Apr 6 2014
A front page article in the Sunday San Diego UT:”We have a problem that we live in a desert and that has not been assumed as
such, said Joaquín Bohigas, an astronomer and member of Red Calidad de
Vida, a network of organization for civic groups in Ensenada.” It is not a
dream sequence. Ensenadas taps are dry as this is being written, and water
is sometimes being delivered three times a week. Per capita water use is
below fifty gallons per day. For comparison, San Diegos per capita use is
more than three times that for Ensenada.
Now just replace Ensenada with San Diego and the story will read the
same. True, San Diego already has a pipeline to the ever-diminishing water
supply from the Colorado River. Population=wise, Ensenada has 400,000
residents compared to over three million in San Diego County.
The UT report go on to say, Bohigas and other critics lay much of the blame
for Ensenadas current shortage on federal and state governments, saying
they failed to prevent a crisis long in the making.
Because of the current drought, bellicose politicians are quoted almost
daily, but if we examine closely the real details behind all of the smoke
and mirrors, little is actually happening to prevent an Ensenada-type
occurrence form happening right here in San Diego. One bright spot is the
City Councils action to begin the process for recycling sewage to make
potable waterover eighty million gallons per day. But look closely at that
initiative and you will find that is twenty years away (with luck).
Make no mistake. San Diego County is headed for the same fate as Ensenada.
The taps will go dry, and the finger-pointing will begin. But that does not
produce useable water.
I have used my fathers quote before. S. J. (Ben) Burgess often said, I
shall never cease to be amazed at the infinite capacity of the human mind to
resist the penetration of useful knowledge. Nothing underscores the
validity of that wisdom more than the actions of those who are charged with
the making and implementation of water policy here in San Diego County.
Having said that, there are exceptional people who understand. Council
Member Sherri Lightner, and those on the San Diego Water Policy
Implementation Task Force understand. They have, to use a cliché, moved the
Unfortunately, the emphasis is not on water policy in the general citizenry,
it is on climate change, largely because prominent people like Todd Gloria
who served seven months as San Diegos interim mayor fail to understand what
the folks in Ensenada now realize, water is THE priority.
No, the sky is not falling. But the Colorado River, aquifers and the State
Water Project are. Are you prepared for the consequences?