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    Oxnard, CA | Water Shortage: What The City Is Not Doing

    by Lawrence Stein


    It is my understanding that there are over 43,000 residential water customers. Historically, staff has stated that the typical household uses 1/2-acre foot of water per year. It is my recollection of documents I saw around 2010, the top 5 industrial users of water used 5,000-acre feet of water per year which is about 85% of the total uses of industrial water (the total amount of potable water used for industrial purposes was less than 6,000-acre feet of water per year).

    I estimate that Procter and Gamble uses around 4,000-acre feet of water per year of potable water. GREAT Water is purer than the potable water Proctor and Gamble receives. Staff says GREAT Water is 99.9% pure water. Staff says the water is so pure that chemicals have to be added so GREAT Water does not leach out the concrete pipes.

    I estimate that residential water demand is at least 21,000-acre feet and commercial water demand is 6,000-acre feet with Procter and Gamble using 4,000-acre feet per year.  The actual numbers are not as important as to the scale of the numbers. 

    A skid of GREAT Water is 7,000-acre feet.  The AWTF (Advanced Water and Treatment Facility) has been operational since September 2012.  The city is spending $10,000,000+ to build a pipeline to benefit 3 users of GREAT Water whose only benefit to the residential / commercial water users paying for it, is the water table is not being lowered.

    The residential / commercial potable water users cannot even get water for its 1 to 1 pump back right. Each acre foot of water given to a GREAT Water user is not given to the city (industrial / residential users of potable water) user in the form of water, it is given in a form of credits to be used later.

    FCGMA (Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency) wants to reduce the credits by 40% and still will not give the water. There is a demand for 3 skids of GREAT Water and staff, after 9 years, has not finished building the ASR (Advanced Storage and Recovery)  wells for 1 skid. The city will not build a pipeline to the biggest user of potable water, so GREAT Water can be used instead of potable water (3,000+ (if not 4,000) acre feet of water per year.

    The pipeline can also provide water for irrigation to the schools and parks near the pipeline if the pipeline was built along Rose and over on Camino Del Sol. Since the city cannot get water for its pump back credits, the 43,000 residential and commercial water user might as well get actual water. The contract for the users of GREAT Water at the current rate should not be renewed at the current terms. The users of GREAT Water should be paying the debt service attributed to the construction of the AWTF. If the city does not want to charge the users of GREAT for the debt service payments, the General Fund should be paying the debt service and not from the Water Fund, which receives its revenues from the water bills paid by the 43,000+ customers of potable water who are not getting any GREAT Water.

    The 43,000+ residential and commercial have being paying the debt service on the construction of the AWTF (9+ years) and not only not getting any water, they are not getting to current right pump back the water the GREAT Water replaced that has been given to the users of GREAT Water.

    It has been said that there is not enough wastewater to produce 3 skids of GREAT Water. Staff still has not completed the ASR wells to store 1 skid of the water, let alone 2 skids of water. I have asked via public requests how much wastewater was treated (in acre feet) this past June, July, August and September and how much wastewater was billed in acre feet for the past June, July, August and September. Staff has not given (refused to give?) the information to the city clerk.

    The city is likely creating enough water to create 2 skids of GREAT Water from our wastewater. Knowing how green the lawns are, how many water features are operational and the city’s refusal to enforce the water conservation ordinances and policies it seems obvious that the city manager and staff talk the talk but not walk the walk. Please ask our elected representatives, to walk the walk.

    Footnote of terms:

    Copy of 2021 06 – 09 Sewer Billed and treated

    ASR: Advance Storage and Recovery

    AWTF: Advance Water and Treatment Facility

    GREAT: GRoundswater Enhanced And Treated

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