Poseidon’s Voodoo Math; and Klepto Kris Murray named to powerful Water Board.




(Vern here.) Elections come and go, but the bipartisan kleptocratic machine running this county, that gets up out of bed every morning with new ideas of how to pick your pocket and keep their spigots flowing, NEVER SLEEPS. (Clarification for those who may think my metaphors contradict each other: they were not sleeping in that bed, but lying awake scheming.)

Case in point: Let’s check in on the Poseidon desal boondoggle, which we never quite manage to kill. Here’s Dave Hamilton of R4RD, Residents for Responsible Desalination:

What’s up with Poseidon?

Preposterous and Mendacious Misinformation. That’s what.

We haven’t heard much publicly from Poseidon Resources of late. That’s because Poseidon and its P.R. spox—Communications Lab (sometime d.b.a. Brian Lochrie & Associates), OC-WISE, and OC Taxpayers—together with Scott Maloni, Poseidon’s v.p., have been skulking about behind the scenes spreading preposterous and mendacious misinformation. The latest is the financial benefits to Huntington Beach water ratepayers, which Poseidon deceitfully pegs in excess of $193,000,000.

I know, this is unbelievable, and should be treated as UNBELIEVABLE by anyone that knows arithmetic beyond adding and subtracting. But that’s no deterrent to these deep-pocketed, unscrupulous scammers.

You can see and hear the scammers’ full spiel, which is sure to be given at the City’s Southeast Huntington Beach (SEHB) area meeting next Wednesday, November 28, 2018 at 4:30 p.m. in Room B-8 of City Hall.  (UPDATE 12-2:  It was. – VN)

First, Poseidon will state that it has agreed to provide the City up to 10 acre-feet per day (10AF/day) of desalinated product water at a cost 5% lower than the cost of an equivalent amount of imported water. This would amount to a savings of about $55/AF or $550/day at current rates. This would be true. However, Poseidon won’t tell you is while this may save us $550/day, it will cost us between $5,900/day and $14,750/day MORE, according to the Orange County Water District (OCWD).

How do we know this?

HB’s water supply comes from two sources—25% from MET treated imported water (approximately 20AF/day average); 75% pumped (about 59AF/day average) from the groundwater basin, which is managed by OCWD. We, the HB ratepayers, pay a melded rate based on these rather exacting percentages on the cost of each. Groundwater costs are the accumulated Replenishment Assessments (RA) for managing the basin for quality and sustainability. Currently the RA is $462/AF and treated imported water is $1,095/AF. According to OCWD’s proposed terms for agreement with Poseidon, the RA will increase between $100/AF and $250/AF—approximately $2,154,000/year and $5,400,000/year respectively.

Thus, while HB ratepayers may save about $200,000 per year, the HB ratepayers might be charged an additional $5-Million per year if the OCWD/Poseidon deal goes through. That’s $5-Million per year for 35 years—an additional $175,000,000 cost to HB ratepayers!!

What about the $193-Million savings?

In short, such savings is fictional. Poseidon is using arithmetic flimflammery by projecting “average percentage” rates of past increases as if such an “average” will continue. Such use of “average percentage” is mathematically meaningless, a fallacy—an arithmetic non-sequitur, so to speak. This is somewhat akin to thinking that if a house appreciates 8% the first year and 2% the second year, it will surely appreciate 5% (the “average”) the third year.

Suffice it to say, “Do not fall for it.”

R4RD will further explain this trickery in future messages.

Regards to you all,
-Dave Hamilton, v.p.

For more info check THIS out!

MEANWHILE, in related water-piracy news…

The frequently helpful Klepto-blog, I mean Anaheim Blog, informed us last Tuesday that termed-out lame-duck councilwoman and supervisorial candidate Kris Murray (R, Anaheim) has been appointed by termed-out lame-duck Governor Jerry Brown (D-CA), to the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board.


1. Wait, What?

Our Democratic governor has broken with tradition of previous governors and has made plenty of appointments of Republicans.  The bad news is they are not always worthy or qualified.  Another observation about the generally good outgoing Governor:  He has several – at least two! – obsessive blind spots (let’s call them Brown Spots) – most notably the High Speed Rail which he refuses to give up on, but he also cherishes an “all-options” water policy including any and all desalination projects – apart from desal being the most expensive method of creating fresh water, he really doesn’t give a damn that we OC ratepayers do not NEED the one-billion-dollar Poseidon plant and do NOT want to have to pay for it for the next fifty years!

We are HOPING that new Governor Gavin Newsom doesn’t share these two very eccentric “Brown Spots,” and, knowing folks who know him, I hope to report on the answer to that question very soon.

2. But … But why Kris Murray?

When I’ve seen unqualified Republicans appointed by this Democratic Governor, they generally seem to be folks close to, and probably pushed by, the Building Trades and Teamsters – those unions so desperate for short-term make-work projects that they’ve forgotten about the environment, taxpayers, and the general good, bless their hearts.  And we Anaheimers are very familiar with how the hard-hat contingent loves their Kris Murray with all her klepto projects – we’ve even seen some of these palookas winking and blowing kisses at her as they file into chambers – she is their Evita!

Building the case of ominousness, Kris has specific connections to both Poseidon and one other terrible OC-related water project we’ve reported on – the Cadiz project to pump water from under the Mojave desert to South OC developers.  (Cadiz and Poseidon have that in common – they are largely intended to enable further development of the undeveloped portions of Southern OC, a goal worth inconveniencing in its own right.)  Yes, Kris’ longtime aide Arianna Barrios is also married to the above-mentioned Brian Lochrie, both of whom head up Communications Lab, which counts both boondoggles as clients.

3. So, what’s this Santa Ana … whatever .. Board anyway?

A little research reveals that “the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board has great regulatory powers over water issues in the Santa Ana watershed, and yes, the Board will likely deal with Cadiz (should those water projects cross the watershed borders) and Poseidon. Which is likely why the Board’s Executive Officer has attended a number of the “term sheet” meetings at OCWD.”  So – yeah – this is one of the best places for Kris to go and help her friends make the millions they crave, while campaigning to be OC Supervisor, another thing we can’t let happen.

4.  But this appointment (by Brown, of Murray) requires Senate confirmation, doesn’t it?

Why … yes, in fact, it does!  And that is one avenue – besides Governor Newsom – that we are proposing in order to scuttle this appointment.  In fact, as much as I’ve written here, this deserves a whole new story.  The Senate vote could happen as early as January 7.  We don’t want Kris on the Board of Supervisors OR the Santa Ana bla bla Water Board – as the beloved song has it, “There’s no hurry to keep swindling us poor saps – no, goodbye, Kristine Murray, that’s a wrap!”

Just SOME of our Previous Coverage of Poseidon:

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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.