Is more storage the key to our water problems? What’s your solution?

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Dan Walters, in December: More storage may be California’s most important water issue


Water is a complicated issue. Instead of throwing money at the problem, real, long term solutions have to be developed and actually followed.

For example, we all like food of course, but agricultural uses a lot of water. If we limit the supply of water to farmers, costs will increase. Simple supply and demand.

Golf courses use lots of water. Many have wells to draw upon aquifers, which then impact homeowners who also have wells drawing from the same aquifers. What should take place? Should we require golf courses to draw upon reclaimed water, or should we require strict water conservation measures on the homeowners and golf courses? How would government mandate such a thing, since the below ground water isn’t owned by anyone? What about building golf courses only in flood prone areas, such as Mission Valley? At least then they will get an annual soaking, reducing their need for water. (See my previous post about this topic in Poway.)

As the population grows, new development is needed. Do we place strict water conservation measures on this new development, but allow existing developments to continue with their wasteful use? Should it be first come, first serve?

Is it fair for people with money to flaunt it by wasting water on large green lawns, while those without the influence must have brown lawns? In Poway, the City Council eliminated a 5-tier water pricing system because of pressure from those who didn’t think it was fair for them to pay a higher price for water due to their larger yards. This is after the Council had paid a consultant $250,000 to come up with a system that would be fair for all. Proof that money can buy green yards in a drought area. (See my previous post about Poway’s 5-tier system.)

California is known for droughts (BTW, some believe this could be the worst one in 100 years), so storage seems to be the key solution, but is it? Is waste due to evaporation in a large water storage scenario okay when you already have a finite supply? Should storage be underground to lessen loss? Wouldn’t that be cost prohibitive?

Building water reclamation sites and requiring new development to use treated water for landscaping and fire suppression would make sense, but the cost is the problem. Also, since water has been an issue here for years, how can you pass the cost of these new water lines and plants to just new development? We all had a part in the diminished supply of water.

Government must develop long term water solutions and follow them. Too often government officials bend to the pressure of special interests and money. That has to stop.

What is your solution?


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