because of our agriculture.

We don’t want all of your water, just enough to help you with your flooding problem.

Rodger Thornberry, Cathedral City

We can't get rid of people, but we can get rid of guns

In response to Sunny Simonette's opinion on July 7 and all those who feel that guns are not the problem, that guns don't kill people, people kill people:

We can't get rid of people so the logical step would be to get rid of guns. I am not naive enough to think that will ever happen. But we can heavily regulate gun purchases and ban all multiple-shot weapons.

Our militias (National Guard, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard) are well- stocked to defend against all aggression internal and external.

Do we really need to let citizens have assault weapons to defend themselves?

Bill Fleet, Indio

This article originally appeared on Palm Springs Desert Sun: Desalination, not Mississippi River water, is solution to West drought