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Give it to someone who will appreciate it

Posted: August 21, 2010 1:57 p.m.
Updated: August 22, 2010 4:30 a.m.


Our city is considering adding an incredibly expensive $210 million treatment plant to lower the salt content in our reclaimed water, which we currently discharge into the Santa Clara River — an otherwise bone-dry creekbed. 

I have gone to the plant and have seen the discharge myself. It is a 5-foot by 6-inch flow of clean, pure water. In fact, the water is so clean a tour guide used to drink a glass of it himself as a demonstration (until the government bureaucrats got on his case).

Wouldn’t it make more sense to use that water ourselves to irrigate our barren hillsides 24 hours a day, pump it back into the water table for our own use or pipe it direct to orange growers down Highway 126 or to some other nearby community that could use it for crops — or even sell it back to a water agency or the state?

In other words, if downstream users don’t appreciate what we’re putting into “their” almost nonexistent “river,” then let’s sell and/or give the water to someone who does appreciate it, and can use it — starting with ourselves. 

In fact, we’d only need to dispose of a fraction of the reclaimed water in this way in order to lower the river’s overall salt content to the “allowed” levels.


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