Voice: How will SDCWA deal really help the Valley working man?

June 21, 2002

Ramon Arellano's employer is training him to use a computer and he wonders why. A tall and burly man of 36, Arellano bosses lettuce crews in Imperial Valley through winter, Huron into late spring, Salinas during summer and Yuma in November. His wife and their children of 15, 8 and 3 years reside in housing affordable Phoenix, where he visits them when he can, or los Arellanos arrange a rendezvous with extended family in Mexicali.

San Diego County Water board Chairman James Turner, writing in the San Diego Union-Tribune offers that "we are working with farmers, community and business leaders in Imperial Valley," in order that a water transfer agreement will see "truth … that Imperial Valley must be fully compensated for any and all impacts of the water transfer."

Retired from city management and the direction of Oceanside's sewer and water treatment plants, while seated on the SDCWA board since 1986, Chairman Turner spoons a bromide, "efforts to promote water conservation throughout the county," is part of a diversified mix of resource allocation and he attempts to chump the reader with "San Diegans are using the same amount of water as we did 10 years ago."


Turner effuses and effervesces that we can "get this done in a way that benefits the Imperial Valley economy and does not affect the Salton Sea." Does Turner drink seawater on a daily basis? It seems he does because while San Diego city population's water usage may not have grown in 10 years, San Diego County continues to sprawl by making brown hills and dales turn green via imported water applied to landscape architecture.

Has one viewed early photographs of San Diego County? Its natural state of flora was brown scrub and chaparral — La Jolla was barren and isolated, while the feckless Santa Margarita River meanders outside Oceanside — but SDCWA has transformed the cool coastal desert into the eighth-largest city in America.

SDCWA's Turner is no smarter than IID's tough and caring board President Stella Mendoza, whose opinion in the San Diego Union-Tribune perspicaciously calls into question why IID should be "trusting in the regional partnership that has already marginalized its interests" by SDCWA low-bridging IID with its clarion call for "active conservation turned into fallowing to save the Salton Sea," and its whimpering to Sacramento and Washington legislators and executives in each party.

Turner's costs for desalination have turned his beady eyes upon IID and he offers a Band-Aid for a severed carotid artery, with funds for "job training and other community impacts," while we twist in the wind. Is IID's law firm at Horton Knox Carter and Foote skilled and resourceful enough to prevail before the U.S. Supreme Court?

It appears that SDCWA offers to Ramon Arellano, his family and the Valley a computer for job training and a ration of Salton Sea water.


El Centro

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