Everyone in California should just drink beer. Tuesday was National Beer Day, and it got me thinking about the brilliance of the Pilgrims. Those geniuses brought beer instead of water because it remained potable longer. It was that or they knew they would be really bored on that boat.

The point is, the Pilgrims didn’t have water and got creative. It’s time to get creative about California. I’m not talking Haight-Ashbury creative. It would seem they have that pretty much set. No….California needs to figure out what to do about its drought situation.

So far, Governor of California Jerry Brown has set in place water restrictions in hopes that private conservation will help. California’s drought means a lot of things for more than just California. One of those things? Anyone reading this on a computer located outside the state of California should have at least a fleeting curiosity as to when the same situation will strike their home. If wasteful habits continue, it could just be a matter of time.

Surely there have been brainstorming sessions about how to best cope? Think tank reports? Prophetic communication with the divine? Anything?

Well, you’re in luck. Some….let’s call them “unique” ideas are in the works, and I’m here to break them down for you. You’re welcome.

1. Glaciers are basically frozen water, right? Let’s just bring a glacier to California!

Let me take a moment to remind you that you are not hallucinating and people are weird. Now that that’s been established, I can tell you that you read that right.

While some have actually proposed dragging a glacier over a thousand miles, most suggest transporting the glacier bit by bit. Yes, that’s far more reasonable.

It’s called the Alaska Subsea Pipeline, and boy is it….unique? Despite a thorough 1992 cost-benefit analysis by Princeton University and the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment that basically confirmed all the doubts you had when you read the heading for this point, this idea has surfaced yet again.

We could note that if California, and the world for that matter, had heeded the more realistic suggestions in the report over two decades ago, we might not see lakes drying and lawns browning. Then again, conserving water for 20 years and storing the excess is hardly as sexy as laying 1,400 miles of pipe.

Glacier near the Artic|Flickr:David Stanley

2. Oceans are just Evian without the bottle and with some salt

This is the only one on our list that officials are actively pursuing. Let’s jump in the below referenced time machine right now and fly back to the 1980s when California was in the middle of a very similar situation. Santa Barbara tried everything Gov. Brown had to no avail. Instead, the city built a $35 million desalination facility to convert ocean water (lots of ocean) to drinking water (not so much). While the plant was abandoned after completion because the drought of the time ended, it’s now reopened and working toward functioning.

For every two gallons of seawater, the plant produces one gallon of drinking water. Sounds good.

A problem arises from the highly salty brine pumped back into the ocean once the process completes. The fish and animals in the ocean have grown accustomed to their habitat's current level of salt. Increasing that level could cause fish to die and underwater ecosystems to go haywire. We are currently dealing with the results of polluting our surroundings in the name of industrialization. But hey, destroying nature for our own benefit couldn’t backfire twice, right?

3. Boston got a lot of snow this year. Boston will probably get a lot of snow every year. Boston hates snow. SEND THE SNOW WEST!

An optimistic variation on the first option, it would seem our pitiful Bostonians are tired of getting dumped on by feet of frozen hydrogen-oxygen molecules.

Just ask this guy about his snow shipping business, and he’ll probably say that shipping snow from Boston to California is a great idea. But then you’d be listening to a guy who started a website to sell snow.

While the Internet ponders this option, you can consider the fact that this would require about 507,826 tanker trucks to ship all of Boston’s snow to quench California’s thirst. That’s about 315 million gallons of diesel fuel burned to solve what is widely considered an environmental crisis. Again, this might be “robbing Peter to pay Paul” as my mom would say.

Dan ships water|Imgur:JMsMaty

4. Use the former Governator’s skills to California’s advantage and change history

The thirsty people of California elected Arnold Schwarzenegger (aka the Terminator) to lead them twice. I think it’s time he takes up the challenge again, this time to reprise his role as the badass time traveling cyborg with the power to change the course of history. Hop in that time machine a few decades, fix some environment and water regulations, and bam! No more crisis in California.

Alright, so I may have made up that last one. But California will need to get creative so they have water for generations to come.

Terminator street art|Flickr:Garry Knight

I guess if all else fails, Californians have dyed their lawns green once, and they can do it again.

While I've taken a lighter approach to talking about this issue, everyone should remember this is serious. Droughts destroy entire regions, causing economic chaos and even deaths. The drought in California has the potential to reshape the nation's agriculture and it must be dealt with today. Use these "creative ideas" above to laugh a bit but also take inspiration to think of ways each of us can conserve water and be more responsible with our environment.

If you have any good ideas about how to improve this situation, sound off in the comments. 


Defend the Planet

4 "creative" ways to end the drought in California

By Erin Weber