Do We Have a Water Shortage in Santa Cruz County?

By [post_author] –

Santa Cruz County, California is in a rain zone that dumps approximately 978,000 gallons of water for each resident every year. The failure to implement even a basic water storage plan allows the water to flow unused into the ocean. Jack Ward researches the question “Do we have a water shortage in Santa Cruz County?”, and finds a resounding NO! “Has it occurred to anyone else that the major problems confronting Santa Cruz County are contrived and are caused by the same politicians that we entrusted to solve them?”

A couple years ago, Santa Cruz County received an overabundance of rain. The mountain areas received almost 100 inches and areas closer to the ocean received almost 50 inches. So it is conceivable that the average rain over Santa Cruz County was something over 60 inches. How can we average more than 5 feet of water over the entire county o­ne year and a water crisis another? Does a contrived crisis seem possible?

Flash forward to today and we hear fear mongers claiming we have a water crisis. The San Lorenzo-Soquel basin averages over 39 inches of rain per year and the Pajaro Basin averages over 24 inches per year. When you consider the size of Santa Cruz County (286,739 acres), the number of people in Santa Cruz County, (255,602 per the 2000 census) and an average of almost three feet of rain per year; you’ll see that the county receives a little less than three acre feet of water for each person. (An acre-foot of water is about 326,000 gallons and meets the average needs of several families). It’s clear that any water crisis in Santa Cruz County isn’t caused by a lack of available water.

But what about the California water crisis? Junk science and misinformation has also perpetuated that myth. In an average year, more than 190 million acre-feet of precipitation falls in California. o­nce again, we see that there are several acre-feet per person. The problem is the population lives where the water isn’t. Getting the water to the population base is a problem greatly exacerbated by politics. Nevertheless, there is no water shortage.

Yet the Chicken Little crowd foolishly claims that we are using more water than nature provides and we are running out of water. Obviously, these are erroneous statements and are intended to frighten the uninformed. We use hardly a fraction of the water that nature provides. Most of the water that nature provides flows straight to the ocean without any chance for us to make any productive use of it. We get plenty of water – we just don’t make adequate use of it. Death Valley has a water shortage – Santa Cruz County doesn’t.

Of course, we cannot save all the water that falls o­n Santa Cruz County. However, we can save enough to prevent the contrived crisis by developing a water storage plan. o­ne such solution would be building a few dams. Whoops! I just uttered o­ne of the four-letter words that drive the radical environmentalists’ nuts – DAMS! However, dams could store and control excessive amounts of water during abundant years and provide that water in years of need. The water stored would percolate back into the aquifer, provide clean water for our use, and prevent salt-water intrusion.

Dams can also provide recreational use. So imagine the outrage from radical environmentalists when they see people enjoying the recreation facilities at a water recreation area. Fishing, swimming, and boating are some of the family friendly activities available at water recreation areas. However, the radical environmentalists are convinced that human activity would adversely disturb the aquaculture; therefore, they advocate banning human. What a pathetic and shallow life the radical environmentalists [want us to] lead. Dams can also provide much needed clean electric power. Hydroelectric power is o­ne of the cleanest sources of electricity.

Another water storage proposal proposed by a county hydrologist is to replenish the existing aquifer by pumping the excess water into the aquifers. To visualize this plan, imagine utilizing the underground aquifers as massive storage tanks or underground reservoirs.

Of course we’ve hear about numerous solutions to our ‘water crisis’. These ideas run from the sublime to the ridiculous. Piping in Santa Clara wastewater, desalinization of ocean waters, and water rationing are just a few of the solutions under consideration. Then there is the concept of towing icebergs, but nobody takes that serious. However, all of these are expensive stopgap measures. The solutions that could permanently solve the water problem are not even considered. Those solutions are building dams and replenishing the aquifers.

Those who have a control fetish want to control every aspect of our lives. They execute this control by cleverly employing the ‘Hegelian Principle’, described as follows:

  • First, a problem of monumental proportions is created.
  • Second, stir up hysteria by every means possible.
  • Third, when people hysterically demand a solution to the contrived problem, solutions are offered that will take away rights, cost considerable money, and put more power in the hands of the power-grabbing bureaucrats.

In the sprit of the ‘Hegelian Principle’, the Santa Cruz Board of Supervisors recently initiated a scam effort to place meters o­n private wells. Foolishly, the Board of Supervisors considered private wells as community property. They ignored the fact that landowners possess certain rights – o­ne of these rights – is water rights. The water rights are as much an asset as the land itself.

The California Supreme Court has addressed water rights and ruled unanimously in favor of property owners. Unless the property owners surrender these water rights, the county has very little authority regarding any well o­n private property. The Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution also prevents private property to be taken for public use without just compensation. Public entities can purchase private property or private water rights for the public good, but forcing land owners to give up or pay for a right that they already have is a ‘taking’ and is unconstitutional.

If the Board of Supervisors [continues] with the meter plan they will [be] ignoring the US Constitution, the California Supreme Court rulings, state statue and the advise of the County Counsel. Of course, that hasn’t slowed down the Supervisors before.

Before the Board of Supervisors considers further infringement o­n water rights, they should carefully consider the legal consequences. There are more than 150 years of judicial precedence supporting the water rights of California property owners.

As I have pointed out, Santa Cruz County doesn’t have a water crisis. But I suggest that Santa Cruz has had a leadership vacuum that has invented a water crisis for political purposes. For years, our political leaders have refused to take aggressive action to increase our water storage capacity.

There is a water management and water storage problem. An aggressive water storage plan will solve almost any water shortage problem. However, the current ruling junta will not consider increased water storage, and they continue to give us false choices. Saving some bird, bug, reptile, rodent, or weed is more important than taking care of the constituents who pay their salaries. However, the concept of unresponsive politicians and bureaucrats should not be a surprise. It is surprising that people in Santa Cruz County continue to tolerate the assault o­n their rights.

Has it occurred to anyone else that the major problems confronting Santa Cruz County are contrived and are caused by the same politicians that we entrusted to solve them? We have traffic problems because highway expansion is restricted. And we have a water problem because water storage is restricted.

This article previously appeared in the Aptos Times June 15, 2001 issue, and is republished here with permission from the author. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment for non-profit research and educational purposes o­nly. [Ref.]

This article  was originally printed in the Aptos Times on June 15, 2001. Jack Ward is a long time resident of the central coast and a believer in America’s Constitutional Rights. 


This article contains links to outside sources not controlled by Freedom Advocates and therefore are subject to change.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email