quality control board, actively monitoring and coordinating with industries within the basin. For example, a membrane manufacturer in Orange County was using dioxane that was detected in OCWD’s wells. The OCWD went to the sanitation district, which looked in its inventory of companies to find the “culprit” who then terminated operations and is now using a safer chemical.
Jeffrey Perl, of the Chicago Chem Consultants Corporation, questioned the ability to control the influx of some subdevelopments through real estate zoning laws.
Ms. Grebbien replied that Orange County is actually fortunate because most of the population growth is going to occur in what is called the inland empire and San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. Historically, however, the water industry has said that planning and growth issues are not its responsibility and that the industry is there to serve a demand. In all of its environmental documentation, such as the California Environmental Quality Act or the National Environmental Protection Act, it is the planning commissions and land use planning agencies must deal with growth. However, those days are gone. A bill was passed a couple of years ago in the state legislature called the Khuel Bill, which said for every 500 or more home developments, homes can be built only if there is an identified water supply to go along with the development. Prior to this bill, the Urban Water Management Planning Act required water agencies to put together a plan every five years explaining where their water will come from. The new Khuel Bill has actually been used to stop or slow down some projects in LA County. This year, another bill in the state legislature would reduce the 500-home requirement to 50 homes. Prior to this workshop, the city of Irvine and the Irvine Company were working on a small home development. The Irvine Ranch Water District put together a report that said it has sustainable water coming from the groundwater basin and the Metropolitan Water District and that there was sufficient water for this development. The OCWD does not have a report that addresses the Khuel Bill, but it is currently doing the planning work in order to be able to put it together. In the Southern California area, the antigrowth advocates are starting to use water as their weapon and the water industry is paralyzed and unprepared for this.
Vasilios Manousiouthakis, of the University of California at Los Angeles, wanted to address the comment made about the chemical sciences and their adverse impact on the water industry and others in business. A remark was made in the morning about how there is a serious adverse impact in the chemistry and chemical engineering areas, resulting from the negative connotation of “chemicals.” It must be realized that the United States is prosperous today because there has been a very healthy chemical industry contributing to the gross national product since the 1940s. Now, the delayed adverse impact that this industry has had on our environment is being seen. If any group of people can slow this adverse impact it is chemists and chemical engineers. Mr. Manousiouthakis wanted to caution Ms. Grebbien that remarks about the chemical sciences’ impact on the water industry may have unintended consequences.
Ms. Grebbien agreed and said she understands that products made from chemicals benefit society. The general public has to realize, however, that it cannot have these things without adverse effects. If there are going to be consequences, they should be managed from a holistic approach. The water industry would like to work with the chemical sciences to tackle this issue.