Over the years there have been a lot of ideas proposed to solve Southern California's water shortage. One of the more unusual, from back in the early 1950s, was Sidney Cornell's geyser relays.
His idea was that, instead of moving water from Northern to Southern California by means of pipelines or canals, one could use hydrocannons to shoot it through the air.
He envisioned a series of powerful hydrocannons each positioned a mile apart. A geyser of water would be blasted from a cannon, a mile through the air, and collected in a funnel at the next pumping station. It would then be blasted to the next station in the chain, continuing like this for four-hundred miles.
Durham Herald-Sun - Jun 17, 1951
Mechanix Illustrated - Oct 1951 (via California WaterBlog)
San Pedro News-Pilot - Aug 8, 1951
The idea seems so harebrained that it's hard to understand how Cornell thought it could be even remotely possible. I'm guessing he was persuaded by the phenomenon of laminar flow
, by means of which it's possible to get a jet of water to remain tightly focused, with minimal turbulence or scattering. See the video below for an example.
But even so, I'm sure that winds would push the water off-course, despite Cornell's claim that this wouldn't happen. And the cost would be significant.