By Gil Jones, San Juan Capistrano

Since my friend, Jonathan Volzke, touched on the bickering at City Hall in his last column in The Dispatch (“The Only Way We Win is by Working Together,” Dec. 13-26), I will not go into that arena. I will give a brief opinion about what should be our main priorities in life.

The cost of water should not be a priority. The availability of water should be.

I support desalination projects, wells, groundwater recovery and any other means to assure future generations of a reliable water source.

There are three absolute necessities to have life: birth, air and water. Without any of these, there will be no life as we know it. The cost of it is secondary.

One side note I would like to present is this: In the ‘50s and ‘60s, when I was young and in my prime, the air in Southern California was green with smog and presented real health hazards. Now, I can state with some confidence, the air we breathe is much cleaner. I attribute this to good, but often, expensive technology and the will of the people to pay for it. The same should apply to clean water.

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comments (2)

  • I am in partial agreement with Gil Jones. I agree that our priority should be AVAILABILITY first, COST second. Mr. Jones is right-on there. His priorities are a bit out of sync, though – “birth, air, water.” I would say that without water there would be no birth.

    I do not see desalination as a solution. In addition to being highly energy intensive, the process is not environmentally friendly. Seawater desalination plants contribute to the wastewater discharges that affect coastal water quality. This is mostly due to the highly saline brine that is emitted into the sea, which may contain residual chemicals from the pretreatment process, heavy metals from corrosion or intermittently used cleaning agents. The effluent from desalination plants is a multi-component waste, with multiple effects on water, sediment and marine organisms. In other words, desalination affects the quality of the resource it depends on and, in case no one has notice, our oceans are not in the best condition thanks to climate change and over fishing.

  • The chief reason that smog was diminished was the proper scientific understanding of the process and what had to be done. It took time and money but the result was significant improvement in our lives. The water issue, climate warming, beach erosion, etc, all require thorough scientific understanding as well, if they too are to be dealt with rationally.

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