Clarity Blog

Clarity Blog

Water Weekly 3: A veteran pol and a veteran plant

What were the three biggest California water stories of the past seven days?  Well, the news-heads and policy wonks here at Laer Pearce & Associates have compiled them for you here.  You’ll find the Big Three here every Thursday, or you can follow LPAWater on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news and analysis. You can also sign up to receive the Weekly 3 via email here.  This week:

A Veteran Returns to Big Problems

Jerry Brown isn’t that kind of veteran – and a big Veterans Day THANK YOU to those of you who are! – but he is a veteran of the governor’s office … which makes us wonder why he’d ever want to go back.  Brown is committed to rebuilding California’s water infrastructure and fixing the Sacramento Delta’s environmental problems, but that stuff is pretty far down his list of priorities.  And now, with the budget deficit pegged at $25.4 billion we’re also wondering:  Will water ever get its due?

Read Capitol Weekly’s story listing Brown’s priorities and problems

Why wasn’t the deficit news published before the election?

A Veteran Wastewater Plant

Sacramento’s wastewater treatment plant is a tired old veteran – but given the 14 tons of fish-killing ammonia it pours into the Delta daily, no one would cheer if it marched by in a parade. The Sacramento water quality board finally demanded upgrades to this toxic antique and scheduled a hearing for Dec. 8 – but there won’t be a quorum due to as yet unfilled board seats. That means newbies will be making one of the most important and complex water quality decisions in California history!  Oh … and they may not be able to trust the data they’re given.

Read the Sacramento Bee article on newbie board members

Read the water contractors’ challenge to the sanitation district’s numbers

Big Action by Water Wars Veterans

We actually would cheer the San Diego City Council were they to march by in a parade.  Sure, they’re hardly perfect, but they made a perfectly rational decision this week when they voted 7-0 to make outdoor water use restrictions permanent.  The decision limits irrigation, car washes, decorative fountains, construction site watering and other uses.  San Diego gets just 9.9 inches of rain in an average year and is highly dependent on dwindling Colorado River supplies, so the Council made a good call!

Read the San Diego News Room account of the vote

Here’s the latest on the incredible shrinking river

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3 Responses to “Water Weekly 3: A veteran pol and a veteran plant”

  1. November 12th, 2010 at 3:15 am

    George J. Janczyn says:

    In addition to the restrictions listed in the article above, San Diego’s Drought Level 2 water restrictions include two significant components: 1) landscape watering limited to early morning and late evening hours of the day, and 2) watering limited to three days per week for a specified number of minutes per day. Those restrictions are “permanent” only as long as the Drought Level 2 alert is in effect.

    The Council’s original idea (actually Councilperson Donna Frye’s idea) was to make those restrictions permanent even when the Drought Level 2 alert is lifted. Opponents forced the plan to be scaled back, however, and the only permanent restriction remaining after the Drought Level 2 alert is lifted is that watering must be done during early morning and late evening hours.

  2. November 13th, 2010 at 8:07 am

    George J. Janczyn says:

    Re. “Big action by water wars veterans”

    I submitted a comment a few days ago with clarifying (pun intended) details about San Diego’s revised outdoor watering rules but it never appeared. It was a straightforward factual note, so I’m wondering why you did not print it.

    FYI, not included in the comment (to avoid appearance of self-promotion) was a link to a report I published on my blog at

  3. November 20th, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    LP&A says:

    George – sorry for the delay in posting your comments. Rest assured there’s nothing Machiavellian going on here. The comment moderator was simply asleep at the wheel. Keep commenting – we’ll do better next time!

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