The “Minnesotanization” of West Virginia (and the other States) Is The Future

by Bobby Reyes

Tygart Lake and Dam on Tygart River, WV | Photo by Margaret Luziere via Wikimedia Commons

Part XXXI of the “EDEN America” Series

The Great State of Minnesota has an unofficial nickname of “The Land of 10,000 Lakes.” It has thousands of lakes — 11,842 to be exact. This writer coins “Minnesotanization” as the term for creating artificial lakes — from small to big ponds and bodies of fresh water — in all countries and all American counties, cities, and towns.

The Honorable Senators, Joe Manchin, a Democrat, and Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican, may team up in “reinventing” their beloved West Virginia as the “Land of 12,000 (or More) Artificial Lakes.” For a start, West Virginia has great bodies of water. Here are the supporting data (as Googled): “West Virginia has 32 watersheds divided according to hydrologic unit codes (HUC) that contribute to the Chesapeake Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. The waters west of the eastern continental divide flow into the Ohio River.

“West Virginia also has the Big Coal River, Big Sandy River, Cacapon River, Elk River, Gauley River, Green Brier River, Guyandotte River, Little Kanawha River, Middle Island Creek, Monongahela River, New River, North Branch Potomac River, North Fork, Ohio River, Potomac River, and the South Branch Potomac River.

“In 2010, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources listed 121 public fishing lakes and ponds in the state. Forty-eight of the state’s 55 counties have at least one public lake, with some counties having as many as seven. The majority of the more than 120 lakes and ponds in West Virginia are man-made (Author’s note: or ‘human-made’, in deference to the Hon. Shelley Moore Capito — so as to be gender-neutral). The 10 largest lakes in the state are dammed impoundments built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“West Virginia has 176 records of mines listed by the United States Geological Survey (USGS). On February 1, 2006, two fatal mining accidents occurred in the communities of Uneeda and Wharton in Boone County. The two deaths with the addition of January’s Sago Mine disaster and the Aracoma Alma Mine disaster caused West Virginia (then) Governor Joe Manchin to close all of West Virginia’s mines in a ‘mine safety stand-down’.”

“There is sufficient technology that can help geologists, mining engineers, and other science people convert all abandoned and even existing coal mines (whether the mining pits are underground or on the surface of the land) into lakes and reservoirs.”

Therefore, it is logical that coal mining is harmful insofar as Climate Change is concerned and puts miners into dangerous-and-unhealthy work or occupation.

There is sufficient technology that can help geologists, mining engineers, and other science people convert all abandoned and even existing coal mines (whether the mining pits are underground or on the surface of the land) into lakes and reservoirs. West Virginia can serve as the model of converting mining areas into extensions of the “Old-Man River Renaissance” (OMRR) initiatives. And aside from cleaning the water, it can even generate electricity by doing the “mini-hydro” electric power plants as done in the Philippines and the Third World — without building huge dams.

And some, if not all, they can turn all the proposed bodies of water in West Virginia and other land-locked states into “fish ponds.” The fresh-water species of marine life — like the tilapia, gourami, carp, catfish, eel, shrimps (like those thriving in the Mekong River in Indochina), and other varieties — can be raised. And end the importation of the same frozen marine commodities from Mainland China and other countries. This downstream (pun intended) project will cut down the United States’ trade deficit and generate ample livelihood opportunities (like creating less-dangerous and higher-paying jobs) and government revenues to start paying for the present substantial public debts.

As taught to us in science subjects — from high school to college –, aquifers occur from near-surface to deeper than 9,000 meters (30,000 ft.) below ground level. Those closer to the surface are not only more likely to be used for water supply and irrigation but are also more likely to be replenished by local rainfall. But for decades now, many states (and countries, too) have been experiencing (and continue to experience) severe drought due to the disastrous effects of Climate Change (Global Warming) because rainfall is not enough. And often, the vast amount of rains (that storms bring in) ends up in the sea or ocean. And mankind cannot drink seawater, just like the inhabitants of countries with substantial petroleum deposits, that cannot use crude oil to quench their thirst. Or even use crude oil as an ingredient for coffee and, or tea.

But as the U.S. Geological Survey warns, “Pumping too much water too fast draws down the water in the aquifer and eventually causes a well to yield less and less water and even run dry.” This is why this series of articles advocating the cleaning of water mentions not only aquifers but aqueducts, Arcata (California)-like natural sewage systems, other water-cleaning sites, creation of artificial lakes (as done in the Western United States), and huge storage tanks. They can do these technologies and systems in West Virginia, the 50 states, and the U.S. territories.

“This is why this series of articles advocating the cleaning of water mentions not only aquifers but aqueducts, Arcata (California)-like natural sewage systems, other water-cleaning sites, creation of artificial lakes (as done in the Western United States), and huge storage tanks.”

Finally, even the Evangelical Christians shall eventually endorse the “Minnesotanization” idea of creating artificial bodies of water. Why? Because the Bible says: “as written in the book about the words of Isaiah, the prophet, saying: ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make His paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth;’ “ -Luke 3:4-5

This columnist interprets it that all the waters coming from the watershed areas, brooks, and springs of “every mountain and hill shall be brought” to the “human-made” lakes and reservoirs in the LOW lands (sic). And Senators Manchin and Capito may be remembered in history for their bipartisan vision in making West Virginia the template for turning mountains and hills into sustainable sources of pure water of the future.

1 comment

Roberto Reyes January 9, 2022 - 2:47 pm

Thank you, Jay Domingo, for your beautiful-&-superlative choice of the Tygart Lake/River as the cover photo.
And here’s my Intro Note to all its (shared) re-post in numerous Facebook Groups:
Let’s all lobby The White House to go for the “Old-Man River Renaissance” ventures through PPP. And Mr. Biden may be known in U.S.history as the “Renaissance President.”

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