• Jennifer Heywood

Aqualawyers’ Application For Martian Water Still Pending

In 2008 NASA reported that water may be present on the surface of Mars. Acting under the theory that the state has jurisdiction “unto the heavens,” the Aqualawyers promptly made application to appropriate the water for interstate, international, and interplanetary uses. This application appears to be the first of its kind and offers a unique solution to the Republican River Compact dispute and other interstate water wars. While the application remains pending before the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources, there is no immediate need for action. As reported by the Omaha World Herald in the story below, it may take years before the interplanetary pipeline is funded and constructed.

Mars is newest front in Plains water wars

As published in the Omaha World Herald, 8/2/2008 by David Hendee, World-Herald Bureau What would H.G. Wells think?

Two veterans of the Great Plains water wars staked a legal claim Friday to a new source of water – on Mars.

“It’s the best $10 we’ve ever spent,” said attorney Don Blankenau of Lincoln.

Blankenau and colleague Tom Wilmoth filed their permit application for Martian water with the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources, paid a $10 filing fee and went back to work.

Mischief accomplished.

The Phoenix Mars Lander this week touched and tasted Martian water for the first time.

“We saw the story in the newspaper, looked at each other and said, ‘Let’s file an application to claim the water,’” Blankenau said.

The men seek to tap water flowing in Martian rivers, not in reservoirs, and deliver it to Earth via an interplanetary pipeline. The eventual use of the water – domestic, irrigation or manufacturing – would be figured out later.

Blankenau and Wilmoth noted that it could take 1,000 years to build the pipeline. Water might be delivered to Earth by Jan. 1, 3010, they said.

They anticipate significant capital, operating and maintenance costs.

“A private, state, federal funding partnership is likely,” they wrote.

Wilmoth said they made the claim during a summer lull in Nebraska’s water wars.

As for Wells: In his science fiction classic “The War of the Worlds,” which tells of a Martian invasion of Earth, the author didn’t delve into anything as complicated as Nebraska water policy.

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