Moby adds his voice to calls for con­ser­va­tion

Los Angeles Times - - CALIFORNIA - VERON­ICA ROCHA veron­ica.rocha @la­times.com Twit­ter: @Veron­i­caRochaLA

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 $30bil­lion pipe­line “like the Alaska pipe­line” to bring wa­ter from a wet­ter place, such as 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 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.”

The mu­si­cian has started a pe­ti­tion on the web­site 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 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 an April 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.

Chris Pizzello Invision/AP

MOBY, per­form­ing at the Ace Ho­tel in down­town L.A. in April, is call­ing on Gov. Brown to “stop cor­po­rate agribusi­ness from tap­ping out” the state’s wa­ter sup­ply.

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