In the News

Letter to the Editor

Water alternatives must be looked at honestly

Santa Cruz Sentinel, 8/21/13

In the Aug. 20 Sentinel article "Santa Cruz puts brakes on desal project," Mayor Bryant and City Manager Bernal are said to plan to announce "their recommendation not to pursue a vote in 2014 on a controversial seawater desalination plant and instead work with the public on other avenues for safeguarding a drought-prone water supply." That's all well and good since super-expensive, gas-guzzling, climate-warming, seawater desal is not what's needed in generally groundwater-rich, rain-rich Santa Cruz County. However, the article then quotes Bernal saying "the city will complete the environmental report, which involves answering questions from regulators and the public before recommending the council certify a final draft sometime in 2014." My question: Why is it a foregone conclusion that the recommendation will be to certify the EIR? There have been 400 formal comments to the draft EIR submitted. Many of them make the point that the EIR is hopelessly defective both in making the case for desal and in wrongly dismissing the alternative approaches. Has Bernal read and studied all 400-plus comments and concluded that none of that suffices to rule out desal as being the certified solution? That seems just more of the same pro- desal arrogance that a few months ago labeled all opposition to the draft EIR as either "ignorant" or "dishonest". It would seem that a little more humility and honest consideration of alternatives is called for.


Steve Newman, Santa Cruz

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