Whoa! Time to stop this water-shortage stupidity!

Guest Editorial:

By LORRY WAGNER

Sierra Dawn Arabians, Inyokern

When Brown and the Sacramento stupidity arose, my dander also arose. The more I read the more angry I have become. When this Ridgecrest group; i.e., the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority (hereinafter referenced as IWVGA), was formed to “study” the Indian Wells Valley so-called water problem, my first thought was that this could do nothing but grow and grow and become a political nightmare to all of those of us who own rural property and supply our own water from our own wells including all repairs, maintenance operating costs, charges for electricity for pumping, etc., etc. First, I would get rid of the final part of the name… “Authority!” By whose authority… not mine! That opens the door to the above-described political nightmare by people thinking they have some kind of authority! Words have consequences, especially in the political world, which seems often to include large amounts of attorneys and lawyers!

Every action of this group that has been reported to date tells that this group has very little knowledge or understanding of what it is doing. The last couple of reports support my “expansion-of-government” concerns. The first report indicating that the Ridgecrest group has formed a committee to check into taxing or charging a fee to private well owners for every gallon pumped and the second indicating that Sacramento is trying to also get involved in “taxing” water were the flashing red signal that this mess that originated in Sacramento must come to a screeching halt before doing terrible damage to this state and the citizens’ private-property rights and water thereon rights.

Before my head explodes with anger and shock at the obvious intrusion into the lives of so many Californians, myself included, I’m going to share “my pearls of wisdom” having lived off Mother Nature in one form or another for most of my life. In other words, my family or I have provided my own food and water in coordination with Mother Nature … not government!

First, I will address the report from this IWVGA indicating that it is too expensive to import water. No, not if one actual understands and acknowledges what made the “incoming” water to our underground water pool start shrinking. Remember, droughts last only for periods of time and then Mother Nature brings back our water inflow. However, the water that should be flowing from the high Sierra down through Owens Valley into our water table was “interrupted” by being usurped by the Los Angeles Aqueduct circa 1913 by real estate and developer greed in the Los Angeles area, especially Mulholland! It is my understanding this was done underhandedly and illegally. Basically L.. stole our water. This action shut down water to most of the Owens Valley ranches and farm operations which destroyed a line of our food supply. This diverting of natural water flow by Los Angeles creating their aqueduct shut down Mother Nature’s flow of water into and through Owens Valley and ultimately into the IWV underground water pool.

This mess started in 1902 when initially the Reclamation Act was enacted by Congress, with planning beginning on a federal reclamation project in the Owns Valley for irrigation of as much of 185,000 acres as possible. In 1905 Los Angeles started its intervention of the stealing of water from Mother Nature’s natural flowing down Owens Valley and on to IWV underground reserves. Thus I believe Los Angeles owes IWV all the gallons of water it has actually stolen from us over all these years from 1913 on when that intruding aqueduct started operating … at no charge to us! Have members these committees pursued that obvious conclusion? There are legal entities that will pursue such cases of government interference with citizens’ rights!

Then I address any “over usage” at this time as being the fault of Kern County. It is Kern County that has approved all the huge plots of agriculture zoning and the deep wells needed to water same here in IWV. It is Kern County that has approved the breaking down of large property pieces out here where many of us moved onto areas originally zoned agriculture as 20 and 30 + acre pieces/single-family resident in order to live the peaceful lives we were/are seeking and enable us to take care of ourselves, growing some of our food included. All the acreage around me was that way and that’s why Larry and I bought this land and built our home after we drilled our well and knew we had water. After we had lived here for many years, Kern County decided to rezone this area to estate size of as small as 5 acres (allowing same to be allowed to downsized to 2 ½ acres) which adds up to many more people on wells and higher water usage via smaller parcels which cannot support individual independence as originally zoned. In addition, those of us living in this particular area were never notified of this zone changing as a pending action nor as a completed action. I did manage to hear rumors, found out about it, immediately contacted Kern County and rather loudly gave ‘em he!!, thus my property zoning is still 20-acre minimum agriculture. Thus, I believe it was an illegal action, just so Kern County could collect more property taxes. No! Kern County! You don’t get to do that. Stop spending instead of trying to funnel more tax dollars out of our economy to support more foolish spending!

Man cannot regulate nor control Mother Nature. Man learns to live with it. And this problem proves that … look how government interference has cause a big problem that would not exist in any dangerous form if Los Angeles and Mulholland real estate had kept politics out of it and never stolen our replenishing water source in the first place.

Now, let’s address this “pumping fee.” Why should we independent citizens pay anyone for a fee levied on our own private water wells on our own private property which we financially maintain 100 percent, including paying high property taxes. Ever hear of property rights and water rights? People have fought wars over that issue in the past, many people died in the process, but water rights always won in the courts. Right up front, I will state that I will fight this nonsense as long as I live here which includes until I die. But I will list questions here for those who don’t understand that this group is discussing taking our money to fund actions with will hurt us. Does that make sense? Not from my perspective.

Let’s have some clarification on this “levy a pumping fee.” Who gets to pay this government-imposed thievery? Here’s a starting list!

1. Private property owners with private wells who want to live a quiet and peaceful life in a rural atmosphere …that’s a given according to reports. I certainly will never live on a city lot or tiny parcel of land … the expression my ancestors always used was “don’t want to live so close to others I can hear them cuss the cat or argue with the ‘old lady,’”as it was expressed at the time.

2. Does Indian Wells Valley Water District fall under having to pay a “pumping fee” on all the water it pumps? That’s the only way to logically charge all IWV residents on IWVWD water for their share of this horrifying fee. We all know that IWVWD will simply pass on any fee to be included in customers’ water bills since business just doesn’t pay fees and taxes … they pass those charges on. Certainly this fee could not be restricted to just privately owned water wells and just bypass city-water users!

3. Does the city of Ridgecrest stop the expansion of land development and building at this point to stop additional usage of water, both residential and commercial? This proposed Indian Gambling Casino comes to mind, for one!

4. What about the sewer plants? Who will pay this fee for that water usage? Do all people on city sewer pay a fee … again added to their sewer bill? Oops, they will have to pay twice since, I think, sewer water comes from IWVWD!

5. Does the Naval Weapons Center fall under having to pay a “pumping fee” on all the water it pumps? Don’t think the federal government will stand for that, but the base uses huge amounts of water. Here’s a big hole. Who pays the fee for federal water usage?

6. What about Trona? Do they still bring water to Searles Valley from here in IWV as they used to via that large pipeline that runs through Poison Canyon? Haven’t kept up with that, so don’t have the answer right at this time. Will have to do a bit of research on this one.

That’s just a start to the list and questions generated by plans of this IWVGA group. Bottom line here is that any such idea of raising money for this group to spend is a bad move including $s for attorneys which I vehemently oppose. Attorneys usually cause more problems then they avoid or sidestep. We do not need to give any authority to any government entity to raise $s to destroy our way of life in Ridgecrest and the Indian Wells Valley. We “may” have to defend lowering water tables (that has not yet been proven … Mother Nature and water theft from us determine whether or not that is a reality), but there are better ways to accomplish Sacramento’s mandate.

I believe the real place to start is for all the voting citizens of California to repeal the stupidity of this foolish and stupid act opening this dangerous door passed in Sacramento by Brown and crew with their up-in-the-air mandates made with no background knowledge by politicians. Get rid of this huge mistake, and all this mess it is causing goes away. There are far better ways to solve any water-shortage problems by working within the boundaries of Mother Nature … not the California government! I trust Mother Nature 1 million times billions of times more than any politician or government- instigated interference.

Story First Published: 2018-03-30