CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Most of you know by now we are having a very difficult time finding rain, and our dry conditions are only getting worse.
Now our problems have expanded from simply parched ground and concerns about our plants and crops to the threat and reality of wildfires which have been ongoing in our mountains and foothills over the past week.
I received a question recently asking why we can't transport water into our region and use it to water our land and replenish our soil. Since we don't have any pipelines, the only way to get water here is either by air freight, railroad, or tanker trucks on the highway.
The primary issue is the weight of water. It is very heavy and difficult to transport. Imagine a container box 12" on each side (one cubic foot). That box filled with water would weigh 62 lbs. So how much water would we need to cover an area 50 miles x 50 miles (much smaller than our current drought area) with one inch of water?
It would take 5,808,000,000 cubic feet of water (that's 5 Billion 808 million). At 62 lbs per cubic foot, you'd be scooping and transporting 360 Billion pounds of water! Ouch.
The maximum takeoff weight of a 747 is about 1 million pounds. If you could load half of it with water and fly it here it would take about 720 thousand 747's to deliver it. And I'm not sure where we'd get the water from; salt water won't work from the ocean unless you desalinate it (introducing another set of challenges).
To make matters worse, one inch of water won't even dent our problem now. We would need 12-15 inches of rain over the next month to end this drought.
Bottom line... pray for rain!