$500 fine doesn’t apply to corporate water hogs
By Dan Bacher
As the State Water Resources Control Board approved new emergency regulations to fine residential “water hogs” up to $500 a day, Californians Against Fracking urged Governor Jerry Brown to ban the environmentally destructive, water intensive oil drilling practice known as hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.”
A dozen activists rallied outside of the EPA building in Sacramento where the regulations were approved. They held signs including, “When in Drought Ban Fracking,” “You Can’t Have Your Water and Frack It Too,” and “Save Our Water: Ban Fracking.”
“It’s critical to California’s future that we conserve water in the face of the serious drought,” according to a statement from Californians Against Fracking. “If the Governor and the State Water Board are really serious about protecting California’s water supplies, the Governor needs to ban fracking and similar methods. These techniques permanently poison and remove millions of gallons of water from the water cycle. If the Governor stops fracking, not only will he save Californians’ water from being wasted during this historic drought, but he’ll also protect their health and climate as well.”
“Big Oil is one of the state’s largest and dirtiest water users,” the group said. “If Gov. Jerry Brown wants to lead on climate change and effectively address our dwindling water supplies, he must ban fracking to protect and conserve water in California.”
Californians Against Fracking is a coalition of environmental, business, health, agriculture, labor, political, and environmental justice organizations working to win a statewide ban on fracking in California.
The Board approved emergency regulations Tuesday that would allow water agencies to ask courts to impose a maximum $500-a-day fine on water wasters. On the same day, data released by the state revealed that water use statewide has increased 1 percent over the past three years, in spite of calls by Governor Jerry Brown for Californians to slash water use by 20 percent during the drought.
“The new conservation regulation is intended to reduce outdoor urban water use,” according to a statement from the Board. “The regulation, adopted by the State Water Board, mandates minimum actions to conserve water supplies both for this year and into 2015. Most Californians use more water outdoors than indoors. In some areas, 50 percent or more of daily water use is for lawns and outdoor landscaping.”
State Water Board Chair Felicia Marcus said, “We are facing the worst drought impact that we or our grandparents have ever seen. And, more important, we have no idea when it will end. This drought’s impacts are being felt by communities all over California. Fields are fallowed; communities are running out of water, fish and wildlife will be devastated.
The least that urban Californians can do is to not waste water on outdoor uses. It is in their self-interest to conserve more, now, to avoid far more harsh restrictions, if the drought lasts into the future. These regulations are meant to spark awareness of the seriousness of the situation, and could be expanded if the drought wears on and people do not act.”
Ironically, the Board approved the regulations after a drought year, 2013, when the state and federal governments drained Shasta, Oroville and Folsom reservoirs to export water to “corporate water hogs” including corporate agribusiness interests farming toxic, drainage impaired land on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, Southern California water agencies, and oil companies conducting fracking and steam injections in Kern County. None of these “water hogs” were fined for draining northern California reservoirs to abysmally low levels – and leaving little carryover storage for 2014.
Even more ironically, the same Brown administration that supports fining residential “water hogs” is fast-tracking the biggest and most environmentally devastating public works project in California history, the Bay Delta Conservation Plan to build the peripheral tunnels under the California Delta. The tunnels won’t create one drop of new water, but they will hasten the extinction of Central Valley Chinook salmon, Delta and longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other species. The project will also imperil the salmon and steelhead populations of the Trinity and Klamath rivers.
Get yer water stocks right here folks! Water scarcity is the new asset class. Waste not, want not? heheheh…
Our household saves grey water and rainwater for outdoor use. Our cars are dirty and our back yard is brown. I know we are not alone. Meanwhile fracking operations are polluting water along our water sources. These are bad times if you need clean water to live.
Profits from fracking and other fossil fuel production are legally drawn from the pockets and very health of the 99%. Expect water profits to follow.
We can get into this Water fracking / shortage / usage issue a whole lot deeper people. While these corporate water hogs are padding the pocket of our elected officials those officials are looking to penalize San Diego residents in the form of fines should they use over a new usage standard per house hold / residence.
I am not quite sure how they would calculated the usage amount allowed before imposing a fine on residence but I pretty certain it is not formulated on a bases of each individual per household. The issue of water usage has been completely ignored by the public and private corporations in control of San Diego planning and development. A water issue can be added to the planed destruction of the nice quite community of Serra Mesa. This is massive three story complex featuring 450 new residential units sitting on top of new commercial store fronts are being constructed at the intersection of Aero Drive between Sandrock Road and Afton road. Also 4500 units were recently built at Mission Center and Friars Road. The City Planners only considered the permit fees and tax revenue and disregarded the Water shortage and usage. Now that 10,000 plus vehicles have been dumped onto the 2 major accesses route for the community of Serra Mesa and city planners had parts of Sandrock Road decreased in size, from 4 lanes down to to two lanes to accommodate a new bicycle lane! Brilliant, I am guessing they had no concern about added fuel cost to residents and the increase emissions that’s being created by vehicles stopping and idling for 5 minutes at each of the new traffic lights they installed. O’ My bad, maybe they did consider this, I forget to asses the increase in gas tax revenues.
Well on the other hand San Diego really needs all this new housing that’s destroying the nice quite neighborhoods planned, developed, and home owners bought into 50 years ago, yes we need to accommodate the influx of illegal immigrants and there children poring across boarders. Praise Obama for just donating 3.5 billion of your tax dollars to assist illegal immigration. Maybe they will allocate some of that money to SD police so we chase out the homeless, unemployed, and American vets that are in the way. Sorry about the rambling, I shouldn’t let one single issue snowball like this.
How about we turn to the sierra club’s yodeler for a some facts here people. In the most recent article I could find on their site there was 82 Million acre feet of water for the DWR to allocate.
39 MAF used to meet environmental mandates for rivers etc
43 MAF was withdrawn from imports
34 MAF went to irrigation
9 MAF went to urban use
.7 MAF went to industrial sector and energy production…. That’s right ladies and gents .7 MAF went to the entire industrial sector INCLUDING fracking.
3.3 MAF indoor residential
2.3 MAF outdoor residential
So the quest why isn’t the water resource board going after industrial sectors to recoup the water and avert the crisis is quite simply you can not get something that isn’t there. We could try to get industrial down to what 0 MAF and gain a whopping .7 MAF to shut down half the Californian economy ? But outdoor residential use alone is already 3.2 times higher than the entire industrial sector and that doesn’t even take into account indoor useage.
i recall reading an article yesterday, the website being unknown tome at this time, where a individual complained about the dry grass along a portion of HWY 163. I just say I sorry right now it case that person happens to drive by my pad.
Hey I am not happy or proud about my dirt front that once was covered in green grass. The fact is ever sense the water district install that smart meter my water bill began to rise to a point where I could not longer afford a green lawn, or the $2500 estimate for plastic green turf.
Insofar as residential water usage using up the majority of water, i personal have not witness any of my neighbors watering, but when ever I walk my dog I have witness sprinklers running at area apartment complexes, the rec center and ball fields, and the parks. While driving I see all the big hotels and housing complexes, and parkways enjoy green lush landscaping, Have you ever notice how plush Scrips Poway Parkway is? Well I sure you get where I am going with this