Solution at Devils Lake

PluribusOne™ Consulting has applied its perception-enhancing Noetitek™ system in many categories in order to demonstrate its efficacy to a broad audience of blog-visiting potential clients. Until now, we have not applied it to helping solve any environmental problems. This is our first such application: preventing the further devastation of communities in the vicinity of Devils Lake, North Dakota. 

The problem came to our attention as a result of an Associated Press article published via “Yahoo! News” yesterday. The article included images of this huge lake that is slowly swallowing up land, buildings, and more across some 150,000 acres and “at least two towns” as its waters continue rising. Devils Lake, with a 1,000 mile shoreline, began enlarging since about 1990, and it is predicted to continue expanding for another ten years. If lake waters climb another six feet, the article says, more communities may be washed away. More than 6,000 residents of one city have already been evacuated. 

More than a billion federal dollars have been spent so far to purchase flooded properties, build dikes, and take other temporary measures. In addition, a $27,000,000 diversion channel was built by the state, and nearly $4,000,000 a year is being spent to pay for electricity to power pumps that restrain the water level by one mere inch. Draining it downstream is not a viable option, according to officials, because that solution creates other equally devastating problems regarding contamination of waterways and drinking water. To date, a solution to this constant flooding and imminent catastrophic flooding downstream has remained undiscovered. 

But there is a solution, and we are outlining it below: 

What does a city do when threatened by a slow flood of parked cars—cars parked along every street and on every empty square of land that can be used as a parking lot? They build high-rise parking decks. Our solution to the slow flooding of water at Devils Lake is similar; we are calling it “water terracing.” If the water cannot be pumped out or let to flow downward, the answer is to move it up and stack it. In this case, we envision creating a series of round or free-form high-rise water basins within the perimeter of Devils Lake. Each terrace, stacked above the surface of the lake, would be an artificial pond. Lake waters would be pumped up the middle of each stacked set, to the highest terrace, and let to flow down into the others. Making the insides of the terraced pools black would promote evaporation while pumps keep the terraces filled to the brim. 

This solution not only prevents the fresh water of Devils Lake—the largest natural lake in North Dakota—from destroying further communities and contaminating other waters; it helps preserve valuable fresh water and the rest of the natural habitat while promoting the already important recreational tourism and sport-fishing industry. Bottling and distributing “Devils Lake” water could create a new industry for the area, and the “vertical waters” dotting the landscape would serve to attract a new kind of tourist: people who come to see the only (to our knowledge) terraced lake in the world.

Please see the related Image File #27.

[With modifications, this solution would have equal or greater efficacy in the management of river and seawater floods where “water terracing” can be designed to automatically capture rising waters, which can then be drawn off and processed to serve useful purposes. Flooding is expected to be an increasing problem around the world. In Africa, Asia, and Europe, for example, widespread flood hazards are expected to continue to increase for at least the next forty years, causing death and destruction in lands bordering on rivers and oceans. In one five-year period, flood-related costs in Europe were counted in tens of billions of Euros. The average annual cost of flooding in the United States exceeds $2 billion. The 2010 flooding in Pakistan caused $10 billion dollars in damages. Imagine the positive effects of investing such sums in job-creating flood-control construction projects.]

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3 Responses to “Solution at Devils Lake”

  1. PluribusOne™ Says:

    In November the following news release was sent to numerous news outlets. If you would like to help promote our proposed solution to the flooding at Devils Lake, please copy and send the News Release posted below to the newspaper, magazine, TV station or production company, or radio station or talk show that you believe may be interested:

    PluribusOne™ Consulting, LLC
    7 Carriage House Court, Hyde Park, NY 12538
    (845) 264-4903

    CONTACT: D. Alan Eastwood, principal
    eastwood@PluribusOne.com
    Tel. (845) 264-4903 or (845) 229-0244 (Home)

    November 5, 2010

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

    PluribusOne™ Consulting, LLC of Hyde Park, NY, has invented and proposed “water terracing” as a solution to the ongoing flood devastation at Devils Lake, ND. Devils Lake, with a 1,000-mile shoreline, has already swallowed-up at least two towns, and its waters are predicted to continue expanding for ten more years.

