Last-minute dollars flow into desalination measures

Full story: Marin Independent Journal

Last-minute donations pumped into the campaign to support Measure S have almost doubled its coffers, while rival Measure T also received an influx of cash as Marin voters weigh the future of desalination.
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21 - 40 of 40 Comments Last updated May 29, 2011
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Helen Turnbull

San Rafael, CA

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#24
Oct 30, 2010
 
For all those saying government should "live within its means," think about this: in any given area, peple should live within their water-means. We use, without a drought, 50 gals per person per day (just works out that way). That, as I recall, was the per day per person rationing in the worst drought we had here mid to late 70s. We have a country cottage garden, that requires water, not a cactus and buffalo chip garden.

It is extremely simple to live without wasting water and have just as high standard of living as someone wasting all kinds of water.
Thomas Filigert

Corte Madera, CA

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#26
Oct 30, 2010
 
Im saddened to see that the MMWD is choosing sides in this desal issue.
I was under the impression that that agency is owned by the citizens?
Why is it advocating for a alternative referendum to obfuscate the issue?
Seems like they have chosen to push desalination, without asking us first.
Then when i read who is putting money on the "S" side it became clear that they are trying to expand their budget and jobs base for their own reasons.
This is not right.
SA Local

Clayton, CA

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#27
Oct 30, 2010
 
Well, I'm glad that I actually own some real, physical water rights, cause I don't think I'll be able to count on Marin's taps forever.

No matter - when the drought hits in earnest, I'll simply head out west to my own spring fed supply.

The problem with not planning in advance is, well, you simply are not ready when the emergency happens. Sort of a head in the sand approach to being prepared.

No on both
dizzle

Mountain View, CA

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#28
Oct 30, 2010
 
Egger=whack job
NoSprawl

Salinas, CA

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#29
Oct 30, 2010
 
How about a ballot measure to stop demand through sprawl?
John

San Rafael, CA

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#30
Oct 30, 2010
 
E-Howard wrote:
When-not if-the next drought hits,where will the water come from?
If you voted yes for the smart train,you voted for the over development of
Marin.
Right, but without desalination no Transit Oriented Housing which would add up to 11,000 more units.

YES on the T ruth, and NO on the S cam.
Hank

United States

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#31
Oct 30, 2010
 
Thomas Filigert wrote:
Im saddened to see that the MMWD is choosing sides in this desal issue.
I was under the impression that that agency is owned by the citizens?
Why is it advocating for a alternative referendum to obfuscate the issue?
Seems like they have chosen to push desalination, without asking us first.
Then when i read who is putting money on the "S" side it became clear that they are trying to expand their budget and jobs base for their own reasons.
This is not right.
MMWD's responsibility is to provide reliable water supply for its customers. In the past, MMWD built reservoirs to capture runoff and supply people, to the detriment of fish and other creatures. The debate was no different each time a new reservoir was built - the naysayers wanted to "live within their means" and the ones preparing for drought and future needs promoted more supplies. The increase in supplies ended in 1970 with Measure B - Barbara Boxer and her friends stopped MMWD from investing in Lake Sonoma.

Since then, MMWD has scrambled to find enough water for its customers. 1976-77 was the worst drought on record and Marin almost ran out of water, but during the decade leading up to 1992, MMWD had to impose rationing 7 times. People finally got tired of it and approved a bond measure (which MMWD put on the ballot - without signatures) to build more delivery capacity from Sonoma.

But there's no more water available there. And MMWD's conservation program - which now spends 4 times more per customer than even the nearest group of comparable agencies - was not reducing demand significantly until the recession hit and demand dropped 15%. This has happened all over the country, so when the economy comes back, expect demand to jump.

So, exactly why do you think it is inappropriate for water managers to investigate desalination? It's the only drought-proof supply that Bay Area water agencies like MMWD have.

As for Measure S, MMWD placed it on the ballot because T is such a confusing mess, and because T's supporters can't even agree on what it does and doesn't allow. MWMD couldn't stand by and let it pass and have to deal with the consequences, so they put a clear, straightforward alternative on the ballot - to meet the desire of customers to have a vote on building or financing a desalination facility. Because that is the basic question - not whether or not MMWD should be able to do the analyses necessary to get critical information to the voters.
Dhyl Doh

Oakland, CA

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#33
Oct 30, 2010
 
It's VERY simple. Has Marin survived reasonably well the last 150 years with it's water situation? Yes, it has.
NO on Measure S

Corte Madera, CA

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#34
Oct 30, 2010
 
Hank wrote:
It's the only drought-proof supply that Bay Area water agencies like MMWD have.
Your bucket of lies peaks and overflows at that line. Listen Hank, your one "plan" is complete as has been reported in this very paper. You've literally wasted millions and neglected your primary directive by relying solely on that short sighted and insidious boondoggle. Enough is enough and no, the sky is not falling, it's called rain. Rain is good.

