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Less Water Use Means Less Money for Padre Dam Projects

As a result of phenomenal water conservation on the part of Santee residents, the Water District may be coming up short on funds for future projects.

Earth Week sometimes . Which, I suppose, is the whole reason behind .

So, I thought about it. What do we really need to conserve? What do we really NOT have enough of?

Not a hard question to answer:

Water.

We’ve made the case before on this site- that , and that it’s a problem that’s only going to get worse.

We’re going to be paying more for water, all the while actually getting less of it.

I won’t make you go through the County Water Authority/Metropolitan Water District diatribe again- at least, not NOW. Though, I reserve the right to revisit that in the future, like the very next time they jack up their rates.

Let’s bring it right home, here to Santee.

How are we doing at saving water? How is our water district, (PDMWD), doing?

It appears we’re doing well, quite well, maybe TOO well.

Over the past three years, our demand for water from Padre Dam has dropped 23 percent- that’s a lot.

In 2010, we used 12,458 acre feet of water, down from 16,151 in 2008.

That may not sound like much, but remember-ONE acre foot of water is 326,000 gallons.

The experts say that’s enough to provide the needs of TWO families of four for ONE year. An acre foot is just what it sounds like- the amount of water needed to cover one acre of ground one foot deep.

That’s good for us- but bad for Padre Dam.

PDMWD is very much in the recycling of water business. That, after all, is why even exist. That’s ALL recycled, or reclaimed, water.

Right now, the plant there produces two million gallons of reclaimed, recycled water daily. Half of that disappears due to simple evaporation, while the other half goes to 185 customers who’ve signed up to use recycled water for their gardens, and for pretty much all uses short of drinking and bathing.

It’s worth noting that, of those 185 customers, two are the , and the Santee School District- two pretty heavy users. The others are commercial and residential users, and good for them.

Padre Dam would like to more than double the recycling process, through partnership with Helix Water District on the El Monte Valley Reclamation and Groundwater Recharge Project.

BUT, We, in our zeal to conserve, have .

As General Manager Allen Carlisle told me: “The 23 percent drop in customer water use has impacted Padre Dam’s ability to fund infrastructure replacement and improvement projects, and we can’t afford for that to go on too long.”

Th El Monte Valley Project would be in the nature of "improvement projects."

By and large, I think the El Monte Valley Project would be a good idea- I’ll explain more about that next time- but there MAY be one problem with it.

You see, the preferred route for digging for a pipeline to connect Santee Lakes up with El Monte Valley would run right along .

I can hear the screams already!

Good thing the is finished and open, huh?

Steven Bartholow April 28, 2011 at 09:06 PM
The next Padre Dam Board meeting, which is open to the public, like every regular meeting, is May 10 at 3:30pm http://santee.patch.com/events/padre-dam-municipal-water-district-board-meeting
mary doyle May 02, 2011 at 03:03 PM
rRidiculous is all I can say! My rates have gone up 100$ a billing cyle since I moved to this house 7.5 years ago after my house was bought for the 52 and my water consumption has gone down. I plan on conserving more when I landscape my backyard with drout tolerant plants and silver carpet instead of grass. I've been penalized for conserving by higher rates and now you want me to spend more? So I can pay more? Not going to happen. That's food out of my families mouths and with gas prices the way they are and the rise of everything else I can believe you are actually complaining about this. We just did what you told us to do. Guess you need to be more creative WITHOUT hurting the consumer. We can't live without water but we've proven we don't need as much. Didn't you think of thisbefore?
Motivated Santee Citizen May 04, 2011 at 08:33 AM
Padre Dam Water rates are double what they are just up the road in the city of San Diego! I can't conserve anymore. 1.3 gallons per flush toilets, low flow showerheads, use a bucket to catch the cold water while shower warms up and water plants with it, complete redone landscape with lots of pavers instead of grass, etc. What a joke! There is no need for the rates to be this high except for greed!
Barbara B June 01, 2011 at 09:39 PM
Heads up....Public Hearing is on June 17 to consider DECREASING water rates (which you as a consumer can manage) BUT to INCREASE the FIXED SYSTEMS CHARGE. Allocation on tier 2+ will increase and the rates will decrease a little bit but the Fixed system charges are increasing by 42%. Their reasoning is our water conservation should not affect their budget. Also, board has rolled into this proposal the ability to pass-through all energy and other rate increases to the consumers without a hearing in the future. This perspective is upsetting to me as a consumer. These are difficult times and frankly, I'd like to hear what Padre Dam can do to reduce expenses before the move is made to increasing consumer costs. Any property owner or renter who is a Padre Dam Customer may submit a written protest to the proposed rate adjustments. Written protests must state which proposed rate or fee adjustment the customer protests (Single Family Homes, Western Service Area, .16-.25 Acres) and include your name, address, phone, parcel # or account # and signature. Must be submitted prior to the MEETING on 6/17. Mail to: Board Secretary, PO Box 719003, Santee, CA. 92071-9003. No electronic protests (really???) One protest per parcel. "If written protests are not submitted by a majority of property owners/renters, the Board will be authorized to adopt the proposed rate adjustments." (from their hearing notice). If you have issues - Object today.
Motivated Santee Citizen June 03, 2011 at 10:06 PM
This will be 2 increases in 8 or 9 months! This is getting ridiculous.

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