Sacto water deputies patrolling for water wasters

Sacto water deputies patrolling for water wasters

Sacramento water police are on patrol. If the rule of law isn’t enough to control Sacramento’s citizens, government officials have turned to deputizing neighbors for help making sure everyone complies with environmental restrictions.

For nearly four years, the City of Sacramento has been encouraging residents to attend water conservation training sessions. Water conservation is always a good idea, but the city is going about it with an iron fist. The utility agency has three water waster inspectors, and is working to hire five more. The agency said in a recent news report it will spend $200,000 on meetings, and billboards to teach people about conservation.

Currently, only about 40 percent of city residents are on water meters.

“Over the past year, we have seen a huge increase in the numbers of calls for service and a desire by the community to have water conservation information shared with their organizations or neighborhoods,” Marty Hanneman, Director of the Department of Utilities, said in 2010. “We can’t think of a better way to share this information than neighbor to neighbor. These Water Conservation Ambassadors will be a huge asset to our department and allow our staff to focus on meeting Best Management Practices and reaching our goal of a 20% reduction in per capita water use by 2020.”

“To become a City of Sacramento Water Conservation Ambassador, volunteers must be 18 years of age or older, sign a volunteer agreement and attend a training session. While all activities are voluntary, it is estimated that the time commitment will be approximately 2-4 hours per month. Bilingual volunteers are especially needed.”

“We believe this is a great opportunity for all Sacramentans, from all walks of life to become more involved in their City, do something great for the environment, and make a difference in their neighborhood” said Hanneman.

Granted, some city residents do a lousy job monitoring their sprinkler systems. Some sprinkler systems spray sidewalks and cars, and run until the gutters flow like a river.

“Learn about the City’s free water conservation services, cool new ways to save water and how to help your neighbor’s [sic] save water by becoming a Water Conservation Ambassador,” a 2012 city notice said.

“Water Conservation Ambassadors will help spread the word about water conservation and protection of our water sources,” the city’s website says. “Ambassadors will help educate neighbors, friends, family and community organizations about conservation through attending community events, conducting knock and talks, and presenting at community meetings!”

Water wasters can receive fines up to $1,000 for repeat offenses.

California’s inadequate water plan

California’s water system is currently adequate enough for a population of 10 million — but the state is home to 30 million residents.

California has spent $18.7 billion on five water bonds since 2000, CalWatchdog’s Wayne Lusvardi explained in Nov. 2012.  “These bonds funded mostly open space acquisitions and landscaping projects that captured no new water and built no new reservoirs.”

“Those bond funds could have funded the proposed $13 billion Delta Tunnels,” Lusvardi said. “Or they could have funded both new reservoirs proposed as part of the $11.1 billion Consolidated Water Bond to appear on the 2013 ballot.  Instead the bond monies have been mostly squandered.  Water bonds have been partly turned into a slush fund for the state Legislature to redistribute Cap and Trade taxes among other activities.”

In 1982, voters turned down the proposed Peripheral Canal Project.  Population has grown about 59 percent since 1980, with few new hydroelectric dams or large water storage reservoirs added for storage since then.

There are 1,400 official dams and 1,300 official reservoirs in the state of California.

The Seven Oaks Reservoir in San Bernardino County was created in 1999 to prevent flooding. Diamond Valley Lake in Riverside County is a new storage reservoir, completed in 2004. But that reservoir is only stored surplus water from the Colorado River and the Sacramento Delta, did not produce any new water.

The Auburn Dam

In 1965, Congress authorized the Auburn Dam following severe flooding in Northern California. The proposed dam would have provided water storage, power generation, and flood control, with 2.5 million-acre-feet capacity. But in 1972 environmental groups sued to halt the dam project. In 1974, Friends of the River took over the environmental fight. By 1980 construction was halted. Despite several attempts, including a 2013 attempt to reignite the dam project, it was never built.

2014 water bonds

So here we are in 2014, with a long-delayed water bond slated for the Nov. 2014 ballot. Democratic State lawmakers have been delaying voters’ approval of an $11 billion water bond, originally passed in 2009.

Many say the bond is filled with pork, rather than seriously improving for better water storage and delivery systems. Money from the bond sale would go to cleaning up contaminated groundwater, increasing conservation and environmental projects, improving sewage systems, and studying and researching the construction of two dams — not actually building two dams, but only researching this. Only 25 percent is allocated for water storage in this proposal.

