Can drought-stricken CA get water from Midwest via pipeline?

“Without a doubt, we’re in a drought,” says a sign in Laguna Beach. August 28, 2022. Photo by Amy Ta/KCRW

The Western U.S. is experiencing its driest period in more than a thousand years, according to scientists from UCLA and Columbia University. Arizona and Nevada residents must curb their use of water from the Colorado River, and California could be next. The state is expected to lose 10% of its water over the next two decades, reports the governor’s office. To account for that, Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled a plan earlier this month to capture more runoff and recycle wastewater in the coming years. The Inflation Reduction Act also includes money for water conservation. 

Some are proposing more radical solutions — like a giant pipeline to ferry water from the Mississippi River over the Rockies and through California’s parched deserts.

More: Nature Climate Change journal: Rapid intensification of the emerging southwestern North American megadrought in 2020–2021



  • Greg Pierce - director of the Human Right to Water Solutions Lab at UCLA