It’s Beef Week at Voice of San Diego. We’re explaining some of the region’s long-running tensions — and the characters behind them — to help you understand civic affairs in San Diego.
This post has been updated.
Their long-lasting grudge affects the daily lives of 19 million Californians, and perhaps the future of civilization in the American West.
The San Diego County Water Authority and its larger rival, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, have the same basic mission: deliver water to Southern Californians. But for some reason they just can’t do it without a fight.
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Higher water prices are inevitable in San Diego. Droughts will be deeper and longer and more frequent with climate change. More peole will move here.
After reading this article, I have no confidence in the water supply.
Imagine this, if they instead have been acting like a public service, and instead spent 50 million on regional sustainable rainwater harvesting? SD would have water from that system today. If you think it does not rain enough, your ignorant. Math is math 623 gallons per thousand sq. ft. collection area.per inch of rain. SD could collect all its water from rain. Who is going to pay for that? I answer rhetorically, the same folks paying for the lawsuits between Metro and the SDWA. The difference is that the attorneys fees will not deliver any water in the future, and a rainwater collection system would. There would be a return on investment. Lawsuits make no water. Water is what these two agencies are supposed to be delivering, not conflict over power and profits.
As a reference, American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association, (ARCSA), Rainwater is the cleanest source of water available, it is store able and need not be entirely pumped from a central point. Point of collection used to be done as the only source of water, and buildings had cisterns inside them. Potable water can be achieved by point of use treatment and that is becoming popular anyway as it is. Or bottled water is bought as a reaction to lack of confidence in water quality in the utility system as it is. What does this cost? who pays for this? you got it, the consumer and billions are spent on bottled water. While I do not support the bottled water market, I support point of use treatment and bottling your own.
Jim Bell, a former SD Mayoral candidate said yrs. ago, we spend $1 to outside the county, and need to generate $3 to make up for that. Buying water from outside SD is not smart, not sustainable. Water is a regional issue, getting water from hundreds of miles away is expensive pumping and other costs that are putting money in mega corporations pockets not water in our glass.
About 10% of the county area would be enough area to supply SD. Of course that is not realistic, but Point of use catchment on every feasible surface at projects being built and retro fitting some along with direct waste water reuse thru the treatment plant and smarter landscape water use, point of use Greywater re use as per code allows, San Diego could desalinate and make do with out Metro.
Ry Rivard is honing in to the true dysfunction in every SAN DIEGO COUNTY WATER "authority" article.
Here are a few points that will break through the propaganda machine created by SDCWA and their 24 satellite water distributors.
Battling Metro, even defeating Metro, returns NOTHING to the ratepayers who PAID for the San Diego water network. The lawsuits are about
24 water agencies cashing in and continuing to build their own bureaucracy: Paying for hiring, promoting and retiring staff...and any director benefits.There's not a dime earmarked for ratepayers. People writing checks on ever-growing water bills are being played as puppets and fools. SDCW "authority" is the sloshy counterpart to SDG&E, with the same excuses for ratepayers having some of the highest rates in the nation. That "authority" title misnomer is the first defense of developers; claiming there's loads of water for new developments...and cold showers for the bill payers.
Every time you hear or read a disparaging news story about Metropolitan Water District, you're witnessing your ratepayer dollars being spent. The San Diego County Water Authority has invested heavily in the PR campaign promoting their side of this longstanding dispute.
So what is a less expensive way to gain more independence from Metropolitan Water District? Should San Diego build its own private water delivery infrastructure from the Colorado River? How much would that cost and is that the responsible thing to do from an environmental impact perspective? I hope state and federal officials take notice of how much money all this in-fighting has costed the rate payers. This legal money should be spent on maintaining infrastructure, building new networks, and improving conservation. What a waste! The officials on both sides of this fight should be ashamed of themselves.