Via Marina Proposes an Undersea Pipeline to Combat California's Drought

Via Marina Proposes an Undersea Pipeline to Combat California's Drought

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SACRAMENTO, CA - Via Marina, a French engineering construction firm and subsidiary of the multinational Vinci company, is putting a water transportation offer on the table for a thirsty California. And it’s an interesting one.

According to a News10 report, Via Marina served up a “prefeasibility” study that suggests drawing water from the mouth of both the Klamath and Eel rivers in Northern California to be transported to the southern, dryer regions of the state in a submarine, flexible river.

Felix Bogliolo, Via Marina Chairman (Source: Qué Pasa)"You can use this water, and because by definition you are at the mouth of the river, all of the users upstream are not jeopardized," Felix Bogliolo, Via Marina Chairman, told News10.

So how do they plan to do this? With several tubes that are each about 12 feet in diameter and tethered to the ocean floor.

He may not be William Shatner, but he also has bit more than a Kickstarter mapped out. In fact, seeing the story of the actor's mildy eccentric plan was what inspired the Chairman to call in the proposal. As for getting down to the fine print, Bogliolo reportedly told News10 that technological improvements would allow his company to help quench California’s thirst for about $3.8 billion, considerably more affordable than a similar $20 billion that was shelved by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation back in 1975, or the $30 billion plan our favorite sci-fi captain proposed.

In fact, according to the report, it works out to about $653 per acre foot, more than half the cost of desalinated water with a fourth of the energy use.

With the restrictions being imposed by the California state government, as well as the amount of money being budgeted exclusively towards drought relief tactics, that seems downright affordable. Not to mention it may not be totally impractical.

"This is not the craziest idea I've heard, by any means," Jay Lund, Director of the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences, commented in the report, adding that California drought solutions that appear too good to be true do tend to be so.

At worst, it’s an imaginative solution. At best, a plan so crazy that it just might work. For now, however, the jury is out.