Winter Water

It actually feels like winter here. Outside, the wind is not just blowing, not just sighing through the trees, or howling in the windows, but is actually roaring. A record amount of rain has fallen on San Diego today, 1.25 inches.

While it is unfortunate that the storm has knocked out power to many homes and parts of both trolley lines, I doubt that anyone here will argue that we don’t need the water. Sadly, most of it will just end up flowing down the street, flowing into streams and rivers and into the ocean.

It seems to me that an approach to water management that Rome and other ancient cities used could work quite well here. The ancients would sometimes roof over entire valleys, with streets and shops above, and a reservoir of water below. Many still stand today.

The geography of this area would be well suited to this. In the hills and mesas surrounding the downtown area, there are countless canyons and ravines, many of which harbor little but weeds and derelicts. We could, if we really wished to, brick some of them over, and build parks or parking lots above.

On the other hand, we’d have to make certain to choose locations that wouldn’t discharge all the precious water into someone’s backyard should the dam rupture. Likewise, we’d have to build very carefully, lest the roof cave in due to earthquake, beagles and Buicks alike tumbling into a black, watery abyss.

But rain, when it comes, is free, unlike desalinization.

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