Yes, Governor, we all received your, uh, data dump for a 25 percent mandatory water reduction in urban areas. Lovely.
With our beloved California sinking from sucking our groundwater reserves and cracking from another dry winter and our 5 percent snowpack, we’ve received nothing but a steady drum beat of depressing details about our Mega-Drought in the Mega-Ag, Mega-Tech, Mega-Aerospace, Mega-Entertainment, not so golden state of California.
Every piece of news about not serving water at our restaurants, not filling the backyard pools and ripping out our lawns all are reactive steps to circle our water wagons until we get to the potentially developing El Nino nine months from now. What if that precarious forecast doesn’t come through? Then what, Gov?
May I so humbly interject into this dreary drip of doom, gloom and California becoming the next Nevada something that has not been discussed at all?
It’s called Environmental Optimism, i.e., hope for our children and grandchildren.
With Silicon Valley and Silicon Beach creating apps and gadgets every hour via a flood of venture capital funding, why can’t we tap into these creative geniuses to come up with solutions that won’t put us into Debbie Downer mode for the next decade?
For example, Google this month plans to fly an 84-foot energy kite, i.e., an airborne wind turbine to harvest the power of the wind for a fraction of the cost per kilowatt of what traditional on- and offshore winds can do.
We need to change the conversation from reactive to proactive with a Mega-Project that will provide us water insurance during these prolonged years of drought.
Right now, Phase IV to the Keystone XL pipeline has been vetoed by President Barack Obama and the Senate failed to override his veto. With Congress likely raising the vote again, Phase IV has the potential to run from Hardesty, Alberta, through eastern Montana to Steele City, Neb., via a 1,179-mile pipeline.
If we are planning to pump oil through the upper Midwest down to the Gulf of Mexico, then why can’t we build a clean-water pipeline of 1,031 miles from the western Montana snowpack (which is currently 80 percent of normal) to Sacramento?
When government and heady organizations really want to get something done, they can tie together the fiscal forces and political will to make it happen. It’s not like this is an engineering super challenge. After all, we have the visionary spirit that brought us Hoover Dam, a man on the moon and Jet Propulsion Laboratory sending rovers to Mars.
Instead of issuing executive orders that send us howling into the night, let’s issue a plan to fast-track a water pipeline from the Montana snowpack – or some other method to bring fresh water – and deliver hope for 38 million people whose collective futures are all dependent on retaining our vibrant status as the Golden State.
John T. Boal is author of “Be a Global Force of One!” and co-author of “Chicken Soup for the Volunteer’s Soul.” He lives in Burbank.
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