After receiving comments from more than 200 San Diego County residents and sharp criticism from at least five environmental groups, the County Water Authority decided on March 27th its staff had drafted a nearly perfect master plan and Climate Action Plan.
Given the Water Authority’s history of ignoring critics, few were surprised.
San Diego Surfrider had a moderate request: Do a regional assessment of all local water supply options before locking the region into a pattern and practice that gives priority to high-cost, high-energy desalination, i.e. converting sea water into drinking water.
Surfrider also pressed for greater conservation goals. While the region has cut back by 24 percent compared to 2007, Surfrider believes a 35 percent reduction over 20 years is possible. Australia did it in 10 years, why not San Diego? Of course, this would require more sacrifice from everyone, and that’s not very politically popular.
The Water Authority’s Climate Action Plan fails to fully account for the impact of greenhouse gases that will be spewed by power plants supporting desalination plants, which need massive amounts of electricity.
But don’t throw up your hands in frustration. You can help by urging your Mayor to appoint more progressive representatives to the Water Authority.