Marin Independent Journal

Conservati­on triggers show nothing has changed


When I read the recently published article about water district plans (“New water savings triggers OK'd,” Feb. 23), I was outraged.

The first paragraph tells the tale: “Marin Municipal Water District adopted a new plan this week that will trigger water conservati­on measures and usage restrictio­ns sooner and more frequently.” Is that why we voted in the new directors? It appears that they want us to conserve our way out of the inadequate water supply situation while it raises our rates. Based on all the articles and letters published in the months before the election, I had assumed the answer could not be yes.

From what I read, the plan is to ask for (and later, require) conservati­on levels that increase based on declining reservoir storage levels. Much of this is quite punitive — 30%, then 40% and even 50% cutbacks will be required. I don't see any details about which year would be the baseline for those calculatio­ns. If it was 2022, when we conserved 20%, I can only imagine what those new levels will mean to our lawns, golf courses and even our gardens.

Also, MMWD plans to enact surcharges when the reservoirs dip below 65,000 acrefeet, which is 82% full. The district's seven reservoirs hold 79,600 acre-feet. It seems to me that there will be surcharges every summer and fall. Obviously, when we buy less water, then MMWD gets less money. But this can't be the solution.

If MMWD will not increase our water supply so we can survive a long drought, this plan makes painful sense. I am concerned about impacts on our standard of living and property values. Our county truly will start looking like Arizona neighborho­ods — without lawns.

The solution, as was talked about prior to the election, is to increase supply. That is what the people want.

— John Neuenburg, San Rafael

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