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A Pipeline Plan from the Star Trek Man

Friday, April 24, 2015

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SUNNYVALE, CA—He's famously run a starship and doled out hotel deals, but now William Shatner has a new role: Pipeline Negotiator.

That's right, the 84-year-old actor, known for his portrayal of Capt. James T. Kirk in the original Star Trek television series and as the spokesman for, wants to build a pipeline to fix California's devastating drought.

In an interview with Yahoo! Tech, Shatner announced his desire to start a $30 billion Kickstarter campaign to build a pipeline to transport water from Seattle to California along Interstate 5.

In an interview with Yahoo! Tech, Shatner announced his desire to build a water pipeline from Seattle to California to solve the state's drought. Watch the video here.

"California's in the midst of a 4-year-old drought," Shatner said. "They tell us there's a year's supply of water left. If it doesn't rain next year, what do 20 million people in the breadbasket of the world do?"

Raising Awareness

"In a place that's the fifth largest GDP—if California were a country, it'd be fifth in line—we're about to be arid! What do you do about it?

"How bad would it be to get a large, 4-foot pipeline, keep it aboveground—because if it leaks, you're irrigating!" Shatner said.

Even if he doesn't raise the money, Shatner said he will at least raise awareness about the severity of the drought.

(Although an actual Kickstarter campaign has yet to be launched, Shatner said he likes the idea of utilizing crowdfunding and social media.)

"If I don't make $30 billion, I'll give the money to a politician who says, 'I'll build it.' Obviously, it's to raise awareness that something more than just closing your tap ... so why not a pipeline?"

"I have a drinking problem. I've become addicted to water," Shatner told Fox 11 Los Angeles.

Major engineering solutions could be implemented, outside of the pipeline idea, he suggested in an interview with Fox 11 Los Angeles. For example, existing water lines could be insulated and repaired to address leaks and bursts.

Shatner has now launched a website to further the conversation:


Tagged categories: Funding; North America; Pipelines; Program/Project Management; Research; Social Media

Comment from Antonio Leal, (4/24/2015, 9:58 AM)

Obvious solution of the captain of a spaceship called "Earth".

Comment from James Albertoni, (4/27/2015, 10:03 AM)

Hahaha. A 4ft pipeline wouldn't even make a dent in our drought.

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (4/28/2015, 8:32 AM)

My BoE calculation with optimistic assumptions says it might transfer at most 500 acre-feet per day.

Comment from Patrick C Sweeney, (4/28/2015, 11:13 AM)

I believe the Captain's real goal is to point out that there is no plan to bring water to California. The state, as an entity has the 10th largest GDP in the world and pays more into the federal tax system than any other state. That means CA pays more than its fare share to subsidize what other states need to maintain themselves. The state grows one-third of the country's vegetables and two-thirds of its fruits and nuts. Without a plan to keep water running, the entire nation will feel the results of the severe drought. The state promoted and is now building a 100 billion dollar high speed rail that most Californians do not want or even understand. This is Kirk's second point: why is this train project being built instead of a water supply? The only plan now is to ask citizens to water their lush lawns less frequently. Mulholland opened the spigot that resulted in Los Angeles as we know it now, for better or worse. Pipelines, aqueducts, desalination, recycling, and reclamation projects should be planned today and built tomorrow - for the good of the country.

Comment from Mark Puckett, (4/29/2015, 11:29 AM)

they should appropriate existing oil/gas pipelines...the taste will eventually work itself out

Comment from Raymond Merrill, (4/29/2015, 6:01 PM)

Mr. Sweeney may be onto something. Perhaps California's problems are due to all those fruits, nuts and vegetables they grow out there.

Comment from Jeff Laikind, (5/1/2015, 9:35 AM)

Besides the volume issues, this plan neglects the fact that all of Oregon and half of Washington are also suffering from drought. The whole west coast needs some serious precipitation to help out.

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