Saturday, January 06, 2007

Border Wars

If whiskey is for drinkin' and water for fighting over (Mark Twain) then immigration is not the ony border issue that we have with Mexico.
While baking my own version of a power bar (recipe posted on demand) last night I was tuned in to the California Connected on PBS station KQED, San Francisco. Last night, they covered the situation with the New River, flowing from Mexico into the US near Calexico. I will not go into the details...
but will call attention to two relevant issues.
  1. When this segment was originally shown in June, 2006, it was 109 in the desert. The river was so polluted that it had as much as 16 million bacteria / virus count when 260 is considered so polluted as to be hazardous to your health.
  2. The Metropolitan Water District is looking at the New River as a future source of drinking water for LA.
Since that segment was filmed, the Calexico New River Community and it's supporters have had some effect. The City of Mexicali has brought a sewage treatment plant online. You can read about that in the segment update that accompanies the video at California Connected. Right now, the major effort is to raise $800,000 to help fund an Environmental Impact Report so that they can begin the total cleanup.

If the Metropolitan Water District really has plans to tap the New River as a source of drinking water, I suggest that they should put up the $800,000. Further, I would hope that LA County Greens would demand such action and give the entire question a public airing. Do the Citizens of LA really want to be drinking this?

Finally, to show that the New River is NOT a New Problem, I would quote the following from the highly ineffective International Boundary and Water Commission.

New River Border Sanitation Problem and Solution

On August 26, 1980 the IBWC submitted to, and the two Governments subsequently approved Minute No. 264, "Recommendations for Solution of the New River Border Sanitation Problem at Calexico, California-Mexicali, Baja California." Under this agreement Mexico is taking steps to provide an interim solution to the problem of the discharge of sanitary and industrial waste waters from the Mexican City into New River which flows north across the boundary. The recommended goal for a permanent solution is the elimination of sanitary and industrial wastes in the waters of New River crossing the boundary.

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