|Data from the
foregoing figure and Albertas irrigation industry suggests that just one
half of the water from the Slave river would irrigate about 20 million acres.
Additional data from Alberta Food, Agriculture and Rural Development and from
the Ontario Corn Producers Association suggest some crops can remove carbon
from the atmosphere at the rate of about 8 tonnes per acre per annum for a
total of 160 million tonnes/annum. I
wonder how much of that could ultimately be credited as a sink with the
development of appropriate techniques?
Northern Alberta is about 700 metres lower than Southern Alberta so gravity
will not easily relinquish that water for our convenience. About 2 kWhr/m3 of
energy input would be needed to overcome gravity and about 12,000 Mw would be
needed to lift half of the Slave River flow.
|Would the value
of the carbon sinks help defray the cost of such a system? Preliminary
estimates suggest that if the crop was converted to charcoal to maximize the
sink, it might be worth more than food crops. Thats a scary thought. With
that whimsy Id like to conclude.