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Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009 | Thank you, Rob Davis, for your research and contribution to informed decision-making. Too bad you had to rely on the Public Records Act to counter the resistance of institutional leadership for transparency and accountability regarding responsible and sustainable water management practices.

There is a failure to deal authentically with our water industry’s fundamental conflict of interest between their public duty to provide affordable water to us and their fiduciary duty to sell water to enterprise-driven water agencies. For instance, I’ve heard the Metropolitan Water District has no water conservation policy to move our region to the state-mandated goal of generating 50 percent of our water locally (through water reclamation and conservation, etc.). Instead it’s marketing a bond measure to maintain the status quo, rely on ever-dwindling external water sources and increase staff salaries.

Let’s stop this runaway train of institutional self-interest by adopting an enforceable regional strategic water plan to achieve the 50 percent goal. We need all stakeholders at the table to realize our collective change in behavior. Perhaps VOSD readers can come up with 100 Best Practices to Steward Water and then we can rally behind them at the policy level beginning with the top 10 users.

Then, the Orchids and Onions Award committee could support policy change with water stewardship and water squandering awards. For example, I look forward to Orchids going to golf courses that convert fairways to native vegetation (like courses in Scotland), to be likely offset by the savings in water costs over time.

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