Amid the many news reports and ripe opportunities for new taxes brought about by the severe drought in California, one crucial element to the story may not be getting the attention it deserves.
Lake Tahoe is low.
The water level in the usually pristine lake is now as much as a full few inches lower than normal. This has caused a mild panic among the lake’s well-heeled gentry. Many shoreline homeowners have been forced to gasp in disbelief, as their once unparalleled view now includes slightly more of their dock pilings than normal and sometimes even unsightly mud.
But if you think these captains of industry and third and fourth-generation trust fundees are going to take this lying down, you’ve got another thing coming.
We caught up with Lars Networth, President of the Establishment for a Lifelong Ideal Tahoe Experience - Shoreline Owners Brotherhood, or ELITE SOBs for short, who outlined the bold initiative for us.
“The plan is simple. Simply brilliant, that is,” Lars explained, on the deck of his seventy-foot Princess M-Class yacht earlier this month. (A yacht, by the way, that Lars is now being forced to moor a full two feet farther off shore.) “We are simply going to raise the lake back to its appropriate level by filling it back up.”
So, the ELITE SOBs have devised a simple and clever plan to get things back to normal. How will it work?
“Bottled water,” Lars explained. “Simple and easy.”
“Of course,” Lars replied impatiently.
How much will you need?
“Well, we’ve dropped below the natural rim of the lake, and we need to get it back up there. But we certainly don’t need to spend any more money getting it up any further than that. If we did, our investment would just be pouring out into the Lower Truckee River. We certainly don’t need to be providing Truckee and Reno with anything for free, now do we?” Lars replied with his trademark knowing grin.
Why bottled water?
“Well, that should be obvious, even to someone such as yourself,” Networth replied. “There isn’t enough good non-bottled water around here, as if there is such a thing, or we wouldn’t find ourselves in this sticky predicament, now would we?”
Interesting. How is the plan progressing?
“There is no doubt that the Establishment will go through with the plan,” Lars replied indignantly. “It’s going to happen. We are simply stalled in a debate concerning which brand to use.
We’re obviously going to save the Acqua Panna and the San Pellegrino for drinking. I mean, we can’t be running out of those, now can we?” Lars chuckled.
“But you know how it is. Well, you might not, actually. But anyhow, when you have a committee situation, there is always give and take. We’re currently locked in a debate over the two obvious choices; Fiji or Evian.
We have a faction insisting on filling the lake with Perrier but there is some debate over what the bubbles might do to the fish. Off the record, we only eat Japanese sushi and Chilean sea bass, and none of us fish for sport, so we don’t really care, but there is the whole ‘green appearance’ issue to consider. More importantly, there is some concern over at the Tahoe Yacht Club about the effects of carbonation on the finish of our Gar Woods and Chris Crafts. Lots of things to consider, don’t you know?” Networth said, standing up to strike a gallant pose at the ship’s railing.
“Would you believe we even have a member who wants to use Aquafina because it’s cheaper? Can you imagine? We might as well use Dasani or tap water from Kansas, for goodness sake. I don’t have to tell you he’s not old money. Owner of a construction conglomerate of some sort. I don’t think you’ll be shocked when I tell you he’s on the south shore. The Nevada side, obviously.”
Lars gazed out across the ever-so-slightly-receding water at his kingdom.
“If only Glaceau made a blue vitamin water,” he added wistfully.
“Well, anyhow, obviously, once the plan has been put in place and the lake has been restored to its proper viewing level, we ELITE SOBs will need to enforce a strict no usage policy for any non-shoreline owners. Everyone will still have the benefit of the view of the lake, as before, but we can’t have just anyone swimming or boating in our investment, now can we?”
“And we’ll finally be rid of that infernal eyesore of a paddle boat, the Tahoe Queen,” Lars said, maniacally stroking his well-manicured goatee. “Finally.”
OK. Well, thanks for your time, Lars. And good luck to you and the other ELITE SOBs. We appreciate your efforts and wish you all the success in the world.
“Obviously,” returned Lars Networth. “We’re doing this for everyone, after all.”
See you soon,
Copyright © 2015 Marc Schmatjen
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