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As you read this letter, a big private corporation, Cal Am, is taking our precious water illegally from the Carmel River, charging us for it, and sending all the profits out of the area. In the meantime, so much is happening behind the scenes with the people and groups involved in the Monterey Peninsula water crisis, we could keep talking about it until the day the phantom desal project is actually built!
I would love to say, the real desal project, The People’s Moss Landing Water Desal Project, will be built soon, but not according to current developments. It is very possible that Cal Am has been, and continues to get in the way of a solution, and instead is taking advantage of the opportunity to continue to take water from the river illegally (as the state water control agency stated).
In my opinion, Cal Am continues to hide behind the due diligence imposed by the state, and it continues to bring forward multiple faulty, very difficult to permit, so-called solutions and alternatives by high-paid consultants at the public’s expense. This puts the real solution, The People’s Desal Project, at a disadvantage, even before a public agency is confirmed.
The public agency (a city or a district) is the decision maker with the authority to engage an EIR consultant, build, own, and operate the water desal plant as Superior Judge Lydia Villarreal has indicated. This is according to a law that was adapted in 1987 by the former Monterey County Board of Supervisors that I have complied with and respected for the last nine years.
I want to tear apart the veil and shed light on this deception by bringing awareness to the faulty multiple “solutions and alternatives” and finally go straight to the voting booths and allow the people, in their wisdom, to decide the quickest and most affordable desal plan.
I am personally offended by the general level of ignorance of the facts and platitude that seem to possess the reasoning of government officials and bureaucrats these days. They side blindly, without any loyalty to their constituents, with a privately owned water company that only wants to bring forward costly projects it will profit from.
If this private water company is serious about building a desal plant, and since the law says only a public agency can build a desal plant, the quickest method is probably for Cal Am to allow itself to be acquired by a public agency. By doing so, it will terminate all the game playing and eliminate all the calamities and suffering the people have levied on them for the huge profit taken from OUR gentle river.
There is a lot of pressure by this corporation and its misled backers to keep the only current real solution, The People’s Desal Project, from going forward by failing to acknowledge it. They just keep glossing over it and they continue to fail to include it in any planning or public discussion. Lately, this pressure has increased significantly. The reason for this, in my opinion, is because of the fear that The People’s Desal Project will replace Cal Am’s water gold mine (the Carmel River) with a drought-resistant, reliable water supply at a cost much less than being currently proposed. If it did that, the company’s huge profit would be limited to the water purveyance services, which include pipes, offices, trucks, supervision, and overhead. Remember, Cal Am is supposed to be in the service business, not in the business of selling water, especially OUR own precious water, which is not even theirs to sell. Even so, the company will still make 10.2 percent above all of that which it is entitled to make by the PUC regulation — and that adds up to millions of dollars.
Also, in my opinion, Cal Am should stop charging people for its own over pumping of 10,700 acre feet of water from the river and it should refund all of the money which it has been taking and sending out of town for about 50 years.
This deception, under the auspices of due diligence, has been going on and on for years (dam, reservoirs, a rubber dam, Marina Desal, 11 not-so-good alternatives, the new mayors JPA, etc.). The ratepayers must intervene and prevent this continued abuse by stopping this corporation, along with its supporters, from ignoring and delaying a real, affordable and quick solution. By acting, the people will be exercising their rights and putting an end to the staggering cost of water on our Peninsula.
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