Image provided courtesy of CBS News, Los Angeles.
Delivering water is BIG BUSINESS, folks.
One would think that a community’s precious water delivery would be administered by a group of academic-like, gray-haired wise policy makers. Instead, as this video shows, it’s an old boys club, spending willy-nilly, and living high on the hog -- over a million dollars in expenses like steak and lobster dinners, and $55.00 bottles of wine, with the tax payers footing the bill! Here’s the thing though: these expenses are just a drop in the bucket when you consider these same water resource managers are about to stick us with an additional $780 MILLION DOLLAR bill for an outdated desalination plant that is simply not needed if they would just manage our water resources properly.
Just ask Santa Barbara what happened to their desalination plant. Their water managers also spent millions, but the community conserved… and then it rained.
Or ask the folks in Melbourne, Australia. They spent millions too, and the good folks down under conserved their water use… and then it rained.
If our water managers could curb their gluttonous appetites, and apply some much-needed discipline to their business management practices, we could have stronger conservation measures in place in our communities. And, with our ability to turn wastewater into drinking water, we could supply our communities with even more water, all at a much cheaper cost than desalination.
Fundamental questions: when did managing our most precious resources become a way to finance a high-end lifestyle? When did the administration of a public agency mean eating and drinking like it’s one’s last meal? When did water delivery become about profits at the expense of the environment and it’s citizens who live paycheck to paycheck?
Honestly, can we really expect the people in charge of conserving our most precious resource to conserve it if they run their agencies like the well will never run dry?
And with such a culture in place, it makes me wonder what the average citizen’s response will be when they get that first bill for the Carlsbad-Billion-Dollar-Water (because that’s what it will cost by the time they add in the water managers dinner expenses...). I bet as soon as that desalinated water gets delivered, and the water bills go out, every citizen cuts back their usage, because that’s what people do when they get a bill that’s too high. THEY USE LESS. But, guess what – we will still have to pay, folks because the water managers who are working on delivering us Carlsbad-Billion-Dollar-Water, require us to pay for it whether we use it or not.
And all this is just another example of bad resource management brought to us by the folks in charge of managing our precious resources, because after all to them, it's just how BIG BUSINESS WORKS.
Feb 28: Editor's note: I wrote some further clarification on this post today.