Vote YES on Measure T.
Thomas Filigert

United States

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#35
Oct 31, 2010
 
Hank wrote:
<quoted text>
MMWD's responsibility is to provide reliable water supply for its customers. In the past, MMWD built reservoirs to capture runoff and supply people, to the detriment of fish and other creatures. The debate was no different each time a new reservoir was built - the naysayers wanted to "live within their means" and the ones preparing for drought and future needs promoted more supplies. The increase in supplies ended in 1970 with Measure B - Barbara Boxer and her friends stopped MMWD from investing in Lake Sonoma.
Since then, MMWD has scrambled to find enough water for its customers. 1976-77 was the worst drought on record and Marin almost ran out of water, but during the decade leading up to 1992, MMWD had to impose rationing 7 times. People finally got tired of it and approved a bond measure (which MMWD put on the ballot - without signatures) to build more delivery capacity from Sonoma.
But there's no more water available there. And MMWD's conservation program - which now spends 4 times more per customer than even the nearest group of comparable agencies - was not reducing demand significantly until the recession hit and demand dropped 15%. This has happened all over the country, so when the economy comes back, expect demand to jump.
So, exactly why do you think it is inappropriate for water managers to investigate desalination? It's the only drought-proof supply that Bay Area water agencies like MMWD have.
As for Measure S, MMWD placed it on the ballot because T is such a confusing mess, and because T's supporters can't even agree on what it does and doesn't allow. MWMD couldn't stand by and let it pass and have to deal with the consequences, so they put a clear, straightforward alternative on the ballot - to meet the desire of customers to have a vote on building or financing a desalination facility. Because that is the basic question - not whether or not MMWD should be able to do the analyses necessary to get critical information to the voters.
Hank,
So the people who gave money to measure S are just altruistic? I think they are investing.
Hank

United States

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#36
Oct 31, 2010
 
NO on Measure S wrote:
<quoted text>
Your bucket of lies peaks and overflows at that line. Listen Hank, your one "plan" is complete as has been reported in this very paper. You've literally wasted millions and neglected your primary directive by relying solely on that short sighted and insidious boondoggle. Enough is enough and no, the sky is not falling, it's called rain. Rain is good.
Vote YES on Measure T.
You and the other anti-desal zealots throw around a lot of accusations (Larry Rose's completely bogus complaints of desalination leading to contaminated water supplies, for example), but you don't cite any data or provide any concrete refutations of the facts that I presented. Maybe you're one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit against MMWD's EIR, who have yet to come up with any substantial rationale for why the EIR - and desalination in general - is inadequate or inappropriate.

And I don't believe that anyone who is investigating reliable supplies, including MMWD, San Francisco, EBMUD, Santa Clara and San Jose, Contra Costa, Santa Cruz, Monterey, Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego are spending their dollars unwisely. The fact is, water supplies will diminish in the future due to climate change and endangered species restrictions, and unless 3/4 of the population of California wants to leave the state, more supplies are going to be needed.
No on Measure S

Corte Madera, CA

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#37
Oct 31, 2010
 
Hank wrote:
...you don't cite any data ...
That is not true. Each and every thread on this topic is full of data.

