16 Sep 2008

Pricey Holes in the Ground

Two SoCal water districts plan to spend $200 million to treat wastewater and then let up to 5,000 AF percolate into the ground. Those numbers make San Diego's $12 million for 30TAF look like a deal, but the more-expensive project will be closer to final users instead of over a hundred miles away.

The pity is that none of these districts have tried to reduce demand by implementing higher prices. (I mean really higher conservation prices.) Right now, all they are doing is spending more to "increase" supply.* If demand keeps increasing -- whoops -- the "new" supplies will also be inadequate.

Bottom Line: Water managers need to pursue the cheapest option -- not the engineering option -- first.

* I say "increase" because supply may not go up as much as promised.

hattip to DW