4 Jan 2010

Elephants on their desks

Jeff Kightlinger of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California asks for a Peripheral Canal:
Metropolitan has reduced by nearly 20 percent the imported supplies it provided to communities and farmers compared to a few years ago. The district has also drawn down about half of its reserves in the process. This pattern is not sustainable; it cannot last indefinitely.

A combination of actions - expanding conservation, increasing local supplies through recycling and desalination and addressing the Delta bottleneck - can put the state and region on a much more reliable path in the years ahead.
But he fails to mention that MET is doing very little to promote conservation. I will not put "sustainable" in the same sentence as Southern California until SoCal stops using 50 percent of its residential water on outdoor irrigation (lawns).

Pat Mulroy of Las Vegas/Southern Nevada Water Authority, as usual, goes even farther with her dreams demands:
As far as the pipeline to bring water from Northern Nevada to Southern Nevada, you tell me what the hydrology in the Snake Valley Basin looks like in 2020 and I’ll tell you if we’re going there. If Southern Nevada has to fend for itself, I think we’ll have no choice but to develop that water supply. We can’t desalt our way out of this problem; the solution has to be larger and more dramatic.


Regardless, water prices are going to go up gradually in the next 10 years. They have to. I don’t know how you avoid it. Whether it’s desalination or new water treatment technology or increased conservation, you’re going to see prices gradually nudge up.

I think we’ll continue to see more conservation. I think the community would resist stricter rules on turf, but there’s still a lot of unnecessary turf that can be removed and lots of improvements that can be made.
Despite her mention of "prices" and "conservation," she, like Kightlinger, is not REALLY talking about using price to destroy demand. They are talking price recovery. Most of their "conservation" plans consist of meaningless "turn off the water while you brush your teeth" rubbish. They are ignoring the elephant on their desks -- the demand side.

The average Las Vegas water bill is $21.

Bottom Line: Kighlinger and Mulroy are not interested in solutions, just more of the same BS that has put us in this unsustainable place.


  1. Met has an excellent education program that goes far beyond "turn off the water when you brush your teeth," their rebate program is so successful they will have to increase the budget for it, and the last rate increase and allocation cut is a step in the direction of water that is priced closer to its true market value.

    Will they not meet your approval until water is priced so high that the poor and middle class have to give up other necessities in order to have enough?

  2. Your concern is genuine, Laer, but there are ways to price water in such a way that heavy users (anybody who can afford 20k ft2 of landscaping) would be priced at a HIGHER rate. The "basic needs" of water (below 2000 gallons/mo) could be priced at a low level, then scaled up for the users that are the true gluttons.

    And, in some areas, you'd have to re-price direct (private) wells too to snag the so-called "grandfathered" wells that still draw on local aquifers. They should not get a pass...

  3. WaterSourceWaterBank5 Jan 2010, 10:44:00

    Name calling (gluttons) and cussing the decisions (BS) of those in authority ... hummm, not likely to be very productive.

    A glutton is usually reserved for those who have stuffed their face with junk food to the point of waddling or require enormous amounts of fuel for their fleet of internal combustion toys ... not those who simply want to care for the valuable properties they have acquired according to the rules.

    It is difficult to discuss "elephants" because of this BA's ( blog administrator's) DELETE KEY, but for the few hours this post will remain intact, I'll post anyway ...

    An "elephant" ( #800 gorilla) is only such if it can eventually be recognized for what it is and bite it's handler in the ass.

    Let me explain:

    Agencies like the MET and the SNWA could care less what the waterusers think UNLESS, these agencies can be sued for negligence !

    Not raising the price of water is not likely to get them any legal challenge. Afterall, $21/month for the 9000 gallons stated is already a present worth of $76,000 per acre foot the prevailing interest rate of 1%. ... hardly worth criticism by a "prudent person"
    (important legal phrase for this post).

    The real #800 gorilla is the FACT that the Bureau, MET & SNWA have failed to investigate all available options that could have saved BILLIONS of dollars, alleviated life threatening shortages, provided thousands of JOBS, insured needed RENEWABLE ENERGY from existing facilities, restored critical environmental areas and/or provided for emergency water sources in times of catastrophic earthquakes &/or terrorist attack.

    According to the most recent Court cases dealing with the aftermath of Katrina, deliberate avoidance to remedy such scenarios when possible constitutes legal negligence. That's an #800 gorilla that can get their attention!


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