Douglas Scott | Apr 21st, 2015

Dear William Shatner, Keep Your Hands off Our Water.

William Shatner announced on Friday that he is starting a Kickstarter Campaign to raise $30 billion for a water pipeline that would stretch from Seattle to Lake Mead in Nevada, which would provide water to Arizona, Nevada and California. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I recall hearing about this in the 1980s, and my parents reassure me that it was happening in the late 60s and 70s as well. The idea is ridiculous, and frustrates me to no end. 

In my 34 years on this earth, I have heard about California being in a water shortage the entire time, yet, I have yet to see many (read as any) real changes in water conservation, or even an attitude of conservation in California. Sure, some movements may have sprung up here and there, but as far as long tern change goes, there has been limited progress. I could get into corporations like Nestle bottling water from drought stricken areas, but I’ll leave that to others.

Now, with impending doom looming in California with next to no water, the desert communities with manicured lawns are looking for help. Instead of railing on a broken system that needs changed, I decided to write an open letter to Willian Shatner. This could be much longer, and could have more scientific facts, but lets face it… Captain Kirk isn’t going to be reading this.

Dear William Shatner,

Thank you for your interest in the water of the Pacific Northwest. As you pointed out in a recent interview, the state of Washington is a wet place. We are home to a rainforest that receives more than 14 feet of rain a year, as well as more glaciers than the state of Montana. Yet, even with so much fresh water, we are in a drought. I know that you think we can save California’s water issues, but we are having issues of our own.

It might have missed the news cycles where you are, but the winter of 2014-15 was a terrible year for our snowpack as well, and if the trend continues, our major urban areas water will be directly impacted. Our Governor, Jay Inslee, recently declared a drought for the mountains that feed the rainforest rivers. The same ones that sustain life for millions of organisms and animals, including salmon and whales. Just like California in the 1970s and 80s, Washington State is seeing the first serious signs of the impact of climate change on our aquifers and water supplies. We won’t follow California’s years of mistakes; we will work to protect the environment and stop our water rights from being taken away by corporations and outside interests.

My message to you, Mr Shatner, is simple. Instead of looking for another supplier, why not learn from history and focus your time, energy, effort and $30 billion to reducing carbon emissions of cities, states, and countries around the world? Instead of looking for another quick fix of water to waste, why not look locally for answers? Why not get rid of lawns, letting the natural desert environment return to the region? Stop looking for a quick fix and start coming up with solutions that leave the world a better place.

If you truly feel that we have excess water here in the Pacific Northwest, I would be glad to show you signs of drought around the rainforest of Olympic National Park, as well as take you up to a glacier so you can see how quickly we will be out of water too.

Again, we thank you for your interest, but we regret to inform you that we will be denying your request for our water. The solution to this problem is not simple, so stop looking for a quick fix.

Live Long and Prosper,

Washington State

Have something to say to William Shatner about this issue? Feel free to tweet at him: @WilliamShatner

Looking to see how Australia is solving their water crisis through changing water use culture? Read more here.