Desalination no panacea for Calif. water woes
In the Central California coastal town of Marina, a $7 million desalination plant that can turn salty ocean waves into fresh drinking water sits idle behind rusty, locked doors, shuttered by water officials because rising energy costs made the plant too expensive.
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Since: Nov 08
#1 Sep 25, 2012
You can blame no-one but Obama for this. There are 4 super tankers parked right off your coast filled to the brim with Alaska crude that Obama won't allow to be refined. Talk to Obama about your drinking water problem. Or better yet, Pelosi. LOL Like they even care.
#2 Oct 10, 2012
True enough that Obana's green scams have added to the massive debt and energy shortages in California but we can only blame ourselves for electing the nitwits and crooks who approved the rainwater disposal planning of corrupt Professional Engineers seeking to protect their job security and magnify their wealth.
Of course It makes no sense to throw away 80% of our precious rainwater, yet they have convinced politicians that this is appropriate.
There'd be no water importation, flood control construction or desalination plant projects in progress if we'd chosen polticians honest and wise enough to bring in impartial planners who complied with State Water Code instructions "to guide all or any stormwaters into soils of the district". That simplest of planning, strongly advocated and well-funded by the US Dept of Agriculture and USEPA, would have ended our WaterScam long ago.
Its not a complex concept:
If no water runs off the land, as in Phoenix since '87, then there's no flooding and more than enough water is stored in aquifers to meet all needs. High taxes to support huge public works agencies are no longer needed.
Our public officials flatly refused to adopt this planning when it was offered by UC Davis experts 20 years ago. We've been paying more every year since and that trend will not be reversed until enough of us holler loudly.
Unfortunately a lot of public officials would be vulnerable to criminal prosecution for dereliction of duty or malfeasance if the public gets wind of this so they work hard and effectively to keep the us from realizing that San Diego County gets 1.2 trillion gallons of rainfall yearly, enough for five times our population.
A University of California Economist estimated that the deliberate misplanning costs an average household $5,200 yearly, theft of about $185 billion yearly. Not much doubt why California is broke and Democrats have a firm lock on its politics. The devotedly liberal press that land-water-energy profiteers sponsor is very good at keeping voters too confused-distracted-angry to think clearly enough to elect honest politicians.
#3 Oct 10, 2012
In critiquing the Desal article I found so many false premises and misleading asserrtions of 'fact' that I had to conclude the writers are either severely deficient in research ability or focused upon publishing propaganda that supports it, to please their immediate boss or a news service owner.
Chang, Spagat and Dearen are excellent wordsmiths, obviously among the best that money can buy.
The many billions in potential profit from selling this absurd concept to the public through deceived-coerced-bribed politicians and public works managers are ample incentive for land-water-energy profiteers to invest heavily in fooling the general public. They've know from spectacular successes over the past century that all they have to do is fool us into overlooking obvious flaws in the ointment of desalination and water importation. We will then continue electing the nitwits and crooks who serve them.
#4 Oct 12, 2012
192,000 acre-feet of of the rainwater runoff to Lake Henshaw;, enough for one third of our homes, could be piped by gravity to San Diego as needed, generating a considerable amount of cheap hydropower along the way.
The glamorous Poseidon project would provide one-quarter this much water for $1,100 per home, burying us in another billion dollars of debt and using a considerable amount of the expensive electricity sold by energy profiteers.
They both win, we all lose even more.
Alt #1 would have been accomplished a half-cdentury ago if our civil engineers and politicians were not 'owned' by the people who extort tens of billions of our dollars yearly for imported water.
#5 Oct 24, 2012
All land developed since '87 in the Phoenix metro area has been shaped to retain ALL of its rainfall and allow this to percolate into the soil.
This rainwater management planning prevents waste of that precious resource and avoids the high cost of ve storm drains, water pollution facilities and flood control levees-dams-channels..
Residents got fed up with seeing their rainfall flooding the streets and then running off downriver. They elected enough sensible County supervisors to get rid of entrenched Chief Engineers and appoint public works managers who adopted the simplest and cheapest of all rainwater management techniques, catching raindrops where they fall and diverting the water into their aquifers
San Diego's public works managers rejected this planning, defied the California Water Code that orders them to use it, and buried us under tens of billions of dollars of debt, approximately equal to profits of the land developers who corrupted them. The 'laid back' citizens of this county have
been to busy to figure out how badly they are been defrauded so an average family pays more than $5,200 yearly in extortion to keep the bureaucrats and politicians fat and happy.
"Let someone else do it" is the standard answer on this South Coast paradise, from people who don't mind being fleeced as long as they don't have to give up several hours a week working together to protect the health, safety and welfare of their family and friends.
Voting Democrat to keep this absurd planning in place is a fine way to avoid personal responsibility.
#6 Nov 4, 2012
The 15 inches of rain that falls on each acre of most of San Diego adds up to 100,000 gallons per 1/4-acre homesite yearly, equal to the National average rate of water use,
Out teachers, politicians and water district experts have convinced most of us that this water cannot be saved even though Fresno's rainwater management system has been saving all of their stormwater for 55 years.
