March 4, 1993
East Bay Municipal Utility District
Water Supply Improvements Division
Attn: Traci Lewis
375 11th Street, MS 305
Oakland, California 94607-4240
Re: Updated Water Supply Management Program
The environmental problems facing the Earth are, obviously, so huge that they cannot be cured by one person, one government agency, one law, one company, or even the United Nations. They can only be solved by everyone doing their share -- whatever it is that they can do.
You can do a lot more than suggested by this plan! The plan should consist entirely, and exclusively, of conservation measures! I am sure you know the story of how PG & E was convinced that conservation was far cheaper, and better for the environment, than building new power plants and continually responding to every increase in demand. EBMUD, likewise, has barely begun to consider conservation. I replaced my old toilet with a 1.5 gallon Universal Rundle toilet from Berkeley Plumbing and cut my water usage by almost half. You could probably save money, as well as protect the environment considerably, by replacing every water-wasting toilet in your service area. PG & E paid me to insulate my house. Can you afford not to do such a sensible thing?
I would love to see you have the courage, like PG & E, to do what is right, rather than what is traditional. California's plants and wildlife obviously cannot protect themselves from us. We are losing individuals and species at a scary rate -- a rate that is accelerating! This is not acceptable. We must begin to "live lightly on the Earth", taking only what we need, and minimizing the damage that we do. This does not constitute "lowering our standard of life". Insulating my floor and ceiling and replacing my inefficient toilet (I did the work myself) and refrigerator have improved the quality of my life.
We must begin to give wildlife priority in everything that we do. Otherwise, they won't survive, nor will we. Scrap Programs II through VI. Only conservation ("Demand-Side Management"), of all of your programs, will provide the quality and amount of water that we need, cheaply, while protecting our precious environment. Everything else simply caters to the developers.
Michael J. Vandeman, Ph.D.
P.S. The new toilet works better than the old one did, as well as being much quieter!