Sep 15 2014
Water-The Third Rail Part XXXVIII A Mendacious Editorial
“San Diego County has arguably done more than any other county in California
to combat drought and to help guarantee a reliable supply of water for this
semiarid region well into the future.” Really? This is the lead sentence in
the 9/14/2014 editorial “For California’s Future, Yes on Prop. 1” If “Orange”
replaced “San Diego” in the above lead the statement would be accurate.
Orange County currently imports 50% of its water; San Diego 80%. By 2035
Orange County will be recycling 18% of its wastewater; by 2030 San Diego will
be recycling 0.5% of its wastewater.
It is true the Carlsbad desalination plant will be a local water asset, but it can supply less than 8%.
Population and water use in both regions is nearly the same. Yet San Diego
will still be importing almost 70% of its water in 2030, while Orange County
will be importing 23%. All of these stats are readily available on the web
for those who might challenge. And for those argue that Orange County has an
aquifer that can be recharged, San Diego has San Vicente and El Capitan for
the same purpose. A vote for the Proposition One water bond issue does
little or nothing to help San Diego approach water independence.
There are a few more people in Orange County (3.6 million) versus San Diego
(3.1 million). Orange County currently uses 660,000 acre-feet; San Diego
slightly north of 500,000 acre-feet. San Diego currently imports 400,000
acre-feet; Orange County 233,000 acre-feet.
If the UT’s Steve Breen were to capture the situation in a cartoon depicting
the distribution of seven billion dollars in fund (if the bond issue
passes), a figure representing San Diego would be standing with a cardboard
sign that says “Need Water” and a tin cup begging for a few crumbs, while
the rest of California would be characterized by plump water purveyors
partying with billions of dollars for storage projects and environmental
And San Diego deserves to be on the outside looking in. Past City Councils
have ignored water issues for decades, intimidated by the “toilet-to-tap”
slogan. Doing nothing to dispel the “yuck” factor. What did Orange County
do? They worked hard at public relations campaigns to dispel the myths of
recycled water. And even now the City of San Diego is going after another
waiver from the USEPA so it does not have to meet the 1972 Clean Water Act.
The only city of its size in California that has failed to do so.
Considering all of the above, read again the editorial that is so mendacious
that someone should be taken to the woodshed. It is truly unfortunate the
water users in San Diego County have no one sitting on their side of the
table to counter the propaganda starting to appear to roll the water users,
just like the San Diego delegation was conned into believing Proposition One
will “…help guarantee a reliable supply of water for this semiarid region
well into the future.”
And by the way, the San Diego area is not “semiarid”, it is a desert.
Semiarid refers to areas where annual precipitation is ten to twenty inches.
Under ten inches is a desert, or arid. San Diego’s average annual rainfall
is just over ten inches. And last year was in the six inch range. Semiarid?
Ten to twenty inches, who is kidding who?
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