Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Why fund new dams before agencies push conservation?

On Saturday, The (Stockton) Record published a story that tried to encapsulate the complex issues surrounding Mokelumne River watershed and river protection, water conservation, global warming and plans for more water supply. It's a subject worthy of a full series and far too complex to capture in one story, but reporter Dana Nichols did a pretty good job, considering.

It appears to me that except for a couple of notable exceptions, the water and government entities who use (or want) water from the Mokelumne have been slow to urge their own ratepayers and residents to use current supplies efficiently.

This morning I did a quick search of the various agencies' websites, looking for water conservation information. As I mentioned in an earlier post, putting information on a website is probably the cheapest way to get that information out to the public and in this electronic age, one of the most effective.

Two Mokelumne-related agencies have good water conservation information on their websites:
The rest of the Mokelumne-using (or wanna-be user) agencies -- San Joaquin County, Stockton East Water District, the cities of Stockton and Lodi, North San Joaquin Water Conservation District, Amador Water Agency, and Woodbridge Irrigation District -- have precious little information on their websites, have buried it so deep that I couldn't find it in a quick search, or don't have websites at all.

It certainly begs this question: Why should taxpayers put millions into developing more water supply on the Mokelumne -- anywhere from $35 million to $500 million, according to The Record story -- before more Mokelumne water districts demonstrate a true commitment to conservation and efficiency?

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