Mailbag: Mixed messages on water conservation

March 24, 2014

I recently received an email showing a home water report from Newport Beach.

Needless to say, my family and I are water hogs compared to our "average neighbors," and downright gluttons next to our "efficient neighbors."

Once I recovered from this assault on our civic identity and environmental conscience (will we ever be green?), I scrolled down to "Who are your Neighbors?" in hopes of finding a role model. Alas, as I feared, neighborliness is a construct of assumptions, statistics and, probably, an algorithm or two.


I suspect our soggy status reflects a profile compiled by the city that bears little resemblance to our actual situation. I linked to a profile update, checked various boxes and now live in hope that our next home water report will be less censorious.

I read that construction has begun on Upper Newport Village. Close to the airport, it will have hundreds of homes, retail space and assorted other amenities. The article used the term "luxury."

And March 22 in the Pilot, I read about the valiant Banning Ranch Conservancy's efforts to fight development of that parcel of open space. What will happen if it is not successful? Some 1,375 homes, commercial space and a small hotel! Further afield, in an effort to snatch development out of the jaws of boondoggle, thousands of homes are being built as part of the overall development plan of the Great Park.

What is wrong with this picture? One governmental hand is preaching the virtues of water conservation, while the other continues to add more demand to an increasingly finite resource. Am I, and my statistical neighbors, enabling, however passively, the development death spiral that is gripping our governmental entities?

I do my darndest to conserve water, drive less, buy local, recycle and have a compost bin. But when I see planning commissions recommending, and city councils approving, more development with "streamlined" review processes and proposed fee forgiveness for yet more McMansions, all the while blithely disregarding the pronouncements of other city departments, my neighborly fervor wanes a bit.

Lynda Adams

Newport Beach


City Council now has some doers

The representatives of the people of Costa Mesa are our City Council members. They are our only elected officials and the only officials in the city who are directly responsible to the people.

They are elected to make sure the unelected municipal government is doing what needs to be done to make our city the great place it should be.

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