Yes on Measure T
No on Measure S

Corte Madera, CA

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#38
Oct 31, 2010
 
required wrote:
I agree with the WWF on the issue of desalination. It is not an answer to a problem, it is a problem. http://www.ocregister.com/news/water-203769-d...
"Impacts of desalination include brine build-up, increased greenhouse gas emissions, destruction of prized coastal areas and reduced emphasis on conservation of rivers and wetlands. Many of the areas of most intensive desalination activity also have a history of damaging natural water resources, particularly groundwater."
Also, keep in mind that desalting our bay would involve a lot more than brine, it would consist of a lot of very toxic pollutants.
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The truth about pharmaceuticals in our drinking water (nevermind our Bay for a moment) is that they are not a static item, they are very dynamic as the industry is constantly making new drugs. Water Municipalities do not even know what to look for, let alone know how to deal with it. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/04/20/hea...
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About our bay. There are so many hormone-disrupting chemicals in our bay that it is actually altering the sex of fish and other creatures. http://www.ewg.org/water/downthedrain/
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This is the proposed plants next door neighbor: http://richmondconfidential.org/2009/12/14/tw...
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Filters fail and what makes matters worse is that our Water municipalities do not even have the means to track let alone process the majority of injurious elements in our water. They do not know when the filters fail. Scientists have only recently found methods of tracing some (by no means all) elements http://toxics.usgs.gov/highlights/pharmaceuti...
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More on the health of the source they propose: http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_1625221... 2010 Pulse of the Estuary Report (PDF) http://www.ktvu.com/download/2010/1006/252952...
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Do they even know about gray water? An example is flushing your toilet with the water you washed your dishes in. Another is watering your lawn with your bathwater. Also, have they heard about catchment? In Marin, when it rains it pours. If we harvest that before it turns into runoff into our bay I don't see any need ever in our future to do as they propose. If any of you do, please share the population tipping point that you foresee, note the time imbalance between then and now and realize that by that time, the technology they are talking about buying today will be very antiquated by then.
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Indirect Potable Reuse (IPR) has an energy cost that is a fraction of desalination (reduced Co2 emissions as well). Also, IPR doesn't have the brine & chemical outfall that desalination has (limiting deadzones). Reticulated Potable Recycling (RPR) is another option.
Neither are needed, just expounding upon the fact that desalt is bad.
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People are using less water as is. So much so that they actually raised our rates. Think about that. Seriously think about it.
Vote for Measure T. T is for transparency, shining the light on their scheme, and keeping our options truly open. The MMWD already spent millions of our money on their factory research which is wholly unnecessary and extremely injurious. It was a waste.
Allowing them to keep their eye off the ball of water management and conservation by allowing them to continue wasting resources and money on their factory plan (which they have in fact completed) is all kinds of wrong. Again, with measure T they can still plan on their factory, they simply can not continue spending money on that particular plan (which they finished, hence do not even need to plan).
Hank can't read.
No on Measure S

Corte Madera, CA

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#39
Oct 31, 2010
 
Hank wrote:
The fact is, water supplies will diminish in the future due to climate change...
Again, while this has been said about some neighboring regions it has not been for ours, in fact the IPCC forecasts that Marin will be receiving a lot more precipitation (flooding) due to climate change.
SA Local

Clayton, CA

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#40
Oct 31, 2010
 
Anyone who buys into the climate forcasts and thinks as a result we will have plenty of water is falling into a logic trap.

But that's OK, by the time you need that desal plant, I'm sure you will be happy to pony up the additional cost on an emergency basis to make sure the taps don't run dry....

RIGHT?

No on S, No on T. Let the pro's decide what will actually work.
Yes on Measure T

Corte Madera, CA

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#41
Oct 31, 2010
 
No on Measure S
Fed Up

San Jose, CA

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#42
Nov 1, 2010
 
Thomas Filigert wrote:
<quoted text>
Hank,
So the people who gave money to measure S are just altruistic? I think they are investing.
Exactly! Follow the money...Measure S is backed by all the companies that will profit from a desal plant and expanded development.

Measure T is the proposal from the ratepayers...about 18,000 signed the petition to put it on the ballot. Measure S is the response from the MMWD Board - 5 people decided to put that on the ballot.

Vote out the incumbent MMWD Board. NO on S (scam) YES on T (truth)

Since: May 10

Location hidden

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#43
Nov 3, 2010
 
I bet you that Hank is Paul Hellicker in disguise. Please confess your actual identity -- Hank.
Hank

United States

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#44
Nov 3, 2010
 
Well, No on Measure S, the voters don't seem to agree with your position. Nor do the scientists. Global warming is happening and Marin needs to be prepared for less rainfall and runoff, and it seems that the voters agree that desalination needs to be part of the picture.

David Behar has trounced Frank Egger in your neighborhood - for the second time. Maybe Frank will finally retire from public life and leave you all alone.
PGP

San Francisco, CA

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#45
May 29, 2011
 
Using current technology to design and build a seawater desalination plant is a foolish investment!
Much money is going into desal research. Much of it to improve RO membranes, but eventually someone will invent a very cheap chemical method to separate seawater into its components, mostly sodium and chlorine. The resulting sodium (in solid form, with additional research to reduce temperature requirements)can be used for cheap, efficient storage batteries to time-shift solar and wind generators as well as to power electric battery vehicles.
With this cheap chemical desal process it will not be necessary for most of California that's located close to the Coast to take groundwater or surface waters.
Our reservoirs, rivers, streams and creeks a will be solely for fish, birds and recreation.
Reverse Osmosis and seawater distillation will be totally obsolete!

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