Major General Lehnert believes spending $4.78 billion (not million) on Camp Pendleton housing is wonderful (NCT, “Spending top dollars for living quarters,” 11/9/08).
Excessive empty and foreclosed housing surrounds Camp Pendleton. Helping young military families move into these vacant homes is economical and practical and will eliminate graft and corruption, as evidenced in Iraq. The Navy Exchange, used by Camp Pendleton residents, is not a bargain compared with local discount stores.
The lack of clean Camp Pendleton water is so critical that a needed desalination plant on/near the base will eliminate Camp Pendleton’s pure water requirements forever. Camp Pendleton provides bottled water for its residents and base standing orders forbid consumption of base tap water by babies and children.
Camp Pendleton willingly ignores California Indian Tribes’ water rights. Sierra Club members also oppose driving wildlife from Camp Pendleton into a mountain reservoir for construction of a Santa Margarita River Conjunctive Use Program collapsible/weir dam.
US Navy expertise in desalination by reverse osmosis, nano-filtration, ultra-filtration and seawater distillation, as used on all USN seagoing ships, is available. Federal desalination plans and permits are on file to produce water from 1 ppm to 60 ppm (total solids) purity. Desalination is used on Marine landing craft. Seawater is 96.4-percent pure and the San Onofre Power Plant is available to produce low-cost, pure water using their waste steam and utilizing existing heat in their cooling seawater. Local drinking water averages around 450 mg/l impurities.
Patricia J. Walker