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California Water Woes – NDP Illegal Expenditures

California Water Woes – NDP Illegal Expenditures

California Water

California’s drought is frightful and a challenge for an 800-word column, since the problem can be solved in five words: charge realistic prices for water.

If homeowners paid two pennies a gallon instead of 0.5, they might take shorter showers and be more parsimonious with their lawns, but their lives wouldn’t change materially. If farmers found it remunerative to reduce by one gallon the 3.5 it takes to grow a lettuce, who doubts they’d make it work.

Yet for all the agonizing of the TV news and Gov. Jerry Brown, the appetite for a price solution is not only nil, it is undiscussed except by bloggers and op-ed writers. Movie fans know why: “Forget it Jake, it’s Chinatown”—California’s convoluted water politics. Imposing realistic prices on urban dwellers might be feasible, but up would go a cry, “What about farmers?” Then politicians would face a skein of favoritism and log-rolling practically beyond the power of democratic politics to unravel.

Let’s start with basics. The original market for water was the market for land—land with water was worth more. In California, two large state and federal projects, the State Water Project and the Central Valley Project, have long been in charge of aggregating water in the north and allocating it to various users in southern California, which makes water political.

A third system, the Colorado River system, is also part of the allocative scrum, involving California and six other states.

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Desalination plants

California’s 3-year-old drought has thrust seawater desalination into the spotlight as San Diego County, Santa Barbara and other cities push ahead with treatment plants that will soon turn the Pacific Ocean into a source of drinking water.

Desalination has emerged as a newly promising technology in California in the face of a record dry spell that has forced tough new conservation measures, depleted reservoirs and raised the costs of importing fresh water from elsewhere.

But experts warn that converting seawater to drinking supplies remains an expensive, energy-intensive enterprise that has had mixed success in places like Australia and Florida.

The biggest ocean desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere, a $1 billion project under construction since 2012 on a coastal lagoon in the California city of Carlsbad, is nearly completed and due to open in November, delivering up to 50 million gallons of water a day to San Diego County.


A House of Commons committee ruled Tuesday to recover $2,749,362 from 67 current NDP MPs and one former MP over “inappropriate use of parliamentary resources.”

The decision stems from a controversy that erupted last year over the reallocation of taxpayer dollars to staff two of the federal party’s Quebec satellite offices.

Money to pay the staffers was collected from the 68 NDP members — a use of parliamentary resources the Board of Internal Economy found to be in violation of House rules. The secretive committee is responsible for overseeing parliamentary spending.

“Since individual members’ office budgets were used to supplement the NDP research office budget, the board will be directing that each participating member personally reimburse the salary costs under question,” read a statement from House Speaker Andrew Scheer’s office.

Drunk Calls 911 over Bar Tab

Beer’s too damn high.

A drunken Idaho man dialed 911 a dozen times to complain he was overcharged at a bar, authorities said.

The wasted whiner was booted from Club Tequila early Monday morning and kept up his complaints even after police officers gave him a courtesy ride home, cops said.

Phillip Poissonnier of Post Falls soon began barraging dispatchers with a string of messages, tying up resources as officers tried to handle real emergencies, police Capt. Pat Knight told KXLY.
“We were responding to a prowler call, and while we’re on the prowler call, he’s calling 911, making sure he’s not overcharged,” Knight told KXLY.

Poissonnier allegedly played songs off the radio in three of the calls and told dispatchers they were just like his ex-wife when he grew frustrated with their services.

The offensive bill for Poissonnier’s 10 beers totaled about $30, but it could ultimately cost him a year in jail and a $1,000 fine, KXLY reported.

Poissonnier was charged with a misdemeanor for abusing 911

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