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This call to action comes from R4RD, which is short for the great Huntington Beach activist group “Residents For Responsible Desalination,” a name which admittedly has always been a little misleading, since 1) There ARE no responsible desalination projects on the table, nor is there a demonstrated need for desal in OC; and 2) This has basically been the main group fighting one desal project in particular: Poseidon in HB.
But here we see them taking a much larger view, protecting North/Central OC’s water supply in general, and I think they should change their name. To maybe “Stewards of the Aquifer,” or “Santa Ana Aquifer Conservancy.” Also, I think this group should be RUNNING our water policy in place of OCWD. Although OCWD is getting better, with the additions of James Vanderbilt and Bruce Whitaker, as well as signs of “wobbling” from a couple of previous Poseidon boosters who don’t want to be named yet. But look at the time! Here’s R4RD’s announcement, short version and very enlightening longer one:
This afternoon, Wednesday April 19 at 5 PM, the Orange County Water District will discuss and vote on how to replenish the aquifer that exists under Orange County and which supplies a good portion of the water we use. During the drought, the aquifer was drawn down considerably. Now is the time to fill it up again.
WE MUST TELL THEM THAT VERY EXPENSIVE POSEIDON WATER IS NOT THE WAY TO DO IT.
So how should it be done?
1. OCWD, the managers of the aquifer, can buy additional imported water from Metropolitan Water District. There will be an abundance of water from the snow melt. R4RD strongly supports this. OCWD is already planning to do this.
2. The member Water Districts must reduce pumping out of the basin till it is closer to full. They would use imported water instead. This is an important part of a successful plan to fill the basin. The member agencies don’t want to do this because it is more expensive.
BUT IT IS WAY CHEAPER THAN USING TWICE AS EXPENSIVE DESALINATED WATER FROM A PRIVATE COMPANY LIKE POSEIDON; WATER WE WILL BE PAYING FOR FOR 50 YEARS WHETHER WE NEED IT OR NOT!
We must attend this meeting to tell them what we want. We don’t want a “Penny Wise Pound Foolish” decision.
Show your support for a Poseidon-Free HB! Attend the Orange County Water District Meeting and comment at the beginning of the meeting. Tell them fill the basin without Poseidon and reduce pumping from the aquifer.
April 19, Wednesday, 5:30
Orange County Water District
18700 Ward Street
Fountain Valley, CA 92708
Ward and Ellis
And here’s a better, more thorough explanation from the same source!
PLEASE JOIN US AT AN IMPORTANT MEETING TO DECIDE OC’s FUTURE WATER SUPPLY.
The Directors of the Orange County Water District will be deciding next year’s budget this month. The first discussion of the budget will be today at 5:30 (see above.)
As we all know, the recent historic drought put our water reliability at risk. While the recent rains have been a welcome relief, it has not yet mitigated the long-term effects of the drought. The groundwater basin was significantly depleted during the drought and it takes a long time for the basin to recharge. And now is the opportunity to do that!
The Orange County Water District is the agency responsible for managing the groundwater basin to ensure reliability. When this most recent drought started, the basin was already well below full. And the extra withdrawals during the drought, when imported water was less available, further depleted our water storage. As we all know, as sure as the sun will come up tomorrow, we will experience another long dry period in the coming years.
There are 2 ways to ensure the basin is recharged and full when the next drought comes. And both ways are available now when the state’s reservoirs are full, and more snowmelt this spring will spill out of the overfilled reservoirs. First, OCWD can buy additional imported water and start putting it into the basin. And second, the OCWD member agencies can agree to reduce how much they are pumping and buy additional imported water for immediate use. Without doing both, there’s a chance the basin will not refill before it turns dry again. The next drought will surely come, and now is the time to prepare.
The OCWD Board will consider buying additional water to put in the basin. WE SUPPORT THAT PLAN!
But the OCWD and the member agencies also need to agree to reduce their pumping until the basin is full – and they seem to resist that.
TELL THEM TO “Reduce the Basin Pumping Percentage!”
You might ask: What does this have to do with Poseidon? The reason the member agencies oppose reasonable limits on how much they pump is because the groundwater is so much cheaper than imported water. But, ironically, the reason they’re considering the Poseidon deal is because they may run out of groundwater during droughts.
That short-term thinking is what is often called “Penny wise, and pound foolish.”
Poseidon water is twice the cost of imported water. So buying imported water now, when it’s available, is half the cost of buying Poseidon water later when imported water will be scarcer. And we’ll have to pay for Poseidon water year in and year out — whether we need it or not.
If we don’t show up to the meetings and tell them what we want, they will continue doing what they have done in the past.
Tell the OCWD Board:
The OCWD Board is responsible for properly managing the basin and minimizing long-term costs to us ratepayers. It’s a “penny wise and pound foolish” mistake not to do everything they can to recharge the basin.
We support buying the additional imported water to help recharge the basin AND lowering the “Basin Pumping Percentage” to help ensure water reliability for the future. AND WE DON’T MIND PAYING A LITTLE EXTRA NOW TO AVOID PAYING A LOT MORE IN THE FUTURE!!
AND it never hurts to remind them it’s not just the cost of Poseidon water we are opposed to. We also don’t want more industrial facilities on our beach, our streets torn up for the new pipes to deliver the Poseidon water, and all the negative impacts to our environment.
- Don’t miss this opportunity to ensure water reliability, then come back next year and tell us we need Poseidon for water reliability.
- We won’t forget this vote!!