So we’ve just watched millions and millions of gallons of good, fresh stormwater merge with the salty Pacific, unhindered by any water authorities in our water-starved community. We could have, during the brief window of opportunity, attached a pump to any of the dozen of creeks in Santa Barbara County that are bone dry almost all the year but boil with water during rain storms, and sucked out good, fresh rainwater for future use. With no environmental degradation at all. But no, yet again, we let it all rush past and vanish into the ocean.

Instead, we’re reactivating a desalination plant so that we can use indecent amounts of energy at an indecent cost and burden ourselves with a lot of saline sludge we don’t know what to do with, just in order to turn that water, now that it’s part of the salty Pacific, back into fresh.

To whom does this make sense? High tech does not equal smart, and it sure doesn’t equal cheap either: remember the Strategic Defense Initiative?

Need a dry creek to suck the stormwater from? I can name one; I grew up on it: Toro Canyon Creek. But there’s no lack of them. What is lacking is good sense and will.


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