    Unless lake waters are prevented from climbing another six feet, more communities will be washed away and others will suffer contamination of waterways and drinking water. To date, more than a billion federal dollars have been spent on temporary measures. In addition, a $27-million dollar diversion channel has been built by the State of ND and nearly $4 million dollars a year are being spent for electricity to power pumps.

    The proposed water-terracing involves building high-rise sets of stacked artificial ponds within the perimeter of the Lake. Under this plan, lake waters are pumped up the middle of each stacked set, to the top terrace and let to flow down into others. This solution, recently presented to State and Federal officials, not only prevents further destruction and contamination; it also conserves valuable fresh water and preserves the natural habitat.

    PluribusOne™ Consulting, LLC is engaged in perception-enhancement consulting and meta-level problem solving through use of a proprietary system based on principles of Nature. Information about this company, the founder, and his system are posted at http://www.PluribusOne.wordpress.com.

  2. PluribusOne™ Says:

    On October 10, 2010 the following was emailed to St. Andrews University in Scotland as our entry into its annual $75K cash “Prize for the Environment.” We were later informed that our entry was one of only 31 selected from more than 200 for second-round consideration. The second round required entrants to submit answers to several Selection Committee questions. See the separate comment posted below for the second round submission. As gratifying as it is to have been included on the short list, our project was not chosen to be among the three finalists. We received the decision yesterday.

    Without funding from some appropriate organization or benefactor, and without the backing of more than one U. S. Congressman (who was defeated in the last election), and grassroots support in North Dakota, it is unlikely that we will be able to pursue the next stage of development: building a portable working model to facilitate making effective demonstrations to groups in that state and around the world.

    “Water Conservation and Flood Control”

    Because water is such a precious resource for all forms of life on this planet, water management—the planning, development, distribution, treatment, and optimized use of all water resources—will always be a high priority. Our specific endeavor concentrates on capturing and conserving freshwater in a manner that simultaneously addresses the elimination of flood hazard. Our problem-solving method, “water terracing,” involves the capturing of gradual floodwaters through use of gravity feeds and/or pumps and the containment of such water in stacked pond-sets, within which the water can be treated to a degree, and from which the water can be distributed by various means to serve various purposes.

    The genesis of “water terracing” emerged in the process of designing a solution to the heretofore perceived unmanageability of floodwaters emanating from the ongoing uncontrolled growth of Devils Lake, the largest freshwater lake in North Dakota and one of the two largest “closed basin” lakes in the United States of America. At this time, the lake has an estimated 1,000-mile perimeter that continues to grow. Thousands of acres of developed land, including hundreds of buildings and two entire towns, have been demolished. The lake has quadrupled in size over the past twenty years, and it is predicted to cause greater problems throughout the next ten years. Downstream communities may be lost—Valley City was forced to evacuate 6,300 residents in 2009.

    Prior to the water-terracing proposal, the focus has been on getting water out of the lake and out of the area, through the use of pumps directing water out and into a flood-control channel. A second channel, proposed by others for the eastern shore, would help reduce the water level; however, that solution requires “relaxing” water-quality standards downstream, adversely affecting not only southeastern North Dakota and Minnesota but also the province of Manitoba in Canada. Exorbitant costs are already being incurred for electricity to continuously run pumps that keep the water level in check by only one inch.

    Before we conceived of “water terracing” as an effective and permanent solution, it seemed that removal of the water in various directions and through use of various means was the only viable solution. The problem as posed via a news publication was: how to address the flooding “…in the most efficient, cost-effective, and least environmentally destructive manner.” Water terracing achieves each of those objectives, and more, because it also retains all water that collects in that area and creates a tourist-attracting visual effect. To a degree, stacked pond-sets serve as solar evaporation pools. Once filled, solar-power may be adequate to operate pumps to keep them filled with filtered water that can be further processed, piped, and locally packaged or trucked elsewhere.

    Prior to the concept of “water terracing,” it is ironic that the expansion of such an important natural resource could only be perceived negatively. The prize will enable us to help guide development/implementation and promote and share this solution in other areas of the world facing similar challenges.