The end result is that we pay over $5,200 yearly extortion in utility bills, environmental restoration where our imported water comes from, and for complex stormwater drains-levees-channels-dams that we would not need if we had adopted the same simple rainwater storage approach as Fresno and Phoenix.
Something to think about when we vote; Are local social issues more important to us that that $5,200 yearly?
Our County Supervisors and Congressman Filner have done nothing to correct idiotic rainwater management if their past 20 years of politicking.
Now they aim to approve another billion-dollar boondoggle, buying water from the clever crooks pushing the Carlsbad Desalination Plant.
#7 Nov 13, 2012
Should we pay $1 billion for Poseidon's Carlsbad desalination project plus more than double this to buy its water over the long term?
Or would it be better to pay $2 billion for a pipeline to the Colorado River?
Early this year San Diego County Water District officials handed engineers another $400,000 to "re-evaluate" the costs of a pipeline to bring in Imperial Valley water sold by 'farmers'. This would not be flagrant theft, like the Owens Valley water scam Los Angeles officials pulled off a hundred years ago, because today's 'farmers' are not innocent victims. Quite the contrary; they are private sector criminals who steal public water and sell it back to the public 'legally'.(Because the people we elect are 'persuaded'- after they get into office - to not correct antiquated "water rights" laws.)
We could waste a lot of time comparing the costs of these alternatives and our individual rights to an equal share of public resources. Or we could invest this time in figuring out why we are denied the huge benefits of flood elimination, pollution control and reliable water supply that come with adoption of the federally recommended and financed practices.
These methods would double our storage of rainwater from the present 1 gallon out of 10 to the 2 gallons that would meet all our needs. But this is obviously too simple a solution to be considered seriously by politicians and public servants whose power and wealth derive from their ability to fool us into accepting planning that keeps them in power even though its policies became outdated a half-century ago.
#8 Nov 28, 2012
Nov 28, 2012
To Assembly member Nathan Fletcher Dist 75
We in San Diego have an opportunity to avoid another $ 5 billion in water-related infrastucture by adopting the simple, cheap rainwater management techniques strongly advocated and generously funded by the USEPA and USDA.
These would make the proposed Carlsbad Desalinator wholly unnmecessary, achieve compliance with EPA runoff regulations in close cooperation with its personnel, provide ample pure water, end flooding, and thereby dramatically reduce our tax burden for bloated public works agencies.
We'll send along our comments to local news services regarding this approach that has worked perfectly for Fresno and Phoenix if you think this may be helpful.
It has become obvious that most folks hereabouts do not care enough about the health-safety-welfare and quality of life of their family and friends to speak out firmly so we can only hope that 'outsiders' will recognize the need to illuminate the combined incompetence and corruption of our public offices.
James H. Marple
for Citizens for Responsible Water Management
#9 Dec 4, 2012
The cunning profiteers who exploited the ignorance, vanities, imagined fears, ambitions and greeds of SDCWA Board members have gained approval of a project that will lock San Diegans into permanent debt for much more than it would cost to increase storage of local rainfall to a level that would meet ALL needs indefinitely.
Can these Board members be shown how badly they were fooled?
Will they be conscientious enough to rescind their approval when they see this?
None of us would like to have to admit that we were deceived but when the health-safety-welfare and quality of life of more than three million people is at stake most of us would do the right thing.
#10 Jan 1, 2013
A civil engineer ran the numbers on San Diego County rainfall and public use and calculated that if we store away 12.5% of our rainfall using standard Dept of Agriculture methods we'd match present water usage.
He had previously questioned my assertion that we could eliminate flooding and pollution while meeting all water needs by storing 20% of our rainwater.
Now he agress with the Army Corps of Engineers that gave me this estimate.
He guesses that our politicians have not realized this and ordered our agencies to make it work because they did not "do their homework" well enough to trust what common sense told them about dumping rainwater downstream.
He'll get to work on an estimate of the cost of saving 20% or our rainfall now to check up on my estimate that just 3% of the Carlsbad Desalination scheme's cost yearly would pay for it.
#11 Oct 13, 2013
The LA Times reported that the Carlsbad Desalinator
will cost $3.5 billion, yet our local news services told
us it would be less than one billion.
Were our politicians also fooled by the County Water
District's professional liars or did they approve it even
though they knew it was going to cost us $3,500 per
home to prevent damge to expensive landscapes and
golf courses by the high salt content of imported water
from the Colorado River?
We see a lot of dead lawns because folks have cut back
on their use, but the folks who use ten times as much as
a typical home pay less than half as much per gallon as
sensible homeowners who conserve water.
Looks like our politicians are either not smart enough to
figure out that the deslaination plant and imported water
storage dams being built will increase our water bills by
$54 a month, or they prefer to believe the bald-faced lie
that this these are necessary and proper actions.
What did it take to convince them that we should accept
another $10 billion in debt instead of using the federal
governments free services and funding to buiid simple
dams and ponds like the ones in Fresno and Phoenix that
give them all the water they need from much less rainfall?
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