First William Shatner, now Moby: Celebrities’ ideas for tackling California drought

Moby calls for drought reform

Moby, shown in April, has launched a petition calling for more stringent water reforms in California.

(Chris Pizzello / Invision/Associated Press)

Move over Capt. James T. Kirk. Now Moby wants to boldly go forward with a plan to ease California’s drought.

In April, actor William Shatner proposed a $30-billion pipeline “like the Alaska pipeline” to bring water from a wetter place, like Seattle, to the parched Golden State.

“How bad would it be to get a large, four-foot pipeline, keep it above ground — because if it leaks, you’re irrigating!” the 84-year-old “Star Trek” actor told Yahoo’s David Pogue.

Now musician Moby is calling on Gov. Jerry Brown for more action on water conservation.


In an interview with Forbes, Moby said he began researching water issues and agriculture last year and had even replaced his lawn with mulch.

“California has a finite resource in terms of water,” Moby told Forbes. “So whether Gov. Brown wants to change water policy or not, the change is going to have to happen.”

Now the musician has started a petition on Campaign Courage urging Brown to “stop corporate agribusiness from tapping out” the state’s water supplies.

He is asking Brown to realign the state’s water rights, “put limits on irrigating super-thirsty cash crops like almonds, beef and alfalfa, and ensure our groundwater is not overpumped and depleted.” Those products, he told Forbes, are “the worst water offenders.”


The Almond Board of California in April responded by saying the almond industry has been unfairly targeted.

“There’s the perception out there that somehow we’re just wasting water, and that’s as far from the truth as can be,” board Chief Executive Richard Waycott said in April in a conference call with reporters. “We’re talking about food production here .… We’re taking our natural resource and creating something for the human diet, and doing it as efficiently as we can.”

Last week, the state agreed to allow farmers in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to voluntarily cut usage by 25%, a move the would help them avoid larger cutbacks that state water regulators might impose.

The move came after Brown ordered urban communities across the state to cut water use by 25% over the next year.

Moby, an outspoken animal rights activist and vegan, is hoping to get 100,000 signatures and then take the petition to Brown’s Sacramento office.

Meanwhile, Shatner said he planned to launch a Kickstarter campaign to raise cash for the pipeline.

Shatner said that even if his Seattle pipeline doesn’t work, he hopes it will increase awareness of the drought.

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