    (10/9/2010)

    “Water Conservation and Flood Control,” is submitted by:

    D. Alan Eastwood
    PluribusOne™ Consulting, LLC
    7 Carriage House Court
    Hyde Park, NY 12538-1505
    USA

    845-264-4903

    eastwood@PluribusOne.com
    dae12@verizon.net

    http://www.PluribusOne.com
    http://www.PluribusOne.wordpress.com (blog)

    A biographical sketch appears in several editions of Who’s Who in America, and details are presented at the company blog-site shown above. To be brief here, in 1991, after a 20-year career as a bank officer, I began research that led to my invention of a system called Noetitek™, which is based on principles of Nature, and to my establishing the new science of Enhanced Human Perception™. Those initiatives led me to develop numerous perception-enhancing meta-tools that have proven valuable in facilitating new discoveries, solving problems, and identifying opportunities in any field. About 150 examples of the system’s application are posted at the blog-site.

    This submission to the “St. Andrews Prize for the Environment” panel does not contain unacknowledged material. It is original work. It is the property of the author and his company: PluribusOne™ Consulting, LLC. The above document has not been published elsewhere. However, material about the solution has been published at the company blog in a post titled “The Solution at Devils Lake,” as well as in an unsolicited proposal to the governor of North Dakota.

    Governor Hoeven met with Vice President Biden in Washington, D.C. last week to discuss possible solutions to the problem at Devils Lake. Temporary patches have already cost more than one-billion dollars, not including ongoing energy-related expense to operate pumps. The result of last week’s meeting was agreement to conduct a feasibility study to address mutual USA-Canada concerns related to border-area water management. A follow-on meeting is planned for November. We expect that further emergency actions will need to be taken before a permanent solution can be pursued.

    Submitted: October 10, 2010

  3. PluribusOne™ Says:

    The following was our Second Round submission (see preceding comment).

    The first page included a photograph of the diorama which can be seen in Image File #27 on this blog.

    Sec.1. Description of the project

    Our project is the development of “water terracing” and its introduction to appropriate government officials, NGOs, and community groups in flood-prone areas around the world in order to establish alliances and pilot projects. Water-terracing addresses the most pressing water challenges: conservation of freshwater, and floodwater control. Water-terracing enables the capture and containment of floodwaters and facilitates their management, including conversion to drinking water.

    The above photograph of our scale-model diorama shows a portion of a water-terrace unit working to protect residential and commercial properties as well as railways and roads.

    Sec. 2. Description of the people involved, any previous support, or links with other projects/organizations

    PluribusOne™ Consulting is sole developer and promoter of the water-terrace concept. All costs to this point have been borne by PluribusOne™.

    Since the idea was formulated four months ago, in response to ongoing flooding at the 250-square-mile Devils Lake, in North Dakota, where land and buildings are being steadily devoured, many State and Federal officials have been contacted. A brief article titled: “Solution at Devils Lake” was posted at the PluribusOne.wordpress.com blog-site, where a news release is available for visitors to copy and distribute.

    In October, 2010, I met with a representative of Congressman Scott Murphy, presented a packet of printed materials, and answered questions. I was advised that the Congressman would be very interested in the materials submitted because water-terracing addresses four federal priorities: freshwater conservation, environmental preservation, job creation, and infrastructure development. Although the Congressman was busy campaigning for reelection, I received confirmation that reads, in part: “The conservation of natural resources is a vital issue… I agree that we must work to preserve natural regions across the country.” The letter further assured me that he would keep my idea in mind with regard to possible legislation. He was not reelected, but his receptiveness and that of his staff is encouraging.

    Numerous news outlets have also been notified. Because we seek no compensation for the idea itself, three online versions of newspapers have allowed me to post comments despite the fact that PluribusOne™ is a business entity. Those papers are in Canada, Russia, and Malaysia. Based on emails received, individuals from many nations are interested in this idea, including: Australia, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Russia, France, Portugal, Italy, Malaysia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, and the USA.

    In moving forward, we will approach other organizations, including the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), The Institute of International Education (IIE), and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), to request assistance and collaboration.

