Southern California Water Saving Tip: Block New Developments

water-faucet.jpgI just read Glendale Water and Power’s Water Supply Alert, another in a series of pleas to residents to conserve water “or face mandatory water use restrictions.” The Glendale News Press July 10 article quoted GWP Commissioner Patrick Foley complaining that voluntary conservation hasn’t worked.

The article prompted this spirited response from Selina and Arden Daniels:

Why is it that the City Council gave approval of a 72-unit apartment on San Fernando Road (“Housing project gets city approval,” July 9); adjacent 68-unit Glendale City LIghts affordable rental housing project, which is already under development (“Housing project gets city approval,” July 9); a 65-unit affordable housing project on 1955 S. Brand Blvd. (“Housing project gets city approval,” July 9); 44-unit affordable housing project, called Metro Loma, at 328 Mira Loma Ave. (“Area awaits housing project,” July 7); a 94-year-old Craftsman-style home to be converted to a five-unit apartment complex (“Owners pitch apartment plan to residents,” Monday): and a proposed 11-story Hyatt hotel for downtown (“Hyatt plan on its way,” Wednesday).

Why should we, the single-family dwellers, be criticized by Glendale Water & Power Commissioner Patrick Foley for not conserving water (“City’s water supply tight,” July 10)?

Foley stated this week, “Homeowners have all but erased gains earlier this year” in conserving water.

Why should we conserve water? Especially when the city fathers cannot say “no” to any land developer?

How many gallons of water can you imagine more than 500 new residents will be using in the bathtubs, showers, dishwashers, water heaters, laundry washers, not to mention the use in a hotel?

How much more energy can you imagine will be used?

We all well know why we should conserve, but why do our leaders lack this knowledge?

These are tough economic times — so let the land developers suffer along with the rest of us.

They should go back to the Midwest, where restoration of damaged homes must be a high priority due to the tornado destruction.

For goodness sakes, members of the Glendale City Council as well as Los Angeles County Zoning and Planning Commission need to be reasonable.

They should place a moratorium on recently approved and future multifamily dwellings.

Water conservation is not for just a select few – every one of us will pay the price for the overdevelopment in our city and valley.

Thank you, Selina and Arden! I hope your letter gets copied and quoted at every municipal meeting in Southern California.

Local governments aren’t looking out for existing homeowners and renters if they enact mandatory water use prohibitions while continuing to approve new developments. Individual residents taking postive steps are even being harassed. Orange County is going after a homeowner who installed fake grass to reduce costs and conserve water. Here in Glendale, a renter was just cited for reducing green space by converting a front lawn to a water-conserving California native plant garden.

On the lighter side, LA Observed wondered who was policing LA County when its sprinklers were on during the middle of the day.

An LA Times opinion piece recently predicted, in a fearful tone, that the era of growth in California may be over due to persistent water shortages. It cited a state law that now requires documenting water supplies for very large new developments. Apparently it must not apply to the size of developments recently approved in Glendale.

What’s wrong with growth being over for Southern California? I believe most current homeowners and renters (who elect municipal government representatives, by the way), share my own opposition to any more large multifamily dwellings bringing more traffic and crowding to our community. To developers: go where the water is!

  • Van

    Or, instead of ineffectual government pleas for water-altruism and unrealistic demands that all development stop now, just PRICE WATER IN A REALISTIC MANNER. As the recent yoy driving statistics have shown, prices affect behavior. Higher gas = less driving, higher water = less water used.

    Supply and demand works. If we want to live in an arid region, we need to price water in such a way that our presence is sustainable.