I RESPECTFULLY SUBMIT THAT THE TEN YEAR INTENTIONAL NEGLIGENCE BY OUR SUPERVISORS OF COMPLETELY NEGLECTING "SUPERVISING" OUR WATER SUPPLY FOR US EITHER AS THEY MIGHT HAVE UNDER THEIR STATE CONSTITUTIONAL "POLICE POWERS", OR AS THEY ARE CURRENTLY REQUIRED TO (AND HAVE BEEN CONTINOUSLY SINCE 1998) UNDER OUR WELL ORDINANCE HAS CAUSED THE WORST ENVIRONMENTAL, SOCIAL, AND ECONOMIC DISASTER IN THE HISTORY OF OUR MONTEREY BAY REGION THROUGH OUR PERMANENTLY LOST WATER RESOURCE WHICH UNSUSTAINABLY CONTINUES UNABATED TO THIS MOMENT....BUT NOW FOR FREE. I AM RUNNING FOR THIS POSITION TO BEGIN AND AID THE PROCESS NECESSARY TO CHANGE AND CORRECT THIS AND ESTABLISH SUSTAINABLE USE OF THIS MOST ESSENTIAL LOCAL RESOURCE BY PLACING THE POWER OVER OUR WATER HERE IN OUR PEOPLE HERE." says Douglas Deitch, Candidate for Second District Supervisor.
I also run so the word "water" and the critically important issue of our water supply will be an issue in determining who will next be "supervising" our water supply for us. If I wasn't running, the word "water" would not be heard in this election....
This is the fourth time I have run for this office. 13 years ago it was our water and, unfortunately, it still is again today. How we manage and use our groundwater supply here critically relates to every challenge and problem in our community. Traffic, housing, growth, social services, community safety, the air we breathe…all are touched. These issues and my 32 year track record on them are all addressed in detail at: dougforsupervisor.com, begentlewiththeearth.com
In January 1996, current SqCWD GM Laura Brown said in the Aptos Times article, “We are currently in the process of putting a plan together.” Nothing has been done. Since then, as explained in the 1996 article by SqCWD GM Mrs. Brown herself, 15,000 acre feet per year (the equivalent of 90 new desalination plants’ worth over $4.5 billion-costing $50 million each before O&M) of our groundwater supply has been drained through Pajaro, primarily for berry production, and lost to salt water intrusion… 60 more plants’ worth-another $3 billion+- will be “expropriated” in berries from our groundwater supplies before our first desal plant might come online in 2016. All of this is our local, precious, and irreplaceable ground waters...we import no outside supplies...and there will be none available in the new and bleak California and world water reality our supervisors and so many others appear so totally unaware of.
25% of this country's berries are grown here, using up to 90% of water, 200% overdraft, with no controls, "supervision" (what "supervisors" do?) or now any costs because of recent court decisions. Aggregate and permanent saltwater groundwater loss which continues to this moment is the worst environmental, economic, and social disaster in the history of our region. This scale of production is totally unsustainable and totally ruinous to our quality of life here in every way.
SqCWD's recent water rate raise, first of many to come to pay for expensive desal, is because of long term irresponsible management and intentional neglect by Supervisor Pirie and fellow supervisors and SqCWD. Ellen refuses and had refused to follow the law and protect our water supply for her entire term. Continuously since 1998, our "County Well Ordinance" has required our supervisors to declare an emergency to control salt water intrusion resource loss. This ten years of intentional inaction by them has cost us billions in water and perhaps the future viability of our water supply already.
I must conclude that she has no plan to deal with this problem (other than try to ignore it) or any real understanding of it's scale or severity. May 20 this issue will be before Supervisor Pirie and her fellow supervisors, who all endorse her along with the President/CEO of Driscolls, our Aptos neighbor Miles Reiter, and the Farm Bureau (unanimously w/o any debate)... and the Farm Bureau's 30 year head (and spouse of long term SqCWD GM Mrs. Brown) Jess Brown, et al (Register-Pajaronian article, 4/8/08). Sustainable use of our water supply is apparently an unanimously "anti agriculture" position to our Farm Bureau, and has been continuously anti agriculture, as well, throughout my entire 13 year experience with them.
