El Estero Wastewater Treatment Plant has undergone a name change to El Estero Water Resources Center, a “re-branding” in anticipation of treating toilet water so that citizens can drink it. We are told we have “no water to waste.”

Two questions:

(1) “No water to waste”? Then why are we handing out permits to grow cannabis in this drought-prone county? According to SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana), one cannabis plant drinks six gallons of water per day.

(2) Why are we considering permits to frack in Cat Canyon? According to Food and Water Action, a single fracked well requires millions of gallons of water, and can risk groundwater contamination.

It seems that we are not addressing this issue in a logical conservationist way. Re-branding the wastewater plant seems like a marketing ploy to fund another costly endeavor (haven’t we already spent millions on the desalination plant?) which is not yet necessary and is unpalatable to many. These issues should be examined first before we resign to drinking processed wastewater so that others can frack and grow cannabis.


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