Letters to the Editor: Why California can’t just build a water pipeline from the Great Lakes

The Owens River flows east of the Sierra Nevada.
The Owens River, from which Los Angeles draws some of its water, flows east of the Sierra Nevada.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Building a water pipeline from the Great Lakes to the Southwest and California, as suggested by one reader to address the drought, would be illegal and predatory.

As discussed in “Eau Canada,” a collection of essays published in 2006, Canada adopted a comprehensive water policy to protect its water rights, especially over the Great Lakes due to the “thirsty neighbours” in the United States.

The irony exists: The U.S. has never adopted a national water policy to conserve this natural resource, only that “safe water” be available to the public. California has likewise not developed a water policy in spite of the droughts and wasted water we cannot endure much longer. We waste expensive potable water on our lawns and gardens and with long showers and baths.


Our water endgame has arrived. Conservation is key. Israel recycles almost 90% of its wastewater. We need a gray water revolution.

Jerome P. Helman, Venice


To the editor: Some years ago I recall Los Angeles County Supervisor Kenneth Hahn suggested we siphon or pump water to California from the mountains above the Pacific Ocean in Alaska.

A lightweight tube could be laid under the ocean to the San Francisco Bay, where the water could be pumped into our existing system. If the water source is at an elevation higher than the outlet into the California Aqueduct, gravity would move the water, just as it does from the Owens River east of the Sierra Nevada to Los Angeles.

Cary Adams, North Hollywood