Never mind. Just go to the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) web site www.sinceslicedbread.com and check it out. It’s a big “wow!” believe me.
Since I didn’t win the $100,000 grand prize or one of the $50,000 runner-up prizes, the least you can do is read my entry. The contest was for ideas that might pep up our economy and be good for us “common folk.” Here was my over-the-top idea.
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The problem: our damaging cycle of droughts and floods. The issue: the opportunity this presents. Face it, it’s a government project.
This idea is for a huge national endeavor – the size of the Interstate Highway System. Flood-prone rivers would be equipped with controllable water diversion structures. Before a river floods, these are opened and the excess water is sent to giant reservoirs. Floods are averted or diminished by taking some of the water out of the system. Powerful pumps move the water from the reservoirs into aqueducts and pipelines across the country for irrigation, city water supplies, and the recharging of aquifers. The pipelines could go down the medians of the Interstates.
Some water goes to agriculture across the farm states. The rest is pumped to reservoirs in the Rocky Mountains and distributed across the parched West or down “reverse wells” to the depleted aquifers. Droughts are broken. Fires are fought. Water is the magic elixir for the west. Crops boom. Forests survive. The "wildlands/urban interface" breathes easier.
The necessary Pumps and water purifiers are powered by renewable energy (wind turbines, photovoltaics, sunlight concentrators, etc.), stored in innovative storage devices (giant flywheels, new-generation batteries, and the like). Entrepreneurs and corporate research whizzes must invent and provide all this, creating lotsa new jobs. The new technologies so developed will be sold worldwide, helping balance the balance of trade.
Any company – large or small – would have to guarantee excellent wages, job training and benefits to qualify to bid on any part of the project. Halleluiahs are sung and politicians are admired again.
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Hey, Eisenhower did the Interstate Highway System. Is it all that goofy to think some President might decide to spend his $ half-trillion of discretionary funds on something that’s actually productive?