    The GEF has, for example, provided a project grant, plus co-financing, totaling more than $10 million to help the African nation of Djibouti reduce its vulnerability to flood disasters. Other nations within the Horn of Africa are also prone to flood devastation: deaths, displacements, destroyed homes, submerged farmlands, and diseases such as cholera. The UNEP is working globally to raise awareness of the increasing problem of flooding; it rallies assistance to nations such Pakistan (2010). The IIE is helping prepare people to work together to meet global challenges. UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee provides assistance, including financial support to designated sites.

    We have also identified numerous companies in various countries that appear capable of engineering and manufacturing water-terrace units. Qualifications include knowledge of solar evaporation ponds, as presently used in mining operations (water terraces can be used to cool or to enhance conversion of water to vapor); the ability to construct suspended and elevated pools, as presently used in commercial and residential settings; and experience related to formwork, reinforcement, coatings, and sealants.

    Sec. 3. Direct and indirect beneficiaries of the project

    The masses of people world-wide will be, either directly or indirectly, beneficiaries of water-terracing. For example, in the USA 60% of the residents of New York State live on or near waterfronts to be impacted by rising ocean and river waters.

    In large areas of the Dakotas and Minnesota, for example, where uranium deposits exist and indoor radon levels are high, floodwaters threaten to further pollute groundwater and endanger public health. We cite as evidence a 20-year-old North Dakota Department of Health report: “A Survey of Naturally Occurring Uranium in Groundwater in Southwestern North Dakota,” and a U.S. Geological Survey Report.

    In some areas, floodwaters are likely to flow through toxic waste dumps. A 1993 report by Senator John McCain mentioned that landfills in the Devils Lake reservation in North Dakota are “laced with arsenic, mercury, and other illegally dumped chemicals.”

    The rate of depletion of underground stores of water worldwide has reportedly doubled according to a Utrecht University study (Netherlands). The subsurface reservoirs sustain streams, ecosystems, and agriculture while also resisting the subsidence of land and intrusion of salt water. Irrigation has been specifically devised as a solution. Groundwater represents 30% of all freshwater on the planet. Surface water accounts for only 1%. The rest is in glaciers and polar ice-caps that are slowly melting into undrinkable oceans. Among areas experiencing the highest depletion rates are mid-western USA and sectors of Southeast Asia.

    People unaffected directly by floodwaters are affected by the costs of emergency management and clean-up, by pollution, and by losses of freshwater and other resources. The following cites some of the many areas directly and severely impacted by floods during 2010 and into January 2011:

    • Climate change caused summer floods in Europe, particularly from the Austrian Alps into the Czech Republic. Nine times in five years there have been mass evacuations, deaths, and destruction with costs estimated in the tens of billions of euros, while freshwater from the glacial melts was lost to the sea.

    • Monsoons in July and August affected 20 million people in Pakistan, leaving millions homeless, destroying two million homes, and causing other damages, totaling an estimated $9.5 billion dollars.

    • Heavy rains in Russia’s Southern Krasnodar Region devastated dozens of villages, causing deaths and the evacuation of citizens.

    • In the single month of August, 2010, severe floods and resulting mudflows were reported in Guatemala, Germany, Poland, India, and China.

    • One large September storm put a city in North Carolina underwater when the Cashie River rose 16 feet above the flood stage. The average annual cost of floods in the USA exceeds $2 billion dollars.

    • In December, heavy rains in the Balkans forced 20,000 people to evacuate and caused damages amounting to more than $450 million dollars.

    • In Australia, heavy rains that began in November swelled rivers and flooded an area larger than France and Germany. Despite dams, levees, and makeshift barriers, this slow-motion disaster devastated towns, farmlands, and urban centers such as Ipswich and Brisbane. As of January, 13, 2011, floodwaters continue to expand and wreak havoc. The cost will be measured in billions of dollars.

    • On January 12, 2011 the equivalent of one month’s rain fell on Brazil within a 24-hour period, causing flooding and mudslides, killing about 500 people, and creating billions of dollars of damage.

    Water-terrace installations with solar-powered lighting can also create tourist attractions and serve other recreational purposes such as elevated ice-skating rinks. Some water terrace units can serve as fish hatcheries or water gardens—industries with employment expansion potential. All such ancillary uses create entrepreneurial and additional environmental opportunities. Each installation will be tailored to serve the purposes of surrounding communities. Because water-terracing involves creation of infrastructure, it also represents contract opportunities for engineering and construction firms, with job creation likely at all skill levels.