Contrast that Assemblyman Dan Logue, R-Marysville, who has authored AB 1445, proposing a $5.8billion water bond, also for the November, 2014 ballot. Logue’s bill would build two dams — one in the Northern California, and one in  southern California — and fund $1 billion to water quality improvements, specifically in the Central Valley.


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  1. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 27 January, 2014, 22:07

    Sounds like a good job for a retired cop who’s bored and misses harassing and controlling other people. I wonder if they’ll allow them to carry squirt guns on the job that shoot water farther than 5 feet? lol.

    Water Conservation Ambassador? (LOL) Who makes these stupid titles up anyway? lol. Leave it to the government. It could make a pauper sound like a king.

    Seriously, if somebody knocked on my door and introduced himself as a ‘Water Conservation Ambassador’ I’d be in stiches for 5 minutes. lol.

    So now that there’s a drought in Ca I suppose these ‘Water Conservation Ambassadors’ are going to order us to put 2 bricks in our toilet tanks and take 2 minute showers, eh? What are they going to do if we don’t? Squirt us with their gun?

    I have a great idea for conserving water. Why doesn’t the government deport the 5 million illegals living in California? The experts say the average person uses about 100 gallons of water a day. So the 5M illegals living in California use 500M gallons of water daily. That works out to 182.5 billion gallons of water each year. They oughta send the water cops around the neighborhoods to roust the illegals.

    Reply this comment
    • meetthenewboss...
      meetthenewboss... 30 January, 2014, 06:11

      You are absolutely right.

      They drone on and on about their projected future population numbers and how the water supply won’t be able to meet demand, yet ignore the obvious fact that millions of those in that population don’t belong here.

      They are here illegally.

      But do they do anything about it? No, they’d much rather lower the legal, tax paying citizens standards of living by demanding water conservation and hiring neighborhood control freaks to enforce it.

      Reply this comment
  2. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 28 January, 2014, 00:20


    Reply this comment
  3. Impartial Observer
    Impartial Observer 28 January, 2014, 08:29

    Several years ago, the iron-fisted state imposed a one-size-fits-all mandate of 20% water conservation by 2020 for every Californian, from those in the misty rain forests of far north Del Norte County to the desert rats of the Mojave–and everyone in-between. Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg carried his water bills through the special session with a wave of one-party majority passing votes, and the Gov signed the entire package. Now, citizens are beginning to feel the effect. Water police? Rate increases? Smart meters? Dying landscapes? Makes no difference. The state has spoken. Squander water collected in times of abundant rain and snowfall by sending it down the river to the ocean, reversing God’s plan of low flows in the summer and high flows in the winter. Did anyone ever consider that the species in the Delta evolved (yes, evolved) and adapted to the normal conditions of our state–including periodic droughts–not a manmade leveling of flows?

    Reply this comment
  4. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 28 January, 2014, 10:07

    The State must do God’s work for him. The State cannot let any other animal species go extinct due to normal enviromental conditions. Adaptation is Darwin propoganda. The State knows best. When in doubt, trust the State over God or Darwin. The State works for you!!!

    Reply this comment
  5. David H. Lukenbill
    David H. Lukenbill 28 January, 2014, 10:17

    Great article Katy.

    In addition to the Auburn Dam, which thanks to the public leadership of Congressman Tom McClintock, will someday—hopefully—be built, for the absolute best storage, the raising of Shasta Dam from the current 600 feet high to the 800 feet high it was originally engineered to be, which would triple storage from the existing 4,552,000 acre feet to 13,890,000 acre feet, see info at Wikipedia,

    We all know that the political will to embark upon this type of water storage development for the Sacramento region does not appear to be on the horizon, but that is no reason for all of us not to continue to remind political leadership that there is a solution out there, and for them to continue calling for conservation without working for that solution, which could provide abundant water in wet years and enough water in dry years, is to continue failing a basic principle of public leadership; leadership.

    David H. Lukenbill, Founder, American River Parkway Preservation Society,

    Reply this comment
    • meetthenewboss...
      meetthenewboss... 30 January, 2014, 06:16

      The only thing they lead in is in being the first to grab the loot and how corrupt they can be without getting caught.

      They have no interest in serving the best interests of California or it’s citizens.

      Reply this comment

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