Proposed interstate water pipelines to California
Proposed interstate water pipelines to California include interbasin transfer projects to divert water from other Western states and provinces, including Oregon, Washington, Alaska and British Columbia.
A Canadian entrepreneur's plan published in 1991 diverted water from eastern British Columbia to the Columbia River, then envisioned a 300-mile pipeline from the river through Oregon to a reservoir near Alturas, California.
The former governor of Alaska, Walter J. Hickel, proposed a water pipeline from his state to California in 1991, which was quickly criticized for being too expensive, environmentally problematic, and "too far-out". The Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) published a report in 1992 considering an implementation of the plan using a subsea pipeline running down the Pacific coast between the two states. The OTA plan concluded that conservation, water banking, and changing water pricing schemes would be more cost effective than building the pipeline.
A 2012 Bureau of Reclamation study investigated schemes to bring water to California using an undersea pipeline from the mouth of the Columbia River on the Oregon–Washington border, importing icebergs, and using conventional seagoing tankers.
The 2015 California drought brought pipeline proposals back to the public consciousness, abetted by celebrities Rush Limbaugh and William Shatner, the latter proposing a Kickstarter campaign to raise $30 billion to fund such a pipeline from Washington state.
- Diversion Project Would Deliver B.C. Water To California, Associated Press, June 6, 1991 – via The Seattle Times
- Reinhold, Robert (August 15, 1991), Alaska Offers Californians An Additional Water Spigot, The New York Times
- Simon, Richard (August 15, 1991), "Pipeline Plan Seen as a Pipe Dream : Water: An undersea conduit from Alaska to California would be too costly, too environmentally damaging and too 'far-out,' a congressional workshop is told.", The Los Angeles Times
- U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment (January 1992), Alaskan Water for California?: The Subsea Pipeline Option (PDF), United States Government Printing Office, OTA-BP-O-92 – via Princeton University
- "Appendix F4: Option Characterization – Importation" (PDF), Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study, United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, 2012
- Fort, Denise; Nelson, Barry (June 2012), Pipe Dreams: Water Supply and Pipeline Projects in the West (PDF), Natural Resources Defense Council
- Lallanilla, Marc (February 6, 2014), "Shipping Snow: Could Eastern Water Ease Western Drought?", LiveScience
- Limbaugh, Rush (March 16, 2015), "Quick Hits Page: Scare: California to Run Out of Water", The Rush Limbaugh Show
- Pogue, David (April 17, 2015), Exclusive: William Shatner’s $30 Billion Kickstarter Campaign to Save California, Yahoo News