    Sec. 4. Description of original features in the project

    The water-terrace designs are original; the intersection and configuration of associated technologies is innovative. Yet the knowledge, technologies, materials, components, equipment, and skills necessary to create them exist now and are well-established. The challenge is to bring these resources together in a joint, international, four-pronged venture to address the problem of losses and exorbitant recurring expense posed by floodwaters while also conserving freshwater, creating investments in permanent infrastructure, and providing employment opportunities.

    Sec. 5. Description of how the project can be applied in other geographical regions or situations

    Our water-terrace concept was initially intended to solve the problem at Devils Lake, ND, an enormous “basin lake” that is overflowing, devouring surrounding properties, and threatening to pollute groundwater and rivers in the USA and Canada. That particular design can be scaled for applications in all areas of the world where expanding lake and pond waters are problematic, and/or freshwater is inadequate or unavailable.

    In the course of our ongoing research into the predicted long-term threat of floodwaters around the world, we recognized the need for other specialized designs to cope with ocean and river floodwaters. One variation of the water-terracing concept would allow for the temporary capture of waters from rivers swollen by heavy rains and for their automatic release when flooding ceases. This design can also be used to harvest fish in areas where rains damage other food sources. A third dyke-terrace design is envisioned to help manage rising ocean waters and facilitate desalinization and redistribution.

    Sec. 6. Description of the business case for the project and how it contributes to sustainable development

    The problem/need for an innovative approach to controlling floodwaters and conserving freshwater is obvious. The “market” for this approach includes almost every nation on the planet. “Customers” can be private or corporate (small scale applications), but it is expected that the main clients will be governmental entities and/or NGOs chartered to address such problems on large scale.

    Various technologies to block, capture, contain, and distribute ocean, river, lake, and rainwater—including dams, dykes, ditches, levees, canals, detention basins, portable/temporary barriers, and flow control devices—have been developed over millennia, and all have served their purpose to a substantial degree. But water-terracing does something new: it captures and stacks otherwise problematic waters and facilitates their processing and commercial distribution, among other utilizations such as fisheries.

    Water-terracing will serve where “competing” methods are inapplicable, inadequate, and/or inappropriate due to adverse effects on contiguous ecosystems. Therefore, there are no competitive barriers, although the idea can be deployed in a manner that allows for competition among fabricators, installers, and related service providers.

    Water-terracing’s contribution to the control of floodwaters and conservation of freshwater is clearly sustainable as a world-scale enterprise, as it will contribute, fundamentally, to the sustainability of all forms of development.

    Sec. 7. Evidence of the success of the project to date

    Success has been limited by the newness of the idea and commensurate need to obtain funding to spearhead a pilot project. Yet, success has been achieved with respect to: (1) the design itself, (2) attracting interest of individuals and news providers in several countries, and (3) receiving acknowledgement from my former U. S. Congressman that the idea addresses high-ranking governmental priorities. Information about my meeting with the representative from Congressman Murphy’s office and the interest of other parties is provided in the foregoing section two.

    Micro-scale experiments have been successful. Large-scale “thought experiments” have provided further assurance that an actual full-size installation will deliver all benefits envisioned. As novel as the idea is, we are not relying on untested concepts, materials, or processes, nor are we claiming revelations involving factors or forces such as anti-gravity or quantum energy. The components are conventional.

    Sec. 8. What I will do with the St. Andrews Prize money and the difference it will make to the project

    The St. Andrews Prize money will allow us to accomplish the following:

    • Complete the creation of a nonprofit foundation through which alliances with NGOs can be established toward achieving a pilot project, and to enable raising funds through tax-deductible contributions.

    • Build a portable working model to enable making effective demonstrations to representatives of government, NGOs, universities, and community groups and to engineering and construction firms toward creating and installing a full-scale water-terrace unit (pilot project).

    • Cover interim operating costs to arrange and make presentations to the above and to solicit further funding.

    The prize will allow us to continue to focus on this project and ensure its success.

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