On Marina Coast Water District
Perhaps Mr. Farr should do a little investigation himself. In his recent opinion, he said that Marina and Fort Ord would do better if the Marina Coast Water District were dissolved into the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District and be served by Cal Am. However, his investigation would reveal that Marina and Fort Ord communities would then find their water rates nearly triple under Cal Am. He looked at MCWD salaries but did not, apparently check the difference in water rates, nor the differences in job descriptions.
Moreover — once Cal Am has its desal plant built and functioning, their rates would, no doubt, double again. I’m sure Mr. Farr meant to be helpful, but apparently did not compare area water rates before making his declaration.
Marina Coast seems to have done an excellent job in meeting the water needs of the Marina area and extending into the neglected Fort Ord area, albeit at the slightly higher cost required for infrastructure improvements. Their users should be grateful not to be served by Cal Am and to guard their independence from a corporate profit-seeker.
— Myrleen Fisher, Carmel
Strongly disagreeing with Farr
In a Herald op-ed, former U.S. Rep. Sam Farr excoriates Marina Coast Water District for its rates, litigation, and management costs. This author finds such harsh criticism and mistaken commentary to be unjust and inaccurate while being a cover for Cal Am subterfuge in seeking support for usurping Marina’s sole potable water resource. Merging two districts, MPWMD and MCWD, would require managing multiple water sources: one is under a Cease and Desist Order; another is the Adjudicated Seaside Basin, with a third being the critically overdrafted Salinas Valley Groundwater Basin.
Whereas Ord Communities have higher water rates now than central Marina due to former Fort Ord’s older infrastructure that was FORA neglected, coupled with greater delivery distances, these rates, scheduled to decrease with new land developments, are still less than half what Cal Am currently charges. Cal Am rates are among the highest in the nation and climbing.
To be fair, MCWD has a valid entitlement to legally defend its groundwater rights and to protect its only freshwater supply. Unfortunately, Farr is working to support Cal Am’s illegal misappropriation of Marina’s groundwater and violation of Monterey County’s Agency Act that prohibits exporting water from the Salinas Basin. We strongly disagree with Farr’s proposal.
— Margaret-Anne Coppernoll, Marina
Water District under fire
It is sad, that former Congressman Sam Farr appears to be a spokesperson for Cal Am and its desalination project. Not only are his facts wrong but he has completely ignored that Cal Am’s customers already pay the highest water rates in the nation and is pushing to
provide water that will push those rates up even further, The project fails to meet any of the requirements for consistency with the Coastal Act. It creates environmental destruction and ignores environmental justice concerns. It is not feasible because they have no way to discharge the brine solution into the bay. Importantly, it would destroy the
groundwater supply for Marina Coast Water District’s current customers. This is precisely why the Coastal Commission staff has twice recommended denial and when Cal Am realized the vote would deny the project, they withdrew their application.
Legal costs for MCWD are a direct result of Cal Am’s plan to take water from Marina’s groundwater source to which it has no rights. MCWD has had to resort to the courts to protect its customers and file and defend lawsuits with Cal Am. Get real folks — it should be obvious that a billion-dollar private company can get someone to say whatever they feed
them and a public agency cannot.
— Sara Wan, former chair, California Coastal Commission
So many charges
Have you looked closely at your water bill? We have tracked our household water bills since 2003 and see that when we used less water the bill for water usage as a percent of the total billed is less than 50%. That means that government and regulatory charges are more than 50% of the bill. Overall the years’ data, the averages show that consistently more than 40% of our water bill goes to government tax, adjudicated assessments, PUC surcharges, “Landwatch Intervenor Surcharge”, MPWND surcharge, etc. What value does the agency add to our water? This causes me to ask the question – if all we want is safe, clean water, then why are we paying governments and regulatory bodies for the water we use? Could we cut our water bill nearly in half if we did away with the other taxes/fees? Does it make sense? Could we save money on water bills if we quit the endless lawsuits and attempts to buy out California American water company and they quit trying to get approval for a desalinization plant that may not be needed?
— Dennis Allion, Del Rey Oaks
Contributed by local news sources