Whether you see it as a short-term drought or a long-term climate change trend, the south and southwest are clearly feeling the pinch of water shortages. Will these regions try to divert Great Lakes water to meet their needs? That is the question explored in an excellent newspaper article by Michael Scott of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, “Water is the Great Lakes area’s prize.” In the article, I suggest that climate change is likely to increase the possibility of Great Lakes diversion proposals sooner rather than later. Skeptics contend that the distance of such a diversion, and thus the high cost, make it unlikely. However, the distances are not that great – it’s only about 500 miles from the Great Lakes to parts of the southeast experiencing drought, a distance that we have diverted water before. Artificial connections are already in place that could lead to future diversions, such as the Erie Canal connecting the Great Lakes to the Hudson River north of New York City and the Chicago diversion which sends Great Lakes water down the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico. I’m not saying it would be easy, logical, or cheap. But never underestimate the ability of the federal government to waste billions of dollars of taxpayer money on a dumb water project.