Wednesday, September 20, 2006

PLATFORM: Water Quality and the Mojave River


Water Quality
and the
Mojave River

In this new millennium we have all come to realize the importance of our environment. Global warming, air and water pollution, food contamination, and other aspects of our environment have all become primary concerns that we share in common. While many environmental issues are such that they need to be dealt with on a state, national or even international basis there is things like recycling that we can do as individuals. But on the local government level, water quality is not only the most important issue we face, it is a critical issue for our survival. Yet it is our City and its policies that have had the biggest contribution to the deterioration of our water quality. With an obsolete sewer plant that is only now being considered for replacement, it is no wonder that we had 1.5 million gallons of raw sewage spill into the Mojave River. Until recently the City was spraying its alfalfa fields next to the Mojave River with 1.5 million gallons of sewer water every day. The City just sold property next to the river to Pacific Holt for less than they paid five years earlier despite back up offers for substantially more. Now the City is allowing the developer (Mayor Dale’s buddies) to build three hundred homes there using septic tanks while the nearby residents of Old Soap Mine Road are already experiencing elevated nitrate levels. We live a short distance from where the Erin Brockenvich story is still unfolding but Mayor Dale is unconcerned since that is a “different separate plume”. The City of Barstow should be leading a major effort to "Save The Mojave River". Instead of being the major polluter, we should be working to save and restore the river to its former glory. There is a total disconnect between the City government, the Mojave Water Agency and the need to preserve the Mojave River.

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