A further improvement on this plan is to also divert a portion of the upper Mississippi River west and into the National Excess Water Transport Aqueduct Project. One possibility is a 150-mile canal due west along US route 36 from Hannibal to St. Joseph. This would allow a water flow of approximately 2,000 cubic feet per second, or more.
The water transfer to the Colorado River would eliminate the need for power transmission lines, because power would be generated at Glen Canyon Dam and Hoover Dam, then sent to Southern California or elsewhere through existing transmission lines. Thus, there would be some savings by not having to build power transmission lines to connect the wind-generators to cities.
A useful means of storing excess wind-generated power is to pump water uphill for later use in hydroelectric plants when the power is needed. This trans-continental, uphill waterway would do exactly that, storing the water in Lake Powell and Lake Mead.
I see no technical reasons why this would not work. Crossing existing creeks, rivers, highways, railroads, and hills, can all be done. However, on the legal and environmental side, there are more difficulties. There is a water-rights legal issue of transferring water from one water basin into another. This plan would transfer water from the Missouri water basin across a couple of other basins and into the Colorado water basin. Then there are the eminent domain issues to acquire the right-of-way. This is not a problem, if the governments decree the project is in the public interest. In practice, though, such decrees at times generate public hostility. Finally, the environmental issues are rather large. One can envision the EIR (Environmental Impact Report) for an 800-mile canal crossing several states!
Still, such a project would be of ultimate good. The money spent would provide employment for thousands, and for many years. The energy generated by the windmills would be recovered (at least in part), which is in line with the “Generate Green” movement. That is far better than building a few nuclear power plants. And the water would go to good use, irrigating farms to feed the U.S. and the world.