Am I the only who recalls the just five years ago the city effected at 60 percent water increase, phased in at twenty percent a year over three years? The city is back with a proposed 76 percent increase over the next five years.

Whoa! We are not talking Netflix or pedicures, we are talking about water, a necessity of life.

Santa Monicans have already conserved in good faith. Our per capita water use is way down from a decade ago. What more does our city want from us? Wash the right armpit on even days and the left on odd days?

Then there is the absurd notion that Santa Monica should constrict future water use to local well water sources. Where was this pipe dream when the city approved thousands of new residential units? As state taxpayers, we help pay for the California water project infrastructures and there is no reason we should not have access to a miniscule share of that water. Or look west to the Pacific Ocean. There are over 70,000 desal plants worldwide. Israel gets a third of is water from desal. Even the greenies in Sydney Australia have opened a huge desal plant, powered solely by renewable energy. Santa Barbara has a plant for droughts (just getting re-started) and in 2016 Carlsbad will open one of the largest desal plants in America.

If our city council wants to show real environmental leadership on water they should cobble together a coalition of urban water users and change our state’s absurd water allocation. Only 5 percent of water is for indoor residential use — you and me cooking and bathing. Around eighty percent goes to agriculture with many users paying pennies on the dollar. When I say “agriculture” you are thinking strawberries, kale and oranges. Think again. Hay, alfalfa and pasturage account for approximately half of all the water use in California – twenty times more than indoor household use. It reportedly takes 3,430 gallons of water to produce one beef steak. Santa Monicans are being asked to make huge sacrifices far into the foreseeable future so water lapping cows and pigs can be fattened for slaughter.

There is hope!

By state law, if a majority of property owners (sorry no renters) file written protest by Feb. 24 the proposed seventy-six percent increase is stopped. Property owners should have received a letter with the details of how to object by mail or drop off. Additionally, I am told by our water agency that you can email an objection to clerk.mailbox@smgov.net provided you attach a scan of your letter with signature (not just in the body of the email). Be sure to include that you object to the five-year increase in rates, your assessor’s parcel number and/or address and/or water customer account number, your name and signature.

Stopping the increase is a heady assignment, approximately 10,000 letters of protest will be needed. We beat city council on the Hines Project. We can stop the water rate increase. Take a few minutes to write your objection, a few minutes that will save you thousands in upcoming years. And skip that t-bone steak and keep washing both armpits on the same day!

Dave Quick
Santa Monica

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