Nov 3 2014
Maui or the Mojave? San Diego is near-desert!
In “My Fair Lady”, the professor, Rex Harrison, finally says to Eliza
Doolittle, “You’ve got it!” after many hours of attempting to have her say,
“The rain falls mainly on the plain” without a Cockney accent. That simple
statement, “You’ve got it” has become an icon of language in the American
lexicon, and also the converse, “They don’t get it”.
To Deborah Sullivan Brennan in today’s (11/3/2014) UT San Diego, we can say,
“You’ve got it” when she says in her second paragraph:
“This semi-arid, coastal region gets just enough rainfall in average years
to avoid classification as a desert. And despite a three-year drought, our
neighborhoods still look more like Maui than the Mojave.”
Now if we can just convince three million people in San Diego County to “Get
it”, our road to water independence will be half won. She also does well to
bring in what the Aussies are doing with that precious resource, water.
Click on the link to get the entire article.
While this blog is doing thank you’s, I want to thank Amy Dorman, Senior
Civil Engineer at the City of San Diego for the response to my letter to Ms.
Halla Razak about an alleged math error about the percentage of recycling
that San Diego is headed for in a couple of decades. It’s still too far in
the future, but she is right that if all goes well, the City’s needs will be
supplemented by recycled water in the range of one third of that which is
imported. I stand corrected. I was using the entire region’s demands, not
just the City of San Diego in my calculations.
It is truly unfortunate that those who farm the nearly 7000 farmlets in San
Diego County have been led down the rose lined path into believing it is
sustainable to irrigate more farms than any other county in the U. S. Cheap
water in the 1950’s was the culprit, but now we have to say, “Been there,
done that” and move on. Easy for this blog to say, but we simply cannot
continue to try to duplicate Maui, using Ms. Brennan’s analogy. The flower
fields and avocados have got to go, unless they are irrigated with recycled
water, not drinking (potable) water, but waste water that is clean enough
Repeating an earlier blog “The Browning of San Diego”, if we can get the
San Diego region down from percapita usage of 160 gallons per day to 100 gpd,
our potable water recycling efforts will be multiplied many times over.
To do this, we will have to do what the Aussies do and drastically reduce landscape and farm usage.
And outside San Diego County, how much sense does it make to export our
water in the form of rice grown in California shipped to 100 countries
around the world. Americans are usually known for their practical ways and
common sense. Other drought-stricken countries are taking advantage of us
much like the slick huckster who blows into town and extracts resources from
It’s time to put classify water as a market-driven commodity, but that’s for
another blog, on another
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