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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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A poor decision to stop planning for the future

Uploaded: Feb 18, 2021
After working together with Livermore Valley agencies for seven years, the majority of the Pleasanton City Council scrapped funding to study reusing potable water.
Mayor Karla Brown cited toilet-to-tap as a key rationale along with expending money to clean up Perfluoroalkyl substances in one well that currently is not in use. The man-made chemicals have been shown to have harmful effects to reproduction and development as well as the liver, kidney and immune systems in laboratory animals, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
The chemical provided a convenient excuse to pullout of the valley-wide consortium. The challenge is that we already are drinking treated effluent through the water imported from the State Water Project. That water, exported from the Delta near Tracy, is downstream from the cities of Elk Grove, Stockton, Manteca, Lathrop and Tracy to say nothing of Sacramento. Depending upon the season, such as late in the fall, treated wastewater is a significant component of flows through the eastern Delta.
It’s notable that Orange County, with its aquifer over-drafted and sea water seeping in, started using recycled wastewater to recharge the aquifer that also provided its potable water. There’s nearly a 50-year history of doing so. The county operates the largest recycling operation in the world—topping Singapore that is No. 2. The Orange County system when an expansion is finished in 2023 will produce 130 million gallons of drinking water daily, enough to supply one million people. It will do so at the modest cost of $850 per acre foot, less than the $1,000 per acre foot it pays for surface water imported from Northern California by the State Water Project.
During the drought, cities, Pleasanton included, accelerated reusing treated effluent for landscaping throughout the city. What Orange County and other areas have shown is that it’s a valuable resource and one that can be locally controlled. The State Water Project, which supplies 80% of the valley’s water in a normal year (whatever that is) depends on the Sierra Nevada snowpack, while other alternatives such as desalinating brackish water from the Delta will involve substantial infrastructure costs to reach the Livermore Valley.
Citing the “ick” factor is easy, but it ignores systems have been operating successfully in a variety of places around the globe. This was a bad decision and reminiscent of the past growth battles where the anti-growth advocates tried to limit infrastructure to limit residential growth. Today’s reality is that housing prices have skyrocketed because of lack of supply.
Just how the California exodus will play out post-pandemic and its impacts remains to be seen. The planning needs to move ahead.
We need your support now more than ever. Can we count on you?

Comments

 +   9 people like this
Posted by Conservationist, a resident of Livermore,
on Feb 18, 2021 at 9:09 am

Conservationist is a registered user.

The denial of infrastructure is a common theme of Nimbyists. The mantra of "Save Open Space" is the call Baby Boomers use to deny opportunity to the generations that follow us. Rarely do the y provide solutions to a problem. As a result, we have inadequate housing and good people are forced to sleep on the dirt, our forestlands are dying then burning up, and our progress on reversing the impacts of climate change are ineffective.

In short, we are allowing a few voices to advocate for "saving" ourselves by inaction. That is not an effective strategy.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Conservationist, a resident of Livermore,
on Feb 18, 2021 at 9:09 am

Conservationist is a registered user.

The denial of infrastructure is a common theme of Nimbyists. The mantra of "Save Open Space" is the call Baby Boomers use to deny opportunity to the generations that follow us. Rarely do the y provide solutions to a problem. As a result, we have inadequate housing and good people are forced to sleep on the dirt, our forestlands are dying then burning up, and our progress on reversing the impacts of climate change are ineffective.

In short, we are allowing a few voices to advocate for "saving" ourselves by inaction. That is not an effective strategy.


 +   9 people like this
Posted by Lahommed, a resident of Dublin,
on Feb 18, 2021 at 9:55 am

Lahommed is a registered user.

Failure to build more reservoirs and water storage tanks across this state which causes loss of precious snow pack run off is an example of piss poor representation over the decades. The congressman in our district (The Chinese Spy master Swalwell) has done nothing to address this issue. We have no leadership in calif. from the Gov on down we have a majority of blind democrats who only line their pockets at the expense of you and I. There is much that needs to be done and we can address water issues so that we never have to utilize toilet to tap (anyone who thinks that is a good idea is an Idiot) so either we start looking at young ideas and open up to republican representation or we will be back talking about this same issue in 2031


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Kevin, a resident of Castlewood,
on Feb 19, 2021 at 10:18 am

Kevin is a registered user.

Lahommed, the so-called “Chinese spy" won his seat with 70% of votes back in November 2020. I don't foresee a Republican taking over in CA politics any time soon. Republicans will also lose in other states especially with the Trumpist mess and Texas disaster with Abbott and Cruz.

Given your history of posts, you may consider moving out. For you, I recommend Moscow, Russia.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Kevin, a resident of Castlewood,
on Feb 19, 2021 at 10:23 am

Kevin is a registered user.

I agree with Tim (finally :-) )and the Conservationist!


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Jake Waters, a resident of Birdland,
on Feb 22, 2021 at 8:25 am

Jake Waters is a registered user.

Let me apologize to you Tim for diverting from your topic, but I just can't walk out of the room before I address @Kevin's comment. LOL.

First, are we sure Eric and Bang Bang received 70% of the vote? We have Dominion voting machines and Gavin Newom's cronies running the election process, so faith in a fair system is a reach. It would be interesting to allow Republicans after 20 years to run things just so we can have a comparison in leadership, though I'm dreaming, because Biden has earmarked a huge dump of illegal aliens into San Diego to keep Democrats in office for another 20 years. You tease Lahommed about moving to Moscow, but in all honesty I believe it is better run than California, even if their GDP is that of Texas, and they still struggle to have an elevator reach the 11th floor.

Though I comment in jest, I still remember a quote from Mark Twain: “No amount of evidence will persuade an idiot."


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Michael Austin , a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Feb 22, 2021 at 8:49 am

Michael Austin is a registered user.

"it does not require many words to speak the truth"...Chief Joseph Nez Perce Tribe.


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