Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Does FPUD plan to pilfer Cahuilla water?

Joe Naiman recently produced an excellent article on the Camp Pendleton desalination water plant. Most of the time, I do not read Mr. Naiman’s stuff because he sounds like a public relations manager for FPUD’s general manager. In this particular article, for the most part, he provided some very good impartial information.

The 150 million gallon daily potable water production is an excellent source of needed potable water of much higher quality than FPUD’s 495 mg/L TDS. Desalination of seawater by reverse osmosis can produce water quality of 50 mg/L TDS.

An energy cogeneration plant for this project’s demand will be great. The cost per acre-foot of a 150 mgd plant may be a little high, but it is priceless in this region.

According to printed information and acknowledgements from Mr. Steele, head of the Bureau of Reclamation, and a conversation with Phil Paule of Congressman Darrell Issa’s office, the Cahuilla Band of Indians owns the water rights to the Santa Margarita River.

In 1951, the Cahuilla Band moved to intervene and protect its senior, federal reserved water rights to the Santa Margarita River System in the case United States v. Fallbrook Public Utility District and they won.

Does FPUD plan to pilfer the Indians’ water and then, like Escondido, future court decisions will require FPUD to repay all the water they pilfered?

Why would the Marine Corps build a desalination plant and continue on with the unneeded Santa Margarita River Conjunctive Use Project? Are they wasting taxpayer money?

Archie McPhee


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