water supply facts / planning options
Posted in the Sorrento Valley Forum
#1 Dec 15, 2012
From federal statistics:
- San Diego County has 1 resident per acre and receives 500,000 gallons of rainfall per acre yearly.
- National average water use per person is 36,500 gallons yearly.
So 13.7 times as much rainwater as we need is available yet our officials import 26,000 gallons per resident from hundreds of miles away, costing us $5,200 per family yearly.
Are we meekly handing five billion dollars a year to cunning extortionists or do we really need all those thousands of public servants, contractors, engineers, lawyers and politicians we trust to manage our rainwater wisely?
#2 Feb 7, 2013
Mira Mesa has three major canyons and two dozen smaller ones reaching deep into its interior. These provide an ideal opportunity to store all rainwater runoff at relatively minor expnse with about twenty small dirt dams.
That water could be pumped to a treatment plant that would send it back to our homes, eliminating the huge cost of importing filthy river water and desalinating seawater.
This planning will happen if enough of us are concerned about the health-safety-welfare of our family and friends to speak out demanding it.
#4 May 10, 2013
Subject: CRWM Comment to IRWM-RAC committee
An abbreviated summary of comments by members
of Citizens for Responsible Watershed Management:
- The process of formulating comprehensive watershed management plans for each river basin in San Diego and adjacent counties would provide a clear view of all planning options. This, then, would allow residents to understand land, water, energy and transit matters fully and therefore be able to participate effectively in this planning.
- The three California Resource Conservation Districts of this area were created and empowered for the specific purpose of managing land and water in the most equitable and cost-effective manner. RAC committee members could learn about this planning by accessing federal and state experts who would fully inform them and the general public of all costs and benefits.
- Diligent application of the ordinary, low-tech land planning methods recommended by these experts would accomplish proper management of land and water resources at less cost and with more public benefits than ongoing planning. The Best Management Practices of the USDA and the Low Impact Development of the USEPA can be implemented immediately by revising policies of local agencies to bring compliance with the letter and spirit of State statutes.
- CRWM comments posted on the UT online forum and several local TOPIX forums discuss various aspects of land/water/energy management. These are intricately interconnected and must therefore be dealt with as a package of planning options rather than as separate problems. The CRWM model comprehensive watershed management program for the Santa Margarita and other rivers was designed by federal and state experts with this feature a central focus. It may be viewed at the EMA-RCD office in Murrieta or in Riverside County Flood Control & Water Conservation District files.
The problem most frequently cited in CRWM critiques of IRWM-RAC activity was the considerable size and complexity of its "Planning Study Recommendations for San Diego IRWM Program" and "Strategic Plan for the Future of Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM)". County and municipal employees pointed out that this "information overload" causes inattention that precludes thoughtful response. Put another way; Obviously excessive and/or irrelevant detail plus convoluted planning confuses and distracts RAC members so that critical issues get too little attention.
- Members of the RAC committee appear, collectively, deficient in levels of education and specialized training that would permit them to judge the matters in this list wisely by applying lessons of their life experience. Formally trained planners speak this language, the general public that pays their wage does not. Less verbiage would help committee members interact and input more effectively.
- The core element land/water resource planning advocated by USDA-NRCS experts is recognizing that rainwater managed from wherever it falls to its point of use becomes a valuable asset rather than a nuisance, a destructive force or a hazard. This "onsite retention" focus, explicitly prescribed by California Legislators in their original Water Code, is standard practice in major metropolitan areas, with the policies and practices that have been hugely successful in Fresno and Phoenix wholly applicable to our situation.
- The RAC committee cannot in good conscience contiue to ignore its obligation to present complete and accurate information to stakeholders so that they may make wise decisions in coming elections. Only in this way can ongoing planning be steered in the proper direction to produce the most cost-effective and publicly beneficial planning of water resource management.
James Marple for CRWM
#6 Nov 11, 2013
San Diego City officials posted on their website that "rainwater harvesting"
costs would range from $19,200 to $59,400 per million gallons. This is a grotesquely exaggerated fabrication of figures.
CRWM has pointed out three simple truths to County and
City officials since '89.
- 1. Highly cost-effective rainwater "harvesting" in Fresno since1954 has
put more pure water into the public reservoir than households use and
ended flooding-pollution problems, with cost SAVINGS through lower
property taxes due to a much less bloated public works dept.
- 2. The even more cost-effective total stormwater retention of Phoenix since 1987 that officials say SAVES more than $5,000 per hone in construction costs.
- 3. US Dept of Agriculture studies show a cost of $105 per million gallons
on average for structures that guide all rain into groundwater storage to meet all needs and prevent erosion/pollution/flooding.
Mira Mesa residents will pay much higher water bill increases if they do not
add their voices to public demand for smarter rainwater management.
The 'onsite retention' that impartial experts advocate for climates like ours
would end flooding, pollution and water shortages completely at no cost
except to land developers/contractors who profit from outdated planning.
Properly informed politicians would adopt these methods immediately and fast-track the simple, cheap redesign that would allow landowners to build their own "rainwater harvesting" features at far less cost than the $4,000+ our public servants would demand from us for their work.
#7 Mar 2, 2014
~~~~~ Mira Mesa is a "horrible example" of rainwater waste ~~~~~
454 million gallons of pure fresh rain has fallen on Mira Mesa in the
past two days. Added to the 890 million that fell early this winter,
that's 91% of the 1.46 billion gallons our homes use yearly.
Why have our public servants violated State law, the California Water Code, by allowing this water to be wasted?
Why haven't State-County-City attorneys filed lawsuits to make agency managers comply with California Water Code orders to save our rain?
("...guide ALL OR ANYstomwaters into soils of the District".
Have our public servants and politicians been too poorly educated, too feeble of intellect, too negligent or too corrupt to obey this explicit instructions of the 1945 Legislature?
What explanation can there be for why County and City politicians have
ignored the obvious waste of 900 billion gallons of pure water yearly,
enough for 13 times as many homes as our County has?
Why have the many organizations that claim they work to protect us
ignored this flagrant disposal of our most critical natural resource?
(Was the Sierra Club Chapter shut down because it tried to do its job?)
The negligence - or malfeasance - of County and City officials in not
managing storrmwater properly has thrown this precious asset away,
carrying accumulated pollution to the Penasquitos lagoon and the
ocean, instead of trapping it behind the many dams that were
built before civil engineers gained control of politicians.
Todays rainwater would be persolating down through cleansing soils
to fill our huge natural underground reservoir if we'd been smart enoug
back in ]the 60's to elect politicians who could - or would - see thorugh
the lies of self-serving civil engineers and politicians.
But San Diego voters were misled by naive or corrupted news services
into electing politicians who were not smart or honest enough to resist the deceit and bribery of land-water-energy profiteers.
We've paid dearly for our ignorance then, and it looks like too few
of us are wise and concerned enough to correct it now.
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