$4+ billion stormwarter scam
Posted in the Sorrento Valley Forum
#1 Nov 13, 2012
Channel 10's story today about the extreme cost of stormwater management contains the primary elements of foolish planning that brought this new disaster of federal penalties upon us.
The video shows rainwater falling on streets and running off to stormdrains. This sight is common in Fresno but its streets drain to retention-detention basins that guide this precious asset underground, filtering it on the way so that their natural underground reservoir is kept full for non-rainy days. They nave no pollution, flooding or water shortage problems because common sense guided their voting.
The video shows rainwater running off lawns carrying pollutants into the streets. This does not happen on Phoenix area homesites built since '87 when residents got fed up with their Chief Engineers and threw politicians out of office who had refused to hire smart and honest public servants. They solve their pollution where it happens by preventing runoff, filtering all rainwater through soils into their natural underground reservoirs. This eliminates flooding, pollution and water shortages at no cost to taxpayers.
Rainwater management is no more complex than catching raindrops where they fall and guiding these to storage in compliance with California law. But here in San Diego our politicians have been fooled, pressured or bribed into letting Chief Engineers do the basic planning they should have done and this self-perpetuating breed would rather fight than switch.
So we who did not vote or voted foolishly brought the new demands for higher taxes and water bills upon ourselves. And only we can fix this to avoid the huge upcoming costs.
#2 Dec 1, 2012
A friend called to report that a professional liar, or lawyer (my hearing is poor) of the San Diego Building Industry Association told a gullible reporter "it could easily cost $20,000 or more per (new-home) lot, not counting the maintenance cost over the life of the property,
25 years ago other professional liars posing as civil engineers and lawyers told the public of Phoenix the same thing. But the Arizonans didn't believe them and threw out the politicians and Chief Engineers who would not manage their rainwater sensibly. They brought in genuine experts who showed them how to catch all their stormwater where it fell and guide it into their soils, just like the California Legislature instructed 67 years ago.
This ended flooding and polluted runoff from all new land developments, while increasing groundwater storage dramatially, so that existing homes no longer had to pay for the infrastructure serving new homes.
San Diego residents could do the same, reversing the escalation of water supply and stormwater management within just one year, if they get smart and speak out firmly after letting their high school age kids show them how to manage our rainfall.
About twenty years ago Phoenix Professional Engineers proudly showed me figures for a $5,000 SAVINGS per home after they revised their policies to require that each parcel be designed to guide its rainwater underground.
Perhaps our civil engineers did not attend the same colleges. Or perhaps they are more concerned about perpetuating their jobs than they are with giving us, their clients, complete and accurate information.
And twenty years later their homesites are far more attractive than ours.
#3 Dec 7, 2012
This quote from a recent UT news article:
" The San Diego City Council approved the Storm Water Divisions $60-million maintenance blueprint in October, saying it was necessary to protect people and property from flooding in low spots such as Sorrento Valley and Mission Valley."
That flooding is caused by water running off high ground (duh!) so why not intercept the runoff wherever it falls and guide it to storage for our many non-rainy days? Federal experts have shown that saving this water is much less costly than building stormdrains and drainage ditches, then building flood control levees to control the accelerated runoff these cause, then building dams-canals-pipelines-pumps to import a replacement for it.
Detaining/retaining the runoff into Los Penasquitos Valley alone would make up to eight billion gallons available when we need them, half as much as the Carlsbad desalination plant at less than a five percent of its cost.
The biggest obstacle to this simplest and cheapest of rainwater management tools is that it would bring severe opposition from County officials because their past and ongoing deceptions would become visible and their huge budgets would no longer be justified.
#4 Dec 19, 2012
Looks like the new Mayor has already turned a surplus into a deficit. But he could quickly recover from this by persuading the City Council to adopt commonsense rainwater management like that of Phoenix. The savings will begin immediately because public works officials plan to spend eight thousand dollars per household cleaning stormwater runoff before it reaches the ocean.
The simplest, cheapest and most publicly beneficial way to prevent polluted runoff in our climate is to guide rainwater to storage wherever if falls. Don't make it run off, let it soak into the soil to replenish wellwaters. This prevents pollution of streams and the ocean while also eliminating need for imported water and desalination plants. Plus, it allows public works departments to be downsized significantly.
If the new Mayor and Council members are wise enough to revise codes and policies that cause 95% of our precious rainwater to run off they can keep San Diego from falling back into financial crisis.
#5 Mar 17, 2013
60 years ago some Fresno residents were tired of paying extortion prices for imported water while also paying high taxes that were spent for stormwater drainage. Their County's Chief Engineer was a'misdirected" by land developers whose profits came from forcing the public to pay for storm drain and flood control bonds.
So a group of concerned citizens asked Professional Engineers at the University of California-Davis what could be done to fix this ridiculous situation. Those experts advised them to apply the simplest, cheapest and most publicly beneficial planning: "Guide your rainwater to storage instead of dumping it downriver."
