California scraps plans for a desalination plant and intends to tear down four dams.
I periodically write about California’s water restrictions to bring more revenue to public water systems and virtue signal that they are battling “climate change.”
This week, California is reinstating a new set of restrictions and water-use mandates.
Watering restrictions throughout parts of Southern California go into effect Wednesday, June 1.
In Los Angeles, the water conservation measures approved by LA City Council earlier this month restrict outdoor watering to two days per week based on street address.
The restrictions for LADWP customers are more lenient than the one-day limit ordered earlier by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California for areas that are dependent on water from the State Water Project.
Watering will be cut down from the current three, with watering permitted at odd-numbered street addresses on Mondays and Fridays, and at even-numbered addresses on Thursdays and Sundays.
Watering with sprinklers will be limited to eight minutes per station.
Of course, there is no attempt to expand the infrastructure required to support the current population of California, its industries, or its agricultural needs. A few short weeks ago, the state’s coastline protection unanimously rejected the development of a $1.4 billion desalination plant in Huntington Beach that would have converted ocean water into municipal water for Orange County residents.
Eleven members of the California Coastal Commission voted against the facility, which water treatment developer Poseidon Water has been trying to build for decades.
Poseidon said the plant would be capable of producing up to 50 million gallons of drinking water a day, helping to make the region more drought resilient.
The commission, which is charged with “protecting and enhancing” the state’s extensive coastline, heard public comments on the project throughout the day Thursday, with a majority of speakers opposing it. Others who expressed concern about a lack of water resources in the future argued that, whenever possible, additional water resources should be developed.
Poseidon released a statement following the vote thanking Gov. Gavin Newsom for his support and reiterating its belief that the plant would be an important tool in maintaining the state’s water supply.
“This was not the decision we were hoping for today,” said Poseidon Director of Communications Jessica Jones. “California continues to face a punishing drought, with no end in sight. … Every day, we see new calls for conservation as reservoir levels drop to dangerous lows. We firmly believe that this desalination project would have created a sustainable, drought-tolerant source of water for Orange County, just as it has for San Diego County.”
Not content with simply rejecting new infrastructure proposals, California officials are also now tearing down essential public water supply assets.
Four PacifiCorps dams — the J.C. Boyle, Copco No. 1 and No. 2, and Iron Gate — are scheduled to be removed as part of a controversial effort that advocates have said will restore the health of the river, fish and communities along the river, including several in the Upper Klamath Basin.
Dam removal is something that has drawn heated discussion for and against for decades, highlighted in 2001 when decisions to not release water to Klamath Basin irrigators resulted in protests and demonstrations that drew national attention. This year only minimal amounts of irrigation water are scheduled to be released but the Klamath Tribes, citing concerns for two endangered sucker fish, have filed suit to prevent any release of water from Upper Klamath Lake.
And while green justice activists tout all the great things dam removal will do for wildlife, bureaucrats will be surprised about how little tax fish, birds, and frogs pay.
Between the rising gasoline costs and escalating water bills, taxpayers will seek their own refuge…in states who are willing to spend money and develop public resources that support them.DONATE
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