Water everywhere, but not a drop to drink. That's kind of how I felt when my family was driving down the coast, with the Pacific Ocean hanging out the passenger side window. Drought? What do you call that? A great big puddle of wet, just waiting to be distributed to the proper field or lawn or glass with ice. Except it's full of salt. And it wouldn't do much good to try and irrigate the Central Valley with salt water. It would probably cause more trouble than it would cure. That's why we need to take the salt out so we can keep the water. It makes so much sense that scientists are hard at work at making desalination their next big challenge. It isn't exactly rocket science, since desal plants already exist. They're just incredibly expensive. The one in Santa Barbara, working at full capacity would cost five million dollars a year and would only provide about one third of the water needed annually in that community. Not quite what we were after.
So, maybe there's another way to get moisture from this dry sponge of a state. William Shatner, better known as "Mark Preston" from the film "The Devil's Rain," has an idea. Before you start worrying that this Hollywood type is going to start suggesting sacrifices to Satan or some other mumbo jumbo, let's remember that this is also TV's "TJ Hooker." He wouldn't send us off on some wild goose chase. His mind is like a steel trap. He won't miss any obvious holes in logic or science. He'll simply pause, lightly, and then proceed.
William Shatner wants to build a pipeline to bring water from Seattle to the parched folks down in sunny California. The price tag on this project: Thirty billion dollars. Or, if you were to put it into desalination terms: six thousand plants running for a year. Providing thirty percent of the water needed by their communities. It certainly beats the heck out of that "conservation" talk that has been tossed around lately. Besides, who better to find a cure for our drought than the guy who saved the whole planet by gong back in time and procuring a pair of humpback whales who could then communicate with the outer space machine that was threatening to planet in the present. Easy as one, two, three, four The Voyage Home showed that nothing is impossible for Captain James T. Kirk and his crew. Sound crazy? Crazy like a Starship Captain, you mean.
Of course, I think I would feel a whole lot better if Scotty were still around.