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Earth to Capt Kirk. Seattle will not allow California water grab

William-Shatner

William Shatner thinks California should raise $30 billion on Kickstarter to fund a water pipeline from Seattle. Then there will be no more worrying about that pesky drought. He compounded his silliness by saying “Bring it down here and fill one of our lakes! Lake Mead!” Yo captain, Lake Mead is in Nevada, not California. Water in Lake Mead is shared by seven western states. California gets 20% of Colorado River water, almost all of which goes to Imperial Valley agriculture on the Mexico border. (Yes, I did call Shatner silly, and expect to be chastised for this more than when I criticize St. Hillary of Clinton.)

And speaking of Nevada, a while back Las Vegas thought a pipeline from the Great Lakes would be a super groovy idea. When governors of the Great Lakes states learned of the plan they immediately passed a region-wide compact saying any such deal must be agreed upon by all participating states, which means it will never happen. Vegas also thought Utah had way too much water so maybe Nevada could drill horizontally into Utah lakes. The upshot of this was Utah ranchers saying they would be there with rifles if this was attempted as well as a very cranky Utah governor.

Sorry California, you cannot just go grab water wherever you think you should be able to. Maybe Shatner just wants to raise attention about the serious drought. Good! However, the logistical, legal, and governmental obstacles to such a plan would be formidable. Plus, NIMBYs would block it for years in court. A better idea is everyone uses less water and maybe California agriculture needs to shrink substantially and we don’t have as much winter vegetables and fruits. Just saying…

Or maybe the drought will end and everyone will forget about conservation, until the next drought.

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