In the News

Letter to the Editor

Good Times, 3/3/11

H20, You Know?

Thanks for the recent interesting articles on alternatives to a water desalination plant (GT 2/24). While it was valuable to learn about how our water consumption is now 30 percent lower than the projections that desal proponents are basing their claims on, there are even more alternative sources available in addition to the increased conservation and water swap/banking with Soquel Creek Water District that were mentioned. These other options would also cost a fraction of desal in dollars as well as global warming impacts from the energy use required.

These include: 1) Gray Water (water that has been used for showers or laundry) which was not legal at the time of the water assessment and thus needs to now be considered. 2) Offsetting of new demand created by development as presently required by the Soquel Creek Water District: A 120 percent requirement produces new water and causes the developers of large projects and/or the University to fund the cost of providing their water supply, not placing the burden on the existing ratepayers. 3) Recycling: This source was rejected as unfeasible by the water assessment. 

However, it seems to work for many of our neighbors and the "only desal works" mentality seems to be unwilling to reconcile with the fact that Castroville, Watsonville, Scotts Valley and San Jose are presently and successfully using this technology. In fact, it is working so well in San Jose that they recently approved upping to 20 percent their existing 10 percent recycled water usage. The ratepayers of our area deserve an impartial analysis of our water situation using current statistics, not ones from a year 2000 assessment , and an honest analysis to all alternatives. If the City still wants to do desal after this thorough unbiased study, they should have enough respect for the democratic process to put it on the ballot and let the
people decide what water source they prefer.

Fred Geiger
Santa Cruz

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