There is a need for adult supervision

The cost of water is out of control. Most people in the valley have received their January water bills from the Water District. Some people have received a February water bill. It is easy to see that Tier 1 water has gone up by a factor of almost four. Tier 2 water has gone up by a factor of two and one-half. This is not a small issue. What caused this mess? More important, how do we fix it?

The answer to the first question is simple, the Groundwater Authority got us here. The City representative to the GA voted for the

Replenishment Fee when the Water District was solidly against it due to the very high cost and lack of equity between pumpers. Next, the City representative voted for a Wastewater Recycle Program, which was against the best interests of the public and the WD, who voted against it. An intelligently designed recycle program could have mitigated most or all of the problems created by the Replenishment Fee.

It takes two out of three of the GA big three (the City, the WD, and Kern County) to pass an ordinance or resolution. If the City and the WD worked together, they could ensure the City residents receive fair treatment. So why is that not happening?

The WD wrote a letter to the City in May 2020 suggesting the two agencies work together to develop a plan to put the recycled wastewater to beneficial use. The result of that proposal was the City opted instead to form a pact with Kern County to develop a GA recycle program. That City action effectively eliminated a joint City/WD program.

We currently have an artificially created problem caused by arrogance and a lack of willingness to work together. This artificial problem could be solved almost overnight if the City was committed in addition to the WD to do so. The two agencies need to work together. The public doesn’t deserve the current abuse.We thought we were electing adults with some common sense and some leadership ability during recent elections. More importantly, we thought the elected officials would protect the best interest of the local residents.

Clearly, both thoughts were incorrect. It appears our leaders are in need of adult supervision.

Citizens need to demand the City and WD work together. Their email addresses can be obtained at the City website, ridgecrest-ca.gov, and the Water District website, iwvwd.com. Let them know how you feel about being a pawn in the petty squabble between the two agencies. The arrogance needs to end now or we need to get new leaders.

— “Save Water For Grandkid” Raymond Kelso

Story First Published: 2021-03-19