29 April 2015
SACRAMENTO—A French engineering and construction firm is proposing a flexible undersea pipeline to carry water from two
Via Marina, a subsidiary of the giant multinational company Vinci, has provided a "prefeasibility" study to the
Via Marina chairman Felix Bogliolo said the project would largely eliminate environmental concerns because fresh water would be collected just prior to it flowing into the ocean.
"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," Bogliolo said.
Via Marina is currently in negotiations in
A 1975 study by the
Bogliolo estimated that technological improvements could allow the Via Marina California project to be built today for as little as $3.8 billion, providing fresh water to the south at a cost of about $653 per acre foot-- about a third of the cost of desalinated water, while using about a quarter of the energy.
Bogliolo contacted News10 after seeing the proposal announced last week by actor William Shatner to crowd fund a pipeline along
But Jay Lund, director of the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences, believes the French proposal deserves at least some consideration.
"This is not the craziest idea I've heard, by any means," Lund said. "But every solution for California's water problems that sounds good usually has some sort of a hidden flaw to it."
Via Marina has provided the California Department of Water Resources with a copy of the study, but DWR spokesperson Nancy Vogel declined to address the proposal specifically.
"We've received hundreds of drought-busting ideas from the public and we're reviewing them," Vogel said.