Replying to water waster David Christman (September 23, 2015)

David Christman’s letter (Drought surcharges, Daily Press, September 23, 2015), doesn’t really scan, but I’d like to try to address at least some of the issues he seems to be trying to raise.

I was the one who called Christman a water waster, not Ranchos (he has since described himself as such). For all I know, maybe Ranchos does love Christman and other water wasters. You’d have to ask them. I’m more concerned about the sustainability of our use of water here in the high desert, a concern Christman apparently does not share. For all his carping, Christman certainly seems to love Ranchos, because he sends them a ton of money every billing cycle.

Christman also repeats over and over that he’s cut back on his water use. Thus, I must repeat over and over that it doesn’t matter how much you’ve cut, it only matters what you’re still using. This should be a very simple concept to grasp.

Christman also claims the drought surcharge money goes back to AV Ranchos. Actually, Ranchos collects the drought surcharge, so it initially goes straight to Ranchos … no detours. Where it will end up eventually is anyone’s guess, as the drought monitoring period doesn’t end until February 2016, at which time we’ll learn if our town met the state’s conservation mandate, or if we exceeded the state’s usage limits, in which case the surcharge funds would be used to offset the $10,000 per day fine levied on Ranchos by the state.

Christman criticizes the CPUC and implies that it always gives Ranchos what it wants, while simultaneously acknowledging that the CPUC does not in fact grant every Ranchos request. Christman says he doesn’t hear Ranchos whine about what CPUC allows them to have, but that’s because Christman doesn’t listen to Ranchos, or have other similar contacts with reality.

Christman also proposes a solution for Ranchos that is jaw-dropping. Instead of a drought surcharge, Christman recommends that Ranchos simply ignore the state mandate and sell more water at lower rates! If Christman thinks it is possible get through a drought by encouraging water usage, then he should stop worrying about drought surcharges and simply $pend his way to greater wealth and be done with it. Maybe he can dig a hole in his back yard and replenish the aquifer with water he buys from Ranchos, while he’s at it.

Christman’s final suggestion is no better. He wants citizens to look into the legality of the drought surcharges. In other words, a person who believes that there is some sort of collusion between the state and Ranchos wants to ask the state if what it’s doing is legal. I’m not making this up. You couldn’t, really.

Greg Raven is Co-Chair of Apple Valley Citizens for Government Accountability, and is concerned about quality of life issues.