From the State Water Resources Control Board July 15 press release:
In response to the ongoing severe drought, on Tuesday the State Water Resources Control Board approved an emergency regulation to ensure water agencies, their customers and state residents increase water conservation in urban settings or face possible fines or other enforcement.
Last night the Beaumont Cherry Valley Water District passed a resolution to put in place the minimum actions required by the State in order to avoid penalties. Here is the BCVWD’s press release. The commissioners discussed a number of additional measures to conserve water recommended by staff.
Commissioner Dr. Blair Ball argued that it was inappropriate for the board to implement regulations to restrict water use by existing residents, their customers, while at the same time the City of Beaumont actively recruited developers to build thousands of new homes. Dr. Ball argued that the Board should ask for input from the citizens regarding their willingness to make the sacrifices necessary to support the rapid growth in housing developments the City is promoting.
Dr. Ball went on to read an excerpt from the City of Redlands Municipal Code, Title 19, Chapter 19.04 – Growth Management. 19.04 was passed, by the people of Redlands as Measure R in 1978.
The people of the city of Redlands find that accelerating and disorderly residential growth have caused conditions harmful to the public health, safety and general welfare, and have resulted or will soon result in overcrowding of schools, deteriorating water quality and sewage treatment capacity, inadequate police and fire protection, increasing traffic congestion, inadequate parks and recreation facilities, loss of irreplaceable agricultural land, loss of open space, increased air pollution, deterioration of older urban areas, general urban sprawl, and a substantial increase in the cost of government services. (§ 1 of proposition R, passed by voters 11-7-1978)
Dr. Ball read a list of issues concerning, Mello-Roos funding, non-potable (recycled) water, and the future of development plans of the City of Beaumont. He wanted to know if the residents of Beaumont are willing to accept increasing restrictions on the use of water as more and more homes are built while the water supply dwindles. He suggested the people of Beaumont might want to support their own Managed Growth initiative.
He finished by calling for a public hearing to be held at the next regularly scheduled BCVWD board meeting and pressed for the district to go above and beyond the minimum announcement required by the Brown Act. He also suggested that the Beaumont City Council Members and candidates for City Council be invited to speak at the end of the public hearing. The rest of the council members in attendance agreed.
I applaud Dr. Ball for his comments and the rest of the board members for their support of this effort to get public input. I will be there to listen and offer my input. I expect this meeting will be well attended. I encourage the BCVWD to reach out to the Beaumont Unified School District to request the use of their boardroom, I don’t believe there will be enough room in the BCVWD’s board room.