This issue will be dealt with by Ellen and all Supervisors on May 20……well before we cast our votes for our next "supervisor". I think this is an important issue in our region and community. I hope our news sources will cover it for our voting public's information and benefit.
We need vision, courage, leadership, and perseverance now in our County and Region to accomplish changes necessary to establish ourselves as the global exemplar sustainable community that we can be. This will only be accomplished through local sustainable water policy.
Two immediate measures are proposed below in a prior press release. Creation of a new multi jurisdictional and coordinated Monterey Bay Regional agency/authority is the long term answer.
Please feel free to call me to discuss any of the above or anything else on your mind.
Douglas Deitch-Candidate for 2nd District Supervisor, Santa Cruz County, California
Deitch Calls For Driscoll's Boycott and UC Assistance to Address Regional Groundwater Emergency
The Pajaro Valley in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties reportedly produces 25% of this country's berries worth around $500 million, using approximately 90% of local groundwater pumped annually. The entire Monterey Bay Area uses only local water sources which are virtually entirely provided through local groundwater supplies and well production. No water is imported from any outside sources or areas. All the massive groundwater resource that we annually lose is from our own groundwater supplies which we must solely rely on, as contrasted with the rest of California, which utilizes Delta, Sierras, or Colorado River water.
Documented officially for at least the last ten years, annual groundwater extraction from the Pajaro Valley has been at 200% (i.e. 3 times) the annual sustainable yield (yield=24k/a/f/yr, pumpage=69k/a/f/yr), causing a yearly groundwater resource loss of 15,000 acre feet per year of resource loss to salt water intrusion caused by this groundwater overdrafting and mining. The late Marc Reisner, author of Cadillac Desert, The American West and It's Disappearing Water, at a forum in 1998 in Watsonville, characterized Pajaro's water problem and resource loss as the most severe and abusive in the world.
For example, the neighboring city of Santa Cruz is in the process of attempting to construct a desalination plant for around the last 5 years at a cost of approximately $50 million, before operations and maintenance. Our community would have to construct 7.5 of these desal plants a year at a cost of $375 million (before operations and maintenance) to keep up the amount of our groundwater resources which are effectively exported and expropriated annually from our groundwater supplies in berry product.
The vast majority of berry product from our region is distributed by family owned, though multinational Driscoll's Berries (Driscolls.com), whose President and CEO is our Aptos neighbor, Miles Reiter. Additionally, the University of California, through it's Pomology Department at UC Davis, maintains a research facility in Watsonville. UC President Dynes, in his visit here in Spring of 2007, announced that UC's fifth biggest revenue generator was the $5 million annual royalty payment received on it's "intellectual property" of strawberry strains developed for the berry industry. Therefore, $1.25 million of this royalty payment is directly attributable to overproduction in Pajaro and our groundwater disaster here. In other words, UC aid, abets, and hugely profits by this.
Consequently, to establish sustainable use of our vitally important local groundwater resources, I am requesting by this Press Release that Driscolls immediately commit to refuse to grow, distribute, or aid in the production of any more berry product annually in the Pajaro Valley than can be sustainably produced there without harm or any saltwater intrusion resource loss to our local and vital groundwaters. This is the only way our losses can be expeditiously halted and the concept of "equitable and sustainable use" of our water supply can be established.
Should Driscolls not do this, I propose that a boycott of Driscolls berry products be commenced until such time as Driscolls agrees to a model of sustainable berry production and water use in our region.
Additionally, I request that UC Regent's Chairman Richard Blum and the Regents, President Dynes, and UCSC Chancellor Blumenthal request that UC legal counsel review it's intellectual property royalty agreements with the berry industry to determine if these agreements might be utilized to control use of UC developed strawberry strains in the Pajaro Valley to limit production there to a sustainable level of production and water use, as well.
Finally, I ask my two opponents in this supervisoral contest, Supervisor Pirie and Dan Young, and the entire Board of Supervisors in Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Benito Counties, to join me in this request and action.
|Home About Doug Doug's Plan Endorse Contact Archive|