Set record straight
To the concerned citizens of Cambria:
Just to set the record straight, the amount of money the Cambria Community Services District paid me for nonpotable water was not $45,000 (“District goal: New water source by July 1,” Feb. 290, Page 1). Mr. Gruber was talking about the money for the entire nonpotable water program. This was just a simple mistake. According to the District's finance officer, the amount paid to us up to Jan. 31 was about $5,400.
I am the only rancher that has a state water rights permit to provide water to Cambria. For nonpotable water, I only charge $.01 per gallon.
Of this $5,400, I have spent $3,442 to hire AT GeoSolutions of San Luis Obispo to do a water storage study. This water storage reservoir site is located across the street from the district’s San Simeon Creek wells.
I never felt this site was ever given a fair evaluation of its storage capacity. The storage capacity is 610 to 704 acre feet. This study was presented at the Jan. 20 Cambrians for Change meeting and to the district staff a few days earlier.
This study is my wife and my contribution to the citizens of Cambria to be a long-term solution to Cambria’s water problem.
Let’s not be number 17.
If you have read the San Francisco Chronicle (Feb. 16, Pages A1 and A19) you are aware that there are 17 locations along the California coast being considered for desal plants.
Yup,” we do indeed have an emergency situation. Processing plans for each installation will be time consuming and certainly negatively viewed by the California Coastal Commission (CCC). Since our desal project has been studied repeatedly and reviewed and denied repeatedly by the CCC, we need to become active so we won’t be number 17.
Let’s go political with community letters to Governor Brown, our state senator and assembly representative, and request a higher administrative review of reasonability of rejection in view of the consequences. The reason for rejection in one case as I recall involved two temporary small diameter wells to gain subsurface data. This was plain trivia compared to the need for water.
It is interesting that in the environmental review by CCC much consideration is given to preservation of natural settings and values. With all the factors considered , there is no factor in the equation for we humans.
As I recall, God said man was to rule over the fish, birds, and cattle and over all the earth, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth (Genesis 1:26). As ever, man ignores Gods instruction, and we find that man is not even factored into any determinations to protect all bugs, minnows and whatever other life forms he encounters in trying to survive.
Yes, desal will have some negative effect on such creepy, swimmy, etc. things, but sometimes it is necessary for man’s survival. We need rational decisions in these considerations. In fact, let’s get rational about comparative values in the entire problem. It appears we have stagnated with intent.
Interestingly, the CCC obviously did not object to the coastal development that provided parking lots, signs, fencing and interruption of coastal view in order to create elephant seal vista points. I’m sure the decision involved higher-level approvals. The state wants tourist convenience because the tourists provide tax money to the state — but then so does Cambria.
Without water, tourists will not find San Simeon or Cambria too inviting, nor will the state be happy without the tax money. I asked in an earlier letter “What is the total monetary worth of Cambria and what is Cambria worth without water? (Three digit millions to zero). This one consideration trumps any other logic, concerns, or objections.
The community would appreciate the CCSD reporting to the community regarding the status of the desal effort and plans for future effort. Along with this, will the CCSD please report on the actions taken since the last CCC rejection of a desal plant in pursuit of a sustainable water source? I think this is a reasonable request. The CCSD does work for the community.
Please reply to the community via The Cambrian. This way the community will be better informed than is possible using the Veterans Memorial Building with its limited capacity.
All of the above is amplified when we consider a coming summer, a very dry forest, and little water in the fire hydrants and none in reserve. As the fire threat continues, look for the insurance companies to cancel fire insurance policies. Check the small print.
Ships use desal
Can’t we rent or borrow a tanker/boat or portable desalt plant?
They do this in the Persian Gulf. A tanker can provide desalt water for 10,000 people. Park in our bay and lay a pipe along shore to our plant — this won’t harm anything.
We need to give it a try! We need help. No one listens to old people. We gave you your Great Society. We worked hard since the Great Depression. We help everyone in the world. Can’t it be our turn?
I wrote the President and Governor and didn’t even get an “I’ll look into it.”
Work together NOW
As a resident of Cambria for over 20 years, we have seen water as the number-one issue for the community. Cambria’s water debacle has been decades in the making. So, who should bear the blame?
The drought – surely. The MTBE spill under the gas station which affected wells – yes. CCSD’s ineptitude – absolutely.
There is a fourth and most culpable party in this mess. It is the community of Cambria. For decades water has been a political issue. It was not about ensuring that the community has a sustainable source of water. It was about limiting growth, keeping others out, and preserving that little piece of heaven we call Cambria.
Some were able to stop desalination. Some were able to delay new water storage tanks. Some were able to sue. Some were able to waste dollars that could have been spent on a water solution.
But some forgot that if we don’t have a sustainable water supply, the town will dry up and not even the locals can enjoy Cambria. Well, this is where we are today.
Simply patting ourselves on the back for conserving water is not enough. As a community we need to stop bickering about water solutions and stop spending endless amount of money on another study to study the problem. Viable solutions exist and have been discussed. It is time for compromise. It is time for us to put the community first and not our own personal agenda. It is time to put our differences aside and work together to ensure a sustainable water supply – not next month, not tomorrow, but NOW.
Letters must be signed (no pseudonyms), with the writers address and phone number for verification. Shorter letters (under 250 words) on local topics by local authors are published sooner. E-mail letters to firstname.lastname@example.org, mail to The Cambrian, 2442 Main Street, Cambria, CA 93428; or fax to 927-4708. Letters should be received at The Cambrian by noon Friday to be considered for publication the following Thursday. All submissions become the property of The Cambrian.