Voluntary Water Conservation Not Working

Hi water savers:

Attached is  RRWPC’s  11 month comparison of Russian River water sales to major contractors in water years 2012-13 and 2013-14, July through May (June’s data will be available in a few weeks).  Also attached is an article stating that Southern CA is far from meeting 20% conservation goal called for by governor. I have seen similar articles for the Bay area and the attached chart indicates it’s true for our area as well.  We believe that high water users should be carefully tracked and charged much higher rates for higher tiers of use.

I’m also including an article emphasizing how little has been accomplished in terms of EPA listing of toxic chemicals to protect human and environmental health and is precursor to regulatory action.  People appear to have developed a false sense of security about water quality and the effort to reuse tertiary and other wastewater without adequate safeguards for environmental safety.  This is cause for concern.  The focus of public health departments is always on acute diseases that are immediately highly visible, as opposed to chronic and developmental health problems to which no cause is directly attributed (such as cancer, heart problems, autism, obesity, autoimmune diseases, etc.).  So agencies hide behind the fact that not enough research has been done to make a causal link for chemical risk. The research is inadequate for the following reasons:

  • People who are doing research on these issues are often denied and marginalized
  • Chemical and pharmaceutical companies have powerful and highly successful lobbies to oppose listings of chemicals.  Also the manufacturers of the products and stores that sell them have powerful motivation to conduct business as usual.  Many of our day to day products we use contain chemicals of concern.
  • Because so little has been done and so much damage has already occurred, we need to be playing catch up, but the problems are often too complex and expensive to address at this point and agencies say they can’t afford it
  • People understandably don’t want to address very difficult and sometimes impossible problems that include finding the specific nexus and timing between contact with toxin(s) and initiation of disease.  Probably in most cases this will continue to be the case.   Therefore messages about the risks of contact with toxins are not being promoted, and when they are (such as CAUTION labels on toxins), they are often ignored.
  • People often don’t relate the health of the environment and their own personal health, even though almost everything they eat and drink is affected by toxins of one kind or another.  We have heard that even organic foods can be irrigation with tertiary wastewater.  That wastewater is only tested annually for 125 toxins out of about 80,000 chemicals on the market.  There are about 1000 identified endocrine disrupting chemicals including most pesticides, herbicides, etc.  THESE ARE SIMPLY NOT MONITORED!  Unfortunately, there has not been a groundswell of SUSTAINED public opinion to force these issues.
  • Risk assessment has traditionally focused on looking at chemicals individually and determining the level of contaminant which is cause for concern.  The assumption has been made over time that low doses are safe.  That is simply not true for endocrine disrupting chemicals, a known scientific fact supported unanimously by members of the Endocrine Society, a world wide organization of endocrinologists.

Brenda  Russian River Water Protection, http://www.rrwpc.org