Monday, December 13, 2004

Water management--go dig a well?

I don't pretend to even begin to understand the water rights issue in California. Entire books (such as "Water Wars") have been written on the subject, and there is even a movie (Chinatown with Jack Nicholson), whose plot centers around water rights in California.
However, there is a lot of available water, and it is not very deep.
I can't say with certainty if this water is part of any water district aquifer, and, since the Santa Margarita Water district does not "replenish" their aquifers, there may be no restrictions in place at all, even if it is on the same aquifer.
I can tell you that near my property in the desert near Palm Springs, many people have personal wells, and they are very close to the water district wells.
These people have found that even after investing the money to drill a well, it is still much cheaper to pump water from 2000 feet down than it is to continually pay the water company.
I cannot recall for sure, but I believe the water under Coto is only around 200 feet down.
Again, this is just a thought. With a water bill of $1,000,000 a year, it just might be a viable alternative, and probably someone should spend a little time on a preliminary investigation.
John G
John: I have been pushing the current CZ Board to develop comprehensive goals and objectives every year since I served on the Board as the Board's I served on always did. I never did this just to be wise guy; but rather to make the point that every well run organization needs a plan of operations. For some reason which I will never understand, Board Members Varo, Mezger, Hill, Thagard and now Larkin, who presumably are smart guys, just refused to implement what is just a normal aspect of running any business.

Yes, they have dropped the ball specific to both a long term strategy to deal with Landscaping in Coto which ties directly to the water conservation issue. There is no plan that I can see that represents any strategic thinking. The Boards I served on had a plan over a five year period to change out plants to more drought resistant landscaping. We also saw the cost of water as a real problem that would explode on us as is happening now. We hired an outside consultant to monitor the system we have in Coto to get better water utilization. As far as I know, all of that stopped with this current CZ Board. Why do you think I keep pushing the Board to stop focusing on feel good stuff and start focusing on the business of the Associaiton.

Let's face it. Most people in Coto can write a check for $200 a month without much pain. Some probably spend that on Starbucks every month. But, we don't get much for our dues money. We have no community, pool or tennis center for our dues which is rather common in other master planned communities. If we work smarter, by keeping and even enhancing our revenue sources and controlling expenses, we could add these facilities to CZ without much of a dues increase. This would not only be good for the community, it would be very good for property values. CZ residents should not have to join the country club at very high fees to have these amenties. If the current CZ Board would just focus on our business instead of the July 4th parade, they could make it happen. Regards, Joe Morabito


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