18 May 2009

Weekend Discussion: Development and Water

NOTE: This post will stay here until Sunday night. Posts for Saturday and Sunday morning go below this post.

Dear Aguanauts,

Discussion posts allow you to discuss a topic among yourselves -- exchanging views, learning and teaching. (I only read the comments.)

If you are interested, take a moment to check out (and add to!) last week's discussion on ground water. After that, please give us your thoughts on...

The relationship between [real estate] development and water (incl. observations on agriculture, environment, urban, regulation, etc.)


Anonymous said...

Thank you, David, and thank you all who do your homework and get to work.

My comment consists of just one word (round-aboutedly). Not hoses, not drippy faucets, not broken sprinklers in Palm Springs at noon in August or even its golf courses; not leaky toilet, busted pipe or martini jacuzzis -- but washers. Electric or gas-propelled clothes washers. Washers.
Check it out -- gallons per wash, washes per week, teenagers per household, sqeaky- or neurotically-clean (pardon my labeling)humans per household, etc.


Anonymous said...

What about all the water used for the mining companies in Arizona/southern States? They get unlimited fresh ground water. greywater/any kind of secondialy water is used for mining. Only the best fresh gound water! ! !

Anonymous said...

Development and water.

Development tends to displace existing uses of water. In other words, put pressure on agricultural supplies.

In California, a salutary trend has been some of the laws that link urban growth to water supply planning - SB 610 and SB 221 - as well as a California Supreme Court case called "Vineyard" and assorted lesser appellate cases. The general idea is that new development has to find new water, not just show up and push somebody else away from the table. But this remains imperfect.

Simple fact is, development in most contexts tends to edge out other uses of water. Supply is not increasing in any way that is even close to commensurate with the pace of urban growth.

Jenny said...

To Captain Flounder or anyone else:

Is there any online source you can recommend that summarizes current statutes, regulations, and policies in California concerning the water supply requirements that must be met before new development can proceed? I'm especially interested in the requirements applicable to Southern CA cities and counties that utilize Colorado River water. I'd prefer a summary that provides links to the actual text of the relevant statutes, regulations, and policies. Thanks in advance for your help!

Anonymous said...

California is in the middle of a potentially fatal squeeze between our growing polulation and a decreasing number of sources from which to import water. Developers who build sprawl subdivisions of water thirsty McMansions for wealthy urban farmers and horse owners only exacerbate the growing problems we face. If California wants to ensure our quality of life, we either have to find ways to discourge people from having more children or moving here, or we have to find better, more environmentally friendly ways to desalinate seawater, and begin to fully repurify and recycle the water we already have, but are dumping into the ocean after only one use.

Cambria Maven said...

The Cambria Community Services District (Central Coast) declared a water code 350 water supply emergency in late 2001 and stopped issuing letters of intent-to-serve to landowners, effectively controlling a building moratorium when it has no control over land use (the County's job).
The Board has determined that desalination is the best choice for the supplemental water needed to bridge the gap between the current population and the possible population once we've had every property built upon.
There have been at least 5 lawsuits by those wanting to build, but can't. The short version of a long-drawn out story: The gap is less than 60 AF in a worst case scenario, the Board plans to allocate 18 units (748 gal) bimonthly.
There is a growing cadre of communities around the country who count water conservation as supplemental water and are putting their time and money into real retrofit assistance (Cambria allows payment of a fee in lieu of actually installing more water efficient fixtures. While this does bring in money for the District, this is just more evidence that the CCSD is acting outside it's authority. Read AboutCambria.com for more of the gory details.

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