The concerned citizens informed the public about this and voters elected smarter politicians who separated their city from County control so that they could build 120 ponds that catch all street runoff. That water flows to fields where it soaks into the soil, filtered on its way down to their aquifers. They save as much rainwater in their natural underground reservoir as their households use, even though they get half as much rain as San Diego.
Common sense told Fresno citizens it was stupid to throw away more rainwater than they used, so they voted wisely.
50-plus ponds that save rainwater would avoid both the $3.5 billion cost of a Carlsbad Desalination plant and another $4 billion for stormwater treatment to meet federal standards and keep the ocean clean. 100-plus ponds would eliminate the need to import water at extortion prices.
San Diego has not had enough concerned citizens showing politicians and voters the smart alternative to stormwater disposal: "Spend %50 million to save %7.5 billion."
#6 Apr 28, 2013
Why don't more of us speak out publicly demanding that mismanagement be corrected by politicians? We drive over potholed streets every day, pay outrageous utility bills every month, and watch our precious rainwater being thrown away by storm drains every time it rains. Yet very few of us bother to look at these problems closely enough to discover that they could be corrected quickly by politicians who have the public's support.
A long-time Mira Mesa resident concerned about the cost of water and electricity read through our threads on the UT and other Topix locations and asked what she could do to correct this "outrageous extortion of our wealth". I suggested networking with friends and neighbors to become informed about the basics, then putting together a petition to have the City Council examine this issue in public for a change.
She replied that very few of her friends and neighbors would cooperate in this because of a "climate of fear" that City and County officials would invent code compliance problems for their homes or businesses, perhaps cause trouble affecting their job security or bank loans.
I mentioned this to several County and city employees and was assured these fears came from 'nasty rumors' or were 'false conventional wisdoms'.
So are these fears imagined? Have clever agents of the private sector been able to stifle public comment by spreading rumors of retribution by inspectors or bosses for speaking out publicly?
Or could it be that most of us don't care enough about the health, safety and welfare of our family and community to exercise our right to speak out?
#7 Nov 27, 2013
Is anyone surprised that our news services told us the Carlsbad
desalination plant would cost less than a billion dollars when in
fact it will cost us at least $3.5 billion, according to the LA Times?
Is anyone annoyed that newsopaper reporters keep posting
the blatant lie; "an acre-foot will supply two average homes
for a year" when in fact it supplies 5.4 typcial homes?
(The false "average" comes from including golf courses,
horse pastures and luxury estates that use 2/3 of our
water supply but pay just 10% of its cost.)
That popular false conventional wisdom leads most folks to
meekly accept the constant increase in water costs and taxes,
beilieving "we are running short of water so must import more".
Not true; Land developers and the major water users want us all
to pay off the $10 billion bond to magnify their profits and keep
their fine lawns green, so they've paid professional liars to fool us.
Properly informed voters would not have re-elected the County
Supervisors and City Council members who allowed this lie and
many more to be pushed upon us by our public servants.
#8 Oct 20, 2014
One election choice could be the best we make this year, reversing the rise of our cost of living.
A wise, honest Attorney General in State Government would make the proposed Water Bond totally unnecessary, simply by enforcing California's Water Code instructions to every public agency chief.
We could have all the pure, cheap water we want if State Attorney General candidate Haggerty is elected to replace the totally useless incumbent. She has allowed trashing of the State's Constitution and open defiance of State Water Law by public works managers and politicians of all Southern California counties.
Of course we'd have to present the facts, figures and planning alternatives of federal experts to the new chief law enforcer, You can't expect politicians to know complex stuff like "rainwater flows downhill to reservoirs" so sensible people shape yards, streets properly and dam up canyons.
But a high school science class could show them how its done clearly enough.
Senior politicians and public works officials know perfectly well that the 1945 Legislature Instructed them to "GUIDE ALL OR ANY STORMWATER INTO SOILS OF THE DISTRICT" to end flooding, polltion and water shortages. Yet they defy State Law to perpetuate bloated incomes, bureaucracies and pensions by pleasing land-water-energy profiteers who are costing us more
than $6,200 per home yearly.(We pay this for water importation, flood control and pollution treatment that would not be needed if we saved just 12% of our rainwater.)
The owners of our news media can skim off 20% of the $36 billion excess cost yearly because they control our database - their professional liars keep us dumbed down, don't let us see the simplest, cheapest rainwater management alternatives that would meet all water needs from local rainfall.
Hundreds of billions of gallons lie unused beneath our feet while they pretend they are trying to find it. Well informed voters would dump incumbents and demand that the new officials make all planning wide open to public input - after firing all agency managers who defied State Law.
If Haggerty is elected there's a good possibility we'd see lawsuits filed agaisnt every corrupted Chief Engineer and local government in S CA. From this would come much lower electric costs, taxes and water rates as each community cleans up its act to put our 7 trillion gallons of pure, free water to use for a change by saving one gallon of rain out of every eight .
Oceanside is going in the right direction on rainwater management but has taken only baby steps. The City of San Diego's new PLAN is a farce, devised to fool Council members and reporters too lazy or greedy to do their homework,. It is based on false premises and distorted data. Dumping incumbents would be a great step forward, in both City and County government.
The present group have proven their ability to fail.
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