Here is the slide show used at last Friday's PSB/EPWU Strategic Planning Session.
Just a few quick observations:
The PSB/EPWU is the only El Paso "institution" that intimately understands conservation. The entire plan is concerned with the technology, policy and, yes, conservation necessary to make sure that El Paso has water. The PSB was created in 1951 during what was a bad drought. Our drought today is worse.
Attempts led by the clandestine and powerful Builders Association and City Council members who are in debt to the Builders to make the PSB/EPWU a city department are just wrong. In their minds it's a matter of revenue and the protection of the builders from paying impact fees and the rejection of the visionary Plan El Paso, the most hated document by the Builders Association. Conservation is the last thing on their minds. Build, build, build. Sprawl, sprawl, sprawl. Guzzle, guzzle, guzzle - no water in short time. Thank you, PSB, for being conservation oriented. Of course, EPWU's product to sell is water. If they limit the amount, they bring in less revenue. Thank heavens for innovators such as John Balliew, who know that other products must come off the line as well. They are working on it.
They conserve better than conservationists. For years we have been hounding and howling to bring more water to the Rio Bosque. They have a plan that not only does that but recaptures more water for the City!
Finally, we see a strategy for capturing more rainwater which includes the regulating pond that will benefit the Rio Bosque.
Here's the dark cloud: Council recently imposed a fee for street repairs and has the EPWU collect that fee through our water bills. The fee goes to the City. Council could have just accepted the counter-proposal for a larger EPWU budget to do the same job. However, the current Council had ulterior motives: enact the fee and, in time, raise it. More especially, Council wanted to get its hands into the governance best done by the PSB. The first major problem with the fee is that it makes it harder for the PSB to raise rates that will go to critical infrastructure needed now or soon. The second major problem is that the fee does not encourage conservation of our scarcest and most precious resource: water.